The secret to being more

“The secret to a good life,” he told me once, “is to bring your A game to everything you do. Even if all you’re doing is taking out the garbage, you do that with excellence.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler

Sometimes I want to be more.

But isn’t this it?

Some days are hard. I can’t do everything. Does A-game mean every thing I do should be pixel perfect? Trying to think about the design, doing the code, understanding and implementing the flow, figuring out the whole experience in one sitting — I’m sure I’m not really giving an A-game.

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You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomaniac. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. That’s all. Be brave enough to break your own heart.

Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar

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Accept that the man you love was unfaithful to you. Accept that a woman you once held in regard treated you with disrespect. Accept that their actions hurt you deeply. Accept that this experience taught you something you didn’t want to know. Accept that sorrow and strife are part of even a joyful life. Accept that it’s going to take a long time for you to get that monster out of your chest. Accept that someday what pains you now will surely pain you less.

Cheryl Strayed, “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar”

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Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will. Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words. Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.

Cheryl Strayed, “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar”

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The awareness of human separation, without reunion by love—is the source of shame. It is at the same time the source of guilt and anxiety.

The deepest need of man, then, is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his aloneness. The absolute failure to achieve this aim means insanity, because the panic of complete isolation can be overcome only by such a radical withdrawal from the world outside that the feeling of separation disappears—because the world outside, from which one is separated, has disappeared.

Man—of all ages and cultures—is confronted with the solution of one and the same question: the question of how to overcome separateness, how to achieve union, how to transcend one’s own individual life and find atonement

The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm

You feel the world going on without you. And soon, you become starkly aware that in the great history of life, you mean absolutely nothing.

I’ve been reading Everything Beautiful Began After

The title above is a quote from the book that is significant to me mainly because it’s how I feel about the world and the people in it often. 

I think this is why most people feel less lonely when they’re in a relationship. 

“Loneliness is like being the only person left alive in the universe, except that everyone else is still here.”

And then imagine you’re not even important enough to anybody in that universe. 

But also, that  Love is like life but longer. 

And this is only how the world can go on with you in it, even if not physically. 

A college farewell

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way —

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Although, I will confess, I have never read the book.

There were important things that happened to me in college that I’ve learned a lot from, and most of them I honestly didn’t expect I’d even go through. Sometimes I feel like I’m too young for all of those, but then again I’m young enough for all the mistakes and foolishness, bold enough for all of those risks, and I guess in the end things just eventually worked out (if not for the best, then just working out miraculously, with my sanity intact when I could already have just easily lost it).

Needless to say, I’ve had the best and worst experiences (in my whole twenty-one years), met the best and worst kind of people, felt most loved and happiest as well as the deepest kind of hurt and sadness. College changed me in so many ways, even until the very last second it’s changed the way I perceive things, how I see and treat people, how I feel about some issues, how I trust. But there were also some things that haven’t really changed in me and being stubborn is one of those. :P

So, as a pre-graduation kinda thing: we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way

So here’s to another road of endless possibilities!

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I wanted to be held very tight so I could not break. Even now, when people lean down to touch me, or hug me, or put a hand on my shoulder, I hold my breath. I turn my face. I want to cry.

Wasted : A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
Marya Hornbacher