Kindle Highlights from The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Earlier, I mentioned that I kinda wanted to post up the highlights I make in Kindle books. I finished reading The Alchemist a little over a month ago. It was an easy read with a lot of little reminders to not get down on yourself about life, live your dreams and maintain a positive outlook. I liked it and would recommend it for those things :)

Here are my highlights!

The Alchemist – 10th Anniversary Edition by Paulo Coelho

You have 32 highlighted passages Last annotated on June 1, 2014

  • when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Location 322
  • people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of. – Location 328
  • “If you start out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work toward getting it. – Location 353
  • He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have. – Location 384
  • when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises. – Location 387
  • every blessing ignored becomes a curse. – Location 710
  • It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired. – Location 763
  • When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision. – Location 830
  • I want each and every one of you to swear by the God you believe in – Location 873
  • intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it’s all written there. – Location 904
  • word of Allah: people need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want. – Location 928
  • “Everyone has his or her own way of learning things,” he said to himself. “His way isn’t the same as mine, nor mine as his. But we’re both in search of our Personal Legends, and I respect him for that. – Location 1020
  • “Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now. – Location 1031
  • when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning. – Location 1133
  • The dunes are changed by the wind, but the desert never changes. That’s the way it will be with our love for each other. – Location 1184
  • Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years. – Location 1201
  • If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. – Location 1253
  • Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.” – Location 1255
  • Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense. – Location 1409
  • love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love … the love that speaks the Language of the World. – Location 1463
  • “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving. – Location 1483
  • I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you. – Location 1485
  • Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say. – Location 1565
  • “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow. – Location 1578
  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. – Location 1729
  • “Usually the threat of death makes people a lot more aware of their lives. – Location 1735
  • “When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you, – Location 1804
  • we contemplate each other, and we want each other, and I give it life and warmth, and it gives me my reason for living. – Location 1826
  • “That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too. – Location 1841
  • when we love, we always strive to become better than we are. – Location 1848
  • ‘Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time. – Location 1910
  • “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it. – Location 1943

Why I Use the Kindle App More than the Actual Kindle

I own a Kindle, but I keep finding that it’s waaaay more convenient to be reading using the Kindle app on my iPhone. The small screen doesn’t bother me, especially now with the retina display. I’ll find myself reading in places that I normally wouldn’t and thus, reading more. For instance, when in a long line at an amusement park. Or PAX! Not exactly times I could imagine carrying my actual Kindle with me, nor should I.

There are two things I absolutely adore about the Kindle (apps or device). One is the dictionary function. Highlight a word, get definition. Donez.

The second is the ability to highlight lines, paragraphs, words, whatever.

You know when you’re reading a book and you come across a great quote? And you want to recall and use it or show it to someone later? I love that the highlight function allows me to do so with so much ease!

Not only can you simply highlight things, but you can color-code them with the app. I use yellow for general quotes I like or want to remember and red for terms or names and their descriptions that will be useful to recall should I need to. And there’s like 4 other colors if I find another category! These can be pulled up on the Notes page directly within the app!

But wait! There’s more! [Insert Billy Maze meme here]

If your chosen reading material was purchased directly from Amazon, you can –wait for it– *GASP* see them all on your Kindle page on Amazon’s website!! There’s no apparent way to export, but you can very easily copy and paste, and even reformat to make it look nicer if you want. I think I’m going to start doing that when I finish books and post the quotes that I liked and/or found meaningful.

So far, the one downside of attempting to use both the app and the actual Kindle is that the highlights don’t seem to sync up. Say I begin a book on my phone, continue it on my Kindle, then go back to my phone. The highlights seem to stay on their respective devices only. Note that I haven’t actually tried this with two -apps- (iPhone/iPad combo). But this was a little disheartening as I wanted to have a complete collection. It’s also another reason that I prefer the app over the kindle itself.

Now don’t get me wrong! I LOVE the Kindle device, and I do wish I could say I use it more. For me, it feels better for dedicated comfy reading time. Like walking to the park or beach and relaxing or out on the couch (when I had an accessible one). But dat app. Annnnywherrrrrrre! And… my highlights!

Snapshots

Thursday looks behind her. Blinded by the wasn’ts and did-nots of yesterday, the dids are left in the shadows. Not gone, just unrecognized, out of focus.

She twists the lens and the unseen becomes visible. The rest blurs into the background. Satisfied, she captures the frame.

Everything is there and nothing is forgotten. The choice of focal point is always at the hands of the artist.

Reminiscing

You do a few things here and there, maybe go a few places. Yet, somehow, feel like you’ve hardly done anything over a long period of time. Probably years. Life’s funny like that.

But when you visit one of these places from the past, the memories come rushing in. The sights, the people, the silence. The time spent there was short, and it’s easier to forget the little things. It makes you wonder, is this really the same life?

Treasure Hunt

The sun casts no shadows at high noon. At a short distance, the mouth of a cave stood wide open. The cool darkness was a welcoming thought and, before I knew it, my feet had dragged my heavy body to it’s mouth.

The walls were smooth to the touch and emitted an aura of wet, cool air. I felt the heat of my body dissipate into rock the instant I rest my back upon it. Relief and rejuvenation came shortly after.

“Where does this cave lead?” I wondered, and again, without a second thought, my wandering feet took me deeper. The light at the mouth grew smaller behind me and the cave darker in front of me. My right hand pressed against the smooth rock which became course and dusty as I progressed. The light was but a pinprick now and only pitch black remained ahead. Still, I continued, until the light was no more.

“Hello?” I said, and “Hello?” I heard back. The echo of my hesitant voice resonated, hollow, back to me and I knew there was so much more to be seen. I took a deep breath and turned around. This time, my left hand traced the wall and guided me back the way I came.

The sun’s shift gave back my shadow and the heat was not so intense. I stood for a moment, looking back at the dark cave from where I had just come.

“I bet there’s treasure in there, just waiting to be found!” Her voice startled me. I thought I was alone. Curious and eager with a hint of excitement, she held up a flashlight.

“What are we waiting for?” I replied.

WTF Was 2013?

2013 was… Interesting.

Disclaimer: This year wasn’t all bad news. I learned things, made new friends, tried new things, made some cool stuff, went a couple places, got on TV, decided on a few healthy lifestyle changes, and connected with others. However, I AM going to focus on the things that led to my current state of being. I do not seek sympathy nor praise. This is simply a reflection. You have been fairly warned.

I began the year one month in, ending the relationship that was stressful and no longer making me happy. It was a good move for me, and I don’t regret the decision. I was doing all the things I’ve wanted to try. Piano class, dance class, playing softball, doing freelance web administration and continuing self-education on whatever struck me at any given moment. It was freeing, productive and I enjoyed every moment! I had a full time job with great coworkers and a great atmosphere.

Over the course of the year, the job was becoming more and more stressful. The trigger, though not noticeable right away, was the departure of my partner-in-crime/party-cube buddy and the fact that her replacement was not in place until four months later.

I quit piano class. My brain would just not function, work day after full work day. I found it difficult to stuff my brain full of quarter notes, eighth notes, ties and slurs. I needed a rest. (Haha)

I lost my grandmother. She was my last living grandparent, and the only one I had any sort of relationship with. As a child, my siblings and my time with her was limited due to other familial issues and pressures preventing us from being as connected with our relatives as all of us would have liked. It was only the recent years that we had been able to visit and make up for the lost time. There is so much I wish I could have learned from and about her before her passing.

Then, my new super cool, foreign, knowledgeable coworker made her departure, too, just three months later. Onboarding had barely begun to pierce the surface of the scope of our team. Again, the responsibility had fallen on me, with little support as our team of two was already spread thin with more and more new projects, and growing presence a department, thrust upon us. All support that was given is appreciated more than I can put into words. Mentally, and work-wise.

I quit dance class. Not only was my brain exhausted at the end of the day, but my whole body found itself falling over itself while attempting single pirouettes and unable to properly retain choreography. It was frustrating. It wasn’t fun anymore.

I went to PAX Prime! Now THIS was an experience of a life time. Making new buddies, being around video games and those who make them possible. New concepts, endless ideas, reiterating my love for games and the industry, reconnecting with old friends, a new city with my kind of weather. I loved EVERY MOMENT. Except the one in which I realized I had to leave.

Being undeniably passionate about something again and being fully immersed in it just to leave it all behind was truly depressing. I started to question my current path in life. Realizing my loves there made me realize how unhappy I really was here. On top of the previous stresses, I was pulled so far into what I called a “life rut.”

Earlier in the year, one of my best friends had moved nearly two hours away. Over time, he had found his place there, and I am more than ecstatic to know that he’s happy. We don’t talk as often and our interests, while common ones exist, are not as similar as they once were.

My other best friend stopped talking to me all together for a time, for reasons I’m still unsure of. Denial of anything inherently wrong and his inability to tell me the whole truth makes me question the friendship we had had all along. This actually hurts. More so than the closure of my romantic relationship at the beginning of the year.

I quit softball. Temporarily. But still. This is saying something. With the exception of two years in high school, I’ve played softball every year, at least one season, since I was five years old. I don’t even need to say anymore.

December 2013 was pivotal. The prospect of another new coworker, who was already familiar with 80% of our processes, finally feeling like my voice had been heard, people willing to listen, and the petitioning of an extremely-overdue reclassification of my position were the most relieving things I had heard all year. Not to mention winter break was approaching.

They say that hindsight is 20/20. I believe it.

It was during this break when I took the time to reflect upon this year that I realize that I did not narrowly escape burnout. I hit it head on. I can’t pinpoint the exact time, but it happened. There were breakdowns in front of those who did not deserve to have to deal with me. You know who you are, and I cannot thank you enough for sticking by me. And I’m also sorry it had to happen.

My social life had taken a plunge off the deep end. The friendship I had left with the breakup, more to a city to two hours away, and the other seemingly just disappeared.

Those who I continue talking to remain scattered across the US and beyond. Most of them I haven’t even met. This concept was strange at first. Truthfully, they are the ones who know the most about what’s been going on with me, and I talk to them the most. Who is to say they are not my friends? I am eternally grateful for their company, laughs, random messages in the middle of the night, silly gossip, support they’ve shown, collaboration and teamwork in various games and projects, trust they’ve shown, inside jokes and all the digital hugs. Without them, I really would be alone. I’m so glad I’m not.

But what really happened here? The simple answer is that I let work become my life.

Work wasn’t good. Therefore, life became not good.

For a time, I was looking for new work, but I didn’t even have the energy to properly do that.

With more support than I had initially realized, made clear by certain work exercises, the best coworkers ever and the most outstanding supervisor backed by the rest of the chain of command, a renewed confidence has recently been sparked. That spark at the end of this dark tunnel that was 2013 has given me the “it’s getting better” vibes.

Now that the work factor was out of the way, I could finally think about me again. To try and figure out what the fuck happened. All of this was what I came up with.

I suffered burnout and breakdowns, and I’m sure a dash of depression is existent here, too, though not clinically diagnosed. But I am recovering. Not there yet…but recovering. I feel it, and I want it.

Conveniently coinciding with the new year, there are things I want to do differently this year:

Love my job again. Be the difference. Stand up for what I believe in. Share the knowledge.

Stop making excuses for myself to say “no” to adventures and opportunities. Adventure is out there.

Make new connections. Rekindle old ones. Let them know they’re appreciated. Keep in touch.

Make. Craft more. Cook more. Build more. Design more. Code more. Photograph more. And show it off.

Consume what I enjoy. Books, games, movies, tv. Without shame.

Learn from mistakes. Don’t get down on myself for not accomplishing exactly what it was that I had set out to do. It is NOT a failure if I tried my best.

Strive to be the difference. Everyday.

Doing these things will ensure that I meet the main goal:

Be proud of myself and my life again.

Ready, set, Mew.

The Fox Saw The Sign

If you’ve talked to me long enough, you’d have found that I enjoy most music and will listen to just about anything. However, my listening preference generally falls something along the lines of 84% power/symphonic metal, 8% trance/electronica, 5% Ace of Base, and 3% random crap. (FYI, my iPod hasn’t been scrobbled in months.)

Note that Ace of Base gets their own percentage block. Yes, I do listen to the stuff from -after- The Sign and The Bridge. Yes, I know their latest album has new singers. Yes, I like them.

An earlier post of mine mentions that I’ve been addicted to Ylvis – The Fox.

This happened:

I do have an affinity for jazz music. And that? Holy… Just. YEAH.

I cannot convey my giddiness, but I will try. Have some nonsense:
SQUEEEEOEIHGSE;LKGHA;OEIGHSD;FZHVSDSFSDZOMG!!!

Stop Telling Me that I “Look Fine”!

Anytime I mention fitness and getting into shape, I’m bombarded with comments saying “But you look fine/good/great/gorgeous/pretty/insert-something-else-nice-here!”

First of all, please don’t get me wrong. These are all VERY nice to hear, and I do appreciate the compliments, even if I don’t fully believe you. Then again, because of that whole worst-self-criticsm thing, half of me doesn’t give a shit what you think about how I look.

Even still, is this even about -how I look-? No.

Okay, some of it is; it’s a result of the main goal. I mentioned getting in shape and fitness. Not body image. I did not call myself fat. When I do, I’m joking. I know I “look fine,” but I could look better (and have the old photos to prove it.) But that’s besides the point.

When someone says “I want to get in shape” or “be/become fit,” DO NOT, I repeat DOOOO NOTTTTTT simply tell them that they look fine already. It’s like you’re giving us an excuse to continue to the lifestyle we wish to change. If we look fine already, and already know that we are accepted as who we are, why should we bother trying to change?

As much as you are trying to give a complement (thank you) it’s extremely frustrating!! It feels so unsupportive of what my goals actually are.

It’s like somebody saying “I want to go back to school to study ____,” and someone replying with “but you’re already really smart!” (appreciated, but..) SO WHAT?!?!! Normally, what you see people responding with is something like “That’s great!”, “You should do it!’ and “Rock the fuck on!”

Why not respond in a similar manner when goals are fitness-related? Are you not supportive of the person? If so, let them know in addition to the compliment you were about to give. It will make worlds of a mental difference for the receiver.

Let me reiterate that I am NOT fishing for compliments. I just want people to understand the position of an okay-looking overweight girl who wants to get back into shape.

That said, I’m going to the gym :)
[Actually, I had written this before I left but was unable to post it. But shhh.]

Middle Ages Humanities Class and Assassin’s Creed (early 2009)

More video games + school

I think it was the same semester I took genetics, actually, that I opted to take a humanities course on the Middle Ages for fun. This one wasn’t a requirement. That in itself made it way more exciting. But that’s besides the point.

I had also begun playing Assassin’s Creed during this time.

Main cities in AC1: Damascus, Acre, Jerusalem
Protagonist: Altair

In my class, some of our reading assignments were from primary sources. That is to say pieces actually written within the time period. One of them struck a huge coincidence:

Author: Ali ibn al-Athir

Tell me that’s not at least worth a second take! Not only that, but within a paragraph or two, he had mentioned all three of AC1′s main cities.

Umm. Heck yes!

My favorite number in Movies: Harry Potter and Twilight

My favorite number is 934. This started back when I was in middle school (circa 1997).

In Harry Potter, the magic platform at the train station is 9 and three quarters. The numbers used are 9 3/4. <3

In one of the Twilight movies, there’s a scene in the back seat of a car and someone checks their phone. The time is 9:34.

PS: Don’t judge me negatively because I’ve seen the Twilight movies. We’ve all seen movies that aren’t necessarily good ;)