Tell Me About Yourself Quotes

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People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is 'you're safe with me'- that's intimacy.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…
Timothy Leary
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)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Find yourself a cup of tea, the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things.
Saki (The Complete Saki)
This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that “letting yourself go” could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes...There is, in the end, the letting go.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
You're nothing like your sister," he tells me. "She meant a lot to me, okay? It's true. But the things I like about you have nothing to do with her. You - you are so strong and stubborn it drives me crazy. You're the one going through all this and you still put Laney first every time, instead of throwing yourself the pity party we both know you deserve. You call me out on my shit, and I like that, because sometimes I need someone to call me out on my shit. And you get Johnny Cash, and you take these incredible photos, and everything about you makes me hurt, in a good way, and it blows my mind that someone can be so amazing and not even see it.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
That's the thing they never tell you about love stories: just because one ends, that doesn't mean it failed. A cherry pie isn't a failure just because you eat it all. It's perfect for what it is, and then it's gone. And exchanging the truest parts of yourself--all the things you are--with someone? What a slice of life. One I'll carry with me into every single someday.
Emery Lord (When We Collided)
Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who's pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life? Another son might not have heard his mother's last words as a prophecy but as drug-induced gibberish, forgotten soon after. Another girl might not have told herself a love story about a drawing her brother made. Who knows if Grandma really thought the first daffodils of spring were lucky or if she just wanted to go on walks with me through the woods? Who knows if she even believed in her bible at all or if she just preferred a world where hope and creativity and faith trump reason? Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary? Who knows where the hell Ralph is? (Sorry, Oscar.) No one knows. So we grapple with the mysteries, each in our own way.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
And you’re in love?” “Ma, we’ve never even kissed.” “And that has anything to do with it?” “Okay, fine. Yes, I think so. But don’t tell anyone. Don’t even repeat it to yourself.” “Why?” “Because it’s humiliating.” “Sweetheart, love is humiliating. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?” “Who would have told me that?” “Do you know the word humiliate comes from the Latin root humus , which means ‘earth’? That’s how love is supposed to feel.” “Like hummus?” “Like earth. It ground s you. All this nonsense about love being a drug, making you feel high, that’s not real. It should hold you like the earth.” “Wow, Ma.” “What? I have a heart, don’t I?
Coco Mellors (Cleopatra and Frankenstein)
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that's not what I actually needed. What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered. I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren't constantly berating yourself for being sad.
John Green
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Robin Williams
The idea tells you everything. Lots of times I get ideas, I fall in love with them. Those ones you fall in love with are really special ideas. And, in some ways, I always say, when something's abstract, the abstractions are hard to put into words unless you're a poet. These ideas you somehow know. And cinema is a language that can say abstractions. I love stories, but I love stories that hold abstractions--that can hold abstractions. And cinema can say these difficult-to-say-in-words things. A lot of times, I don't know the meaning of the idea, and it drives me crazy. I think we should know the meaning of the idea. I think about them, and I tell this story about my first feature Eraserhead. I did not know what these things meant to me--really meant. And on that particular film, I started reading the Bible. And I'm reading the Bible, going along, and suddenly--there was a sentence. And I said, forget it! That's it. That's this thing. And so, I should know the meaning for me, but when things get abstract, it does me no good to say what it is. All viewers on the surface are all different. And we see something, and that's another place where intuition kicks in: an inner-knowingness. And so, you see a thing, you think about it, and you feel it, and you go and you sort of know something inside. And you can rely on that. Another thing I say is, if you go--after a film, withholding abstractions--to a coffee place--having coffee with your friends, someone will say something, and immediately you'll say “No, no, no, no, that's not what that was about.” You know? “This is what it was about.” And so many things come out, it's surprising. So you do know. For yourself. And what you know is valid.
David Lynch
Fight your fight,' she tells me. 'Let someone else worry about theirs.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
I feel very silly saying to you, Tell me all about yourself, but I wish you would. I want to get to know you." That's not how you get to know people. Don't you know? You can't talk it out, you've got to live into their lives, bad and good. You'll know me soon enough. What I want you to know.
Katherine Paterson
Surely he’d have no trouble finding a replacement for someone like me.” “You may like to tell yourself that, but it’s only an excuse for not giving a damn about his feelings. Anyway, enough of that.
Ryū Murakami (Tokyo Decadence)
It Hurts To Be Alive and Obsolete: Often when men are attracted to me, they feel ashamed and conceal it. They act as if it were ridiculous. If they do become involved, they are still ashamed and may refuse to appear publicly with me. Their fear of mockery is enormous. There is no prestige attached to having sex with me. Since we are all far more various sexually than we are supposed to be, often, in fact, younger men become aware of me sexually. Their response is similar to what it is when they find themselves feeling attracted to a homosexual: they turn those feelings into hostility and put me down. Listen to me! Think what it is like to have most of your life ahead and be told you are obsolete! Think what it is like to feel attraction, desire, affection towards others, to want to tell them about yourself, to feel that assumption on which self-respect is based, that you are worth something, and that if you like someone, surely he will be pleased to know that. To be, in other words, still a living woman, and to be told that every day that you are not a woman but a tired object that should disappear. That you are not a person but a joke. Well, I am a bitter joke. I am bitter and frustrated and wasted, but don’t you pretend for a minute as you look at me, forty-three, fat, and looking exactly my age, that I am not as alive as you are and that I do not suffer from the category into which you are forcing me.
Zoe Moss (Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement)
Coach Graham used to ride me hard. I remember one practice in particular. 'You're doing it all wrong, Pauch. Go back! Do it again!' I tried to do what he wanted. It wasn't enough. 'You owe me, Pauch! You're doing push-ups after practice." When I was finally dismissed, one of the assistant coaches came over to reassure me. 'Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?' he said. I could barely muster a 'yeah.' 'That's a good thing,' the assistant told me. 'When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you.' That lesson has stuck with me my whole life. When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
He made a noise that sounded like a strangled laugh, and then said: Ah, I like your style. I’ll give you that. You’re not easy to get the upper hand on, are you? Obviously I’m not going to manage it. It’s funny, because you carry on like you’d let me walk all over you, answering my texts at two in the morning, and then telling me you’re in love with me, blah blah blah. But that’s all your way of saying, just try and catch me, because you won’t. And I can see I won’t. You’re not going to let me have it for a minute. Nine times out of ten you’d have someone fooled with the way you go on. They’d be delighted with themselves, thinking they were really the boss of you. Yeah, yeah, but I’m not an idiot. You’re only letting me act badly because it puts you above me, and that’s where you like to be. Above, above. And I don’t take it personally, by the way, I don’t think you’d let anyone near you. Actually, I respect it. You’re looking out for yourself, and I’m sure you have your reasons. I’m sorry I was so harsh on you with what I said, because you were right, I was just trying to hurt you. And I probably did hurt you, big deal. Anyone can hurt anyone if they go out of their way. But then instead of getting mad with me, you go saying I’m welcome to stay over and you still love me and all this. Because you have to be perfect, don’t you? No, you really have a way about you, I must say. And I’m sorry, alright? I won’t be trying to take a jab at you again. Lesson learned. But from now on you don’t need to act like you’re under my thumb, when we both know I’m nowhere near you. Alright? Another long silence fell. Their faces were invisible in darkness. Eventually, in a high and strained voice, straining perhaps for an evenness or lightness it did not attain, she replied: Alright. If I ever do get a hold of you, you won’t need to tell me, he said. I’ll know. But I’m not going to chase too much. I’ll just stay where I am and see if you come to me. Yes, that’s what hunters do with deer, she said. Before they kill them.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
GINGER: So nice to meet you, Bongi. Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself. What’re your vices? BONGI: I have no vices – I never drink, gamble or work.
Valerie Solanas (Up Your Ass or From the Cradle to the Boat or The Big Suck or Up from the Slime, & A Young Girl's Primer on How to Attain to the Leisure Class)
I am pitching it feebly," said young Bingo earnestly. "You haven't heard the thing. I have. Rosie shoved the cylinder on the dictating-machine last night before dinner, and it was grisly to hear the instrument croaking out those awful sentences. If that article appears I shall be kidded to death by every pal I've got. Bertie," he said, his voice sinking to a hoarse whisper, "you have about as much imagination as a warthog, but surely even you can picture to yourself what Jimmy Bowles and Tuppy Rogers, to name only tow, will say when they see me referred to in print as "half god, half prattling, mischievous child"?" I jolly well could "She doesn't say that?"I gasped. "She certainly does. And when I tell you that I selected that particular quotation because it's about the only one I can stand hearing spoken, you will realise what I'm up against.
P.G. Wodehouse
Tell me about yourself," Midori said. "What about me?" "Hmm, I don't know, what do you hate?" "Chicken and VD and barbers who talk too much." "What else?" "Lonely April nights and lacy telephone covers." "What else?" I shook my head. "I can't think of anything else." "My boyfriend - which is to say, my ex-boyfriend - had all kinds of things he hated. Like when I wore too-short skirts, or when I smoked, or how I got drunk too quickly, or said disgusting things, or criticized his friends. So if there's anything about me you don't like, just tell me, and I'll fix it if I can." "I can't think of anything," I said after giving it some thought. "There's nothing." "Really?" "I like everything you wear, and I like what you do and say and how you walk and how you get drunk. Everything." "You mean I'm really OK just the way I am?" "I don't know how you could change, so you must be fine the way you are." "How much do you love me?" Midori asked. "Enough to melt all the tigers in the world to butter," I said. "Far out," she said with a hint of satisfaction.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I had my reasons, Alastair.” “I’m sure you did,” he said, surprising her again. “I wish you’d tell me what they were. Are you in love with Matthew?” “I don’t know,” Cordelia said. Not that she didn’t have thoughts on the matter, but she didn’t feel like sharing them with Alastair at the moment. “Are you in love with James, then?” “Well. We are married.” “That’s not really an answer,” said Alastair. “I don’t really like James,” he added, “but on the other hand, I also don’t like Matthew very much. So you see, I am torn.” “Well, this must be very difficult for you,” Cordelia said crossly. “I cannot imagine how you will find it within yourself to go on.” She made a dismissive gesture, which was spoiled when Alastair burst out laughing. “I’m sorry,” he said. “But those gloves are enormous on you.” “Humph,” said Cordelia. “About James—” “Are we the sort of family that discusses our intimate relationships now?” Cordelia interrupted. “Perhaps you would like to talk about Charles?” Generally not. Charles seems to be healing up, and beyond him surviving, I have no further interest in what happens to him,” said Alastair. “In fact, there have been a few touch-and-go moments with my caring about whether he survives. He was always demanding that I adjust his pillows. ‘And now the foot pillow, Alastair,” he said in a squeaky voice that, to be fair, sounded nothing like the actual Charles. Alastair was terrible at impressions. “I wouldn’t mind a foot pillow,” said Cordelia. “It sounds rather nice.” “You are clearly in an emotional state, so I will ignore your rambling,” said Alastair. “Look, you need not discuss your feelings about James, Matthew, or whatever other harem of men you may have acquired, with me. I merely want to know if you’re all right.” “No, you want to know if either of them has done something awful to me, so you can chase them around, shouting,” said Cordelia darkly. “I could do both,” Alastair pointed out.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Thorns (The Last Hours, #3))
But I am a paladin,” Cordelia cried. “It’s awful, I loathe it— don’t imagine that I feel anything other than hated for this thing that binds me to Lilith. But they fear me because of it. They dare not touch me—” “Oh?” snarled James. “They dare not touch you? That’s not what it bloody looked like.” “The demon at Chiswick House—it was about to tell me something about Belial, before you shot it.” “Listen to yourself, Cordelia!” James shouted. “You are without Cortana! You cannot even lift a weapon! Do you know what it means to me, that you cannot protect yourself? Do you understand that I am terrified, every moment of every day and night, for your safety?” Cordelia stood speechless. She had no idea what to say. She blinked, and felt something hot against her cheek. She put her hand up quickly—surely she was not crying?— and it came away scarlet. “You’re bleeding,” James said. He closed the distance between them in two strides. He caught her chin and lifted it, his thumb stroking across her cheekbone. “Just a scratch,” he breathed. “Are you hurt anywhere else? Daisy, tell me—” “No. I’m fine. I promise you,” she said, her voice wavering as his intent golden eyes spilled over her, searching for signs of injury. “It’s nothing.” “It’s the furthest thing from nothing,” James rasped. “By the Angel, when I realized you’d gone out, at night, weaponless—” “What were you even doing at the house? I thought you were staying at the Institute.” “I came to get something for Jesse,” James said. “I took him shopping, with Anna—he needed clothes, but we forgot cuff links—” “He did need clothes,” Cordelia agreed. “Nothing he had fit.” “Oh, no,” said James. “We are not chatting. When I came in, I saw your dress in the hall, and Effie told me she’d caught a glimpse of you leaving. Not getting in a carriage, just wandering off toward Shepherd Market—” “So you Tracked me?” “I had no choice. And then I saw you—you had gone to where your father died,” he said after a moment. “I thought—I was afraid—” “That I wanted to die too?” Cordelia whispered. It had not occurred to her that he might think that. “James. I may be foolish, but I am not self-destructive.” “And I thought, had I made you as miserable as that? I have made so many mistakes, but none were calculated to hurt you. And then I saw what you were doing, and I thought, yes, she does want to die. She wants to die and this is how she’s chosen to do it.” He was breathing hard, almost gasping, and she realized how much of his fury was despair. “James,” she said. “It was a foolish thing to do, but at no moment did I want to die—” He caught at her shoulders. “You cannot hurt yourself, Daisy. You must not. Hate me, hit me, do anything you want to me. Cut up my suits and set fire to my books. Tear my heart into pieces, scatter them across England. But do not harm yourself—” He pulled her toward him, suddenly, pressing his lips to her hair, her cheek. She caught him by the arms, her fingers digging into his sleeves, holding him to her. “I swear to the Angel,” he said, in a muffled voice, “if you die, I will die, and I will haunt you. I will give you no peace—” He kissed her mouth. Perhaps it had been meant to be a quick kiss, but she could not help herself: she kissed back. And it was like breathing air after being trapped underground for weeks, like coming into sunlight after darkness.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Thorns (The Last Hours, #3))
For physical issues, we have an entire pharmacopoeia of pain medicine. For the actual pain of grief, we have . . . nothing. It’s always seemed so bizarre to me that we have an answer for almost every physical pain, but for this—some of the most intense pain we can experience—there is no medicine. You’re just supposed to feel it. And in a way, that’s true. The answer to pain is simply to feel it. Some traditions speak of practicing compassion in the face of pain, rather than trying to fix it. As I understand the Buddhist teaching, the fourth form of compassion in the Brahma Viharas, or the four immeasurables, describes an approach to the kinds of pain that cannot be fixed: upekkha, or equanimity. Upekkha is the practice of staying emotionally open and bearing witness to the pain while dwelling in equanimity around one’s limited ability to effect change. This form of compassion—for self, for others—is about remaining calm enough to feel everything, to remain calm while feeling everything, knowing that it can’t be changed. Equanimity (upekkha) is said to be the hardest form of compassion to teach, and the hardest to practice. It’s not, as is commonly understood, equanimity in the way of being unaffected by what’s happened, but more a quality of clear, calm attention in the face of immoveable truth. When something cannot be changed, the “enlightened” response is to pay attention. To feel it. To turn toward it and say, “I see you.” That’s the big secret of grief: the answer to the pain is in the pain. Or, as e. e. cummings wrote, healing of the wound is to be sought in the blood of the wound itself. It seems too intangible to be of use, but by allowing your pain to exist, you change it somehow. There’s power in witnessing your own pain. The challenge is to stay present in your heart, to your heart, to your own deep self, even, and especially, when that self is broken. Pain wants to be heard. It deserves to be heard. Denying or minimizing the reality of pain makes it worse. Telling the truth about the immensity of your pain—which is another way of paying attention—makes things different, if not better. It’s important to find those places where your grief gets to be as bad as it is, where it gets to suck as much as it does. Let your pain stretch out. Take up all the space it needs. When so many others tell you that your grief has to be cleaned up or contained, hearing that there is enough room for your pain to spread out, to unfurl—it’s healing. It’s a relief. The more you open to your pain, the more you can just be with it, the more you can give yourself the tenderness and care you need to survive this. Your pain needs space. Room to unfold. I think this is why we seek out natural landscapes that are larger than us. Not just in grief, but often in grief. The expanding horizon line, the sense of limitless space, a landscape wide and deep and vast enough to hold what is—we need those places. Sometimes grief like yours cannot be held by the universe itself. True. Sometimes grief needs more than an endless galaxy. Maybe your pain could wrap around the axle of the universe several times. Only the stars are large enough to take it on. With enough room to breathe, to expand, to be itself, pain softens. No longer confined and cramped, it can stop thrashing at the bars of its cage, can stop defending itself against its right to exist. There isn’t anything you need to do with your pain. Nothing you need to do about your pain. It simply is. Give it your attention, your care. Find ways to let it stretch out, let it exist. Tend to yourself inside it. That’s so different from trying to get yourself out of it. The way to come to pain is with open eyes, and an open heart, committed to bearing witness to your own broken place. It won’t fix anything. And it changes everything.
Megan Devine
With our desire to have more, we find ourselves spending more and more time and energy to manage and maintain everything we have. We try so hard to do this that the things that were supposed to help us end up ruling us. We eventually get used to the new state where our wishes have been fulfilled. We start taking those things for granted and there comes a time when we start getting tired of what we have. We're desperate to convey our own worth, our own value to others. We use objects to tell people just how valuable we are. The objects that are supposed to represent our qualities become our qualities themselves. There are more things to gain from eliminating excess than you might imagine: time, space, freedom and energy. When people say something is impossible, they have already decided that they don't want to do it. Differentiate between things you want and things you need. Leave your unused space empty. These open areas are incredibly useful. They bring us a sense of freedom and keep our minds open to the more important things in life. Memories are wonderful but you won't have room to develop if your attachment to the past is too strong. It's better to cut some of those ties so you can focus on what's important today. Don't get creative when you are trying to discard things. There's no need to stock up. An item chosen with passion represents perfection to us. Things we just happen to pick up, however, are easy candidates for disposal or replacement. As long as we stick to owning things that we really love, we aren't likely to want more. Our homes aren't museum, they don't need collections. When you aren't sure that you really want to part with something, try stowing it away for a while. Larger furniture items with bold colors will in time trigger visual fatigue and then boredom. Discarding things can be wasteful. But the guilt that keeps you from minimizing is the true waste. The real waste is the psychological damage that you accrue from hanging on to things you don't use or need. We find our originality when we own less. When you think about it, it's experience that builds our unique characteristics, not material objects. I've lowered my bar for happiness simply by switching to a tenugui. When even a regular bath towel can make you happy, you'll be able to find happiness almost everywhere. For the minimalist, the objective isn't to reduce, it's to eliminate distractions so they can focus on the things that are truly important. Minimalism is just the beginning. It's a tool. Once you've gone ahead and minimized, it's time to find out what those important things are. Minimalism is built around the idea that there's nothing that you're lacking. You'll spend less time being pushed around by something that you think may be missing. The qualities I look for in the things that I buy are: - the item has a minimalistic kind of shape and is easy to clean - it's color isn't too loud - I'll be able to use it for a long time - it has a simple structure - it's lightweight and compact - it has multiple uses A relaxed moment is not without meaning, it's an important time for reflection. It wasn't the fallen leaves that the lady had been tidying up, it was her own laziness that she had been sweeping away. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. With daily cleaning, the reward may be the sense of accomplishment and calmness we feel afterward. Cleaning your house is like polishing yourself. Simply by living an organized life, you'll be more invigorated, more confident and like yourself better. Having parted with the bulk of my belongings, I feel true contentment with my day-to-day life. The very act of living brings me joy. When you become a minimalist, you free yourself from all the materialist messages that surround us. All the creative marketing and annoying ads no longer have an effect on you.
Fumio Sasaki (Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism)
… A destitute joins me and wants admittance into my soul, and I am thus not destitute enough. Where was my destitution when I did not live it? I was a player at life, one who thought earnestly about life and lived it easily. The destitute was far away and forgotten. Life had become difficult and murkier. Winter kept on going, and the destitute stood in snow and froze. I join myself with him, since I need him. He makes living light and easy. He leads to the depths, to the ground where I can see the heights. Without the depths , I do not have the heights. I may be on the heights, but precisely because of that I do not become aware of the heights. I therefore need the bottommost for my renewal. If I am always on the heights, I wear them out and the best becomes atrocious to me. But because I do not want to have it, my best becomes a horror to me. Because of that I myself become a horror, a horror to myself and to others, and a bad spirit of torment. Be respectful and know that your best has become a horror, with that you save yourself and others from useless torment. A man who can no longer climb down from his heights is sick, and he brings himself and others to torment. If you have reached your depths, then you see your height light up brightly over you, worthy of desire and far-off, as if unreachable, since secretly you would prefer not to reach it since it seems unattainable to you. For you also love to praise your heights when you are low and to tell yourself that you would have only left them with pain, and that you did not live so long as you missed them. It is a good thing that you have almost become the other nature that makes you speak this way. But at bottom you know that it is not quite true. At your low point you are no longer distinct from your fellow beings. You are not ashamed and do not regret it, since insofar as you live the life of your fellow beings and descend to their lowliness you also climb into the holy stream of common life, where you are no longer an individual on a high mountain, but a fish among fish, a frog among frogs. Your heights are your own mountain, which belongs to you and you alone. There you are individual and live your very own life. If you live your own life, you do not live the common life, which is always continuing and never-ending, the life of history and the inalienable and ever-present burdens and products of the human race. There you live the endlessness of being, but not becoming. Becoming belongs to the heights and is full of torment. How can you become if you never are? Therefore you need your bottommost, since there you are. But therefore you also need your heights, since there you become. If you live the common life at your lowest reaches, then you become aware of your self. If you are on your heights, then you are your best, and you become aware only of your best, but not that which you are in the general life as a being. What one is as one who becomes, no one knows. But on the heights, imagination is as its strongest. For we imagine that we know what we are as developing beings, and even more so, the less we want to know what we are as beings. Because of that we do not love the condition of our being brought low, although or rather precisely because only there do we attain clear knowledge of ourselves. Everything is riddlesome to one who is becoming, but not to one who is. He who suffers from riddles should take thought of his lowest condition; we solve those from which we suffer, but not those which please us. To be that which you are is the bath of rebirth. In the depths, being is not an unconditional persistence but an endlessly slow growth. You think you are standing still like swamp water, but slowly you flow into the sea that covers the earth’s greatest deeps, and is so vast that firm land seems only an island imbedded in the womb of the immeasurable sea.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
I’d much rather have you under me on the mat than spare time.” His arm wraps around my waist, tugging me closer. “When it comes to the other marked ones, don’t risk trusting them. Not yet. They know they can’t kill you, but some of them would be happy to see you hurt given who your mother is.” “Back to that, are we?” I try to smile, but my lower lip trembles. I’m not actually upset about him leaving. That’s the lemonade talking. “Never left that,” he reminds me, keeping his voice low even though the others in the courtyard are now giving us more than enough privacy. “Keep yourself alive, and I’ll be back in seven days.” His hand slides to the side of my neck, and his thumb grazes my jawline as he lowers his mouth to only a breath above mine. “We managed to keep each other alive today. Trust me yet?” My heart jolts. I can almost taste his kiss, and gods, I want it. “With my life,” I whisper. “That’s all?” His mouth hovers above mine, all promise and no delivery. “That’s all.” Trust is earned, and he isn’t even trying. “Too bad,” he whispers, lifting his head. “But like I said, anticipation is a good thing.” Common sense crashes through the fog of lust with embarrassing ease. For fuck’s sake, what did I almost do? “No anticipation.” I outright glare, but my words lack bite. “We aren’t happening, remember? That’s your choice. I have every right to walk right back into the gathering hall and pick whomever I want to warm my bed. Someone a little more ordinary.” It’s a bluff. Maybe. Or alcohol. Or maybe I just want him to feel the same uncertainty I do. “You absolutely have every right, but you won’t.” He gives me a slow smile. “Because you’re impossible to replace?” It does not come out as a compliment. At least that’s what I tell myself. “Because you still love me.” The certainty in his eyes pricks every inch of my temper. “Fuck off and leave, Riorson.” “I would, but you’ve got a death grip on me.” He glances between our bodies. “Ugh!” I drop my hands from his waist and step back. “Go.” “See you in seven days, Violence.” He backs away, moving toward the tunnel that leads to the flight field. “Try not to burn the place down while I’m gone.
Rebecca Yarros (Iron Flame (The Empyrean, #2))
Rea­sons Why I Loved Be­ing With Jen I love what a good friend you are. You’re re­ally en­gaged with the lives of the peo­ple you love. You or­ga­nize lovely ex­pe­ri­ences for them. You make an ef­fort with them, you’re pa­tient with them, even when they’re side­tracked by their chil­dren and can’t pri­or­i­tize you in the way you pri­or­i­tize them. You’ve got a gen­er­ous heart and it ex­tends to peo­ple you’ve never even met, whereas I think that ev­ery­one is out to get me. I used to say you were naive, but re­ally I was jeal­ous that you al­ways thought the best of peo­ple. You are a bit too anx­ious about be­ing seen to be a good per­son and you def­i­nitely go a bit over­board with your left-wing pol­i­tics to prove a point to ev­ery­one. But I know you re­ally do care. I know you’d sign pe­ti­tions and help peo­ple in need and vol­un­teer at the home­less shel­ter at Christ­mas even if no one knew about it. And that’s more than can be said for a lot of us. I love how quickly you read books and how ab­sorbed you get in a good story. I love watch­ing you lie on the sofa read­ing one from cover-to-cover. It’s like I’m in the room with you but you’re in a whole other gal­axy. I love that you’re al­ways try­ing to im­prove your­self. Whether it’s running marathons or set­ting your­self chal­lenges on an app to learn French or the fact you go to ther­apy ev­ery week. You work hard to be­come a bet­ter ver­sion of your­self. I think I prob­a­bly didn’t make my ad­mi­ra­tion for this known and in­stead it came off as ir­ri­ta­tion, which I don’t re­ally feel at all. I love how ded­i­cated you are to your fam­ily, even when they’re an­noy­ing you. Your loy­alty to them wound me up some­times, but it’s only be­cause I wish I came from a big fam­ily. I love that you al­ways know what to say in con­ver­sa­tion. You ask the right ques­tions and you know ex­actly when to talk and when to lis­ten. Ev­ery­one loves talk­ing to you be­cause you make ev­ery­one feel im­por­tant. I love your style. I know you think I prob­a­bly never no­ticed what you were wear­ing or how you did your hair, but I loved see­ing how you get ready, sit­ting in front of the full-length mir­ror in our bed­room while you did your make-up, even though there was a mir­ror on the dress­ing ta­ble. I love that you’re mad enough to swim in the English sea in No­vem­ber and that you’d pick up spi­ders in the bath with your bare hands. You’re brave in a way that I’m not. I love how free you are. You’re a very free per­son, and I never gave you the sat­is­fac­tion of say­ing it, which I should have done. No one knows it about you be­cause of your bor­ing, high-pres­sure job and your stuffy up­bring­ing, but I know what an ad­ven­turer you are un­der­neath all that. I love that you got drunk at Jack­son’s chris­ten­ing and you al­ways wanted to have one more drink at the pub and you never com­plained about get­ting up early to go to work with a hang­over. Other than Avi, you are the per­son I’ve had the most fun with in my life. And even though I gave you a hard time for al­ways try­ing to for al­ways try­ing to im­press your dad, I ac­tu­ally found it very adorable be­cause it made me see the child in you and the teenager in you, and if I could time-travel to any­where in his­tory, I swear, Jen, the only place I’d want to go is to the house where you grew up and hug you and tell you how beau­ti­ful and clever and funny you are. That you are spec­tac­u­lar even with­out all your sports trophies and mu­sic cer­tifi­cates and in­cred­i­ble grades and Ox­ford ac­cep­tance. I’m sorry that I loved you so much more than I liked my­self, that must have been a lot to carry. I’m sorry I didn’t take care of you the way you took care of me. And I’m sorry I didn’t take care of my­self, ei­ther. I need to work on it. I’m pleased that our break-up taught me that. I’m sorry I went so mental. I love you. I always will. I'm glad we met.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
I raised two daughters,” Ronica pointed out gently. “I know how painful victory can be sometimes.” “Not over me,” Keffria said dully. There was self-loathing in her tone as she added, “I don’t think I ever gave you and Father a sleepless night. I was a model child, never challenging anything you told me, keeping all the rules, and earning the rewards of such virtue. Or so I thought.” “You were my easy daughter,” Ronica conceded. “Perhaps because of that, I under-valued you. Over-looked you.” She shook her head to herself. “But in those days, Althea worried me so that I seldom had a moment to think of what was going right…” Keffria exhaled sharply. “And you didn’t know the half of what she was doing! As her sister, I… but in all the years, it hasn’t changed. She still worries us, both of us. When she was a little girl, her willfulness and naughtiness always made her Papa’s favorite. And now that he has gone, she has disappeared, and so managed to capture your heart as well, simply by being absent.” “Keffria!” Ronica rebuked her for the heartless words. Her sister was missing, and all she could be was jealous of Ronica worrying about her? But after a moment, Ronica asked hesitantly, “You truly feel that I give no thoughts to you, simply because Althea is gone?” “You scarcely speak to me,” Keffria pointed out. “When I muddled the ledger books for what I had inherited, you simply took them back from me and did them yourself. You run the household as if I was not there. When Cerwin showed up on the doorstep today, you charged directly into battle, only sending Rache to tell me about it as an afterthought. Mother, were I to disappear as Althea has, I think the household would only run more smoothly. You are so capable of managing it all.” She paused and her voice was almost choked as she added, “You leave no room for me to matter.” She hastily lifted her mug and took a long sip of coffee. She stared deep into the fireplace. Ronica found herself wordless. She drank from her own mug. She knew she was making excuses when she said, “But I was always just waiting for you to take things over from me.” “And always so busy holding the reins that you had no time to teach me how. ‘Here, give me that, it’s easier if I just do it myself.’ How many times have you said that to me? Do you know how stupid and helpless it always made me feel?” The anger in her voice was very old.
Robin Hobb (Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1))
Well, keep it to yourself, okay? If Himemiya has secrets she doesn't want me to know... then I don't need to hear about it! I'll trust what she tells me... not what I hear from others. That's what friends are for.
Utena Tenjou
Another time, when my freelancing was slow, I sent out résumés, something I’m prone to do whenever I feel panicky. Sure enough, I was offered a job within a few weeks. The offer—writing marketing materials for a local bus line (okay, I didn’t say I was offered an interesting job in two weeks)—was for more money than I’d ever made in my life. But how could I afford to give up all that time? Was I really ready to forgo my freelancing career? Once again, I demanded a clear sign. I needed to know within 24 hours because that’s when I needed to give my employer-to-be a yea or a nay. The very next morning, Travel + Leisure, the magazine I most wanted to write for, called to give me an assignment. I hung up, shouted “Yes!” and did the goal-line hootchie-koo. But my guidance must have been in the mood to show off that day, because not 15 minutes later, another magazine I’d never even heard of, let alone sent a query to, called and wanted a story about Kansas City steaks. I had to call and tell my would-be boss, “Thanks, but no thanks.
Pam Grout (E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality)