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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Life lessons from Becky Bloomwood

I've been reading Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series to entertain myself. I've been in a depressive swing for around three weeks already, and I badly need something to cheer me up. Thanks to Sophie Kinsella, I get a dose of hilarity every once in a while.

I'm now reading the fourth book in the series: Shopaholic & Sister. The main character, Becky Bloomwood, is so hilarious. Whether she's dealing with her shopping- and spending-related concerns or difficult people like Luke's mother, she manages to inject a funny bit here and there.

Some people (and they might be my colleagues in the writing world) might scoff at the idea of reading chick lit. They might even think Becky is so shallow. To some extent, yes she might be. But her humorous take on the difficulties thrown her way is a reminder that, once in a while, it's good to loosen up. Here are some of the things I learned from Becky:

1. Some people are complete cows that they don't deserve an ounce of our attention. 
To be kind is a good thing, and we need to give and receive kindness. But some people simply don't like the kindness we are extending to them. I only realized this recently. Sometimes, we try our best to be really nice to a person for his or her peace of mind and ours as well. But sometimes, the result is far from our expectations. I'm not saying that people who refuse our kindness are complete cows (some are not). But if those people have other "motives," maybe they are they might not welcome our kindness. Or worse, our kindness makes them feel awkward. In this case, it is in our best interest to move on and let go (although this is easier said than done. Believe me).

2. Spoil yourself once in a while, but make sure you only do so ONCE IN A WHILE. 
I can't emphasize this enough. Becky's problems almost always arises from her uncontrolled spending. Of course, she likes shopping (if she doesn't, the books would have the word 'shopaholic' in their titles), but she goes overboard a lot of times. I love shopping, too, but I do so with a budget in mind. For example, my budget for dresses is P500 to P1,000 (if a dress costs below P500, then, great!!!). The same goes for shoes, although sometimes, I extend my ceiling price to P1,500, depending on how comfy the shoes are. For sneakers and running shoes (I only have one pair of running shoes, by the way), P2,500 is my limit. Shirts and other tops should not exceed P500. As my friend and I would always say, #NoToOverdrafts!

3. True friends and family won't leave you alone. 
This is cliche, but it's true. Becky was able to snake her way out of her problems with a lot of help from her family and friends. I'm not saying that we should abuse their kindness. Every experience is a learning experience. A difficult one teaches us a lot of lessons, and our friends and family are the ones who make sure that those lessons stick with us.

4. Shoes and bags can make or break an outfit. 
This might sound shallow, but it's true. Haha! So before leaving the house, we should at least have a top-to-toe glance of our whole outfit. If something feels or looks off, it probably is. And being comfortable doesn't mean we should look drab. We can mix both comfort and style, and it doesn't hurt to read fashion magazines once in a while.

5. A well-put together outfit can dramatically boost confidence. 
And this is what I'm trying to do. I'm always down because of my depressive swings, and a lot of times, I feel terrible. That's why I want to improve myself in all aspects: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I believe that before we like the other aspects of ourselves, we should learn how to love the person we see in the mirror. Then, everything will follow.

There you have it. I didn't expect that I could pick up a life lesson or two from a piece of chick lit. Haha! I'm having so much fun reading these Shopaholic books that I don't care if I get judged by fellow writers. A lot of things may burden us, and sometimes, all we need is a dose of laughter to make us feel better. 

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