Tuesday, October 5

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times”


I just finished reading a book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I must say I am a bit ashamed that I have only just now read the book. My good friend, Cassie, gave me this book, translated in Spanish before I left in 2008 on my Education Abroad experience. I believe that I misplaced the copy of the book she gave me while I was living with my host-Mexican family. Although, to this day, I still question how I could have lost it in the small room I was staying in. Anyway, I lost the book and I was already on my way to Spain when I realized I didn’t have it.

I’m not sure why I never thought to buy the book in FNAC, Barcelona’s equivalent to Borders, where I’m sure they sold it in Spanish.

Shortly upon arriving in the U.S., I began summer school at Berkeley. While shopping on half.com, amazon, and ebay.com I remembered this book that she had given me. But for the life of me I could not remember the name of it. After about an hour of searching, I figured out the title of the book in English, The Alchemist. I bought that summer, however, I did not read it.

More than a year later, I finally opened the book up and tackled it... Not that it really needed to be “tackled”.

I believe it must be noted that before beginning to read this book, I had already been debating, playing with the idea, brainstorming ideas of my future blog. Upon reading the introduction of this book, I knew that I had the topic for my first post.

The Alchemist takes you on a journey of a shepherd named Santiago who follows his “personal calling”. In the introduction of my version of the book explains that the personal calling is God’s blessing. It is “...the path that God chose for you here on Earth.” Anything that we do that gives us enthusiasm is something that we are supposed to do in our conquest for out personal legend. However, not everyone follows their personal legend because we need a courage to tackle our own dream.

There are four obstacles that can keep you from your personal calling.

  1. Layers of prejudice, fear, and guilt lead us to believe that our personal calling is impossible.
  2. Fear of hurting those around us by abandoning them in order to pursue our dream. What we don’t recognize is that the people who love us most are the people that will genuinely want us to be happy and will accompany us on our particular personal legend journey.
  3. Fear of defeat. We can’t fall back on the excuse that “I didn’t really want that anyway” when we face a certain failure. BUT an important reminder is that defeats and failures are sometimes and always necessary. “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times”
  4. The dear of realizing the dream for which we fought all our lives.

Now, I don’t believe beginning this blog is my personal calling but I do believe that it will bring me closer to what may be my personal calling... or at least a path or direction to which I can begin since ending a very important chapter (or maybe book) of my life, Ed-u-ma-cation.


Post thoughts: In the prologue of the book, there is a short story about an alchemist that reads a story about the legend of Narcissus. This small portion reminds me of a few sayings:

  • "In the people that you love, you see a bit of yourself reflected. "
  • "You'll be known by the company you keep."

Do you know any quotes that reflect the same sort of feeling?



*Photo taken at my table in Literati Café

Location: Literati Café in Los Angeles

Music: Songs played by Café

Extra: Chai Latte

***NOTE: I actually wrote this blog Aug 21st but I have had a bit of trouble really getting the blog started... i.e. I wasn't feeling confident enough to actually kick off the blog, but look, HEY I actually did start it (even if it's over a month later, but who's counting, right!?)


Thanks for reading :~)

3 comments:

whittemore family said...

Great first post Ashley! I totally want to read that book now! Hope you are doing well. I don't blog too often but I'll be sure to check yours out once in a while :)

Te cuidas!

ENAR said...

I think there is a writer in you, and more and more, it is coming out.

Karen said...

No one ever cares how long it takes you to do something, just that you did it. Congrats on following your dreams from coast to coast, I look forward to reading about the process and don't worry about the timeline!!