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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. — Henry David Thoreau

As I packed up the last of my things for yet another move this year, I came across a small framed picture bearing the quote above. I remember the first time I read those words, and how I fell in love. “Yes.” I thought. “That is for me.” And so the little black frame has  traveled with me in every different direction I felt my dreams were taking me.  

Now as I gear up for the latest direction, I read the words again. It sounds so simple. And yet…persuing my dream has left me distracted, frustrated, homeless, lost, broke… just to name a few.  In ten hours I’m moving to the East Coast and I’m shaking in my $2 flip-flop sandals. I barely have a hundred dollars in my bank account and I’m about to drive 20 hours by myself to live in a place I’ve never been. Again. Go confidently?

As I read my question again, I realize the answer can only be yes. It has to be. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t follow a dream…and if you ever forget, just listen to the people around you. But truly believing in a dream means the rest doesn’t matter. Despite the missteps it takes to get there, no matter the falls or injuries, you just have to keep getting up and going confidently until you get there. You have one life; live it the way you have imagined.

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Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all. –G.C. Lichtenberg

Once you form an opinion, you show that you care. And caring means you have to feel it when things don’t go your way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my friends, “I wish I could just not care.”

But caring is also what makes us human. How dull would life be if we didn’t feel? Ironic that a main sign of depression is “loss of interest in normal daily activities,” or basically, not caring.

There goes our piece of mind.

Every beginning is a consequence – every beginning ends some thing. –Paul Valery

Most of the time, you’re so focused on new events that you don’t even notice what chapters in your life are ending. Inevitably it has to happen; that’s how we grow. But sometimes it’s hard to look back and realize the things we used to have and the things we had to give up. Did we fully appreciate the moments? And how sad that we rarely get a proper goodbye.

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” — Paulo Coelho

I give up.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that. Or how many times I’ve felt that. Or how many times I’ve heard that from other people. It’s like sometimes, everything is stopping us…no matter what, we can’t win. That must be a sign…right? It’s just not meant to be. So we let it go.

That’s when I think we syphon out our real dreams.  Because obstacles are just there to test how bad we really want something. And it stops the people who don’t care enough. So when we keep standing up, and keep fighting and finally get there, we can appreciate it that much more. So rather than get upset and angry at all of these barriers and problems… perhaps we can look at them as tests to see what we really want out of life. What are we willing to go that extra mile for?

A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. –Segal’s Law

My roommate always says how impressed and proud she is that I have a 4-year degree.  Now granted I’m happy about it and it wasn’t exactly easy, but I never really thought about doing anything else. It was always: First you graduate high school, then you go to college. For four years I took classes, got the necessary credits and followed the path to graduation.

The truth is, I think it’s after graduation that the hard part begins. Once the paved path to graduation is over, the world opens up. You no longer have a single, simple goal of finishing your degree. You’re just… done. So what do you do with your life? You make a lot of decisions, go down a lot of different paths and are never quite sure what the outcomes of the other decisions might have been. Sometimes, you’re never quite sure what time it is.

Sometimes it's nice to stare into a reflection and get lost in that world...

Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him? –Calvin and Hobbes

Growing up, I looked forward to a lot of exciting things. Christmas meant Santa Clause and presents, Easter meant the Easter bunny and an egg hunt. Even losing a tooth was exciting, as I’d look foward to a visit from the tooth fairy.

Eventually, my big sister was kind enough to inform me that these were all creations of my parents. A whole new reality set in and I looked at things a little differently.

Every day we go through life assuming, accepting and believing things based on experiences and what we’re told. I guess we have to in order to live. But it’s obvious that reality is different for everyone, and can be altered at any time. I wonder how the world felt when they learned it wasn’t flat? How else will we alter our realities?

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. –Author Unknown

I use to have a room in the basement of a split-level house. Sometimes at night, I’d get settled on the couch upstairs watching a movie. By the time it was over, I was quite content to stay put. Of course, I always woke up in the morning curled in an awkward position with an uncomfortably stiff neck. Sure…it was good idea at the time.

Clearly this was a small and insignificant “parking place” in life, but only the beginning of many more to come. It can be so hard to get up and move on when you find yourself comfortable. Maybe you had your eyes on another prize, but why can’t you stop when you feel content?

Because eventually the morning will come and you’ll have wished you made the effort. I think parking places can be fun…like a scenic drive, exploring the view. But only if you’re capable of pushing yourself through when it’s time to keep moving.

I was an angel for Halloween (Shocking, I know).

Learn to… be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. –Henri Frederic Amiel

“Awwwe! You’re a good girl.” It’s what I eventually hear from people sooner or later, the first time I meet them. I’m not sure what gives off the impression, but I’ve never really considered myself a “good girl.” Sometimes, the tag can get a little irritating. I hate labels.

So I decided I didn’t want to be “the good girl” anymore. I wanted to be like all my friends and be included in all the shit they get into. I wanted to be fun, too.

I guess for me, that ended up being 4 bottles of saki, too many tequila shots and a slightly faded memory. Sadly, not too badass.

Then, I woke up. And that next day, all of my friends seemed to need me. It felt so natural to help them. I was happy to be able to help, and happy to not be the one in trouble, and I realized that “the good girl” is just who I am.

Maybe I’ll never be included in the crazy shit and sometimes I will feel left out. But when it comes to what I am good at, I’ll be glad I stayed true to myself.

*Just for the record, there is more to these friendships than just doing crazy shit and needing help. lol =)

Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content. –Louis L’Amour (1908 – 1988)

I hate being upset. I hate when my friends are upset. Sometimes, I wish we could all just be happy all the time. But then, flashes of Pleasantville flicker through my mind and I’m brought back to reality.  

No doubt, it’s energizing when things are going well. However, it’s the bad times that truely helps us appreciate the good times so fully. And if life stayed chipper, there would be nothing motivating us to change, grow or move forward. 

This doesn’t mean we have to enjoy the hard times…but a little perspective and understanding can help us make the most of it.

“Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache: do be my enemy for friendship’s sake.” — William Blake

I’m not sure how many people can relate, but this quote means it can’t be too obscure. 

I don’t know how the chemistry of friendship works, or what causes us to care about certain people, but it seems like once we do we’re stuck. No matter what they do, we can’t break the emotional tie. After being dragged through emotional mud, I think: If only I could not care. How do I walk away?

But I usually get a glimpse of the friendship we used to have, and it keeps me holding on. It’s just enough to keep me pulling for that person to come back, even when the emotional costs seem to out-weigh the gains.

If you haven’t guessed yet, drugs have played some factor in this. We all have to live our own lives. It’s just sometimes hard to care about people when they go their own way.

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