An Interview with Elizabeth A. Lance

Elizabeth A. Lance is a young adult paranormal, regency, contemporary romance, and steam punk author. Her works are The Regency Collection (series of short novellas), The Agents for the Crown Series (A Regency Romantic Suspense series), The Soul Mates Series (A YA Paranormal Romance Series), and The Goddess of Love Series (Mostly contemporary with a hint of Greek Mythology).  If you click her name, it will lead you to her amazon page. To know more about her work and where to contact her, you will find her networking sites below. She would love to hear from her fans.

I gathered Miss Elizabeth as quite accommodating, kind, fun, and cool person and I really love her attitude in writing which inspires me with my writing too.  Read her answers to get to know her more.


CL: If there’s something you want your readers to know about you, what would it be?

Hi! I’m Elizabeth. I met my soul mate the summer before my high school senior year in 1988. We were married three and a half years later and have been together ever since. Relationships,  even those with your soul mate, take work. Over the years we’ve discovered that communication is the key. And to never go to bed angry. My relationship with my husband is one of the reasons I write soul mate romances. I truly believe that there is someone out there for everyone.

CL: How did you come up with the idea for your Soul Mates Series?

My Soul Mates Series came about while I was working in an elementary school. Twilight Breaking Dawn had just come out and all of the Fifth and Sixth graders were reading it. (Okay, so was I 😁) Anyway, one of the young men in the sixth grade class and I were discussing the story and he made the comment, “I wish someone would write a story like this with a guy as the main character.”

Now, I had been writing for years, mostly historical romance, and had attempted to go the traditional publishing route, but hadn’t gotten my foot in the door, quite yet. It was also right around the time Amazon started there breakthrough novel contest. I had entered one of my Regency romances and made it to the top hundred. It gave me more confidence in my writing, so when he said that, it hit me…hey, I can do that, and from there Max Fergus came to life.

CL: How did you choose the title of your books? 

Book one of Soul Mates is called Scent. I didn’t actually have a title when I started writing,  but scent was very important in the story, when Max finally meets Anna, her natural, wild scent envelops Max and it is what woke his inner shifter, like calling him home.

Book two, Bewitched was so named because Tony finds himself completely under Jillian’s spell, and she is a Sorceress, so it was fitting.

Book three, Magic breaks from the Male perspective and is Abbey Fergus’ story and takes place many years after book two. Unlike her brother Max, Abbey learned early on that she had magic, but it was important to show how that effected her, which is why the story is told from her point of view.

Book four, Hunger takes us back to the Male perspective with James, who is a Lycan. I named it Hunger, because James has an appetite for a lot of things, so seemed appropriate.

There is a short story to go along with Soul Mates Hunger, called Soul Mates Origins: Lycan Legends. In Hunger, James tells a shortened version of the story of how the Lycans came into being. Origins gives the real story.

Book five, which I am currently writing and hope to have published by the end of the year, is called Fire. It is Thomas` story. Thomas is a fire-breathing Dragon shifter. In Fire you will get a better feel for the Never Never, and the Goblin Realm, and you will see a return of the Queen of Air and Darkness, as well as the introduction of other Fae rulers.

Books six and seven are of course not written yet, but I do have names for them. Book six is called Rose, and will be from Max and Anna’s daughter Roses (like her father, Rose is both shifter and Fae) perspective, and book seven will be called Ice, and is Talriktugs (Rik, the bear shifter from Alaska, for those keeping track) point of view.

CL: Are any of your characters based on someone you know? How did you come up with them? 

Max and Anna are loosely based on my husband and myself. Brandon,  my darling husband, is blond-haired and blue eyed, and athletic, while he didn’t play football in high school, I do have pictures of him as a kid, from when he played and my imagination filled in the rest. I, of course, am not Canadian, and only have a little bit of French ancestry in me, but I took three and a half years of French in high school and I’ve always loved the language, so Anna, got me with a twist 😁. The relationship between Anna and Max is very much like my husband’s and mine. We had an instant connection and talked about marriage the first night we went out. From that night on we were practically inseparable. We rarely argue, but of course every relationship has hard times, we just try to resolve those conflicts quickly and do our best not to focus on those, but on the positive. You don’t really see a lot of conflict between Anna and Max, maybe a little bit in the beginning because of jealousy,  but they deal with it quickly and it melts away, because they continue to communicate. They are partners and their minds and souls are attuned to each other.

Rose, who you briefly meet in book three, and again in book four, is loosely based on our daughter. Very similar personalities between them, both are sassy and smart.

James, book 4 hero, is very loosely based on our son, funny, sarcastic, fiercely loyal, loves to eat… yeah that’s our boy 😃

Gareth, the Goblin King ( book three, Magic and book five, Fire) is of course highly influenced by the late, great David Bowie 😍 and Beast Boy from Teen Titans 🤩

The rest are probably composites of many people I’ve met, know or want to know.

CL: Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

Oh gosh, don’t ask me that! That is like asking me to choose a favorite child or Book! But if you twist my arm, it’s gotta be Max… hello, based on my favorite person in the world, so yeah, but James and Rose are right up there too, for obvious reasons 😉 And, ok… Gareth, the Goblin King… because, well… he’s  the Goblin King!

CL: Describe your writing process.

I don’t write from an outline, I just have a basic idea of what the story is about. I am what some authors refer to as a by the seat of her pants writer. I  never know exactly what is going to happen, I just start typing and it happens. Of course, this means I don’t just sit down and write things out in one quick go. More like erratic spurts of creativity. So it takes me a bit to get books out. Bewitched was actually the fastest book I’ve ever written and that is because I was doing Nanowritmo that year, and was completely insane for a month! My family walked on eggshells and kept me supplied with chocolate, but it’s not an adventure I’d like to repeat, so I take my time writing now. The family is much happier that way. 😃

CL: Who are some of the authors who have influenced you? 

When I first started writing,  I was inspired by Laura Matthews,  Anita Mills, Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt who also wrote as Philippa Gregory (I think I spelled that correctly, forgive me if I didn’t,  it’s been 30 plus years since I read her work) I fell in love with the Regency and Victorian Eras because of them. They write/wrote strong heroines and heroes, and scenes that are/were very visual. I wanted to do that too, so I strive for that in each book I write.

By the time Harry Potter and Twilight came out, I had kids and I was working with tweens and teens. So I’d have to credit J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyers for influencing me to write paranormal stories.

Other influences would include Gail Carringer (Regency, Victorian Steampunk), Janet Evonovich, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

I would also love to include some of the Indie authors who inspire me, and amaze me, Sarah Hall and Nicole Thorn coauthor some of the best stories I’ve ever read; Skye Knizley’s stories always include strong heroines and lots of action, which I love! Faith Marlow, who writes a twist on Dracula’s love life, is another inspiration. And Shyla Colt who writes hot MC romance is one of my favorite indulgences. Oh, and Bryan Tann and Kindra Sowder, fantastic apocalyptic futuristic writers, I love their work too. Oh, and L.A. Johnson’s Syfy is funny and quirky and just leaves me grinning like a crazy person. And funny, and quirky takes me to Marianna Thorn and her Skyler Wolfe mystery series oh she makes me laugh so much!

There are so many writers out there that I love and adore, I could spend all day on this! Through my career as a writer and editor I have been lucky enough to work with and read some awesome talent. If you want more reading suggestions, I can probably direct you to some fantastic talent in just about every genre. 😀

CL: What made you want to become an Author?

I have been an avid reader since I discovered Ramona Quimby in first grade. I was the girl in school who always had her head in the clouds and her nose in a book. I discovered my love for writing and telling my own stories in ninth grade English class with a creative writing project that let my imagination soar. Once I had a taste of it, I never wanted to stop.

CL: What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

Read. Read Everything. And study sentence structure, trust me, it’s important. Notice the details in everything, not just books, but life. Study conversations and how people phrase things, and habits, and dialects. Research, learn new things, be inspired, stay positive and don’t pay attention to the critics, because they will try to suppress your creativity. Be You. Write what you know, and if it’s something you don’t know, then learn it. Most of all, have fun with it. Take joy in it. If you do, it will show in your work, and leave your readers with a smile.

What would you like to say to your readers?

Thank you. Thank you for reading, for enjoying the worlds I create, for gushing over my favorite characters, and for wanting more. I write because it makes me happy, having you love what I write, is beyond words incredibly humbling. I am forever grateful to you all.

CL: That concludes our interview. 

EL: Where you can find me and my books:

Twitter @ElizabethALance


Soulmates: Bewitched by Elizabeth A. Lance

Soul Mates: Bewitched is written by the author Elizabeth A. Lance. It is the third book of the Soul Mate Series. If you want to find out more about her and her other books, click here.


The third book in the soul mate series is about Max’s best friend, Tony Gunari. Finding out the real identity of his best friend, it also made him decide to go out in the open and go back to his past and find out more about his family and his purpose. One of the things he didn’t see coming is a certain fireball throwing, sassy green-eyed redhead, Jillian, who may also play a role in his life.

After reading the second book, I was excited to read the next one and it certainly didn’t disappoint me, it blew me away. It has all the things I’m interested more fighting scenes, tarot reading, wicked wink, and the pacing worked really in the story. Soul Mate: Bewitched is unpredictable, clever twist and turns, and very entertaining for me. I love Max and Anna from the second book but Tony and Jillian. I’d say everything about came naturally. This is the specific kind of meeting and interaction I look for in stories. Their scenes and conversations are very smooth.

Vivid Images – Miss Lance is really good in showing us what’s happening and the best part for me are the fighting and also the different world, in this case, the world of the Dark Fae.

Characterization – As always, the author had done her homework very well with the characters. I especially how the characters are all unique and have their own eccentricities and degree or fraction of humaneness. I appreciate the emotions it triggered in me while reading the book.

I don’t have complains on this book. I’m excited to read the one. I definitely recommend this book to you, it’s full of adventure, it’s action-packed, and don’t forget it’s fantasy and romance as well. You really read this book. I love it so much.

An Author Interview with Connie Stephany

Connie Stephany is a Chick Lit Author. Her works are Second Chances, she was also included in An April Fools Day Anthology, Fools Rush In, and her second book, Third Strike will come out on December 2015. So watch out. 😉

I want to first send my Congratulations to her because her book, Second Chances is a Finalist for the 2015 National Indie Excellence and with 4.5 out of 5 star rates and 54 reviews, and her book, Fools Rush In is an Amazon Bestseller with 4 out of 5 star rates and 74 reviews.

From her emails, I gathered she’s nice, cool, and such a funny lady.
Here’s what she has to say for herself.

CL: How did you come up with the idea for Second Chances?
It’s funny, it morphed from an old crush who came back in real life (similar to what happened with my hubby and me) and the added spice of a second guy because who wouldn’t want a choice between two hot men?

One thing led to another and the story morphed into the two men from her past going after one woman and a choice needed to be made.

CL: How did you choose the title? 
I wanted something to best portray the story and just thought it fit. I do partially regret my choice because there are thousands of books with that title, but I guess I wouldn’t change it because it is exactly the title that fits.

CL: Who is your favorite character in your book and why? My favorite person is Colleen, Abby’s best friend.

She reminds me of my real best friend whom I’ve had for over 25 years. We got into lots of troubles together and we still love to hang out as often as possible.

Colleen was always there for Abby when her heart was broken and many other times.  Abby was there for her too with the wedding and bachelorette party.  By the way those stories with Colleen were real-life stories such as the bachelorette party and the “hairing” of Charlie’s yard.

Friends are something that is so very important!

Colleen has her own short story called “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” in a short story anthology called “Fools Rush In”. You should check it out as it’s free on Kindle, Nook and Itunes!

Buy links can be found here:

CL: Describe your writing process.
1. Plan out the chapters and characters, the main story, write chapter summaries and then just dig in.  I change things as I go.
2. I then reread it
3. Edit story, trash parts, add more background, add fluff, remove pieces
4. Repeat step 3 approximately 150 times
5. My sisters beta read it along with a couple other beta readers.
6. My sisters read it out loud with me and I edit on the fly.
7.  Incorporate all beta reader feedback.
8.  Send to the editor.
9.  After getting edits back, I incorporate those.
10.  Then have my beta readers and editor re-read.

After that, it needs formatting for print, kindle, nook and Itunes (because they are all different formats).

It’s a LOT of work.

CL: Who are some authors who have influenced you? 
I love Sophie Kinsella. My favorite book of hers is “Can You Keep a Secret”.  I have read it about 20 times and laugh every time.

My other inspiration is Colleen Hoover. She’s an amazing story-teller and started as an indie writer too. Now she has 9 novels, is having a movie made of one of her novels.

She is living my dream.

CL: What made you want to become an Author?
I have been reading since a young girl. I ate novels for breakfast, lunch and dinner. About 10 or so years ago I decided I had several stories to tell!

In fact, my next book to be published after Third Strike will be about a minor character in my second novel who is Jennifer’s best friend. I wrote the book 10 years ago and needs some modifications, but I laughed when reading it after finding it hidden on a bookshelf. It has red marks all over so it’s even already ready for editing.

CL: What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?
1. Don’t give up!
2. Hire an editor. I did not do that for Second Chances and regret it. However, I have learned a TON so it has shown in my next novel, Third Strike, about the guy Abby doesn’t choose in Second Chances.
3. Tell everyone about it!
4. Do book signings. These have been quite popular for me.
5. Join Author FaceBook
Groups – they can be most helpful!

And that concludes our interview.
Again, if you want to know more about her life and her work, save her links below:
Twitter: @cesstephany
Amazon: Connie Stephany

An Author Interview with Mika Jolie

Mika Jolie is a Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit and Contemporary Romance Author from New Jersey with her husband and their two children. Her other interests are gardening, hiking with a camera slung on her shoulder, and knitting.

She is a woman with a passion for life.

Her published works were The Scale, Need You Now, and Tattooed Hearts called the Martha’s Way series.

Here’s my interview with Mika below.

CL: How did you come up with the idea for Minka?

Minka is actually based on several events that occurred in my life. One was a conversation I overheard in the gym between two very thin women complaining about their weight and there’s one of my closest friends who had a long battle with her weight.

CL: How did you choose the title?

(Laughs) Well, The Scale makes sense. I know it’s not a typical romance title, but The Scale fit. I was actually asked to change it by someone and I said no.

CL: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

There’s a piece of me in each one of them. I don’t know if I can say favorite, but I can say who is more like me and that would be Lily.

CL: Describe your writing process.

I have an admission, I can’t start a story until I have the title. Weird, I know. Then I need to understand my characters, their personalities. Once I have those two, I can start writing.

CL: Who are some authors who have influenced you?

I have an eclectic taste. Anita Shreve and Truman Capote are two of my favorite authors. I have a thing for Bella Andre as well, Nora Roberts, Maya Angelou. So many.

CL: What made you want to become an Author?

I’ve been writing for a very long time. I’ve always loved books. I just love bringing characters to life and have a reader connect with one of my stories.

CL: What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

Stay true to yourself and don’t be generic.

CL: Thank you.

Mika: Thanks so much for the questions.

Where to get information and to follow her: Website, Facebook, and Twitter

Soul Mates: Scent by Elizabeth A. Lance

Soul Mates: Scent is written by the author Elizabeth A. Lance. It is the second book of the Soul Mate Series. If you want to find out more about her and her other books, click here.


Soul Mates: Scent is about a guy leaving a simple life, Max Fergus. One day, he met a woman, Anna, who seemed to captivate him despite knowing her for only a day. It turned out that Max is not the person he thinks he is. The only way to get the answers to his questions lies with Anna and family secrets his mom and dad had kept from everyone.

When I read this book. I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters. In fact, I picked this book because I love soul mate stories. The book surprised me because of the characters and their world. It is clever writing. The plots and twists are unpredictable and that’s the kind of stories that entertained me the most.

Vivid Images – Elizabeth Lance wrote the story as if it’s happening in front of me. I love the magical kingdom of the Fae, the possibilities in the Fae world, time controlling I wish I could have that, and the flashing.

Characterization – The characters are realistic and not forced, especially the relationship between Anna and Max. I also love their connection Tony is a great character as well. I love Max’s crew who helped them fight the antagonist. Their varieties really helped the story. The characters are new to me. This is the first time I read characters about them. The world they’re moving in to is so flexible. I say that because Anna and Max are different and similar from each other. I also love how the supporting character are not like fodders or feelers in the story. They have their own personality and uniqueness.

Family Issues – At first, I thought that the family won’t play a role on the book, but I was wrong. I love that the conflicts and misunderstandings in the past were resolved and how it somehow foreshadowed the next book.

Builds a little slow – The build up was a little slow for me but it made me like I can’t wait for the climax of the story to happen.

Soul mates – I love soul mates and I’ve been studying them for years. I understand well the dynamics of a relationship like that. It’s a little too perfect for me like they hardly had any conflict on the book, they got along the whole time.

Anna – I love her personality and how she’s never out of character. I love her speaking French too, but her lines should have been translated.


If you’re looking for a book with adventure, action, fantasy, and romance, I recommend you all to read this book. It will bring you to a different and you wouldn’t want it to end. It also gives us some idea to the unending conflict between the Fae and the Unseelie. It got me excited to read the next book. I just wish I got to read the first book but of course, you can still enjoy the book without reading the first.

Why is there a Mental Illness Stigma?

mental health collage

Mental Health is a dear topic to me. I was bullied for more than ten years of my life, and I told myself, I want to understand why people do what they do. It became more important to me back in 2009 when I felt physically and emotionally threatened by someone unexpected.

That experience shook me and traumatized me for a long time. Until I became angry and told myself that if I ever got hurt again, I will hurt them too and make sure they regret it. That is bad, and I realized I have a problem and I need help. I was still in college and decided to ask help from one of my professors and she passed it on to the guidance counselor. At that time, I was already deep in my studies of personalities and mental illnesses. I started reading about human behavior, mental health, mental illnesses at the ripe age of fourteen years old, but I didn’t understand them fully. Attending the sessions made me realize and appreciate how important and how helpful to have someone to talk to who does not judge you and instead empowers you and informs you of your options.

I’ve always known that the stigma on mental illness existed ever since I was young. I’ve read it on the papers, I’ve watched it on TV series and movies.

My guidance counselor who is a dear friend to me up to now, called one of my guardians and suggested psychological testing. When we got home, my guardian told me, you are not sick right cause we can’t afford it. I may not have the physical signs, but it doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.

My guardian was in denial and maybe so was I because I answered back, no, I wasn’t sick. I honestly don’t know what state of mind I was back then. But I started sessions with the guidance counselor until I graduated and a few sessions more until I found a job.

So why is there a Mental Illness Stigma?

Why is it that people stigmatizes mental illness and not physical illness. After all , they are both normal conditions that someone experiences from time to time and can recover from them. In Addition to that, Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Before we answer that question and before we try to produce a solution for that problem, let us first go back on where the Mental Illness Stigma started.

The Mental Illness Stigma started years ago. We are not even born yet. It is the time where people are misinformed about Mental Health and Mental Illness. At that time, once they found out that you have a mental illness, they sent you away to an isolated place or island to rot or worst. The mental patients were always treated differently and poorly. People were still in the dark back then.

Several years later, scientists were able to study mental illness and wrote the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision, Edition Four (DSM-IV-TR). Even though, our government, economy, technology, and science had grown, why is it that mental illness stigma still exists?

In my opinion there are so many reasons I could choose from:

First, it is a learned behavior. Research suggests that the majority of people hold negative attitudes and stereotypes towards people with mental illness. From a young age children will refer to others as “crazy” or “weird”; these terms are used commonly throughout adulthood as well. Often the negative stereotypes involve perceptions that people with mental illness are dangerous. (Psych Today)

No matter how great our improvements are compared to our ancestors, we learned to stigmatize and believe that people with mental illnesses are dangerous people, they are crazy, weird, and you can never recover from the illness. And when they have you committed, people also started to believe that mental illness makes you weak, not good enough, and they will take away your rights. This situation rarely happens, not all your rights are taken and it only does when you are a danger to yourself and the others.

Second, it is influenced by how the media portrays people with mental illness. Take a look at the picture below.

Basing it from the photo, I know that there are so many mass shootings that are caused by mentally ill people. But not all mentally ill people kill people.

According to Psych Today on Mental Illness Stigma, This perception is fueled by media stories that paint violent perpetrators as “mentally ill” without providing the context of the broad spectrum of mental illness. This bias is not limited to people who are either uninformed or disconnected from people with mental illness; in fact health care providers and even some mental health professionals hold these very same stereotypes.

The coverage on mental patients and some mental health professionals treating mental patients were immature several years ago, but fortunately they have matured and grown all these years when it comes to reporting news and treating mental illness. It’s a pretty delicate topic that should be handled with utmost care. No media has the right to add fuel to the fire of stigma. In fact, since people count media for news and information, the media should be the top accurate and reliable source of information. It shouldn’t be biased. The media and medically allied personnels have a responsibility to inform the unenlightened ones.

Third, we are in our modern times where people care more about what others think. What others think affects their,the people’s reputations. In our time, we put value more on how other people perceives us and we care more about losing those followers, those strangers. Which is also a learned behavior that we get from high school, and from what we watch. In those five hundred followers, we can bet that only 50 of them are your real life friends, and only three or five of them are close to you, the rest are superficial. We are more scared of others judging us and shaming us for having mental illness. Mental illness is like how people are acting when Leprosy doesn’t have a cure yet and just like in the Bible.

Due to our contribution to the mental illness stigma, we also fail to realize the negative effects of that stigma to people suffering from mental illness.

  • When we have a problem, we fail to recognize it and admit it. Majority of the people suffering from mental illness don’t believe mental illness is real. They think it’s just in their heads and that it will just go away on it’s own.
  • When we shame and judge people from being mentally ill, we scare them from coming forward in admitting they have a problem and that they need help. That’s the most crucial part they have to start the process before they recover.
  • They withdraw from family and friends because they believe they can do it on their own and they don’t want to be judged and shamed by their loved ones. Having mental illness is like having a war with yourself and other departments on your head. That’s where you need consistent and unwavering support and understanding from the people in your life.
  • Mass shootings and other incidents. If they have gotten treatments right away and free of shame and judgment from other people. Instead of just blaming them after they’ve done something, we could have prevented them if we knew right away that our friend or relative is mentally ill and is capable of hurting himself and other people, but we couldn’t. They show signs of mental illness, we ignore it and don’t do something. We just tell them get over it, then we just expect it will go away. Is that the only thing we’re good at blaming, sending thoughts and prayers, have pictures with the survivors, and then doing nothing?

So with that in mind, let’s establish that we are no longer primitive, we are evolved humans, with an evolved and improved government policies and administration, economy, and technology. It is definitely the time for us to start acting smart by facing the problem about mental illness stigma instead of cowering for fear of being judged, shamed, and abandoned.

Our minds and our hearts needs to catch up with all of our medical breakthroughs in life, we shouldn’t dumb ourselves down and just shut up in the corner to avoid judgments and losing followers. We need to stand up and be the guide of those people who are lost and with weak morals on mental illness, we need to move forward by studying what mental illness really is and give awareness to stop all those misconceptions.

So how do we remove the mental illness stigma?

We remove it through mental illness education. So below are some of the basic information you need to know.


Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.


Mental Illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.

A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).


Mental Wellness According to World Health Organization, mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

So what else can you do to remove the stigma on mental illness?

I invite you to help me by educating the misinformed on our networking sites on Twitter and Instagram every Saturday by sharing relate-able quotes, information, and news about mental illness using the hashtag #removingmentalillnessStigma. I invite especially those influential people whose got a voice, who’s got more reach and who’s influence can make a difference for the good of the many. Let’s help each other out, let’s help the people suffering from mental illness, let’s lift up and improve th mental health perception of the people starting on March 24, 2018 at Pacific Time 08:00 AM until the day ends. It doesn’t have to be the whole day, you can participate on your free time.

30 Things I Wish I’d Known 14 Years Ago

I’ve been planning to write this post for a long time and I dreaded writing it too. I can’t believe I’m writing this post now because it would mean I’m past the age of 30. For me being over 30 means – being an adult, I should have accomplishments and I should be equipped with experiences and hardships that will help me solve problems or get through challenges in the future.

Why did I fear writing this post?

Because I made a lot of plans that I told myself I want to accomplish before I turn 31. Those plans didn’t work out the way I planned them, but I’m okay, and at least I’m on the right track now. I’m only listening to my own drum. I’m doing what I should have done five years ago. All these years, I gathered experiences, and hardships that taught me a lot and made me grow to the person I am now.

So here are the things I learned for 30 years that I wish I’d known before I got into college.

1) Decide for yourself or they will. I learned this the hard way. I learned it when it’s already too late and I’ve wasted already more than ten years of my life. This is very  heartbreaking for me and you have no idea how many times I’ve beat myself up for this. When I was younger I told myself, I will let my parents decide for me, but I will not let them interfere with myself. Eck! Wrong! Big mistake! I know myself better than my parents, I shouldn’t have let them decide my career for me. I should have listened to my heart desires than consider what they want for me. You need to decide for yourself, or you will have regrets, and you won’t be happy with your life.

2) Control your life. It won’t be easy I’m sure, but as you grow older you become equipped to handle more problems. De-clutter your life with things you don’t want and need, so you can focus on your goal such as becoming a doctor, or a screenwriter. Don’t do other things that won’t serve your goal and your purpose.

3) Build your dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. I will apply this to my experience back in 2011. I should have focused on completing that story I entered in the Nanowrimo writing competition after assisting my cousin with her thesis. That heartbreak paralyze me and triggered the dark side of me. One thing I’ll always remember and look back on because on that day is I also found the people who sees my dream as important as oppose to people who don’t. My cousin, she deserves what she’s got in her life because she’s determined, hardworking, and she didn’t give up on her dreams. While I gave up on that writing competition when one of my Aunts told me that what my cousin is doing is important.

4) Surround yourself with positive kind people. It all goes without saying that negative people, attracts negative things, and everything they will tell you is that you can’t do this, you can’t do that, for a number of reasons. They may know the odds, and the statistics, but they don’t know you, they don’t know the core of your heart, the degree of your passion, the depths of your soul, and the extent of your will.

5) Be kind. You can never go wrong with kindness. We all have our own crosses to bear. We’re all going through something hard. Receiving some act of kindness can lessen that burden at some point, and at some point. Or it could mean the world to someone who is on a breaking point.

6) Families don’t hold you back, they lift you up. Family doesn’t always have to be blood. So keep those people around you who lifts you up and supports you and loves you at your ugliest and crappiest time. And ignore those who are just there for you when you’re in the highest and happiest point of your life.

7) Forgive seventy times seven. If you live your life being angry, you can never move forward. It’s like living everyday with a body full of poison. Your interaction with other people, with your job and how you see life is also affected by that poison. You will hurt other people, you might make mistakes on your job, and you will never get to enjoy life because of your views. However, if your body, mind, heart and soul is clear. You will have good relationships, you will perform well on your job, and you will get to enjoy life.

8) The most important relationship you have in life is the relationship you have with yourself. ~Diane von Furstenberg. The fact is I’ve wasted some years of my life being a victim of bullying and being a pushover. The bullying, I didn’t fought any of them because I thought those people are a waste of my time, but I should have defended myself at some point. As for being a pushover, I should have been more firm and assertive of what I wanted in life. I should have taken care of myself, my wants and needs. My professor once told us in our Ethics class, “You are your own best friend.” So listen to that inner voice or your inner goddess (haha..), and do what you need to do.

9) You can never figure out who you are, and you can never reach your potential, if you don’t leave your hometown. I’ve always wished, I worked harder to fly away and spread my wings, like that song Break Away by Kelly Clarkson. I know for sure now, that I’ll be more useful and productive, if I leave the current life I’m living for good. I’ve been here for the past 30 years and it ain’t productive and great at all. The people I’ve known had spread their wings and are having the time of their life.

10) Everyone makes mistakes, but learn from them, then let go. This is one of my weakest. It’s always hard for me to let go of my mistakes. I often punish myself for my mistakes like I don’t deserve to be happy or even celebrate my birthday because I’m such a loser, and I made so many mistakes. Well, I realized that my mistakes won’t define my whole life and I do remember and know for sure that I’ve done more good things in my life. It’s just that in our world, families and friends, even strangers remember and focus more on your mistakes more than the good things you’ve done.

11) We all don’t know everything. This is a very good advice for me because I tend to be a know-it-all most of the time. I’ve learned along the way that I should never share my opinion if nobody asked it and vice versa. If I don’t ask you, don’t tell me. Instead learn to listen. Listening will help you learn and understand more the situation and the people around you.

12) You cannot be right all the time. This is a very big part of my personality. I always want to be right, but I am just not right all the time. And it’s okay. Being wrong sometimes, it’s an opportunity to learn something new.

13) Being an adult means not having the last word. Remember all those petty debates and arguments you had with someone? Avoid them, and let them have the last word. A birthday is our physical age. There is a term called mental age. You can never win an argument with someone who’s got a different mental age as you. Why? Because that younger person is also not equipped yet with experiences, and understanding that will make them grow and mature. They are just not equipped yet to understand you. If they are older than you, you are just not equipped yet to understand them. So don’t do it, it’s a waste of time. Our physical age is different with our mental age.

14) Never change anyone to become like you. We are unique people. This came from Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). Memories, words, and thoughts means differently to us. We have our own truth, upbringing, and world view. So never force your experience, your truth, your way, your belief on anyone. We can only inspire, and motivate, but don’t impose. Don’t be self-centered and say that your way is the best way and the mature way. It’s just not. It’s a fact of life that we have our own ways always, but of course, we do collaborate with other people from time to time.

15) Don’t be afraid to be yourself, to be different, and to be weird. I am such a late bloomer because I was so afraid to be myself. I mean there were times, I could be myself, but I have more experiences of hiding myself because I’m afraid my family won’t approve and I will get bullied in school. Being myself, being different and being weird is very hard for me. Expressing myself is very hard for me. Because I’ve been bullied most of my life and there were a lot of moments at home where I showed my true self, and it was frowned upon by my parents. One of the reasons why I prefer to be alone.

16) Be open minded. This is like a continuation of #14. Each of us have our own point of view or world view, and perspective. We should be respectful of other people’s perspective. Being able to understand and have more perspective than yours is a path to enlightenment and more ways to solve problems and go through challenges.

17) Family over money or your job always. I have a dream, but I’ve always promised myself that I will make time for family because I don’t want to miss the important moments. I love the idea of doing my dream for the rest of my life, but I can also be a full time mom. I heard from a close friend in college before that they hate the idea of giving up their work to become a mother. First and foremost, giving up work doesn’t always mean forever. Those children will grow, and you have to go back to work again or you can do both. I know a lot of people doing both and are great in it.

18) Focus your mind on what’s important and you will get your goal, your dream. Our brain has a delete button to clear our minds, clean it and make it easier for us to function or use our brain. It’s like gardening. If you think more of what’s important to you like your job or your dream, it will get enough water and oxygen, and the ones you don’t think about or use less, are the weeds that our brain will clean. So if you focus your mind on getting revenge on someone rather than your studies or your job, well, now you know why you failed or why you lost that job.

19) Have true friends rather than having a goal of 10,000 Twitter and Instagram followers. True friends are the ones who were there for you through thickness and thin. The ones who listen and give you advice, and vice versa. And most of all the ones who helps you become a better person, the best version of yourself, and the ones who helps and teaches you to grow. I will always choose to have one true friend rather than have a hundred fake friends.

 20) Don’t be a victim of circumstances. Whatever bad happened to you, don’t play the victim for the rest of your life. Pick yourself up, dust yourself, take control of your life and move forward to the life that you want and the goal you want to attain. This is also one advice that I needed to be knock over my head a thousand times before I finally got it. Maybe I still need to knock myself with this sometime.

21) Have boundaries. This is something I should have learned ever since I was a little girl. If you don’t have boundaries, people will take advantage of you. If you don’t have boundaries, you’ll end up focusing on others’ need other than yourself.

22) Learn to say “No”. You need to say no, and understand that you don’t have any obligation or responsibility to say yes to them. Saying no, means you have something on your plate, and other people should respect and understand that. In real life, no means no. Besides the last thing you want is blaming someone else for what you did because you said yes to them even if you don’t mean it. Saying no is not an offense to them as well. You won’t lose friends by saying no. If you lose them, they’re not real friends in the first place.

23) Admit you’re wrong and live the consequences. If you’re the kind of kid who was raised to blame other people or their situation, stop it right now and understand this. You make your own decisions, so be responsible enough to live the consequences and don’t blame others. This is unproductive. It will destroy your sensibility, credibility and your relationship with other people.

24) No matter how much you love your job, have time for family and friends. These last few days, I just told myself that I want to give all my time to writing. Then I flashback to the 2012 movie. The author in the movie lost his wife and his children because he’s too busy with his writing. So I changed my belief to that first sentence. Never lose those relationships and if you don’t have one, make some friends. Your job is important, but your family is more important.

25) Have your time alone. A lot of people don’t understand this and mistook it for being snobbish, being selfish, being choosy with friends and more. I have a friend who used to think that being alone makes you look pathetic. I told her being alone, allows me to do what I want to do, have great ideas, and to recharge myself. Having a time alone is an opportunity for a reality check, meditation, spiritual enlightenment, and a chance to listen to our inner voice. It is a chance to grow. Check out this TED talk. I’m an introvert. I think a lot. I contemplate. Most important of all, I meditate. I listen and observe people. I can enjoy quality time with friends and family, but my time alone is very important to me. In our time now, especially with the social media and the millenials, being alone equates to being an out cast and not part of a cool group. So what?

26) Live with the best version of yourself. I’ve met a lot of fangirls and boys who worships those actors like their Gods. I’m a fangirl too but I never said I want to be Scully, Tauriel, Tracy Strauss, Gretchen Lowell,or Zelena (Women I’ve like from books, shows and movies). Instead, I said I want to be like them. They are strong, beautiful, smart, powerful, influential, sweet, and caring and yet badass at the same time (except Gretchen Lowell). My life doesn’t depend on them and it shouldn’t. They are my inspiration and motivation to become the best version of myself and to pursue my calling. Live for you and not for those actors. That’s how life is meant to be.

27) Love is a choice. Growing up, I’ve romanticize love so much. If you read my blog it’s quite obvious how I’m such a hopeless romantic. I believe in chemistry, compatibility, lovemap, and more but yes love is a choice. Our relationship starts, ends, and lasts as a choice. We don’t just choose someone because of chemistry, it’s a matter of life and death, compatibility, and because of our lovemap. We choose the person we think and believe is the right one for us. A relationship will end or will last if we choose to stay.

28) Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect. I was always the opposite of this quote and I’ve realized that my belief is wrong. If I keep waiting for the perfect moment, life, chances, opportunities and people will pass me by.

29) Approach everything with childish enthusiasm. We live in such a fast-paced life that we don’t have time to enjoy the little things like a sunrise, a sunset, or a blooming flower. We need to enjoy each day and live in the moment. You don’t know when you’re going to have that moment again. This is one of my favorite moments from Under the Tuscan Sun. “Never lose your childish enthusiasm and things will come your way.”

30) Give yourself a break. As a child, I always believed that being an adult is being serious all the time. All work and no play. Now as an adult, I realized that we need our childishness to last being an adult. According to a research, a person who doesn’t take a vacation gets burn out and becomes less productive to the company. While a person who goes on a vacation, will come back to the company fresh, full of ideas and more productive to the company. If we take our lives so seriously all the time, we might get committed. Trust me, I’ve had my moments..