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Imagine Wanting Only This

Imagine Wanting Only This

Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke is a tales-filled, beautiful, but troubling graphic memoir with existential prose and breathtaking illustrations. Extensively talking about abandonment and life as ephemeral and fleeting, devoid of any ambition, the writer uses different stage of her life to explain how alienation can feel.

It is a graphic novel delivered in a modernist, hyper-real persona that severally incorporates actual photographs. This lends an extra air of credence to the tales and the intricacy of the dilapidated and abandoned structures. But it is the author’s quest for answers to her nagging life while trying to evade the realities of life that make Imagine Wanting Only Thisworth a read.

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    Solitude for a partner

    Radtke seems interested in both the emotional loneliness and the world’s literal ruin, a theme that becomes clear right from the sudden death of her beloved uncle. For someone whose life has been punctuated with the death of her dearest relatives, from her grandmother to Dan, her uncle, solitude seemingly became her other partner.

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    When she was still in college, her uncle’s death caused by dilated cardiomyopathy and the sight of an abandoned mining town exposed her to what would later shape the plot of the novel. Not even her relationship with Andrew and their home in Chicago would save her from the loneliness. The fascination would deepen, triggering a vacation that took her around the world, in search of ruined places.

    Among the many destinations, Kristen Radtke set foot on dozens of European countries, Iceland, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia and visited ruined structures. The ruin inside of her, however, highlights itself when she’s confronted by the same genetic heart problem that killed her uncle.

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    When feeling lost and alienated, it is worth setting out in pursuit for artificial self-discovery?

    Life is a mixture of happiness and solitude, though the latter can hurt more and sometimes leave one with questions. But even when both are inescapable, it only matters when you choose to focus on the positives only.

    Imagine Wanting Only This offers invaluable lessons about loss, love, and how to cope with grief. Another of the few definitive discoveries in this graphic memoir is how Kristen manages to find a solution to the riddle that is the book’s title.

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    Regardless of the sojourn across the world or her factual, historical and personal experiences, her fruitless pursuit of purpose and meaning,Imagine Wanting Only Thisis beautifully troubling. How she sets out throughout the world up to the point when she lands back clearly brings out the main theme of abandonment.

    Imagine Wanting Only This has a lot of humorous parts, questions, teachings, values and wise words of wisdom from the widely traveler author.

    GetImagine Wanting Only Thisfrom Amazon at $20.36

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

    Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

    People who have low self esteem are always hard on themselves. Sometimes they even cannot truly accept compliments because they would second guess people’s intentions.

      In this article, we’ll look into the symptoms of a low esteem person and what you can do if you find yourself having self-esteem issues.

      Symptoms of a Low Self-Esteem Person

      Common Symptoms

      • Unable to trust your own opinion
      • Always overthinking
      • Afraid to take challenges, being worried you wouldn’t overcome them
      • Hard on yourself but lenient with others
      • Frequent anxiety and emotional turmoil

      Lesser-Known Symptoms

      Being a workaholic

      At work expectations are set clearly. Even if there’s pressure in the workplace, compared to relationships or the social world where so much is unknown and uncontrollable, work is more straightforward.

      It’s easier to meet the expectations and perform well at work. Therefore, some people with low self-esteem would shift their focus to work and put all their energies there.

      Overachieving or underachieving

      Many of us have already heard that people with low self-esteem tend to be under-achievers as they’re too afraid to take new challenges and not confident enough to fully utilize their talents.

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      However, there’s another extreme. Some of them are too anxious of failure and being rejected, so they will try their very best to be outstanding to prove their worth.

      Causes of Low Self-Esteem

      Most of the time it stems from our childhood. Here’re some negative early experiences that lead to low self-esteem:[1]

      • Frequent punishment
      • Frequent neglect
      • Chronic abuse
      • Harsh parental standards
      • Being bullied/boycotted
      • Being on the receiving end of someone else’s stress or despair
      • Lack of praise, warmth and affection
      • Staying in a family or group where other members are prejudiced towards

      Childhood is when we form our “Bottom Line” and “Rules for Living” which affects the way we think, that’s why all the negative early experiences can have a very long-lasting effect on our adulthood.

      How “Bottom Line” Affects Your Self-Esteem

      “Bottom Line” is how you usually feel about something, based on your early experience. For example, “how you felt when you first left home becomes the emotional bottom line for when you leave other things in your life.”, according to therapist Robert Taibbi [2].

      When we talk about self-esteem, the bottom line is about how people around you treat you, as we grow up taking the voices of people who are significant to us. Did they say you’re adorable, or you’re always not good enough? Did they neglect you that made you feel worthless?

      That largely affects the way you view yourself and hence affect your self-esteem.

      How “Bottom Line” Determines Your “Rules for Living

      Based on the “Bottom Line”, we would form our “Rules for Living”, which are the strategies for dealing with life. For example, if you have the belief that you are always inferior to others, your Rules for Living would be “better not to speak up and to keep a low profile”.

      How Low Self-Esteem Affects Every Aspect of Your Life

      So what are the consequences of having low self-esteem?

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      It Makes You Confuse Love with Low Self-Esteem

      Having a low self-esteem, you expect people to treat you badly.

      When people are being just quite nice to you, you feel overjoyed and have unrealistically good feelings for them. This can be easily mistaken as love and also scare people away who might be just interested in being friends with you (at first).

      It Makes You Have a Lower Hand in the Relationship

      As you think your partner is too good for you, you bear things that you shouldn’t stand for.

      Sometimes you even confuse love with self-esteem. Are you giving in really because you love him/her so much or you just dare not to speak up and bargain?

      It Makes Your Employers Feel That You’re Not Talented

      People with low esteem sometimes are actually gifted. But they don’t know how to show it and “sell” themselves.

      During meeting, they keep quiet, during presentation they speak weakly, during daily conversation they say “sorry” and “maybe” too often…As a result, employers and other colleagues perceive people with low esteem as people without much talents.

      It Can Lead to Depression

      Over time, low self-esteem can lead to depression according to a study done by University of Basel researchers.[3] Psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen added that low self-esteem is “a key factor in both the development and maintenance of depression”.

      How to Improve Self-Esteem

      As we can see, low self-esteem is a deeply rooted issue and leads to lots of consequences. To solve it, it’s not an easy task, but it’s possible. The key is, to use the right ways.

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      1. Ignore All Those “Positivity” Advice

      Very often, we hear people say “Stay positive”, “Hey cheer up!”. People with depression know all these do not help. It just makes them feel worse.

      Same for low self-esteem, simply telling people “To me you’re wonderful!”, “You’re actually awesome”, “Why don’t you appreciate yourself more?”, or even worse “Hey you should be more confident” does not improve their self-esteem. Instead, they would feel inadequate or even guilty of their behavior.

      2. Focus Elsewhere

      “Healthy self esteem needs to emerge subtly.”[4]

      Same as happiness, you don’t immediately feel happier when you tell yourself to be happier. You need some concrete ways to do so like pursuing a goal that truly matters to you, like spending quality time with your loved ones.

      When you want to improve your self-esteem, don’t try too hard on thinking of ways to do so. There’s no direct way to improve it. It should be a by-product of our overall life’s satisfaction.

      According to psychologist Abraham Maslow,[5] to live a fulfilling life, you should take care the 5 levels of human basic needs. To help you understand more about this psychological model we made a video to explain it:

      Or you can refer to the graph below:

      5 Levels of Human Basic Needs

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        To focus elsewhere, we’ve summarized the above items and put them into this list for you:

        • Deep connection with loved ones
        • A healthy body
        • Sense of control
        • A meaningful life purpose
        • Recognition and respect from others
        • Sense of security
        • Creativity

        As you gradually equip yourself with the skills to fulfil the above needs, you’ll forget about self-esteem and suddenly you’ll find that you just feel proud of yourself when you know so much that others don’t.

        Resources to Help Increase Your Self Esteem

        To help you gradually build your self-esteem, here’s a list of the best self-help books that can help you fulfil the goals:

        1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
        2. Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
        3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
        4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
        5. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health
        6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Busines
        7. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
        8. Thinking, Fast and Slow
        9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
        10. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

        The Bottom Line

        If you find yourself having low self-esteem, don’t be hopeless. Have faith in yourself that you can regain self-esteem and become a confident and successful person.

        How?

        Understand the root causes of your low self-esteem and overcome these causes with the advice in this article.

        Featured photo credit: Joe Gardner via unsplash.com

        Reference

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