"Goodbye to All That"

"I laughed with him.... but it would be a long while before I would come to understand the particular moral of the story. It would be a long while because, quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean 'love' in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and never love anyone quite that way again.

... this was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake every word, all of it. 

Some years passed, but I still did not lose that sense of wonder about New York. I began to cherish the loneliness of it, the sense that at any given time no one need nkow where I was or what I was doing. 

You will have perceived by now that I was not one to profit by the experience of others, hat it was a very long time indeed before I stopped believing in new faces and began to understand the lesson in that story, which was that it is distinctly possible to stay too long at the Fair.

I could not tell you when I began to understand all that. All I know is that it was very bad when I was twenty-eight. Everything that was said to me I seemed to have heard before, and I could no longer listen. I could no longer sit in little bars near Grand Central and listen... I no longer had any interest about people I would like very much if only I would come out and meet them.I had already met them, always. ... I hurt the people I cared about, and insulted those I did not. ... I cried until I was not even aware when I was crying and when I was not, cried in elevators and in taxis and in Chinese laundries, and when I went to the doctor he said only that I seemed to be depressed, and should see a "specialist." He wrote down a psychiatrist's name and address for me, but I did not go.

I talk about how difficult it would be for us to 'afford' to live in New York right now, about how much "space" we need. All I mean is that I was very young in New York, and that at some point the golden rhythm was broken, and I am not that young anymore. 

There were years when I called Los Angeles 'The Coast,' but they seem a long time ago."

Goodbye to All That (Joan Didion, 1967)

Source: @xulucy

Source: @xulucy

nuanced

"... It's understanding there are nuances to your life. And then designing the version of yourself that you want to be showing up at each of them. This is one of the great things that makes us humans; we have the capacity to design things, we have the capacity to create who it is that we want. I want to create a nuanced individual because I am nuanced.... we all take parts of ourselves, and in certain situations, we start to magnify a part of our personality. ... you already are doing it, now let's just be way more intentional about the person that we're creating so that we can truly get the results that we are looking for. "

"Mental toughness is your ability to flexible and adaptable, despite what the circumstances around you and situations are giving you. If you're firmed and fixed... on how the game is going to play out ... and then it doesn't start happening that way, because there's an ebbs and a flow to matches and games... then most people will start to respond emotionally in that moment. And that's mental weakness... you're not able to be flexible and adaptable despite what's happening in the game, so that you can continue to perform at your peak." 

— Todd Herman, on Amplifying Your Strengths

pexels-photo-115045.jpeg

"... But look back to the dictionary definition of the word. But how does one teach 'luck' or 'chance?' But what if it is not chance or luck at all? What if being serendipitous is a skill? What then would cultivate it? Could you exacerbate the skill of 'discovering things by accident that you were not in quest of?' What a skill to master, if I could. And then, could it be taught, as it was to the three princes of Serendip? What do you think? And what do you propose?

I have always wondered about the idea of 'playfulness' as a strategy for increasing serendipity... 

... and remember that tourists only see 'sights,' but travelers and people on pilgrimages see 'sites.' As Barth proposes, 'Go in good faith, and prepare to lose your bearings.'”

— The Princes of Serendip

Serendipity (2001)

Serendipity (2001)

button

Lorelai: I just flat-out panicked about the enormity of what we were getting into. And it clobbered me, and I clobbered Sookie … 

Luke: I don’t get it, you’re as ready as you’re ever been.

Lorelai: Oh, Luke, do not underestimate the complete & total lack of confidence i have in my abilities.

Luke: What? You’re the most confident person I know, obnoxiously so…. in a good way. You’re good at what you do and you know it. 

Lorelai: No, no. I’m good at doing what I had to do. But I don’t have to leave the Independence Inn … I don’t have to walk out on that limb and risk everything I’ve worked for. 

Luke: Then don’t, just stay where you are. 

Lorelai: What is this, reverse psychology?

Luke: No, just stay at the Inn. You’re happy there.

Lorelai: Oh, so you don’t think I can hack it?

Luke: Of course I think you can hack it.

Lorelai: Great, lip service, that’s what I need ... I couldn’t stay there if I wanted. 

Luke: You’re just scared. Just like everyone else when they’re taking on something big.

Lorelai Well then, what does everybody else do to get through this feeling? 

Luke: They run in the back, throw up, pass out, and then smack their head on the floor. That’s what I did on the first morning I opened the diner. Look, there is no button to push to get you through this. You just got to jump in and be scared and stick with it until it gets fun.

Lorelai: How long until the diner got fun? 

Luke: About a year.

Lorelai: Wow. And there’s no button? How about a lever, can I pull a lever? Turn a knob? 

Luke: Nope. 

Lorelai: I wanna do it.

Luke: You should do it. 

 

 

alive

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. 
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. 

It doesn't interest me who you know, or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

cheaper

"All the promises, explanations and asides in the world pale in comparison with what you do.

Too often, we forget that jargon and narrative exist to help shape our actions, not to replace them.

Words keep getting cheaper, which makes action more valuable than ever."

– Seth Godin

on love & metaphors

".... metaphors really do shape the way we experience the world, and that they can even act as a guide for future actions, like self-fulfilling prophecies.

Johnson and Lakoff suggest a new metaphor for love: love as a collaborative work of art. I really like this way of thinking about love. Linguists talk about metaphors as having entailments, which is essentially a way of considering all the implications of, or ideas contained within, a given metaphor. And Johnson and Lakoff talk about everything that collaborating on a work of art entails: effort, compromise, patience, shared goals. These ideas align nicely with our cultural investment in long-term romantic commitment, but they also work well for other kinds of relationships -- short-term, casual, polyamorous, non-monogamous, asexual -- because this metaphor brings much more complex ideas to the experience of loving someone.

So if love is a collaborative work of art, then love is an aesthetic experience. Love is unpredictable, love is creative, love requires communication and discipline, it is frustrating and emotionally demanding. And love involves both joy and pain. Ultimately, each experience of love is different." 

– Mandy Len Catron, "A better way to talk about love" 

"And how are you crazy?"

"In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”

... We make mistakes, too, because we are so lonely. No one can be in an optimal frame of mind to choose a partner when remaining single feels unbearable

... Finally, we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy we felt when the thought of proposing first came to us ... We need to swap the Romantic view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for.

... We should learn to accommodate ourselves to “wrongness,” striving always to adopt a more forgiving, humorous and kindly perspective on its multiple examples in ourselves and in our partners."

"Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" (NYTimes)

 "Everything is energy and that's all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics."

tapestry

"It was just a few seconds. A fragment, really. And it was like, in that moment, the whole universe existed just to bring us together.

"You know, the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question, 'did he have passion?'"

“Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. But rather, it’s a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan. If we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call ‘fate’ and what we currently refer to as ‘destiny.’”

— Serendipity (2001) 

story

"'Don't listen to anyone who tries to get you to shut up or change your story." They said, "Give voice to the story only you know how to tell." They said, "Sometimes telling the story is the thing that saves your life.' 

You can be a drunk, you can be a survivor of abuse, you can be an ex-con, you can be a homeless person, you can lose all your money or your job or your husband or your wife, or the worst thing of all, a child. You can even lose your marbles. You can be standing dead center in the middle of your failure and still, I'm only here to tell you, you are so beautiful. Your story deserves to be heard, because you, you rare and phenomenal misfit, you new species, are the only one in the room who can tell the story the way only you would. And I'd be listening."

Lidia Yukanavitz, on failure being an option

Source: Matt Bruening

full circle

L: I am beginning to understand how you felt when you moved to Africa, though definitely to a lesser extent. You are so brave.

K: It was 100% the hardest thing I have ever done. the leaving. not the going. The going was actually easy because it was exciting. I remember breaking down on the plane leaving Boston because I didn’t want to go. I guess it came down to which I wanted more. I know I made the right decision, but it still hurts every time I think about it or see pictures. I freaking loved that city and the people in it.

L: Oh man. As always, beautifully put. Two thoughts here. One — There are so many beautiful stories that I've heard from strong inspirational people about getting on a plane to go somewhere but feeling so overwhelmed with emotion from the life transition. And breaking down as a reset as they go forth in search of whatever they were looking for.  It's such a powerful emotional scene to picture, and I can only imagine what sort of experience it would be to go through.

K: It's so true. 

L: Two — I think, when you have those sorts of ties to homes you once had, it's just a sign that you are going to return. Because there's unfinished business.

K: That's a huge insight. I agree with you, but I’m also scared to think of that. it opens up too much nostalgia. 

L: Yes, definitely painful with the nostalgia, but also kind of exciting with the thoughts of the future. Kind of like when we first went off to college and then went home for the holidays, with a new world view... only this time, going home won't be going home to an environment or community you didn't really have a choice in joining. This time going home means returning to a place you actively chose and molded to be your home. You can choose your family (the ones that aren't blood related) and you can select the factors you want in your environment, influencing you.

November 5th, 2015

"imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality."

"Curiosity. It's the most powerful thing you own. Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality. And the respect of your team is more important than all the laurels in the world... Don't put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you – don't do it to yourself, don't bet against yourself, and take risks.

NASA has this phrase that they like: 'Failure is not an option.' But failure has to be an option, because it's a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. So, that's the thought I would leave you with, is that in whatever you're doing, failure is an option, but fear is not." - James Cameron