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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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    Published on November 20, 2019

    14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

    14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

    Personal goal setting starts with having a destination in mind.

    If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother moving forward? You’ll just get more lost or find yourself back where you started again.

    “If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.”- Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

    You have to have a destination of who you want to become in order to get there.

    Personal goals will be easier to make if you know where you want to go.

    You must start with how to get there and break down the steps. These steps must be realistic.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big; in fact,

    “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”

    Dream big no matter what but be realistic at the same time. Be open to detours, too.

    According to Action for Happiness[1], ways to make goals include deciding on goals, writing steps down, telling someone about it and plan out each step.

    Here I will outline 14 personal goals that can help you become a better you:

    1. Live Authentically

    You don’t have time to be living your life as someone else. All you can do is be yourself. You must choose to be who you really are. That’s the best way to live.

    Being yourself is not easy though. It requires dedication to your values and dreams. You won’t be able to be authentic without losing your fear of what others think of you.

    There’s only one way to be successful in this life and it’s if you do it for the right reasons. It’s if you choose yourself. It’s not until you find that you will be free.

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    Get inspired by my other article: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    2. Take Time for You in Self-Care Prioritization

    Self-care is not something you should take for granted. Often, we don’t prioritize it well enough. Some examples include finding time for yourself, do things that make you feel good. Get dietary advice to eat healthy and exercise to improve your health.

    Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Read a book or watch a good movie with someone you love. It’s about rewarding yourself with your joys and hobbies.

    You can find more examples here: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

    Self-care is not selfish. It’s important to find time for yourself so that you CAN give more of yourself to the areas of life you need to. You deserve it. You are worth it. Remember that.

    3. Don’t Take Things Personally

    The less you are concerned with others, the more you can focus on doing what matters most to you. What others say does not reflect the real you. It is just their perception, which may not be the full picture or the truth.

    People who try to hurt you are not happy.

    “Happy people don’t try to bring other people down.” – Anonymous.

    That’s why it’s just not worth holding on to their words.

    When you refuse to take things personally, it’s because you know who you are.

    4: Decide What You Stand for

    4. Decide to Be Who You Are Meant to Be

    Look for things you are passionate about. Advocate to make yourself and others heard. Join groups that support your beliefs.

    “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Anonymous.

    So, decide what you value and what you stand for. Then, you can do anything.

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    Take a look at this guide if you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

    5. Find the Silver Lining

    Find happiness in any situation by finding the silver lining. You can decide to be happy because of the good you find. You must choose to look at the good.

    People often think about the bad first, and they dwell on it. It’s human nature, but if you can look for the good or the silver lining, you will be happier for it.

    You can learn from any situation or use any situation to better yourself or humanity. Take that and you will overcome it all.

    6. Do Something Good for Someone

    Instead of just focusing on your problems, do good for someone. It will not only take your mind off what problems you have, but also help you see that you are capable of doing good — right, you still have things to offer.

    There are many opportunities to do good. Volunteering, checking on a friend or family member, get involved in a project that serves your community, etc.

    The more good you do, the better you will feel.

    7. Practice Daily Positive Self Talk

    Every day is a new day. The way you talk to yourself is how you can ensure you build resilience and endurance through any challenge.

    Here are some positive self talk examples:

    “Things may have not gone my way but I can see the good in the situation still.”

    “At least I am alive. I have my health, my abilities and the opportunities to use what I have for good.”

    “I am worthwhile.”

    “I can do it.”

    Even more here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

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    The more you practice positive self talk, the more you will overcome and accomplish.

    8. Surrender, When Necessary

    When you surrender, you give in to the current rather than fight against it. It means you value inner peace most of all. You don’t sacrifice your inner peace for anything. You know your worth, and you are willing to see how a situation unfolds. You don’t try to force solutions either.

    Instead of forcing solutions, you allow the best ones to come forth. You also know how to use what you have. You don’t fight against your situation. You instead use it.

    When you surrender, you are accepting what is. This makes it easier to move forward.

    9. Ask for Help in One Area of Your Life

    We are often taught that needing help is a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength. It’s developing skills that you might not be as well versed in. It’s developing mentor/mentee relationships to help you succeed.

    Success is subjective to every individual. When you are developing yourself, you need others’ input. You need help to be who you are meant to be.

    There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help instead opens doors for you that you may not have been able to open yourself.

    10. Never Stop Learning

    Learning is meant to be lifelong. You can follow your interests, and everything is a “Internet Search Engine” away. But how to really commit to this? Take another class, sign up for a workshop, read books on the subject of interest, develop new hobbies…

    In Success Magazine,[2] Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich suggests 3 techniques to never stop learning:

    “1. Embrace the Mind of a Child.
    2. Put yourself in the hands of a trusted teacher.
    3. Read, read, read.” Overall, be responsible for your own growth in life.

    You are never too old to learn something new. Start today.

    11. Set Boundaries and Say No When Appropriate

    Having boundaries can feel uncomfortable because we are telling others what we do not accept. It is also necessary for healthy relationships. You will use them to protect yourself, your heart and your mind.

    No one can make you do anything. If you are uncomfortable with something, you have a right to say no. Those who truly care about you will not be offended. You are also setting the bar high, or setting an example for others who are too scared to have boundaries too.

    You will make better choices if you have better boundaries: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

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    12. Follow Your Gut

    Trust your instincts. They are trying to tell you what to trust in.

    You may not want to do something but feel pressured to do it. Your gut is the one speaking to you, telling you not to do it if you don’t want to. It can save you from many things, for example preventing you from making poor choices.

    When you follow your gut, you preserve your interests and secure yourself.

    13. Do What You Love

    Are you doing what you love? You must choose what you can’t live without. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. Life is too short.

    Your best also comes out when you are doing what you love. You can give more, do more if you’re happy with what you are doing.

    So, do what you love. Don’t question it: Why You Should Always Do What You Love (And How to Do It)

    14. Appreciate What You Have

    Good Deeds Day defines gratitude as,[3]

    “Gratitude allows us to recognize good in our lives. Focusing and appreciating the good in our lives constantly reminds us about the great things all around us… Gratitude allows us to see that the sources of that good are usually close by. Practicing gratitude allows us to recognize those who bring goodness into our lives and humbles us in order to give credit to those we are grateful for.”

    At the end of the day, you need to recognize what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You must choose gratitude as your attitude in order to live a happier, better life. You will win then.

    Counting your blessings everyday will help you bring in more blessings. You are limitless. You will overcome more too if you have that positive perspective.

    Appreciating what you have starts with the simple things in life. Recognize what’s working. Find your reason to hold on. And then change the world.

    Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For if you need some reminders.

    Final Thoughts

    Goal setting is about finding what will better yourself and lead you to happiness. You will find peace with yourself when you are on the right path.

    You have to make the decision to make the best of everything, and you have to remember what really matters. Your goals will shape you for the rest of your life.

    Good luck!

    More About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com

    Reference

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