Tag Archives: quotes

Say What YOU Need To Say

Already back at it?! Saw whaaatttt?!?! Well I thought I’d give this short post a a little twist using song lyrics instead of book quotes.

There’s that study a while back about what people regret most. What most participants said is that they regret what they didn’t do, not what they did. Isn’t vocalization an action? Could this philosophy apply to what we say in our lives as well?

“And all those things I didn’t didn’t say, wrecking balls inside my brain “

~Fight Song, Rachel Platten

We’ve all been there. Left our words inside our head instead of saying them out loud or even typing them. Or perhaps we didn’t phrase our statement so that it reflected what we were trying to say. I consider myself a fairly unfiltered individual and even I can relate. Just because I usually say what I’m thinking doesn’t mean that what I’m thinking is organized in a manner efficiently reflective of what I’m feeling, or trying to prove. Additionally everyone, including myself, has topics that make the brain stutter.

So what does this all mean? We can’t go back and tell everyone that was ever in our lives what we meant. We can’t change our goodbyes. We can’t stand up to insults more poetically retroactively. However,we also can’t continue to lose a second of sleep over wondering. What helps me is remembering that no matter how eloquently you said what you meant, it doesn’t mean it would have been taken that way.

“These words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you’ll use them however you want to”

~Breathe (2 AM), Anna Nalick

Communication is a complicated process of encoding and decoding messages that takes at least two parties. How the message is received, though influenced by how you deliver it, is essentially on the other person. So you can’t wish you said something solely for a specific reaction out of someone, because that reaction is not in your control.

 You have to speak for you, when you need or want to get something off your mind, not because you want a response. You can’t change the past but you can learn for the future. So, by all means, this blog is making me more motivated to tell the people in my life that I love them, stand up for myself, and make more jokes even if they’re lame- but I realize I have to do it for me. I’m going to make that lame pun if it makes me happy, but I won’t be counting on laughs.

“Decide what to be, and go be it.”

~Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, The Avett Brothers
Advertisements

Everything Won’t Be Alright, And That’s OK

I won’t lie. I’ve always been a bad liar. Everything is not going to be alright. Everything will not get better.

But some things will.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Robert Frost

In the depths of despair it is hard to believe such reassurances as “it’ll all be ok”. Coming from someone who’s been there, an element of this doubt is the overwhelming and crushing negativity that makes climbing out of the hole you are in seem too great a feat. Another element, however, is the strong logic that  such a generalization can’t be true.

Many illnesses, including my own, can’t be cured. Loved ones won’t come back from the dead. Things won’t always go back to the way they were. There are some wounds that time can only scar over, but never truly heal.

By no means does this mean to lose hope. By no means does this mean to give up. By no means does this mean life isn’t a beautiful thing. It just means we need to stop expecting it to be perfect, flawless, and smooth. It will never be this, at any given point.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Life isn’t a paved road that has unmaintained and rocky sections. Life is field. A meadow where any square inch is full of good things and bad. For example, you just stepped somewhere that was cushioned by grass, but home to a fire ant  that is capable of biting you. Life is complex, oversimplifying it is just setting yourself up to be disappointed.

If you expect a time to be “the best years of your life”, if you expect every aspect of your life to be going smoothly, if you expect pain to be wiped from your slate completely- you will be disappointed. Not everyone or everything’s agenda is the same as yours. There are bound to be clashes. There bound to be sorrows. And if you aren’t expecting them, they hit that much harder.

That’s why it’s important to know that not everything will be alright, and know that’s ok. Because, these sorrows don’t have to negate the good. As was said in a movie I watched this summer, you have to be happy with being sad. And just as inevitably as bad is bound to happen, so is something that makes you smile. Those moments of happiness, those moments of euphoria, those moments of human connection; they make the bad times worth it.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

It won’t all be ok. Accept it. There might be many moments in the future where things are not ok. But inbetween, I promise you, something will be ok. Something will make you grateful. Something will make you happy to be alive. Cherish it, whether it’s big or small. It’s what makes everything worthwhile.

pic

The Past that Follows

How do I move on when the past is a part of me?

“Scars remind us that the past was real..”

– Shakespeare

I struggle with the present. I know it’s a “gift” and all but I’ve always dwelled on the past and worried about the future. I have moments of laughter with friends, contentment in my surroundings, or pride of my actions where I know I’m happy in the moment. True euphoria. I cherish and recognize these moments because of their rarity.

Everyone has had obstacles to overcome and in that we can all relate. Unfortunately I don’t often meet many with similar experiences to me, leaving me feeling isolated and without the understanding I for some reason so desperately crave. I’ve overcome my obstacles, but in a way I’ve been unable to move on. Traumatic in nature, some of my experiences have shaped me into who I am today. So I ask again-

How can I move on when the past is a part of me?

“My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.”

William Golding

The reason I try so hard to make others laugh is because I know what it’s like to be in pain. The reason I ask frequently for reassurance is because I’ve been told enough times I’m worthless. The reason I worry is because I struggle with mental health. The the reason I strive to be kind is because I don’t ever want to treat anyone in the undeserving manner I’ve been treated in. I don’t want to perpetuate the cycle of hurt and cynicism that I’ve witnessed.  I want to be a ray of sunshine that brightens people’s day. A reminder that, as cheesily as it sounds, that like Samwise Gamgee said in Lord of the Rings Two Towers, there’s some good in this world and its worth fighting for.

My past has shaped me. To move on from it is to move on from myself. To forget it is to fight the daily battle I fight to overcome the challenges that continue on from my past and the lasting effects of some experiences. To accept that in some cases I don’t get closure is to leave my world tangled.

At the same time I can’t continue to let the past distract from the present. Too often I spend too much time wrestling with thoughts of times gone by. What happened in primary school shouldn’t be effecting me now. But it does. Questions of what if shouldn’t keep me up at night. But they do. Those moments could be spent being present, being content, being appreciative of the amazing people and things in my life. There’s enough in the present to think about without the past clouding my judgement.

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

The past made me who I am, and I shouldn’t forget who I am. But I can’t let the past take over. It may have a place in my life but not at the expense of my happiness. I don’t know how to change the past’s power. I don’t know how to alter my ways, thoughts, or patterns. But I know I must try. The past might have led me to where I am but I can’t let it dictate my life. I can appreciate the good and bad that’s come before and it’s place in my journey without letting it define me.

Falling Short

You’re your own worst critic.

Stop being so hard on yourself.

You’re doing the best you can.

“Most important thing in life is learning how to fall.”

Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

You can’t please everyone, that is a lesson of it’s own. But what about yourself? What happens when you can’t reach your own goals? Your own standards?

I’ve been there. I am there. In more ways than one.

One area is school. I’ve always identified as the smart kid, the nerd. School was the one area of life I could receive praise for a really long time. Regardless, I had to be good at school to afford college. Academics was an escape. I want to make a career out of it, I want to be a professor. At the moment, however, I’m falling short.I’m not failing. However, I’m not the star, straight A student I was. I’m burnt out and overwhelmed. This isn’t the first time, but this is the more noticeable time.

It’s as if all my energy is currently going to just existing. In terms of Spoon Theory- a person only has so many spoons, each symbolizing energy. Tasks require varying amounts of spoons, and once that spoon is used it doesn’t reappear until the person has recharged. It’s as if I used to start a day with dozens of spoons, and currently I’m trying to live off 5. There simply isn’t enough energy to thrive.

“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”

Voltaire

I have trouble accepting that it’s okay. That everyone has periods of falling short and that I am in no way worth less or less capable in the future because of where I am now. I feel like I’m letting myself down. Like I’m not reaching my potential, despite having some hefty obstacles currently in the way. I start to fear I won’t reach my dream of a career in academics because I start to doubt my own intelligence and proficiency. And if this one area that I had consistently shined in is taken away- who am I?

If there’s one thing I learned this summer, it’s that I can’t let these thoughts get me down.

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.”

Tom Hiddleston

A high achieving colleague let me in on a secret one afternoon tea as I opened up about these worries. About how I wasn’t feeling good enough to succeed. He simply said: no one has it figured out. Everyone feels as uncertain as I do and everyone is faking it until they make it. It’s normal to experience doubt, and no one is perfect, so It’s normal to have off times. So long as I keep going, and keep projecting confidence, I can move onwards and upwards despite falling short occasionally.

As long as you have the will, you can succeed. You just need to keep going, keep trying, all the way through the periods of doubt, and you can learn along they way how to make it.

 

Thinking of Others

A personal and extremely sappy post.

I love interviews. I love talking. I’ve done so many at this stage that I have stock answers for generic questions. Whenever asked what my biggest weakness is I always tell the truth. My biggest weakness is also my biggest strength: that I care too much. It both fuels my efforts and fuels my emotional downfall. I take things far too personally.

Somewhere along the way caring about everything became too much- too much for my heart which has always felt things a little too deeply. I try now to care only about the things I can’t help caring about. I care about making a difference. I care about nature. I care about people. I care about performing. I care about film. I care about mental health. I care about injustice. I care about spreading love.

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.”

Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

Unfortunately, I can’t shake that I care deeply what other people think of me. I’m certainly not too sensitive for banter and jokes, but  I can’t cope with bad blood. I can’t deal with someone not liking who I am as a person. For an unfiltered and brash individual, who is nowhere near perfect, winning over the universe is not easy. My preschool teacher told my mom that I was “unique in every sense of the word” and I’m not convinced it was a compliment. I try to win people over with my open-minded nature. I’d like to think I’m witty too, though my puns are often questionable at best. My memes are pretty dank though. I digress. I live my life under the principle that people should be able to do whatever they want so long as they are not hurting someone else. If they’re not hurting anyone it’s not my place to pass any judgement. I don’t know their story.

However, the world doesn’t work in a way that being nice guarantees positive feedback. Especially when you’re as anxious as I am, because you’re bound to seem annoying at some stage. But in all honesty, aren’t we all annoying sometimes? Nonetheless I try. I don’t change who I am, but I try too hard. My fear of inter-personal conflict is so great that I will take the blame in situations that are not my fault. I only vent, avoiding gossip if I can, because I’d feel awful it getting back to someone. Inevitably I’m sure I’ve hurt someone along the way, but never intentionally. Over the years I’ve worked at getting better at standing up for myself when wronged, but am still not great at it.  Causes I can make a commotion about, but not little old me. Little old me wants to keep the peace. The world would call me a pussy when it comes to self defense.

“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate […]”

Anthon St. Maarten

Inevitably, it’s hard for me to swallow when someone doesn’t like me. Especially when I myself don’t really generate the feeling of dislike towards others. I always try to see where others are coming from in their actions. Even if they break the cardinal rule and hurt someone, and even if their actions are not justifiable no matter where they are coming from (which I’ve experienced many times in my short life), that does not make me hate them. I’m not weak, it’s not easy to forgive, but in hating I stoop and am only hurting myself. I fundamentally feel everyone deserves happiness and it is not my place to stand in their way. If they’ve done wrong it will come back to them without me. I will continue to like everyone.

“You are what you love, not what loves you. ”

Charlie Kaufman

Not being liked triggers other thoughts, it emanates feelings of not being understood. Surely if my peers who don’t like me knew what I’ve overcome, why I am the way I am, what is happening in my life, they’d have more empathy for annoying quirks. I haven’t even broken the cardinal rule. Hell, I wasn’t even supposed to make it this far. Making snap judgement about my character takes away how hard I worked to get where I am.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

I know I should just say fuck it. It’s impossible to please everyone. Sure I’m the only person I have to live with at the end of the day. It’s silly, immature, and pathetic that I want to be liked by everyone. I know I shouldn’t care. I know. Caring too much is just who I am, and as I said I don’t change who I am. But if my call home taught me anything, it’s that I can’t let what I don’t have take away from what I do; which had unknowingly happened. I’d become so concerned with pleasing the world that I wasn’t appreciating the love and understanding coming from numerous friends, family, and a great boyfriend. I wasn’t letting it be enough. I wasn’t letting my own love for myself and the good qualities I have be enough.

So, though I can’t change caring whether the world likes me, I can shift the focus to the positive people in my life. Let them serve as a blockade against my wishes that will only lead to disappointment. I can’t change that I care about everyone but I can change the depth of field in my life, the true friends in focus. Not letting negativity get to me.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Bernard M. Baruch

Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring

Nothing is perfect.

How many times have you heard this uttered throughout your life? A dozen? A thousand? A million? So, why do we so often try to idealize people, places, and things?

We let exes ruin tastes. We let negative events ruin wonderful places. We hold grudges against friends and family, ruining good memories. We let the bad trump the good, to define our world. If nothing is perfect, we are going to be really unhappy campers- letting imperfections ruin everything for us.

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

Salvador Dalí

The world isn’t absolute. How else would you be able to explain a murderer who happens to be a great father? Varying memories from a place like New Orleans, that thrives culturally yet has suffered extremely from the effects of a natural disaster? Good and bad are intertwined, sometimes deeply, in every sense triggering feature of the world. You can’t have one without the other. But would you want to?

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”

Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light

It’s hard to be thankful for pain, agony, or downers when experiencing them- but that doesn’t mean they’re not helpful. Would you not be desensitized to blessings if they were free flowing? Would you be as deeply appreciative of the ups without the downs? Would you have as much depth if you’d not known hardship? Still be empathetic? These questions may not be poignant enough to raise awareness on the worth of dark times, but hopefully they show the purpose of them.

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen

Nothing is perfect, and imperfections serve their purpose, so a great option is to embrace blemishes on the world around us, or at least not let them ruin something that previously provided joy. Life has enough misery on it’s own, more doesn’t need to be applied to aspects of life that have potential happiness.

Don’t let the bad define the good. Let the good shine, and take joy in anything you can, tainted or not. Mentally remind yourself that you deserve it. I still do.