That’s How the Light Gets In

leonardcohenI remember the morning my mom told me my dad didn’t live with us anymore. I was almost four, and we were sitting at the dining room table at breakfast, and she told me he was going to be living somewhere else, and that eventually I would visit him there. I went into their bedroom, and looked through all his drawers and closets. His denim shirts were gone, his sun lamp was gone, and so were the styrofoam heads that held his different wigs; he was an actor. When I saw he’d left his robe, I thought he’d have to come back, but I was wrong.

It had been a confusing time already. My beloved grandma had died the week before, and I’d been too young to visit in her hospital room that last day, which was probably good. I remember my grandma laughing, and hugging me, full of life. But suddenly it seemed people were disappearing, and not peripheral players, either. We’d seen my grandma almost every day of my life. She and my mom were really close. She and I were really close. It amazes me to think about the impact she’s had on my life, and to realize I didn’t even get four full years with her. Now my dad had gone to some unknown place, and I had no real sense of time. I don’t know how my mom got through that conversation with me without crying.

For years, I lived in fear of being left. I didn’t realize I was doing this, of course, but it’s obvious in the rear-view mirror. I tried to be a good girl. I thought if I got straight-A’s and looked right and behaved well, then maybe I’d be safe, and that followed me into my adulthood. I entered into relationships with people not thinking about what I wanted or needed, or even if I was having fun, but solely focused on how I could be perfect for them; how I could make myself indispensable. Un-leave-able.

I’m sharing this with you not because it’s a heartbreaking tale. I hear worse stories every day. Lots of people get divorced (not that it makes it easy on the children involved), lots of people lose their grandparents. The proximity in my case was unfortunate because it was like a bomb went off, or an earthquake shook the foundation of what I’d known, but my parents had been keeping up appearances because my grandma was sick that last year, and they didn’t want her to worry. I know someone who watched his father die at eight years old while they were playing. I know someone who’s dad left when she was seven and never looked back. I can’t even wrap my head around how you could leave your kid and never look back. And then there are stories of abuse and neglect and all kinds of things that would leave you on your knees. My point in sharing is that our pain does not just magically disappear. If we don’t examine it when we become conscious adults, it swims beneath the surface of everything we do, wreaking havoc on our lives, and life doesn’t have to be that way. We all want to heal. We all want to be happy. We wrote it into our Declaration of Independence, so there’s not much doubt that we value happiness. It’s just that the large majority of us will seek to heal in all the ways that make things worse.

Because we long to heal, we call into our lives those dynamics that reflect our deepest wounds. Most of the time, we don’t even know we’re doing that. If you’re afraid of being left, you probably have an excellent, uncanny, perverse knack for picking people who struggle to commit. This is no coincidence, because, presto! Now you have your chance to heal, right? All you have to do is get your partner to want to be with you, and that will be the balm for your original wound. Except it won’t, because if you pick people who struggle to commit, you set yourself up to be left again, thus confirming your deepest fear that you are the kind of person it’s easy to leave. Or worse, that you just aren’t worthy of love. You’re leave-able, not lovable.

There’s the hard, long road, and there’s the hard, short road. I’m not going to lie about that, those are the choices. I mean, those are the choices unless you happen to be one of the three people in the world who had idyllic childhoods, and even if you are, someone else has probably come along and broken your heart by now. Chances are, you probably have some issues, some stuff to work through like any other human, and it’s not a level playing field as I mentioned above, so what you’ll need to heal, and how long it will take and what tools you’ll use are all personal. Avoiding that work is a surefire way to prolong your pain and allow unconscious drives to rule your life. The longer you wait, the longer you suffer. There’s no reason your past has to screw up your present. You are not stuck in a time-warp.

It took me a long time and a lot of work to get right with myself, and it’s still a daily practice, but at this point, I’m in the maintenance part. Of course things come up that might tap an old wound, but the wounds have scar tissue, they aren’t raw and bleeding, and they aren’t unknown to me. They’re almost like old, familiar friends. Ah, fear of abandonment. I feel you. I see you. I tip my hat to you. But you don’t own me anymore.

If you’re an adult, and you’ve had enough time as an adult to recognize patterns in your life that aren’t serving you, I’d get on that. Tools that have worked for me are a daily yoga practice (and I mean all eight limbs), seated meditation, and therapy. If you want to try some yoga with me right now, you can go here.

I’ve also read some tremendously helpful books, and I’ve done quite a lot of journaling. There are so many tools available. It’s my personal belief that it isn’t a luxury to pursue healing modalities until you find a mix that works for you; I believe it’s your responsibility. You have this life. You have a body. You have time and energy. These things are all gifts. Then, there are your own, particular gifts that are born of your own experiences and perspective and ways of looking at the world. There’s only one of you. So if you don’t figure out how to set yourself free, you rob the world of gifts only you can bring to it. That would be a tremendous shame.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

You Take the Keys

pemaheartsWhen I was in college I had a roommate for one semester, I’ll call her Jane. I didn’t know her, we were just placed in a room together. Jane liked boys. A lot. I walked in on Jane with so many different Tarzans, we finally devised a system. Not that Jane was ever troubled if I showed up in the middle of her eggs being scrambled, I just found it awkward, and Jane was annoyed by the fact that I found it awkward. When I wasn’t interrupting something, I’d come back to our room and find sweaters of mine thrown in a corner, sometimes stained, or I’d go looking for a pair of shoes only to discover Jane must be wearing them. She was catty, and cold, and never had a kind word to say about anyone, not that she talked to me much. I tried to get to know her, but she really wasn’t open to that, nor did she have any other girlfriends. If I saw her on campus, she was almost always with a group of guys, and might acknowledge me with a look, but not a friendly one, and not usually. One morning I walked into our tiny shared kitchen and howled because I stepped on a shard of broken glass. Jane had knocked over a vase, and simply thrown a towel over the mess. Finally, frustrated and done, I requested a new roommate. The paperwork took a few weeks, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.

One afternoon after I knew my days with Jane were coming to an end, I walked in to find her alone in her bed. She looked awful, her cheeks were flushed, her eyes were glassy and she was groaning. She had the kind of flu where you just want to dig a hole and bury yourself until it’s over. Her fever was incredibly high, but she refused to let me take her to the nurse, so I went to the store and bought soup and juice and bread for toast, and came back and made her a little lunch. I sat on the edge of the bed and put my hand on her forehead, and Jane started crying. Not just a tear or two streaming down her face, but the kind of crying that sounds more like keening. Primal, deep wailing. I was stunned, but I just held onto her until she quieted. It turned out Jane’s mom had left when she was a baby, and never looked back. Her dad had raised her but he wasn’t the most emotional guy. No one had ever made her soup before. I wish I could say this was the beginning of a close and lasting friendship, or tell you that I still know Jane and that all is well with her, but that moment with the soup was all there was, because the next day Jane was back to her dismissive ways. In fact, she was even more hostile. When I packed up my things before winter break, I left Jane a card with my new phone number and a note that said she could always call me for any reason. I never heard from her, but I think about her a lot. Especially when I meet someone who’s challenging to be around, or whose behavior is difficult to understand. Everyone has pain, everyone is struggling with something.

When you feel as though someone is “driving you crazy”, understand they can only do that if you let them. Checking in with yourself when you’re feeling enraged, frustrated, trapped, or shut down with someone is really essential. Sometimes a complete stranger can “drive you crazy” by talking loudly on their cellphone in a cafe, or not holding a door open, or letting you merge on the freeway. Sometimes it’s someone you like who isn’t responding the way you wish they would. The story that matters is always the story of our participation. What about the situation is triggering us? Why, for example, would you allow the driving habits of a stranger, no matter how annoying they might be, rob you of your own peace? Or affect your blood pressure, or the way you’re driving, or what you’re doing with your own middle finger? What is the real source of the anger or insecurity or lack of trust this person is tapping that already exists within you, and did long before s/he came into the picture? If you’re really tweaked, consider whether it’s old stuff. Are you feeling powerless? Rejected? Abandoned? Are you repeating a pattern of interaction that feels awful and very familiar at the same time? This is the way challenging people can become some of our best teachers. The potential for growth and greater understanding about who you are and where you’re at is always available. If someone cuts you off on the freeway and you feel a surge of heat rush to your face, you really ought to be yelling, “Thank you!” and not, “F&ck you!” out the window, because they just helped you release and explore some of the rage that was already within you. Next time you’re dreading hanging out with that person who drives you up and down a wall, see if you can turn it into an experiment where you drive instead. They can do and say anything at all, and you will still drive your own car, peacefully and mindfully, slowing down whenever you need to hop out and explore the terrain.

Sending you love, and wishes for a peaceful ride without the use of your “traffic finger” 😉

Ally Hamilton

Healing After Rejection, Betrayal or Abandonment

oprahFew things feel worse than being betrayed, left, or rejected, and yet, most of us will experience all of these at least once. The first time something like this happens is the worst, because we don’t have a frame of reference for it; we’re left to piece together the “new normal”, even if it happens when we’re little. I still remember the morning I woke up and my mom told me my dad didn’t live with us anymore; I was four. I remember going to his drawers and closets, and opening everything up, and trying to make sense of this new reality. At four, you have no tools, you just have feelings, but it’s not much easier at twenty-four, or ever.

When someone hurts us, for whatever reason, particularly someone with whom we were very close, it’s knifing. If you have any doubt about your value as a beautiful human being with something special to contribute, few things will bring it into greater question than the feelings we suffer when someone leaves us, because the deep fear is that they got close enough to see the truth of our unworthiness. They got to know us, and actually, they decided we were not so special. Most of the time, that’s not at all what has happened, though.

First of all, if someone betrays you, they’re in a place where they are not respecting themselves. Anyone who lies to your face, or fails to communicate information that deeply impacts you, is lost to themselves. Lying feels terrible. Resorting to sneakiness because you’re unable to express what’s in your heart is a certain kind of agony. Even worse is when a person is in a place where they can justify terrible behavior by making everything your fault. Sometimes people are so desperate to feel something, anything, to break the chains of their own apathy or discomfort or despair, they just act out. My point is, a person who acts in a hurtful or careless way is not in a good place on his or her own path. Their current lack of kindness or integrity is not a reflection on you, or anything lacking within you. It’s a reflection of where they find themselves on their own journey.

If you’ve been left in the dark, that’s so painful, and I’m sorry you’re going through that; a lack of communication when something comes to an end is a coward’s choice. The inability to honor what was once beautiful is a real shame. No one deserves to be ignored or shunned, or left in a vacuum to try to figure out what’s happened, but sometimes it goes down that way. Understand that sometimes people are not ready or able to face themselves, and so they can’t face you. It’s nothing you did or said, it’s nothing you didn’t do, it’s not a character flaw of yours. Remember we can’t do each other’s journeys. People have the tools they have, that’s all they’ve got to use.

Also, closure is a bit overrated. Even if you understand every nuance of why something has ended, you’re still going to suffer. Do I think it’s easier if you are able to end something with respect and honesty and integrity? Of course. I’m just saying it takes two, and if you’re in a situation with someone who is unable to do that with you, your best hope of closure may be simple acceptance. I say simple, not easy.

Try to recognize there are all kinds of things that might lead a person to act in a way that’s so hard to comprehend. Maybe they’ve been so deeply hurt, they know no other way than to lash out or shut down or take off. Imagine if your choices were limited like that. There are people in the world who don’t feel empathy. There are known personality disorders that can lead a person to act in ways that make you shake your head. The lack of love when it’s most needed can do that to a person. Imagine growing up without feeling seen or heard. I’m not saying it’s okay when people treat us poorly, or unconscionably, I’m saying it might help you to consider the source. That probably wouldn’t be a happy place to find yourself.

If you’ve been hurt, your best response is to seek out the tools that will help you to heal, and learn and grow from your experience. Life gives us a choice: we can be hardened by what happens along our journeys, or we can be softened by it. I highly recommend softening. We don’t need more hard people. We need people who have insight and who understand compassion and kindness. We need more people who are willing to examine their participation in situations that dimmed their light. We need more people to understand they’re worthy, just by the fact of their own existence. Use the “stuff” of your life to open and grow. The human heart is resilient and we all naturally want to heal. Pain is part of the journey toward liberation from suffering, facing it and working with it and leaning into it. That’s how you release yourself.

Wishing that for you, and sending love,

Ally Hamilton


We tend to think of “home” as the house or apartment where we grew up, and “family” as the people with whom we share a bloodline; those people who were in that house or apartment before we got there. See also: those people who were supposed to love us and protect us and nurture us. When it works out that way, it’s ideal and such a gift, but it doesn’t work out that way for so many people.

There are tons of variables; trauma and abuse can be passed down from one generation to the next. If a person grew up in an unsafe environment, that’s what they know, and that feels like home. The pull to recreate that familiar feeling can be strong, especially when there hasn’t been an opportunity to heal. So sometimes home is a scary place, and family are the people you maneuver around as you try to stay safe. In a case like that, the longing for home, the desire to be loved and seen and heard can feel like some kind of mystery to be solved. Isn’t it funny how we can yearn for things we’ve never had, and miss people we’ve never met?

Anything unhealed within you wants your kind attention. We long for closure and resolution, but underneath that what we’re really wanting is peace. We want to know we’re worthy of love. There are those lucky people who’ve never had to question that, because love is all they’ve known; it’s not common, but it does happen. Someone who is raised knowing they’re treasured and cherished is likely to have an easier time with later heartbreaks. They still hurt, of course, but the person isn’t as likely to question whether there’s something at their very core that’s unlovable, something about them that makes it easy to leave, neglect or abuse them. A person who is securely attached to his or her parents and siblings isn’t as likely to take rejection as proof that he or she is really disposable, after all, but a person who’s never felt loved, who struggles to trust and be vulnerable, can take a heartbreak as that final blow. As if it’s up to someone else to determine their worth.

Roughly thirty-seven trillion cells come together to make up a human being. They’ll never come together in that way again, and they never have before; that’s a miracle in my book, scientific or otherwise. We arrive here needing to be held and fed and clothed and rocked and soothed. We come here needing each other, we go out needing each other, and in between, you can bet we need each other. I truly feel our purpose here is to love — to open, to grow, to heal, to learn, to strengthen and blossom and share whatever we’ve got with each other; to dig until we uncover that limitless well of love within us, so we can spread it as we move through our days. Home is inside you. It’s not a place, although you may feel attached to the house you grew up in if you were happy there. The bonds between family members can be strong, but that doesn’t always mean they’re healthy; sometimes you have to negotiate your boundaries. Sometimes you have to love people from afar in order to love yourself well, and sometimes you have to create a family of your own, with those people who’ve shown you what love looks like. Ultimately, you want to feel at home inside yourself, comfortable in your own skin.

When life throws you a curve-ball, you want to know you can catch it. You want to have your own back. You want to know how to root for yourself. You want to be able to nurture and cherish your particular thirty-seven trillion cells. “Home” might be something you have to create out of your imagination, you may not have a frame of reference for it, but home is inside you. You can visit any time you like.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3

Truth or Dare

Attachment to a particular outcome and fear of abandonment are such huge issues for so many people. This is only natural; we love people with our whole hearts, and we want to know they’re ours to keep. We want to know our children will grow up safe and happy and healthy, and that they’ll still want to hang out with us long after they don’t need us to drive them around, or read to them, or make their lunches for school. We fall in love with someone and want to count on that happy ending. We want things to go the way we want them to go, and we think if we just try hard enough we can bend life to our will, but every day we’re reminded this isn’t true or possible.

When you’re faced with the choice between love and fear, I’d pick love every time, otherwise you’ll never be fully happy in any moment. You might fall in love with someone, and as you’re falling you’ll think, what if they leave? What if this doesn’t work out? What if they see me for who I really am, and decide they aren’t into me after all? So here you are, falling in love, but gripping at the same time. Those are two opposing actions you’re putting yourself through–love opens you, fear closes you. You’re already mourning the loss of something you haven’t even fully experienced yet, and maybe it is yours to keep. Maybe you and your partner will keep choosing each other every day for the rest of your lives. So why muck it up with clinging and insecurity? I mean, we’re all insecure, by our very nature. We have unknown expiration dates, and the ability to love each other. There’s your recipe for inherent vulnerability. Why let that scare you?

If you know you’re going to die, why not let that inspire you to live? To love with your heart wide open? To give every ounce of every single thing you’ve got every day, since you don’t know how many days you’ll get? To make sure the people in your life know how you feel about them. To be of service in any way you can, to up the happiness quotient around you by sharing your particular gifts freely, and with abandon? I don’t see the point of trying to nail everything to the ground. No one wants to live in a prison of ideas. A house of “This Is How Things Should Be.”

Things are as they are. You will have your heart broken, badly, at some point or another, and you will break someone else’s heart, too. Hopefully neither you, nor the other party will do that on purpose. More likely it will happen through confusion, but it could also happen due to immaturity, fear, self-loathing, despair, old wounds, betrayal, or really crappy circumstances. You will also be insanely happy at times. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a few people in your life you can call at any time of day or night, who understand what it means to show up when you’re really hurting. If you find the strength to follow your intuition, you will figure out what lights you up. Since you’ll spend a lot of time working, it’s a huge gift if your work can be that thing that sets you on fire. Then it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like this energy inside you that you want to release. If that thing that fulfills you can also serve other people, then you’re really onto something awesome, because I’m pretty sure the best use of your time, my time, anyone’s time, is to love, to share, to embrace, to uplift, to laugh, to hug, to cry. To have conversations that matter. To listen deeply. To sleep well and deeply is also really really good. Amazing hugs. Kisses that taste like yes. I mean, you have this time, so why not give everything you’ve got?

When you’re in despair, you learn about friendship and loyalty, patience, compassion and understanding. You figure out who those people are who actually care and know how to show it without being asked. When your heart is broken and you don’t know how to keep breathing, some part of you can also rejoice that you’re able to love so deeply. If someone is taken from you too soon, that’s a pain you may carry forever, but you’re also changed by love like that, you get to carry that, too. Also memories. There are certain bonds that cannot be broken by anything.

You will be abandoned, count on that, and things will not go exactly the way you planned. So let’s use that as the starting point. Life is going to bring it all. Embrace your vulnerability so you don’t have to waste too much time or energy clinging and worrying. It won’t change a thing, it will just rob you of peace and joy.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3

Out to Sea

When I was seventeen I began dating a man who was twenty-one years older than I was. My parents tried to stop me, but they have nineteen years between them, and even though they divorced when I was four, I was positive my relationship was different, because I was seventeen and thought I had all the answers. My previous boyfriend, who had been kind and sweet and awesome in every way, also tried to stop me, but he had moved across the country to go to college, and the truth was, I was heartbroken. I felt abandoned, even though he was talking about Christmas break, and calling every day. No matter; he’d left, and it stirred in me something old and raw and completely unhealed. So I let this guy who was so much older come at me with his cars and his boats and his private plane to his house in the Hamptons. He had a terrible reputation for cheating on everyone he dated, and I signed myself up for the task like I’d be able to fix that. Also, something inside me was believing the idea that I was the kind of person someone could leave, so who cared, really?

The first time we were together it was strange and sad. We flew out to his house, and went directly to the beach where we got in his speedboat. He drove us out to the middle of a secluded bay area. I knew he’d done it before, all of it. It was like some kind of ritual, something to get out of the way. I knew he didn’t love me. That came a few years later, after he’d broken me and it was too late, but I let him have me, even though I felt nothing. I was hooked in, I was playing out all kinds of ancient history, but I wasn’t in love with him, and I certainly wasn’t loving myself, not even a little. When it was over and I was swimming in the ocean, tears came streaming down my face, unexpectedly, without permission. I dove underwater, trying to wash them away, trying to wash the whole thing away. I don’t remember much else about that day, or that night. I think he spent most of the afternoon working, and I curled up in front of the fire with a book. I felt dead to myself, and also strangely satisfied that I’d done something so unlike me.

I stayed with him for three years. Once he had me, he kept a tight leash on me. It’s funny how people without integrity assume other people also have none. He was threatened by the guys at Columbia who were my age. He’d drop me off on campus sometimes and get upset if I was wearing lipstick, or tight jeans, or short skirts, or pretty much anything that wasn’t a sack, but he cheated on me regularly. He was good at it, I could never prove it, but I always knew when he was with someone else because it hurt. It hurt in the way that sends you under the kitchen table, holding onto yourself as you sob and wonder what the hell you’re doing in this situation, and why you don’t get out. Getting out wasn’t even possible at that point, because I was so attached to getting my happy ending. If I could just be perfect enough to get him to love me, if I could just hang in there long enough he’d finally realize I really did love him…because after awhile, I did.

I began to see this insecure guy who felt he wasn’t enough, regardless of how many women he took to bed, or how much money he had, or how many sparkly, shiny toys. Nothing did it for him, not even the unwavering love of a good girl. I can’t call myself a woman when I think about this experience, because I wasn’t yet. I had a lot of healing to do, and a lot of growing, but I was very kind to him. The longer I stayed, the more he gave me reasons to leave. For his fortieth birthday, I planned an elaborate surprise party. I rented a pool hall, had it catered from his favorite sushi place, and ordered dessert from an amazing pastry chef. I sent invitations to all his friends. I made a reservation at a new restaurant that had opened downtown that he was dying to try, and planned to take him to the pool hall from there. I ordered a bottle of champagne to be waiting at the table. It took me months to save up the money to pull it off.

A week before the party he confronted me in the kitchen in East Hampton. He told me he knew about the party, and he wanted to see the guest list to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anyone. At first I tried to deny there was a party, but he kept coming. He laughed at me. He knew it was at a pool hall. He wanted to know if I’d ordered food, and all the other details. He didn’t want to be embarrassed. I stood there in that kitchen and I felt everything fall away from me. I felt like I was made of bones that could disintegrate into a pile of dust on the floor, that his housekeeper could just come along and sweep away, out the door, into the ocean, to meet up with those tears I’d cried the first day. I told him every last detail. He took away any shred of joy I might have felt at having been able to give him something. Three days before the party, he went to the restaurant I’d made reservations at a few months before, so that the night of the party, the only surprise was that sad bottle of champagne, waiting at the table.

You cannot save anyone. All the love in the world won’t get the job done. You can’t make someone faithful or kind or compassionate or sensitive. You can’t make another person happy. They are, or they are not. You can harm yourself. You can allow yourself to be abused, mistreated, neglected and betrayed, but I don’t recommend it. A healthy, happy, secure person wouldn’t have been on that boat with him in the first place. Of course, he preyed on a seventeen year old, and when I look back on it I have all kinds of compassion for myself, but it took me years to get there. It also took a lot of yoga, therapy, weeping, writing and reading. Anything you repress, run from, or deny, owns you. It owns you. If you don’t turn and face that stuff down, you’ll call it into your life in other ways. The truth wants out. Your heart wants to heal so it can open for you again. Whatever is in your past does not have to define your future, but it probably will if you don’t do the work to liberate yourself. We have such fear. We think these things will overwhelm us, that we won’t survive, but what you won’t survive is the not facing it. That’s the part that kills you. That’s the part that makes you feel you could be swept away in the wind. Looking at your stuff hurts. It’s painful and deeply uncomfortable, but if you trust yourself enough to lean into all that pain, you’ll find it loses its grip over you. If you let yourself weep out the searing heat from those wounds, your whole being can take a real, deep breath, maybe for the first time in ages.

You can forgive those who let you down, who didn’t or couldn’t show up for you the way you would have liked or the way you deserved. You can forgive yourself for choices you might have made that were harmful to you or others. When we’re in pain, we don’t tend to treat ourselves well, and sometimes that also spills onto the people with whom we’re closest, but life can be beautiful. You can close the book on the old, painful story that was just a replaying of your past and you can start working on this new creation that gets to be your life after you’ve healed. Not that the old pain won’t show up from time to time when you’re feeling triggered or tested or vulnerable, but it won’t grab you and knock you off your feet and show you who’s boss, because it won’t be boss anymore, it won’t rule your life. You’ll just see it for what it is, an echo of a very old story that came to completion. It can’t be rewritten, it is what it is, but you get to decide where to place your energy and your attention. I highly recommend you direct it toward love; that’s your happy ending, although it doesn’t end. You get to keep choosing it every day. If you do that, you’ll never find yourself sailing out to sea with someone who doesn’t know how to do anything but hurt you. Your own ship will have sailed, and maybe someday you’ll pass your seventeen year old self, weeping in the ocean next to your ship and you’ll pull her on board and show her your future which holds so much joy, gratitude, meaning and fulfillment, maybe she’ll weep there on the deck with you, not in sadness, but in relief. If you’re allowing yourself to be mistreated and you need help, feel free to email me at

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3