"You see, muscle is created by repeatedly lifting things that have been designed to weigh us down. So when your shoulders feel heavy, stand up straight, lift your chin, hell, call it exercise. Remember that life is a gym membership is a really complicated cancellation policy. Remember we are never ever given anything that we can handle. When the world crumbles around you, you have to look at the wreckage and then a build a new one out of all the piece that are still here. Remember you are still here."
“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.”
— Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.”
– Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings
"... I learned that you actually have more power when you shut up, because at least that way people still start to maybe doubt themselves. When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it.”
– Andy Warhol, POPism
"Marriages are impossible to predict. Fairy tales become broken tales, love stories turn into stories of love lost, initial euphoria into a wish for marital euthanasia. The trouble with love is that it comes with the guarantee of nothing.
The nature of it is risk, happiness and hurt in the same muscle of the heart. Maybe Serena and Alexis are too different. Maybe she won’t be able to give enough when she is giving to a baby even before the marriage begins. Maybe he will feel he is making too many sacrifices in his spectacular and exciting career to accommodate Serena, since her career is even more spectacular and exciting.
Perhaps the prospect of a continued love story is as realistic as Serena’s insistence that she will return to the pro tennis circuit as soon as January because “I don’t think my story is over yet.” But if she says she will be back in January, she will be back in January. Anyone who has met Serena for more than five seconds knows that.
The marriage? How can it not thrive when the first date was six hours in Paris—with no particular destination—where no matter how crowded the streets and alleyways winding through the city, there was no one else except the two of you.
Now that’s a love story."
"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)
"... 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
"... 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.'”
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?
Lorelai: I wanna do it.
Luke: You should do it.
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.
"There's always gonna be a part me that's sloppy and dirty. But I like that. Along with all the other parts of myself. Can you say the same about yourself, fucker? Can you forgive?" - Silver Linings Playbook
"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."
".... 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"
"Deliver us from feeling ... restricted and confined. Let us just be. Set us free."
"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."
"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."