Sometimes I need a good push to continue to strive to be the person I could be. Here are six quotes that mean something to me, and why:
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” — Mark Twain
I’ve let bad past relationship experiences haunt current and future ones. Wouldn’t it be glorious to start fresh with each new person?
“I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” — Marilyn Monroe
I should stop worrying about my half-and-half friends. If they can’t lend a hand or stand by my side when I’m down, I’m only feeding their selfish interests by giving them my best.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” — Robert Frost
Que sera, sera. O-bla-di, o-bla-da. Tomorrow is a new day. Just follow each breath with another.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anaïs Nin
Having a degree in psychology, I know all about projection and bias and self-concept. When I love myself and I am happy, life will be all that much better. I will trust again.
“It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.” — André Gide
I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to please everyone, and compromising my own happiness to ensure that of others. It is hard for those close to me to accept just how unhappy I have been for a long time, because I did not burden them with the knowledge. I shave off bits of myself that I feel might offend certain people. No more. No more sacrifices. I will be me, and be proud, and love the people who choose to love me then.
Besides, no one great and successful can be loved by everyone, because making a bold statement intrinsically involves the risk of disagreement.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” — Lewis Carroll
While there is a fun, carefree aspect to this quote, I see this point instead: without a goal, I am liable to drift onto any path – perhaps a good one, but, equally likely, one of self-destruction. I need to provide myself with enough guidance to make the right decisions when I reach these forks in the road.
What or whose words do you choose to live by?
“We are our desires.” –Aristotle
What is my deepest desire? I suppose it is to be loved, firstly by myself. I think everyone has conflicts with who they are and who they wish they could be, but after acceptance of self, the love of others is the next best thing. Like a love hierarchy, if you will.
What did Aristotle mean by “we are our desires”? He could have meant that without our desires, we have no motivation or purpose. If we are not constantly striving for something, some form of improvement, there is no true purpose to living. Our existence is based on these desires. I need a goal to define myself, and then perhaps happiness will follow.
What do his words mean to you?
Ah, these give me the warm fuzzies. Asterisks (**) next to my personal favourites.
On Friends & Family
Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend. -Agatha Christie
**Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It’s either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Chan-Chu. But I think it’s Colin. -Tim Vine
I drink to make other people interesting. -George Jean Nathan
I work until beer o’clock. -Steven King
Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth. -George Burns
Time is never wasted when you’re wasted all the time. -Catherina Zandonella
Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, “You’re next.” They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally. -W.C. Fields
A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s. She changes it more often. -Oliver Herford
I’d love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair. -Bette Davis
It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful -Anton Szandor LaVey
Sex is like bridge: If you don’t have a good partner, you better have a good hand. -Charles Pierce
I practice safe sex – I use an airbag. -Garry Shandling
When I’m good I’m very, very good but when I’m bad I’m better. -Mae West
Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I. -Oscar Levant
Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. -Mark Twain
Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. -Emo Philips
**The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they’re going to be when you kill them. -William Clayton
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. -Jerome K. Jerome
Elinor thought it wisest to touch that point no more. She knew her sister’s temper. Opposition on so tender a subject would only attach her the more to her own opinion. (Chapter 12)
Ha! Tell me about it. Could be talking about my mom here.
“How horrid all this is!” said [Mr. Palmer]. “Such weather makes everything and everybody disgusting. Dulness is as much produced within doors as without by rain. It makes one detest all one’s acquaintance. What the devil does Sir John mean by not having a billiard-room in his house? How few people know what comfort is! Sir John is as stupid as the weather.” (Chapter 20)
Well, good sir, your face is stupid.
(For more scholastic-oriented quotes from ‘Sense and Sensibility’, see this link.)
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.“
Instead of comparing how much or how little care and attention a person “deserves” each one of us should strive to give love without reserve – the more we give, the more we have.
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.“
It is not the police or a higher law that should be feared as a consequence of an unconscious expression of anger, but the internal ramifications that expression has on the balance of the soul. (Link.)
Buddhism is the closest I have gotten to a religious/spiritual attitude, because it speaks to a sense of personal wellbeing. I have always remembered a quote I read by the Dalai Lama, which expresses a beautifully tolerant and open interpretation of buddhist principles:
“Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.”
For 10 simple lessons from the Buddha (including the above two), click here.
Julian Barnes, “A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters”
“You keep forgetting things, or you pretend to. I can see there might be a positive side to this willful averting of the eye: ignoring the bad things makes it easier for you to carry on. But ignoring the bad things makes you end up believing that bad things never happen. You are always surprised by them. It surprises you that guns kill, that money corrupts, that snow falls in winter. Such naivety can be charming; alas, it can also be perilous.
Blame someone else, that’s always your first instinct. And if you can’t blame someone else, then start claiming the problem isn’t a problem anyway. Rewrite the rules, shift the goalposts. Simple case of mistaken identity. Problem disappears.”
Carol Shields, “Larry’s Party”:
“No one knows my eyes are blinking, adjusting, making leaps, asking the question inside the question…”
“Solstice, equinox. He loves the sound of those words, and remembers how a teacher back in high school once wrote them on the blackboard, putting a slash across the middle of equinox, equal night and day. What beautiful logic. The twice-yearly miracle. And here it is. Today. The vernal equinox. About time.”
On the rich: “They’re out of touch, they’re out to lunch, they breathe the dead air of their family privilege.”
“These words aren’t really me, they’re just the clothes I wear.”
T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”:
“In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”
“Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;”
“I grow old…I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”
“We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”
Simone de Beauvoir, “Le Deuxieme Sexe”:
“Je veux l’amour qui traverse l’ame de frissons ineffables, l’amour qui me met en pamoison…” (585)
“Helas! dit l’autre, c’est l’amour; l’amour, le consolateur du genre humain, le conservateur de l’univers, l’ame de tous les etres sensibles, le tendre amour. -Helas! dit Candide, je l’ai connu, cet amour…”
“Qu’est-ce qu’optimisme? disait Cacambo. -Helas! dit Candide, c’est la rage de soutenir que tout est bien quand on est mal.”
“We must not say that an action shocks the common conscience because it is criminal, but rather that it is criminal because it shocks the common conscience. We do not reprove it because it is a crime, but it is a crime because we reprove it.”
“The credit belongs to the man… who is actually in the arena… who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy…cause… who, at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails…at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls… who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Way back in high school calculus, my friends and I sat in the back row paying attention to the foibles of our classmates rather than our studies, which came a little more naturally. The following are some quotes we took down in our notebooks, because, since when does feeling smarter than everyone else NOT make us happy? :)
Okay, so I didn’t get much sleep last night and I’m pretty much exhausted, but I coach a bunch of kids this morning so I’ve made my coffee and I’m ready to smile. Besides, what better way to wake up as though it were on purpose? (-Mary Anne Radmacher)
Have a good day, friends and strangers.
I wrote this one for Frosh week ;)
A significant proportion of this year’s frosh will be arriving with v-cards still intact (and with varying intentions regarding the persistence of this state). For others, sex is an old sport. Don’t let this fool you, though: university sex is an entirely different game.
There are different kinds of virgins. Mainly, there are those who are virgins by choice, and those who, well, are not.
Those of you in the latter group might idolize Jonah Hill and Michael Cera from Superbad as they contemplate their last high school party ever: “You know when you hear a girl saying, like, ‘Aww, I was so gone last night, I shouldn’t have slept with that guy!’? We could be that mistake!”
For you folks lookin’ to get lucky, the good news is this: the rumours are true. Whether you want to get laid or are anticipating your first time, university is for you, and so is this article.
However these experiences may come about for you, there are a few tips I can impart to minimize the degree of humiliation, awkwardness, or downright repulsion you experience in retrospect.
Though stereotypes can be faulty, we continue to use them because they save us time and effort. For this reason, I will employ just a few of these stereotypes to help you learn to identify your own intentions and—either for the purpose of attracting or avoiding a type—those of your potential partners this year.
The Exotic Hottie: This is how a coworker fondly referred to those international students who are new to Canadian culture and don’t yet realize that they are, in fact, total babes. If you’re not sure whether you fall into this group, watch out for unexpected special attention from those around you—and don’t forget to keep an open mind!
The Virgin Player: There are two variations of this, but they’re pretty easy to tell apart. The first is the player who acts like a virgin, usually identifiable by way of simultaneous stunning good looks and the speedy assertion that they want you to be their first. Swim at your own risk. The opposite, of course, is the virgin who acts like a player…although it eventually worked out for McLovin, so don’t knock it! Chica chica, yeeeeeah. (Okay, done with the Superbad references.)
The Selfish Lay: This person has the looks and can always be spotted canoodling with attractive others, but never seems to have a girlfriend.
You’ve also heard the stories. The “friend of a friend” kind.
It’s possible that this person has had many sexual partners but not a great amount of sexual experience with one in particular, resulting in a hush-hush reputation of being self-serving and just really not that good in bed. Talk to your friends.
The High School Hopeful: This person is playing the long-distance card with their hometown hunnie, and spends more time on the phone than at the bar…so actually, you might not even know they exist until Thanksgiving. If you fall into this group and don’t know the Thanksgiving rule, I am NOT about to burst your bubble. We’ve all been wrong about this before, though, so ignore the naysayers and all the more power to you. Just don’t miss out on the rest of the university experience!
The Slut: Both men and women may be referred to as sluts (I love the word manwhore!), but, similarly, both may be misidentified as such. The Slut is frequently seen hanging out one-on-one, perhaps in the night or early morning, with close, personal friends. Or, “close,” “personal” “friends.” Wiiiiink. Maybe they’re never actually spotted macking, but really, as if you can’t tell they’re doing it.
[As a warning, we all believe what we want in the end, so consider your own role in your judgments—this goes for all stereotypes! Therefore, beware the absolute application of this and other titles, unless you’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth, or else, to quote Russell Peters, “someone gonna get a-hurt real bad.”
The Sexual Friend: This person recounts their exciting sex stories to you without seeming embarrassed, which can be a hugely respectable thing to witness. Even if you can still find this person attractive at this point in the friendship, you probably haven’t crossed the line with them…yet. Wiiiink. They can be not only exceptionally entertaining, but also educational, so listen and learn, baby!
The Serial Monogamist: They don’t cheat, but they’ve dated, like, everyone. This person only has one girlfriend or boyfriend at a time, but moves on relatively quickly. Maybe they’re not into commitment; maybe they have some fatal relational flaw; or, maybe they just like to mix it up a little. The Serial Monogamist may show you a good time, but be sure your future expectations synch up before you get involved, or…someone gonna get a-hurt real bad!
The Bar Star: This person lives for the sociable, and seems to know everyone in school within a month. If you’re lucky enough to be legal age when you get here, you’ll figure this one out on your own…then again, it may take one to know one. See you at the Axe! ;)
The Frosh Week Splurger: Maybe this person is going to spend all of frosh week making out with every person they find mildly attractive, but this may just be their way of letting loose away from home—it’s a wait-and-see judgment.
Not the worst idea, really, if you plan on buckling down in school and want to get your mistakes out of the way early.
If you suspect you might fall into this category, beware the objects of your temporary affection. Floorcest may seem convenient at the time, but you’re probably going to see this person every day for the next year of your life.
So, welcome to ******! Get out there, stick to your morals, and enjoy! Please just remember to be safe and responsible in all that you do, and find out what your resources are on campus.
Let’s face it—if we all try hard enough this year, we could all be that mistake.