Book Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover


“It’s not a confession if nobody reads it. It’s just an unshared secret.”

Colleen Hoover is always my go-to author for whenever I can’t make head or tail of my life, or just need a pick-me-up in general. I hadn’t really planned on reading Confess; it was a spur-of-the-moment choice at best, but boy am I glad I made that choice. I even recreated one of my favourite quotes from the novel:

Confess, at its heart, is a love story (and a damn good one at that). It follows the lives of Auburn Reed and Owen Gentry, both of whom are wading through life with half a heart, after having suffered through major losses early on in their lives. Now, as adults, when their lives collide again, sparks fly that ignite both of their worlds on fire.

Trust me when I say, there is not enough praise for this story. I think it is suffice to let you know that I finished it in one seating, within four hours. Word after word, page after page, the story kept pulling me in deeper and deeper, so much so that just reading about Auburn’s drunk adventures with Owen made me feel inebriated myself. Colleen Hoover sure knows how to spin a story that captures people’s hearts. After Ugly Love, I was convinced that there couldn’t be any other book that could captivate me as much as it did, but here we are: I’m in love with Owen and Auburn at least as much as I love Miles and Tate, if not more.

To be honest, it might not be a fair comparison, but just take my word for the fact that Confess is one book that you need to read this summer. It touches on the most sensitive of subjects in the most natural way possible, while at the same time putting into words some of the most common feelings that every single soul on this planet has.

Like this one. This one is my favorite:

Let’s just say that reading this book put a lot of things in perspective. If nothing else, at least I realized that more often than not, love isn’t enough. Without strength and persistence, love generally comes up short.

Okay, that’s about it for Confess I guess. Next up, I’m reading It Ends With Us, also by Colleen Hoover, which I’m almost done with, so expect another review very, very soon!

You do whatever makes you happy. It’s now or never, remember?

Love,

Snigdha

Phoenix


Hello, hello.

Welcome back to my personal corner on the Internet, and to July. By this time–after having barely survived through the first half of the year–most of us have gone back to our old selves, the ones we swore we would change in 2017 (like that ever happens). As far as New Year resolutions go, I’m not very optimistic, because I’m a believer in the ‘now or never’ line of thinking, but I whole-heartedly encourage all others who see the new year as a set of 365 chances that they can take to make their lives better.

Anyway. I digress from the point (as usual).

After six months of 2017 down the drain, if there’s one thing I can say, it’s this: to pick yourself up after a tragedy takes immense amount of strength, and sometimes, it takes a whole lot of time, too. The said tragedy could be anything, but the aftermath of all of them are the same: you feel you are broken on the inside, and nothing (and nobody) can piece you back together.

And you know what? You are right. Nobody else is going to patch you up and fix all the things that are wrong with you; you are going to have to do it yourself. Sure, it may take a ginormous amount of strength, and even more patience (along with sleepless nights, hysterical crying, and yelling at blank air), but you will get there.

A friend once told me that to be able to create a new reality for yourself, you should have the courage to break old patterns and habits. Breaking patterns is how new worlds emerge. It may sound scary, and it should because it is downright the scariest thing you will ever do in your life–giving up the known and familiar for The Unknown. But it needs to be done, and the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone.

We are born alone, we die alone, but we don’t have to fight alone. And take it from someone who has paid a visit to The Dark Side, you don’t need an army to help you back on your feet. Sometimes, having just one person you know will answer your calls at 2 AM when you’re having a breakdown, is more than enough (I love you, Nano). Also, it helps to have someone give you a not-so-subtle reality check, every once in a while.

The point is, things may never be just right, you know? But sometimes, they just get even worse, and you feel like you have lost all reason to live. Dying isn’t really an option, and you are stuck in this ugly place between living and not quite, with no way out. You want answers, you want justice, but most of all, you just want back whatever (or whoever) it is that you lost.

The only thing that you need to believe in at times like these, is this: it gets better. It does. You don’t have to believe me; just look back at your life, and I’m sure you’ll find many moments where you thought your life had ended, and yet, here you are. Hold on to that hope.

Be the phoenix, the one that rises from its own ashes, stronger and more beautiful than ever.

It’s now or never.

Love,

Snigdha

 

Truth


When April ended, I was determined to not let anything at all stand in the way of me and my recovery. It is now no secret that April was a doozy; it forced me to stand and deal with a lot of things that I had done absolutely everything to avoid (especially the murky areas of my own mind), and while it was necessary, it was also difficult as hell.

Fast forward to now, six days into May, and it feels like I’m…empty. There is nothing concrete left to hold on to, and without an anchor, I feel weightless. Normally, I would have found something to focus on by now, something to at least get me by for until after exams get over, if not any longer. I know my history and my cycles. I know that there are certain same phases that I need to go through every time something major happens.

The first phase is the Fake Acceptance, where I try to talk myself into being optimistic and repeatedly tell myself that this is okay, this is good, this is for the better. On an average, this phase lasts anywhere from a week to a month, depending upon an array of myriad factors involved. This is quickly followed by Rage, where everything is just another reason for me to be mad at things and people, and no matter what anyone tells me, I just cannot calm down. Once the bloodlust subsides and I can stand to talk to people without yelling and/or making snide comments (that aren’t always unwarranted), I move on to the third and final phase, which is Compromise. I try to make peace with the changes, and learn to live with them, after doing an extensive search to identify the silver lining (however faint) in this situation.

These phases are familiar to me; it gives me this twisted sense of relief that at the end of all this, I will be fine. But this time, while I waddled through the first two phases pretty quickly, the last phase is nowhere in sight. Every time I think that I’m finally okay with things being the way they are, something shakes loose, something shifts, and I find myself alone and frustrated (possibly even crying), desperate for a solution.

The thing is, there is no way I can glorify my scars or my insecurities to make them sound like they are the result of heroics or anything that could inspire anyone. My scabs are not wounds won on the battlefield; I have no reason to be proud of them. Some might object, saying that “we acquire strength in what we overcome”. To them I only want to say this: in my 21 and a half years of being alive, I’ve overcome a shit ton of stuff, and what use is the strength if it can’t save me from my own self?

Ever since I’ve had this blog, I usually post when I have a problem, and more often than not, the following post goes up when that problem is solved. This may be the first time ever where I am going to admit that I’m struggling.

There, I said it.

I’m struggling with my own self. And I have talked about this to people, but it has done very little to help me deal with this situation better. The emptiness is not just there; every morning when I wake up, I feel like its expanded a little more inside of me, and soon it will be all that I can feel–nothing. In my mind, I’ve made peace with all that hurts me a thousand times over, but it hasn’t changed anything.

I have accepted that we can’t force people to feel or not feel something.

I have accepted that while getting passed over sucks, it truly is better than being a Plan B.

I have accepted that not all relationships have to last a lifetime, but that does not mean we shouldn’t cherish and respect them while they do.

Every time I say these things to myself, I feel like I’m fine again, which I should be. Right? And I am, until I go to bed, wake up the next morning, and start to feel all the things that I can’t do anymore. I am just tired, I think, and there is only so many distractions that you could fit in a day.

So here I am: sitting alone in my room, already wondering what all I can do tomorrow so that I can regain whatever sense of normalcy I can. Honestly, I am just disappointed; I always believed that all the hurt and the pain and the perseverance would count for something, you know? But, guess not.

Also, while this is sufficiently terrifying and frustrating in equal proportions, I still do think I will be okay. My life is bigger than my fears, which is something I realized a few days ago when I started working on my new novel. It is called The Next Logical Step, and while I still don’t have a confirmed outline yet, it is about Samantha and Troye, two people who have no business even existing in the same universe, and definitely no business falling in love; but they do.

Personally, I’m looking forward to discovering how people can truly rise above a world of differences, and accept each other purely for their hearts. It’s my guilty pleasure you know, creating characters that are brave and never give up without a fight, especially when people in real life always choose to just stop trying so easily.

Here is a part I posted on Instagram from TNLS:

Be back soon.

Love,

Snigdha

Warriors & Healers


Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to my humble abode, my own little corner on the internet.

So, in the past couple of months (let’s start from January 2017), I’ve officially started the third last semester of college, given a bunch of exams, fallen sick (I’ve been sick since December, but things got pretty bad around mid March), hospitalized twice, and now, three days later, I feel like I’m me again. Needless to say, it gave me a whole lot of perspective, if not anything else.

Well, that’s technically not true, because there’s a million medicines I need to take for the coming whole month, but let’s focus on the perspective part first.

Since the time college started, I was very wary of everything, but also very aware of all the things that could go wrong. In retrospect, I find that that has been my default setting for as long as I can remember: worry first, solve later. And, honestly, it’s the worrying that led me to being hospitalized for five days, twice.

So, while I’ve realized (a little too late, apparently) that worrying doesn’t solve anything, I also wrapped up quite some stuff while I was lying in bed in my ward, drunk on morphine (side note: me and morphine? Not a good combination at all, unless you want to get ugly truths out, or maybe sabotage my property or something).

I talked to so many people I’d fallen out of touch with, and/or couldn’t really be frank with unless I was not thinking clearly (hi, Jatin!), and let’s just say that all the ‘unfinished business’ I’ve raved about since, well, forever is now well and truly, finished.

Letting go has never been my strong suit; I crave control, especially in relationships, no matter how big or small they are. Which is a fabulous plan, if only I’d paid the same amount of attention to myself, just listened to myself a little bit more. So, ever since my body went on strike two times in a row in the span of a week, I had no choice but to listen to it.

And boy, did it have stuff to say.

One, my mind was fried. Like, scrambled-eggs-fresh-off-the-stove fried. It was just tired of the worrying, and most of the reasons for the worry were much, much smaller than what I’d pegged them to be.

My heart, well, we’ve all established over the past two years that my heart hasn’t been in great shape, but it’s tenacious like me, so it held on. Needless to say, I spent the most time healing it. I’ve smoothed out every crinkle that has ever marred its surface, pulled out (almost) all the pricks and thorns that have dug their way into it, and just started listening to it more. For all my talk about following your inner voice and doing whatever the hell makes you happy, I haven’t really been living up to all that.

I know what you’re thinking: ”You’re one stupid person, Snigdha.”

Trust me, I don’t blame you, and neither do I have anything to say in my defence.

And while letting go hurt like you wouldn’t believe, it was extremely important to do so. Believe me when I say, there’s no feeling in the world that hurts worse than sharing something (or someone) that you weren’t sure was yours in the first place.

Now, with everything behind me, I have learnt a lot, but let me just say this: pain shapes everyone into a warrior, and that’s great, but sometimes, you need to set the armor and the sword down, and be a healer. Heal the people you are with, take their pain away, but also, remember to heal yourself first. Be a warrior, sure, but also be a healer.

 

On a completely unrelated note, here’s me making goofy faces to the camera because I was absolutely feelin’ myself today morning (yeah, the morphine still hasn’t quite left me):

Also, did I mention I started writing again? Yeah, picked up on this idea I’ve had since a year and a half now, but was waiting for a divine spark of inspiration, I guess? Well, I found it. Leaving you with a snippet:

Some people are not meant to be in your life for the entire length of it; they are travellers, and your life is a mere stop in their grand journey. However, that does not make their influence on your life any less earth-shattering, any less mind-blowing than it already is.

If you asked my mother the story behind why our family was the way it was, she would probably just smile, then shrug, and then sigh with a faraway look in her eyes, and say, “we are just all very different people.”

This would have been as good a reason as any, except that when it comes to family, differences—no matter how big or undeniable or unfixable they are—don’t matter. Or, at least that’s what I thought.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have six exams to study for, and mom’s birthday to plan.

Miss me while I’m away.

Love,

Snigdha

Little Steps & Big Decisions


Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I’m back.

It’s been two months since 2017 started, and unlike its predecessor, 2017 is behaving well *touches wood*. It’s been a year of making a couple of selfish choices, and even with all my inhibitions, I feel quite good. If you follow me on Instagram, you would know what’s up (considering it’s the only social media platform that I don’t totally hate), but if you don’t then 1) what the hell are you doing? and 2) let’s catch you up:

* Started a bullet journal

I’ve meant to start a bullet journal since last year, and it finally happened.

 

This is my quote of the month for February, wise words by Justin Baldoni (Rafael Solano on Jane The Virgin). I fully intend to do a complete post celebrating my bullet journal, because frankly, it’s become quite an addiction. It’s a great way to keep all my plans in place, and to doodle and go nuts with bright, bold colors.

It just makes me really happy, period.

 

* Celebrated the little moments

You know how I’ve always despised the cheesy holidays like Valentine’s Day? Yeah, I made a conscious effort to not be such a Negative Nancy this year, and just enjoy whatever I could, in whatever way possible. Garima, Pankaj, Rahul and I had a little V-Day party (singles only, obviously) in college this year, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we had more fun than a lot of couples.

I mean, who doesn’t love food?

 

* Decided to say ‘no’

I am guilty of overcommitting to situations and people who don’t deserve half of it; 2017 has been a step toward curbing that, too. I am really trying to do things that are feasible and put myself before anyone else, because come on, there comes a time when all of us have to pick ourselves, and not anybody else.

It’s not going to be pretty in the beginning, and there are going to be multiple accusations hurled right at you, but that’s all ephemeral. Stay strong, keep your head up, and keep going.

 

* Give back to those who deserve it

Very much like 2016, 2017 is also going to be a year of ‘no more free chances’. Only those who really, truly deserve another chance may get one, and that’s that. I’m honestly tired of people pretending to know nothing about what they do wrong, or where they screw up, and I’ve realized that it’s not my problem anymore.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, are people who have always stuck by my side in good times and bad (like my mom), and there’s pretty much nothing I wouldn’t do to make them happy.


Other than that, life has been pretty much the same like always (exams, classes, general chaos), and I’m completely fine with that. The lesser people in your life, the happier you are–true fact.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Teen Wolf. See you soon!

Love,

Snigdha