Three important lessons I learned from the book ‘I Decided to Live as Me’

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When I was around thirteen or fourteen-years-old, I remembered my teacher telling me and my classmates to create a projection map as to where we would see ourselves ten years from now. At that time, I pasted pictures showing what I wanted to be as a twenty three or twenty four-year-old adult–this included having a house of my own, a stable job, and a husband. Little did I know that attaining all of those things isn’t easy. And now, in my late 20s, I am starting to question all the goals and aspirations I had initially planned in my life. 

But thanks to my friend Ves, who introduced me to the Apop published book ‘I Decided to Live as Me, I was able to avoid what could have been a quarter life crisis. 

Written and illustrated by Korean author Soo-hyun Kim and translated to English by Ma. Kristina Carla Rico and Kyung-min Bae, this book gave me a better perspective on life and helped me understand that adulting is hard and messy–but there’s no other way to live through it than by being yourself.


Here are three valuable lessons I got from reading the book: 

Life is not a horse race–and it’s okay to not always be in the lead  

Whenever we attend reunions among relatives, friends, or former classmates, it’s inevitable not to get jealous over their stories of success. Whether it’d be that they recently got promoted in a job that they love or that they got engaged to the supposed “love of their life,” it’s easy to start comparing your life and your accomplishments to theirs. And sometimes, when you realize that the way you live is not “up to par” with theirs, you feel disappointed and upset. 

Personally, I understand what this feels like and thinking about this often leads me down a path of depression. But reading I Decided to Live as Me reminded me that life isn’t a competition and that your growth and development is something worth celebrating–despite it being gradual and slow.


Remember, your worth is not determined by comparing your list of accomplishments with others, but it is based by how you see value in yourself. As the book explained, “True value isn’t measured in numbers. Therefore if you want to be incomparable rather than senior, you should eliminate numbers from your life. What is truly important in your life lies beyond numbers.”  

‘Haters gonna hate’–but that shouldn’t stop you from living your life 

It’s an undeniable fact that not everyone’s going to like you or be a friend to you. And as you go through adulthood, you will meet a series of people who are like this–with some even shooting you down with their harsh words and criticisms. 

When this happens, it’s easy to feel defeated and worthless. But remember their words are not a reflection of you and what you can accomplish–it is a reflection of them and their insecurities. And this book reminds me of this sentiment. 

The author wrote, “We get hurt, numb our hearts, and develop hatred dealing with these people’s  personal frustrations disguised as business-related, insults presented as worries, and rudeness posed as questions. [But] Even if we numb our hearts, moan to ourselves, and hate these people; they are just passersby in our lives.”


At the end of the day, what matters is how you see yourself. So, forget the haters and just continue doing you! 

Via Giphy

Don’t forget who you are and what you love 

For many of us, working endlessly has become the norm, turning us into lifeless robots that value money over anything else. And the problem with this scenario is that we end up being unhappy.

As the book effortlessly explained, “People who suppress their desires in order to do what they have to do lose sense of what they like, what they want, and eventually, who they are. Their life remains in the spectrum of the unknown since they’re never able to discover the life they want.”

I Decided to Live as Myself reminds us that although we have to succumb to the daily grind, we shouldn’t forget to give time to ourselves and explore the things we are passionate about. Whether this is writing short stories or creating memes, take a few minutes from your day (or week) to enjoy doing these activities. 

In the end, I think you will be happy to know that you’ve lived your life balancing work with the things you love. And who knows, maybe someday you can even be able to turn your passion into full-fledged business? 

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There are so many wonderful things readers can learn from the book. And thanks to Apop, you can now enjoy a 7.5% discount from the total price when you use the promo code CMWxAPOP at checkout.


Click here to visit the website and purchase a copy of I Decided to Live as Me today!

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‘Bridgerton’ fans might enjoy these underrated Jane Austen screen adaptations

If you are anything like me and you are obsessed with regency era films and television series, then you’ve probably already binge-watched Netflix’s Bridgerton.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/netflixph

The first season of the historical drama followed the whirlwind romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). And through its eight episode run, viewers were able to see how the two turned from friends to eventual spouses. 

Understandably, many people were drawn into the Duke of Hastings and the eldest Bridgerton daughter’s love story. And many of them–including myself–are eager to see more of the Bridgerton romances unfold. But until the streaming platform can confirm a possible next season, here are a few Jane Austen book-to-screen adaptations that Bridgerton fans can enjoy as they wait for more news on the show. 

Emma (2009)  

Through the years, there have been many screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma. From Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1996 version to Anya Taylor-Joy’s 2020 adaptation, many Austen fans have seen different versions of the titular character portrayed on both TV and film. However, out of all of these adaptations–many of which I have seen–the BBC 2009 mini-series was the best one of them all. 

Not only did it gradually showcase the friendship-turned-romance between the two best friends, but Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller seem to be the best embodiments of Emma and Mr. Knightley. 

Garai’s tenacious and effervescent portrayal of Emma made the character very likeable and Miller’s stern yet endearing Mr. Knightley will leave fans rooting for him throughout the series’s four-episode run.

Photo Credit: David Venni via IMDB.com

Why Bridgerton fans might like the show: Much like Lady Whistledown or Queen Charlotte, Emma enjoys meddling into the love lives of those around her. So, fans might take pleasure in watching her succeed–and oftentimes, fail–at her attempts in matchmaking, whilst realizing all along that she herself has found her perfect match and it was the man standing right in front of her. 

Northanger Abbey (2007) 

Although this is one of Jane Austen’s less popular novels, I enjoyed Northanger Abbey for its unconventional hero, Mr. Tilney. Unlike the likes of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley, Mr. Tilney is not always so formal and likes to tease Catherine quite a bit. And the movie version of the Austen hero is not far from how the author described her character to be in the book. 

Played by JJ Field, Mr. Tilney presents a comical and amiable persona that complements Felicity Jones’s portrayal of the shy and naive Catherine. And it’s through their meetings in Bath and subsequent stay in Northanger Abbey that the two realize their true feelings for one another. 

Photo Credit: IMDB.com

Why Bridgerton fans might like the movie: I think fans might enjoy the “rich vs. poor” kind of love story the 2007 film shows. Because like many of the socialites in Bridgerton, Mr. Tilney’s father wants to make an advantageous marriage for his son. But upon learning that Catherine has no money to her name, he forbids a possible union between her and Mr. Tilney and sends her away. But little did he know that Mr. Tilney will do a lot more for the woman he loves… even if that means disobeying his father’s wishes and giving up his inheritance. 

Persuasion (2007)  

Persuasion focuses on the romance between Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot. 

Frederick and Anne were two young people in love. However, Anne’s parents refused the union, noting Frederick’s lack of fortune and title. So, the two parted ways. 

Eight years later, Anne’s family is struggling with their finances and Frederick has now become a wealthy and recognized Royal Navy Captain. With their heart-wrenching parting still lingering in both of their minds and with the tables turned, it begs the question: is there still a possibility of romance between the two despite everything that has happened?  

Starring Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins, Persuasion reignites the viewers’ belief in the possibility of second chances, when it comes to love. 

Photo Credit: IMDB.com

Why Bridgerton fans might like the film: Fans might be able to appreciate Captain Frederick Wentworth’s unwavering love and devotion to Anne, in spite of the hardships he faced while being with her during his younger years. And despite having more options for a partner when he returned, he still chose her above everyone else.

Moreover, if fans loved the Duke of Hastings’s “I burn for you” line in the show, wait ‘til they hear Captain Wentworth’s “I am half agony, half hope” spiel–as he pours out his immense love and affection for Anne even after all these years. 

Via Giphy

NOTE: This review is not sponsored by Netflix or any other production houses. This was written purely from the perspective of the writer as a fan of these TV shows and movies.

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If you want to stay updated on my latest articles and stories, you can follow me on social media at Facebook.com/CMilitarWrites

For media invites, partnerships, or writing collaborations, you can contact me at cmilitarwrites@gmail.com.