“Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you have to do it.”
“And then one day you will look for you in the mirror and you’ll no longer be able to identify yourself—you’ll only see everyone else. You’ll know that you did what they wanted you to do. You will have assimilated. And you will hate yourself for it, because it will be too late.”
“People enter our lives for a season, a reason, or a lifetime.”
“I knew that I had reached the end of childhood once I realized that adults in my life didn't know anymore than I did.”
“Far too often, people are woefully predictable. And I know many things. It's a curse. Here's something else I know: You are not doomed to be your parents. You can break the cycle. You can be whoever you want to be. But you will pay a price. You parents and everyone else will punish you if you choose to be you and not them. That's the price of your freedom. The cage is unlocked, but everyone is too scared to walk out because they whack you when you try, and they whack you hard. They want you to be scared, too. They want you to stay in the cage. But once you are a few steps beyond the trapdoor, they can't reach you anymore, so the whacking stops. That's another secret: They're too afraid to follow. They adore their own cages.”
“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”
“There are a lot of lonely kids in this world, but the problem is they don’t know about each other.”
“There are no such things as fictional characters.”
“Sometimes you just have to pick a direction and make mistakes. Then you use what you learn from your failure to pick new, better directions so you can make more mistakes and keep learning.”
“And so maybe it isn't the motivating factors that matter so much as simply participating - thrusting your best true, authentic self into the universe with wild abandon. Maybe yielding to our true nature propels us forward into the great unknown, toward targets that we haven't even dreamed up yet but exist nonetheless.”
“We live in our heads... which can be very scary places. We forget that we are not just and I, but a she and a you, too. We forget to see ourselves as others see us. For some people, the problem is narcissism - meaning they are selfish, too self-absorbed. But I think that your problem is that you are too selfless. You care about the needs of others more than you care about your own needs. You are strong for them even when it's a detriment to your own well-being.”
“There are seven billion people in the world and you have only experienced twenty thousand at the most. And those twenty thousand were fairly homogenous. Your experiences with people have been largely dictated by your parents' choices. The neighborhood in which they chose to purchase a house. Where they sent you to school. And maybe those choices weren't the best for you. Maybe you don't fit in where you are now... There are seven billion other people out there. Seven billion. Are you really pessimistic enough to believe that you wouldn't get along with any of them?”
“Then we talked a lot about our parents and how we didn't want to become them, but we had no other role models--or "maps," Alex kept saying. "My father is a terrible map, mostly because he doesn't ever lead me anywhere." And I thought about my parents being maps that led to places I didn't want to go-- and it made a shocking amount of sense, using the word maps to describe parents. If almost made you feel like you could fold Mom and Dad up and lock them away in the glove compartment of your car and just joyride for the rest of your life maybe.”
“I mean - when was the last time someone asked if you were happy and then looked you in the eyes in a way that made you feel as though they actually gave a shit about your response?”
“You must sometimes pay a high price for individuality, especially if you are a woman.”
“I loved him like I loved walking through summer grass barefoot, like I loved a warm mug in my palms, like I loved driving on a long road as the sun sets in the distance. It was a good, safe, simple sort of friendship—well, at first, anyway.”
“A life lived well gets messy,”
“I'm waiting for the stars to pop through the black above, waiting for the future to wash over me like so many salty waves - some as turbulent as my thoughts and some as velvety as a good kiss.”
“I knew that I had reached the end of childhood once I realized that the adults in my life didn't know any more than I did - and then in a flash I knew that everything that had preceded that exact moment was a sort of game played by the so-called adults who winked at each other when you weren't looking...people who pretended to be things they were not, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, athletic coaches, teachers, our heroes, too. But the sad truth was they they were no better than we were, and more often than not, they were much worse because they had been here on this planet longer than we had and therefore were able to collect more vices, worries, and sadness.”
“Maybe the goal in America is to have an easy life, and so we find it too disgraceful to tell the truth. I meet a lot of people in my line of work, and I can say with utmost certainty--life is pretty hard for almost all of them.”
“There are no guarantees when it comes to such treacherous things as friendship. It’s a tricky business.”
“Maybe you held back for too long and then you had to explode. Maybe there was no middle ground left. Sometimes we need to get violent with our words because no one is listening otherwise.”
“Don't you ever feel like you want to quit doing something everyone else makes you feel like you're supposed to keep doing? Didn't you ever just simply want to...stop?”
“There is a price to pay for pushing beyond everyone else’s answers, and what I’m finding out is that I’m more than willing to pay it.”
“When I look at my father, I can see that he doesn't get it, either, and right then and there, I realize that there's a big part of me that my parents will never get no matter how many therapy sessions we attend - even if we have a million and one conversations about who I am.”
“It didn’t seem like everyone could or should be honest at the same time—like maybe the structure of the world wasn’t built to handle such mass amounts of truth.”
“You don't have to have it all figured out now or ever. We're all just bumbling through, really. But you'll find something to be passionate about. You just need to leave high school and your town behind.”
“So I wore the lesbian comments like a mask that kept everything I really loved private and safe and beyond the dirty grasp of the people who didn't know the real, true me and never would.”
“How did high schools all over the country decide that athletes needed pep rallies to boost their pride and self-esteem? Isn't it enough that people actually pay money to see these kids compete in games? That people cheer from the sidelines? And they get their names in the paper? Why don't they take all the lonely ghost floaters in every high school and have a pep rally for them? Make all the most popular kids in school sit on the hard bleachers and cheer until their asses hurt like hell?”
“It's okay to love people who aren't perfect. People who still have work to do on themselves.”
“Man's basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know.”
“Sleep is a very capricious goddess, and it is precisely when she is invoked that she delays coming.
- Page 184”
“Wonderful, darling Oksana, allow me to kiss you!" the encouraged blacksmith said and pressed her to him with the intention of snatching a kiss; but Oksana withdrew her cheeks, which were a very short distance from the blacksmith's lips, and pushed him away.
"What more do you want? He's got honey and asks for a spoon! Go away, your hands are harder than iron. And you smell of smoke. I suppose you've made me all sooty.”
“Of course, he showed me this one afternoon when he was skipping class. When trolls cut classes, you think they are losers. When the beautiful and/or reasonably erudite do the same thing to sit on the library steps and read poetry, you think they are on to something deep. You see only deep brown wavy hair and strong legs, well honed by years of Ultimate Frisbee. You see that book of T. S. Eliot poems held by the hand with the long, graceful fingers, and you never stop to think that it shouldn't take half a semester to read one book of poems... that maybe he is not so much reading as getting really high every morning and sleeping it off on the library steps, forcing the people who actually go to class to step or trip over him.”
“The incompetent leading the unwilling to do the unnecessary.”
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