Expectations In Life Quotes

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Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.
Narcotics Anonymous
Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect.
Margaret Mitchell
Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Help others without any reason and give without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything
Katharine Hepburn (Me: Stories of My Life)
When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym (On the Seventh Day, #3))
Don't let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It's your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others' prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.
Roy T. Bennett
Kindness is not a business. True kindness expects nothing in return and should never act with conditions.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (Twilight, #1))
How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.
Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn: Her Life In Own Words)
If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask... with nothing beneath it?
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations.
Bill Watterson
Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.
Wendy Wasserstein
Look. I have a strategy. Why expect anything? If you don’t expect anything, you don’t get disappointed.
Patricia McCormick (Cut)
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus." [The Science of Second-Guessing (New York Times Magazine Interview, December 12, 2004)]
Stephen Hawking
That's the thing about lessons, you always learn them when you don't expect them or want them.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.
Fulton J. Sheen (Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons from Cana and Calvary)
I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.
Audrey Hepburn
There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don't fit into their box are weird. But I'll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.
C. JoyBell C.
Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it's no worse than it is.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
If there is one recipe for unhappiness it is that: expectations.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
I am ready for whatever's coming. I expect nothing but to be let down or turned away. I am alone. Goddamn. The shit hurts sometimes, but I realize what I am, what I have become.
Henry Rollins
So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.
Chuck Palahniuk (Damned (Damned, #1))
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
Voltaire
Associate Yourself with People Who Think Positively: Associate yourself with people who think positively. You cannot surround yourself with negative people and expect positive outcomes.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Positive expectations are the mark of the superior personality.
Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed)
I don't want to do anything. I don't even want to start this day because then I'll just be expected to finish it.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment.
Douglas Adams (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2))
They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass)
One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.
K.L. Toth
If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life.
Bill Watterson (The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury)
When you're cold, don't expect sympathy from someone who's warm.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (One Day in Life of Ivan Denisovich (SparkNotes Literature Guide))
Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake.
Dean Koontz (Life Expectancy)
Life in a box is better than no life at all, I expect. You'd have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking: Well, at least I'm not dead.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
This was the last thing I expected. You destroy my life and then feed me some inspiratonal philosophy.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions.
George Carlin
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.
Zig Ziglar
This is the key to life: To expect everything to be given to you from above, yet to be genuinely surprised and forever grateful, when they are. Expecting all good things to be yours, while not knowing how to take anything for granted. If there may be a key in life, this is the key.
C. JoyBell C.
To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.
Flannery O'Connor
When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person's life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.
Joel Osteen
Stay low, stay quiet, keep it simple, don't expect too much, enjoy what you have.
Dean Koontz
Like all failed experiments, that one taught me something I didn’t expect: one key ingredient of so-called experience is the delusional faith that it is unique and special, that those included in it are privileged and those excluded from it are missing out.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
I'm the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded. This quality has made me a needy and theatrical friend, but has given me a spectacularly dramatic emotional life.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Steve Jobs
I never could bear the idea of anyone's expecting something from me. It always made me want to do just the opposite.
Jean-Paul Sartre (No Exit)
You have to learn to follow your heart. You can’t let other people pressure you into being something that you’re not. If you want God’s favor in your life, you must be the person He made you to be, not the person your boss wants you to be, not even the person your parents or your husband wants you to be. You can’t let outside expectations keep you from following your own heart.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, & respect when you don't even show that to yourself.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life, and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same. Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.
Nikki Giovanni
Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence -- a surprise.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Sometimes when you least expect it, the tables turn and that scary feeling that has taken hold of you for so long somehow turns into hope
David Archuleta (Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance)
I can't save you like that Ty. What you did to me wasn't this brilliant thing, like you think it was. You took me away from everything - my parents, my friends, my life. You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. And that's the hardest bit. Because I did, or at least, I loved something out there. But I hated you too. I can't forget that.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen: A Letter to My Captor)
No one's life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are.
Dean Koontz (Life Expectancy)
It’s okay how some stories leave off without an ending. Life doesn’t always deliver the one you would expect.
Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not)
Do not yearn to be popular; be exquisite. Do not desire to be famous; be loved. Do not take pride in being expected; be palpable, unmistakable.
C. JoyBell C.
I promise you that this isn't going to be our future, Kitten. I will give that to you—a normal life." Her eyes glistened. "I don’t expect a normal life. I just expect a life with you
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.
Anthony Hopkins
Life is made of so many partings welded together
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
In breaking away from the familiar and the expected, you'll be forced and privileged to face greater challenges, learn harder lessons, and really get to know yourself.
Kelly Cutrone (If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)
When life doesn't meet your expectations, it was important to take it with grace.
Patricia Briggs (When Demons Walk (Sianim, #3))
Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to displace with your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.
Andrew Murray
... I discovered life sometimes has a way of giving you what you need, but not in the form you expect.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Every problem has a solution, although it may not be the outcome that was originally hoped for or expected.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
I'm thinking that it might actually be possible for things to work out sometimes. Definitely not everything and maybe not the way you imagined. But sometimes, when you least expected it, life surprises you.
Susane Colasanti (When It Happens)
Life makes fools of all of us sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, its our own expectations that crush us.
Paul Murray (Skippy Dies)
I don't expect life to make sense," he said after a few moments, "but it could certainly be pleasant if it would stop kicking us in the balls.
Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3))
It's funny because when you're a child, you believe you can be anything you want to be, go wherever you want to go. There's no limit to what you can dream. You expect the unexpected, you believe in magic, in fairy tales, and in possibilities. Then you grow older and that innocence is shattered and somewhere along the way the reality of life gets in the way and you're hit by the realization that you can't be all you wanted to be, you just might have to settle for a little bit less. Or perhaps a variation of what you once wanted. Why do we stop believing in ourselves? Why do we let facts and figures and anything but dreams rule our lives?
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
It isn't good to hold on too hard to the past. You can't spend your whole life looking back. Not even when you can't see what lies ahead. All you can do is keep on keeping on, and try to believe that tomorrow will be what it should be—even if it isn't what you expected.
Jim Butcher (Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5))
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, [...]
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
i do not expect my child’s respect. just because i have given birth to their life. does not mean they owe me. anything. what i want most is to look into my child’s eyes and see that i have given birth to a heart. have honored. held and feed. someones heart. from the moment we first met. and they love me for it.
Nayyirah Waheed
That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don't expect to get anything back, don't expect recognition for your efforts, don't expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they're your parents. Because, if you're the kind of person who senses there's something out there for you beyond whatever it is you're expected to do - if you want to be EXTRA-ordinary- you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you're not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be.
Kelly Cutrone (If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)
If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego. You were designed to worship God and if you fail to worship Him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose, what you surrender to but you are not free from the consequence of that choice.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
For my entire life I longed for love. I knew it was not right for me — as a girl and later as a woman — to want or expect it, but I did, and this unjustified desire has been at the root of every problem I have experienced in my life.
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
It is your responsibility to find fault with me, it is mine to hear you out. But don't expect me to change.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
Life is long. Just because you don't get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn't mean it won't come. Fate doesn't punch a time clock or consult a schedule.
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it'll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
No one can grant you happiness. Happiness is a choice we all have the power to make.
Dean Koontz (Life Expectancy)
I’ve met a man and fallen in love with him. I allowed myself to fall in love for one simple reason: I’m not expecting anything to come of it. I know that, in three months’ time, I’ll be far away and he’ll be just a memory, but I couldn’t stand living without love any longer; I had reached my limit… Generally speaking, these meetings occur when we reach a limit, when we need to die and be reborn emotionally. These meeting are waiting for us, but more often than not, we avoid them happening. If we are desperate, though, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes directions.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
We all give up great expectations along the way.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Mara, that's the life I want to give you. That's what I'm offering you. I want to fill you life with color and warmth. I want to fill it with light. Give me a chance
Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love)
There's no limit to what you can dream. You expect the unexpected, you believe in magic, in fairy tales, and in possibilities. Then you grow older and that innocence is shattered and somewhere along the way the reality of life gets in the way and you're hit by the realization that you can't be all you wanted to be, you just might have to settle for a little bit less.
Cecelia Ahern
Chasing a man is not winning. The only thing you win is the loss of your dignity. Confidence is knowing your value, instead of expecting a man’s love to provide you with value.
Shannon L. Alder
One of the most important of life´s lessons is to learn independance, to understand freedom. This means independence from attachments, from results, from opinions, and from expectations. Breaking attachments leads to freedom, but breaking attachments does not mean abandoning a loving and meaningful relationship, a relationship that nourrishes your soul. It means ending dependency on any person or thing. Love is never a dependency.
Brian L. Weiss (Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love)
I found it ironic that I should be blessed with wings and yet feel so constrained, so trapped. It was because of my condition, I believe, that I noticed life's ironies a bit more often than the average person. I collected them: how love arrived when you least expected it, how someone who said he didn't want to hurt you eventually would.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
Life is an experiment in which you may fail or succeed. Explore more, expect least.
Santosh Kalwar
Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed.
Mel Brooks
Love isn’t easy. Especially the really good kind. It’s difficult, and you’ll want to rip your hair out just as many days as you’ll feel the wind at your back. But it’s worth it. It’s worth fighting for. Don’t let what isn’t real blind you from what is. Life isn’t perfect, we sure as shit aren’t perfect, so why should we expect love to be?
Nicole Williams (Clash (Crash, #2))
I admire those who do good and expect nothing in return.
Roy T. Bennett
I hope you do not let anyone else's expectations direct the course of your life.
Julianne Donaldson (Edenbrooke (Edenbrooke, #1))
It was ironic, really - you want to die because you can't be bothered to go on living - but then you're expected to get all energetic and move furniture and stand on chairs and hoist ropes and do complicated knots and attach things to other things and kick stools from under you and mess around with hot baths and razor blades and extension cords and electrical appliances and weedkiller. Suicide was a complicated, demanding business, often involving visits to hardware shops. And if you've managed to drag yourself from the bed and go down the road to the garden center or the drug store, by then the worst is over. At that point you might as well just go to work.
Marian Keyes (Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married)
If you're serious about sanctification, you can expect to experience heart-wrenching moments that try your faith, your endurance, and your patience.
Sheri Dew (If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths)
We are changed souls; we don't look at things the same way anymore. For there was a time when we expected the worst. But then the worst happened, did it not? And so we will never be surprised again.
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
When you expect nothing from the world - not the light of the sun, the wet of water, nor the air to breathe - everything is a wonder and every moment a gift.
Michael J. Sullivan (Percepliquis (The Riyria Revelations, #6))
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow, and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune's control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Seneca
Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
She had just realized there were two things that prevent us from achieving our dreams: believing them to be impossible or seeing those dreams made possible by some sudden turn of the wheel of fortune, when you least expected it. For at that moment, all our fears suddenly surface: the fear of setting off along a road heading who knows where, the fear of a life full of new challenges, the fear of losing forever everything that is familiar.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym (On the Seventh Day, #3))
Anaïs, I don't know how to tell you what I feel. I live in perpetual expectancy. You come and the time slips away in a dream. It is only when you go that I realize completely your presence. And then it is too late. You numb me. [...] This is a little drunken, Anaïs. I am saying to myself "here is the first woman with whom I can be absolutely sincere." I remember your saying - "you could fool me, I wouldn't know it." When I walk along the boulevards and think of that. I can't fool you - and yet I would like to. I mean that I can never be absolutely loyal - it's not in me. I love women, or life, too much - which it is, I don't know. But laugh, Anaïs, I love to hear you laugh. You are the only woman who has a sense of gaiety, a wise tolerance - no more, you seem to urge me to betray you. I love you for that. [...] I don't know what to expect of you, but it is something in the way of a miracle. I am going to demand everything of you - even the impossible, because you encourage it. You are really strong. I even like your deceit, your treachery. It seems aristocratic to me.
Henry Miller (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
After all, what was adult life but one moment of weakness piled on top of another? Most people just fell in line like obedient little children, doing exactly what society expected of them at any given moment, all the while pretending that they’d actually made some sort of choice.
Tom Perrotta (Little Children)
Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date. ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri: ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia." "Actually," said Dimitri, "I'm pretty sure Abe would notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
We cannot love a person with an all accepting, transcending and encompassing love without being hurt somewhat, without being disappointed, without being failed of our expectations. We cannot love without being broken, yet we cannot continue in love without being stronger than our brokenness.
Jocelyn Soriano (Mend My Broken Heart)
Each of us may think we know exactly what we need to make us happy, what will be good for us, what will ensure we have our happy ending, but life rarely works out in the way we expect, and our happy ending may have all sorts of unexpected twists and turns, be shaped in all sorts of unexpected ways
Jane Green
Adrian laughed just then, a weird kind of laugh that made my skin crawl. "Young girls? Young girls? Sure. Young and old at the same time. They've barely seen anything in life, yet they've already seen too much. One's marked with life, and one's marked with death…but they're the ones you're worried about? Worry about yourself, dhampir. Worry about you, and worry about me. We're the ones who are young." The rest of us just sort of stared. I don't think anyone had expected Adrian to suddenly take an abrupt trip to Crazyville.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
I have found it very important in my own life to try to let go of my wishes and instead to live in hope. I am finding that when I choose to let go of my sometimes petty and superficial wishes and trust that my life is precious and meaningful in the eyes of God something really new, something beyond my own expectations begins to happen for me. (Finding My Way Home)
Henri J.M. Nouwen
When you want to attract something into your life, make sure your actions don’t contradict your desires.. Think about what you have asked for, and make sure that your actions are mirroring what you expect to receive, and that they’re not contradicting what you‘ve asked for. Act as if you are receiving it. Do exactly what you would do if you were receiving it today, and take actions in your life to reflect that powerful expectation. Make room to receive your desires, and as you do, you are sending out that powerful signal of expectation.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret (The Secret, #1))
In life man commits himself and draws his own portrait, outside of which there is nothing. No doubt this thought may seem harsh to someone who has not made a success of his life. But on the other hand, it helps people to understand that reality alone counts, and that dreams, expectations and hopes only serve to define a man as a broken dream, aborted hopes, and futile expectations.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Existentialism is a Humanism)
When we set out on the path, we always have a fairly clear idea of what we hope to find. Women are generally seeking their Soul Mate, and men looking for Power. Neither party is really interested in learning. They simply want to reach the thing they have set as their goal.
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
Because I wanted you." He turned from the window to face me. "More than I ever wanted anything in my life," he added softly. I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn't this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. "When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman'" I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. "I said to myself, 'She's mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.' And I said to myself, 'Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down...'" He dodged around a chair. "Of course, I thought it might ha' just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together"--he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve--"with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs"--he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us--"and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest"--a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor--"I said to myself..." He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. "Jamie...I said...for all she's a Sassenach bitch...with a tongue like an adder's ...with a bum like that...what does it matter if she's a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?" I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house. "You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?" I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath. "Have I not...just been...saying so?
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can't keep, all passion is really a setup, and we're doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree, and would further add: Who cares? Every spring I go out there anyway, around the bend, unconditionally. ... Come the end of the dark days, I am more than joyful. I'm nuts.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
Richard Dawkins (River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life)
Miss Tarabotti was not one of life's milk-water misses--in fact, quite the opposite. Many a gentleman had likened his first meeting with her to downing a very strong cognac when one was expecting to imbibe fruit juice--that is to say, startling and apt to leave one with a distinct burning sensation.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
Many of us are slaves to our minds. Our own mind is our worst enemy. We try to focus, and our mind wanders off. We try to keep stress at bay, but anxiety keeps us awake at night. We try to be good to the people we love, but then we forget them and put ourselves first. And when we want to change our life, we dive into spiritual practice and expect quick results, only to lose focus after the honeymoon has worn off. We return to our state of bewilderment. We're left feeling helpless and discouraged. It seems we all agree that training the body through exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but why don't we think about training our minds?
Sakyong Mipham
Do you know what I would answer to someone who asked me for a description of myself, in a hurry? This: ?? !! For indeed my life is a perpetual question mark--my thirst for books, my observations of people, all tend to satisfy a great, overwhelming desire to know, to understand, to find an answer to a million questions. And gradually the answers are revealed, many things are explained, and above all, many things are given names and described, and my restlessness is subdued. Then I become an exclamatory person, clapping my hands to the immense surprises the world holds for me, and falling from one ecstasy into another. I have the habit of peeping and prying and listening and seeking--passionate curiosity and expectation. But I have also the habit of being surprised, the habit of being filled with wonder and satisfaction each time I stumble on some wondrous thing. The first habit could make me a philosopher or a cynic or perhaps a humorist. But the other habit destroys all the delicate foundations, and I find each day that I am still...only a Woman!
Anaïs Nin (The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1920-1923)
Rules for Living by Olivia Joules 1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think. 2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you. 3. Never change haircut or color before an important event. 4. Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems. 5. Do as you would be done by, e.g. thou shalt not kill. 6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like. 7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?" 8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure. 9. Be honest and kind. 10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance. 11. Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination. 12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side, and if that doesn't work, look on the funny side. If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4. 13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
Helen Fielding (Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination)
We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?' You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Once you’ve lived a little you will find that whatever you send out into the world comes back to you in one way or another. It may be today, tomorrow, or years from now, but it happens; usually when you least expect it, usually in a form that’s pretty different from the original. Those coincidental moments that change your life seem random at the time but I don’t think they are. At least that’s how it’s worked out in my life. And I know I’m not the only one.
Slash (Slash)
Guilt reminds me of a stray cat. You chase it away and yet, it comes back when you least expect it. If you let yourself feel pity for it and feed the thing, it parks its ugly, puny, lonely-for-attention butt on your doormat and won't go away. Scat kitty cat, scat. I don't need you sitting around here like that.
Lisa Schroeder (I Heart You, You Haunt Me)
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
Ann Druyan
O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer." "The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?" "Life!" urged Fook. "The Universe!" said Lunkwill. "Everything!" they said in chorus. Deep Thought paused for a moment's reflection. "Tricky," he said finally. "But can you do it?" Again, a significant pause. "Yes," said Deep Thought, "I can do it." "There is an answer?" said Fook with breathless excitement. "Yes," said Deep Thought. "Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it." ... Fook glanced impatiently at his watch. “How long?” he said. “Seven and a half million years,” said Deep Thought. Lunkwill and Fook blinked at each other. “Seven and a half million years...!” they cried in chorus. “Yes,” declaimed Deep Thought, “I said I’d have to think about it, didn’t I?" [Seven and a half million years later.... Fook and Lunkwill are long gone, but their descendents continue what they started] "We are the ones who will hear," said Phouchg, "the answer to the great question of Life....!" "The Universe...!" said Loonquawl. "And Everything...!" "Shhh," said Loonquawl with a slight gesture. "I think Deep Thought is preparing to speak!" There was a moment's expectant pause while panels slowly came to life on the front of the console. Lights flashed on and off experimentally and settled down into a businesslike pattern. A soft low hum came from the communication channel. "Good Morning," said Deep Thought at last. "Er..good morning, O Deep Thought" said Loonquawl nervously, "do you have...er, that is..." "An Answer for you?" interrupted Deep Thought majestically. "Yes, I have." The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain. "There really is one?" breathed Phouchg. "There really is one," confirmed Deep Thought. "To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?" "Yes." Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children. "And you're ready to give it to us?" urged Loonsuawl. "I am." "Now?" "Now," said Deep Thought. They both licked their dry lips. "Though I don't think," added Deep Thought. "that you're going to like it." "Doesn't matter!" said Phouchg. "We must know it! Now!" "Now?" inquired Deep Thought. "Yes! Now..." "All right," said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable. "You're really not going to like it," observed Deep Thought. "Tell us!" "All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..." "Yes..!" "Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought. "Yes...!" "Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused. "Yes...!" "Is..." "Yes...!!!...?" "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Expect nothing. Live frugally On surprise. become a stranger To need of pity Or, if compassion be freely Given out Take only enough Stop short of urge to plead Then purge away the need. Wish for nothing larger Than your own small heart Or greater than a star; Tame wild disappointment With caress unmoved and cold Make of it a parka For your soul. Discover the reason why So tiny human midget Exists at all So scared unwise But expect nothing. Live frugally On surprise.
Alice Walker
The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
You don't have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don't have to explain what your plan to do with your life. You don't have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don't have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history of economics or science or the arts.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Unless you have great parents or some inspirational teacher from a movie that pushes you to follow your dreams, you can't expect a kid to be smart enough to realize they can do what they want with their life before they've been pushed through the school system into having an average life.
Daniel Howell
But love wasn't about sacrifice, and it wasn't about falling short of someone's expectations. By definition, love made you better than good enough; it redefined perfection to include your traits, instead of excluding them. All any of us wanted, really, was to know that we counted. That someone else's life would not have been as rich without us here.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
She wasn't the only one to be physically morphed by reader expectation. Miss Havisham was now elderly whether she liked it or not, and Sherlock Holmes wore a deerstalker and smoked a ridiculously large pipe. The problem wasn't just confined to the classics. Harry Potter was seriously pissed off that he'd have to spend the rest of life looking like Daniel Radcliffe.
Jasper Fforde (One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6))
Richard wrote a diary entry in his head. Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
We shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more about it before we started. But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on — and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same — like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren't always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we've fallen into?
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please—this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more! So learn to say No—and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
It would be inappropiate, undignified, at 38, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour or intensity of a 22 year old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry? Crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photobooths? Taking a whole day to make a compilation tape? Asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or TS Eliot or, god forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at 38, to expect a song or book or film to change your life.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Waking up begins with saying am and now. That which has awoken then lies for a while staring up at the ceiling and down into itself until it has recognized I, and therefrom deduced I am, I am now. Here comes next, and is at least negatively reassuring; because here, this morning, is where it has expected to find itself: what’s called at home.
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
Life was not easy, nor was it happy, but she did not expect life to be easy, and, if it was not happy, that was woman's lot. It was a man's world, and she accepted it as such. The man owned the property, and the woman managed it. The man took credit for the management, and the woman praised his cleverness. The man roared like a bull when a splinter was in his finger, and the woman muffled the moans of childbirth, lest she disturb him. Men were rough of speech and often drunk. Women ignored the lapses of speech and put the drunkards to bed without bitter words. Men were rude and outspoken, women were always kind, gracious and forgiving.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life's bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it's been sung? The dance when it's been danced? It's only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature's highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we're expected! But there is no such place, that's why it's called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can't arrange our own happiness, it's a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.
Tom Stoppard (The Coast of Utopia (Box Set))
I didn't particularly want to live much longer than that. Life seemed rather daunting. It seems so to me even now. Life seemed too long a time to have to stick around, a huge span of years through which one would be require to tap-dance and smile and be Great! and be Happy! and be Amazing! and be Precious! I was tired of my life by the time I was sixteen. I was tired of being too much, too intense, too manic. I was tired of people, and I was incredibly tired of myself. I wanted to do whatever Amazing Thing I was expected to do— it might be pointed out that these were my expectations, mine alone— and be done with it. Go to sleep.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Did you ever, when you were little, endure your parents’ warnings, then wait for them to leave the room, pry loose protective covers and consider inserting some metal object into an electrical outlet? Did you wonder if for once you might light up the room? When you were big enough to cross the street on your own, did you ever wait for a signal, hear the frenzied approach of a fire truck and feel like stepping out in front of it? Did you wonder just how far that rocket ride might take you? When you were almost grown, did you ever sit in a bubble bath, perspiration pooling, notice a blow dryer plugged in within easy reach, and think about dropping it into the water? Did you wonder if the expected rush might somehow fail you? And now, do you ever dangle your toes over the precipice, dare the cliff to crumble, defy the frozen deity to suffer the sun, thaw feather and bone, take wing to fly you home?
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
Happy is one of the many things I'm likely to be over the course of a day and certainly over the course of a lifetime. But I think if you have the expectation that you're going to be happy throughout your life--more to the point, if you have a need to be comfortable all the time--well, among other things, you have the makings of a classic drug addict or alcoholic.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about? Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
If there is one thing I can pass on from my humbling experiences in life, thus far, I will tell you this, the next time someone tells you "the absence of expectations is the absence of disappointment, do not listen. Have expectations. Keep them great. It'll be a very bumpy ride. You'll even get bruised, sometimes very badly. Sometimes, you'll come to an abrupt halt or even fall off your ride. But you'll grow. And if you do not grow, you do not live.
Pandora Poikilos
A guy out there was meant to be the love of your life, your best friend, your soul mate, the one you can tell your dreams to. He'll brush the hair out of your eyes. Send you flowers when you least expect it. He'll stare at you during the movies, even though he paid $8 to see it. He'll call to say goodnight or just cause he's missing you. He'll look in your eyes and tell you, you're the most beautiful girl in the world, and for the first times in your life, you'll believe it.
Nicholas Sparks
I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t expect a first kiss to be so…life altering. In a few brief moments, the rule book of my universe had been rewritten. Suddenly I was a brand new person. I was as fragile as a newborn, but instead of the doctor placing me in my mother’s arms, he’d put me in Ren’s. What would Ren do with me? Would he draw me near, soothe me, and teach me about this new world or would he reject me and tell the doctor there must be some mistake. There was no way to know. What a breakable and delicate thing a heart was, no wonder I’d kept mine locked away.
Colleen Houck
Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taugh to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others' versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if... If we had known who we really were.
Julia Cameron
16 Things Romance Readers Are Tired Of Hearin 1. All Romance books are exactly the same. 2. The endings are so predictable. 3. You know romance doesn't happen like that in real life. 4. You're setting unrealistic expectations for yourself about love. 5. Real men don't have abs like that. 6.So you think you're going to go on a lot of dates? 7. So you think you're going to fall in love with an ex-boyfriend? 8. ...or a billionaire? 9. ...or a duke? 10. So you'll stop reading romances when you have a boyfriend, right? 11. It's basically mommy porn, right? 12. I could write a romance book. 13. Do you only read female authors? 14. I saw the Notebook once. 15. Is Danielle Steel your favorite author? 16. Do you read REAL books?
Bookbub Bulletin
...I've made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I've seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who's not very cute - her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn't grow right, and she's got on thick glasses - but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she's a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women - to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake - allof those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us...
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
...when your child dies, you feel everything you'd expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won't even bother to list them here, except to say that everything that's written about mourning is all the same, and it's all the same for a reason - because there is no read deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same. But here's what no one says - when it's your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come. Ah, you tell yourself, it's arrived. Here it is. And after that, you have nothing to fear again.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
It goes a long way back, some twenty years. All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!
Ralph Ellison
There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more suprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing... They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.
Gail Godwin (The Finishing School)
I realized right then and there, in that hallway, that I wanted no other... I became the man she needed me to be because she had sense enough to have requirements-standards that she needed in her relationship in order to make the relationship work for her. She knew she wanted a monogamous relationship-a partnership with a man who wanted to be a dedicated husband and father. She also knew this man had to be faithful, love God, and be willing to do what it took to keep this family together. On a smaller scale she also made it clear that she expected to be treated like a lady at every turn-I'm talking opening car doors for her, pulling out her seat when she's ready to sit at the table, coming correct on anniversary, Mother's Day, and birthday gifts, keeping the foul talk to a minimum. These requirements are important to her because they lay out a virtual map of what I need to do to make sure she gets what she needs and wants. After all, it's universal knowledge that when mama is happy, everybody is happy. And it is my sole mission in life to make sure Marjorie is happy.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
Laia and Helene: They’re so different. I like that Laia says things I don’t expect, that she speaks almost formally, as if she’s telling a story. I like that she defied my mother to go to the Moon Festival, whereas Helene always obeys the Commandant. Laia is the wild dance of a Tribal campfire, while Helene is the cold blue of an alchemist’s flame. But why am I even comparing them? I’ve know Laia a few days and Helene all my life. Helene’s no passing attraction. She’s family. More than that. She’s part of me.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
I learned a long time ago that life introduces young people to situations they are in no way prepared for, even good girls, lucky girls who want for nothing. Sometimes, when you least expect it, you become the girl in the woods. You lose your name because another one is forced on you. You think you are alone until you find books about girls like you. Salvation is certainly among the reasons I read. Reading and writing have always pulled me out of the darkest experiences in my life. Stories have given me a place in which to lose myself. They have allowed me to remember. They have allowed me to forget. They have allowed me to imagine different endings and better possible worlds.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
I have never been one of those people—I know you aren’t, either—who feels that the love one has for a child is somehow a superior love, one more meaningful, more significant, and grander than any other. I didn’t feel that before Jacob, and I didn’t feel that after. But it is a singular love, because it is a love whose foundation is not physical attraction, or pleasure, or intellect, but fear. You have never known fear until you have a child, and maybe that is what tricks us into thinking that it is more magnificent, because the fear itself is more magnificent. Every day, your first thought is not “I love him” but “How is he?” The world, overnight, rearranges itself into an obstacle course of terrors. I would hold him in my arms and wait to cross the street and would think how absurd it was that my child, that any child, could expect to survive this life. It seemed as improbable as the survival of one of those late-spring butterflies—you know, those little white ones—I sometimes saw wobbling through the air, always just millimeters away from smacking itself against a windshield.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Jane: Mr. Rochester, if ever I did a good deed in my life-if ever I thought a good thought-if ever I prayed a sincere and blameless prayer-if ever I wished a righteous wish-I am rewarded now. To be your wife is, for me, to be as happy as I can be on earth. Mr. Rochester: Because you delight in sacrifice. Jane: Sacrifice! What do I sacrifice? Famine for food, expectation for content. To be privileged to put my arms round what I value-to press my lips to what I love-to repose on what I trust: is that to make a sacrifice? If so, then certainly I delight in sacrifice.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
To attain something desired is to discover how vain it is; and…though we live all our lives in expectation of better things, we often at the same time long regretfully for what is past. The present, on the other hand, is regarded as something quite temporary and serving only as the road to our goal. That is why most men discover when they look back on their life that they have the whole time been living ad interim, and are surprised to see that which they let go by so unregarded and unenjoyed was precisely their life, was precisely in expectation of which they lived.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Why Dream? Life is a difficult assignment. We are fragile creatures, expected to function at high rates of speed, and asked to accomplish great and small things each day. These daily activities take enormous amounts of energy. Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief, and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human is an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees. The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.
S.A.R.K. (Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day)
And when, after fifteen years of bingeing, barfing, starving, needles and tubes and terror and rage, and medical crises and personal failure and loss after loss - when, after all this, you are in your early twenties and staring down a vastly abbreviated life expectancy, and the eating disorder still takes up half your body, half your brain, with its invisible eroding force, when you have spent the majority of your life sick, when you do not yet know what it means to be 'well,' or 'normal,' when you doubt that those words even have meaning anymore, there are still no answers. You will die young, and you have no way to make sense of that fact. You have this: You are thin.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Simon whispered to me, “But is everything okay?” “No,” Tori said. “I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I’ve been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.” “Undying gratitude?” Simon looked at me. “Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.” I smiled. “I’ll remember that.” *** “Oh, right. You must be starving.” Simon reached into his pockets. “I can offer one bruised apple and one brown banana. Convenience stores aren’t the place to buy fruit, as I keep telling someone.” “Better than these. For you, anyway, Simon.” Derek passed a bar to Tori. “Because you aren’t supposed to have those, are you?” I said. “Which reminds me…” I took out the insulin. “Derek said it’s your backup.” “So my dark secret is out.” “I didn’t know it was a secret.” “Not really. Just not something I advertise.” ... “Backup?” Tori said. “You mean he didn’t need that?” “Apparently not,” I murmured. Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. “You guys thought…” “That if you didn’t get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you’d be dead?” I said. “Not exactly, but close. You know, the old ‘upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication’ twist. Apparently, it still works.” “Kind of a letdown, then, huh?” “No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.” “All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two.” He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. “Chloe? Is that you?” He coughed. “Do you have my insulin?” I placed it in his outstretched hand. “You saved my life,” he said. “How can I ever repay you?” “Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled.” He held up a piece of fruit. “Would you settle for a bruised apple?” I laughed.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
New mothers enter the world of parenting feeling much like Alice in Wonderland. - Being a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs on earth and also one of the most challenging. - Motherhood is a process. Learn to love the process. - There is a tremendous amount of learning that takes place in the first year of your baby’s life; the baby learns a lot, too. - It is sometimes difficult to reconcile the fantasy of what you thuoght motherhood would be like, and what you thought you would be like as a mother, with reality. - Take care of yourself. If Mommy isn’t happy, no one else in the family is happy either. - New mother generally need to lower their expectations. - A good mother learns to love her child as he is and adjusts her mothering to suit her child.
Debra Gilbert Rosenberg
Sometimes she would cry. I was so lonely, she'd say. You have no idea how lonely I was. And I had friends, I was a lucky one, but I was lonely anyway. I admired my mother in some ways, although things between us were never easy. She expected too much from me, I felt. She expected me to vindicate her life for her, and the choices she'd made. I didn't want to live my life on her terms. I didn't want to be the model offspring, the incarnation of her ideas. We used to fight about that. I am not your justification for existence, I said her to once. I want her back. I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
But anyway, I look around sometimes and I think - this will maybe sound weird - it's like the corporate world's full of ghosts. And actually, let me revise that, my parents are in academia so I've had front row seats for that horror show, I know academia's no different, so maybe a fairer way of putting this would be to say that adulthood's full of ghosts." "I'm sorry, I'm not sure I quite --" "I'm talking about these people who've ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They've done what's expected of them. They want to do something different but it's impossible now, there's a mortgage, kids, whatever, they're trapped. Dan's like that." "You don't think he likes his job, then." "Correct," she said, "but I don't think he even realises it. You probably encounter people like him all the time. High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
As the hours, the days, the weeks, the seasons slip by, you detach yourself from everything. You discover, with something that sometimes almost resembles exhilaration, that you are free. That nothing is weighing you down, nothing pleases or displeases you. You find, in this life exempt from wear and tear and with no thrill in it other than these suspended moments, in almost perfect happiness, fascinating, occasionally swollen by new emotions. You are living in a blessed parenthesis, in a vacuum full of promise, and from which you expect nothing. You are invisible, limpid, transparent. You no longer exist. Across the passing hours, the succession of days, the procession of the seasons, the flow of time, you survive without joy and without sadness. Without a future and without a past. Just like that: simply, self evidently, like a drop of water forming on a drinking tap on a landing.
Georges Perec (Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep)
I don’t like anything here at all.” said Frodo, “step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.” “Yes, that’s so,” said Sam, “And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same; like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?” “I wonder,” said Frodo, “But I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid.” “I don’t —” “I cared about you too much,” said Dumbledore simply. “I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act. “Is there a defense? I defy anyone who has watched you as I have — and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined — not to want to save you more pain than you had already suffered. What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
There are times when a feeling of expectancy comes to me, as if something is there, beneath the surface of my understanding, waiting for me to grasp it. It is the same tantalizing sensation when you almost remember a name, but don't quite reach it. I can feel it when I think of human beings, of the hints of evolution suggested by the removal of wisdom teeth, the narrowing of the jaw no longer needed to chew such roughage as it was accustomed to; the gradual disappearance of hair from the human body; the adjustment of the human eye to the fine print, the swift, colored motion of the twentieth century. The feeling comes, vague and nebulous, when I consider the prolonged adolesence of our species; the rites of birth, marriage and death; all the primitive, barbaric ceremonies streamlined to modern times. Almost, I think, the unreasoning, bestial purity was best. Oh, something is there, waiting for me. Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I'll laugh. And then I'll know what life is.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Top 10 Deathbed Regrets: 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other people expected of me. 2. I wish I took time to be with my children more when they were growing up. 3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings, without the fear of being rejected or unpopular. 4. I wish I would have stayed in touch with friends and family. 5. I wish I would have forgiven someone when I had the chance. 6. I wish I would have told the people I loved the most how important they are to me. 7. I wish I would have had more confidence and tried more things, instead of being afraid of looking like a fool. 8. I wish I would have done more to make an impact in this world. 9. I wish I would have experienced more, instead of settling for a boring life filled with routine, mediocrity and apathy. 10. I wish I would have pursued my talents and gifts. (contributed by Shannon L. Alder, author and therapist that has 17 years of experience working with hospice patients)
Shannon L. Alder
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
If only you would realize some day, how much have you hurt me, If only your heart ever, craves for me or my presence… If only you feel that love again someday for me, If only you are affected someday by my absence… Only you can end all my suffering and this unbearable pain, If only you would know what you could never procure… If only you go through the memories of past once again, Since the day you left my heart has bled, no one has its cure… If only you would bring that love, those showers and that rain… If only you would come back and see what damage you create, I’ve been waiting for your return since forever more… If only you would see the woman that you have made, You said we cannot sail through, how were you so sure? If only you can feel the old things that can never fade, You may have moved on, but a piece of my heart is still with you… I know how I’ve come so far alone; I know how I’m able to wade, People say that I’m insane and you won’t ever come back again… Maybe you would have never made your separate way, Maybe you would have stayed with me and proved everyone wrong… If only you would know the pain of dying every day, If only you would feel the burden of smiling and being strong…
Mehek Bassi (Chained: Can you escape fate?)
Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our lives. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness . . . But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
He was the kind of young man whose handsome face has brought him plenty of success in the past and is now ever-ready for a new encounter, a fresh-experience, always eager to set off into the unknown territory of a little adventure, never taken by surprise because he has worked out everything in advance and is waiting to see what happens, a man who will never overlook any erotic opportunity, whose first glance probes every woman's sensuality, and explores it, without discriminating between his friend's wife and the parlour-maid who opens the door to him. Such men are described with a certain facile contempt as lady-killers, but the term has a nugget of truthful observation in it, for in fact all the passionate instincts of the chase are present in their ceaseless vigilance: the stalking of the prey, the excitement and mental cruelty of the kill. They are constantly on the alert, always ready and willing to follow the trail of an adventure to the very edge of the abyss. They are full of passion all the time, but it is the passion of a gambler rather than a lover, cold, calculating and dangerous. Some are so persistent that their whole lives, long after their youth is spent, are made an eternal adventure by this expectation. Each of their days is resolved into hundreds of small sensual experiences - a look exchanged in passing, a fleeting smile, knees brushing together as a couple sit opposite each other - and the year, in its own turn, dissolves into hundreds of such days in which sensuous experience is the constantly flowing, nourishing, inspiring source of life.
Stefan Zweig (The Burning Secret and other stories)
Ithaka As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you. Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems)
Learning After some time, you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and imprisoning a soul; You learn that love does not equal sex, and that company does not equal security, and you start to learn…. That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises, and you start to accept defeat with the head up high and open eyes, and you learn to build all roads on today, because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans… and the future has its own way of falling apart in half. And you learn that if it’s too much even the warmth of the sun can burn. So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you. And you learn that you can actually bear hardship, that you are actually strong, and you are actually worthy, and you learn and learn…and so every day. Over time you learn that being with someone because they offer you a good future, means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past. Over time you comprehend that only who is capable of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you can bring you all happiness. Over time you learn that if you are with a person only to accompany your own solitude, irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again. Over time you learn that real friends are few and whoever doesn’t fight for them, sooner or later, will find himself surrounded only with false friendships. Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger continue hurting throughout a lifetime. Over time you learn that everyone can apologize, but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls. Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same. Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends, you cry for those you let go. Over time you realize that every experience lived, with each person, is unrepeatable. Over time you realize that whoever humiliates or scorns another human being, sooner or later will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold. Over time you learn to build your roads on today, because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist. Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen causes the finale to be different form expected. Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future, but the moment you were living just that instant. Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you, you’ll yearn for those who walked away. Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness, say you love, say you miss, say you need, say you want to be friends, since before a grave, it will no longer make sense. But unfortunately, only over time…
Jorge Luis Borges
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you. The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?' They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.' The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.' So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.' The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’ As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’ So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him. -San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me. He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me. It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left. As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it. Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on. He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me. Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time. Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution. I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart. 'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face. He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic. But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love. 'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.' He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero. 'Then why should I be a heroine?' He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket. I considered my choices. I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated. I could leave and be unhappy and dignified. I could Beg him to touch me again. I could live in hope and die of bitterness. I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too. I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective. This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God. Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell! It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin! People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude! Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell! In the Presence of God Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly. Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present. The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote, "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5). It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Francis Frangipane
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone, they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality; in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you even think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced; they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned. Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. Remember, freedom is a higher value than love. That’s why, in India, the ultimate we call moksha. Moksha means freedom. Freedom is a higher value than love. So if love is destroying freedom, it is not of worth. Love can be dropped, freedom has to be saved; freedom is a higher value. And without freedom you can never be happy, that is not possible. Freedom is the intrinsic desire of each man, each woman – utter freedom, absolute freedom. So anything that becomes destructive to freedom, one starts hating it. Don’t you hate the man you love? Don’t you hate the woman you love? You hate; it is a necessary evil, you have to tolerate it. Because you cannot be alone you have to manage to be with somebody, and you have to adjust to the other’s demands. You have to tolerate, you have to bear them. Love, to be really love, has to be being-love, gift-love. Being-love means a state of love. When you have arrived home, when you have known who you are, then a love arises in your being. Then the fragrance spreads and you can give it to others. How can you give something which you don’t have? To give it, the first basic requirement is to have it.
Osho (Tantric Transformation: When Love Meets Meditation)
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)