Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This is a little-effort post. But I felt like it needed to be done.

Barnes & Noble has a collection of "quotable" magnets and mugs for sale and while I was waiting for my sweet tea I was reading all the ones they had on display. There's a website, so I went to it to see what the whole collection looks like. I love quotes. Part of me thinks it's silly, because it's just a sentence or two. It's something some person said, and I'm a person, after all, so what makes what they say anymore important than what anyone else says. But some people just know how to say things. And sometimes you see those things at just the right time and they seem especially wise and relevant.

This blog has a few main purposes: to keep a record of this very transitional period of my life, to keep my family in the loop since I'm moving and changing my situation constantly (daily, almost), and to keep me writing, just to keep in the habit of it. But it's got this little bitty purpose, too, that's just a back-of-my-mind hope, really. 

Because this very transitional part of my life is hard and it's scary. It might not seem that way, because I'm not working and I'm getting to travel and that's a dream of many people, so it shouldn't seem hard. It's a privilege and I acknowledge that completely. But it's exhausting to be in new places all the time. I love it. But it's surprising how tiring it is just to explore a new neighborhood. To memorize a map enough so that when  you go out walking you don't look lost, because looking lost makes you very vulnerable. It's tiring to feel as though you might be vulnerable at any moment. And even though it's already been a pretty consistent part of my life it's hard to be away from my family and my friends during all of this. I chose to be, I know that. I chose it because I knew to stay with my friends and my family would mean to stay in the same place I've been and I want to see everything. And I'm really trying to see as much as I can, in case you haven't noticed.

I love what I'm doing. I'm glad I'm doing it. The couple of weeks before graduation I started to get really scared. Because it was coming so close and I couldn't believe I was going to get in my car and just go. A few times I thought I might not do it. But even then I was pretty sure I wouldn't back out. I don't like being scared of things. Fear is this little voice inside saying "You can't do it, you can't do it." And as soon as someone tells me I can't do it I become extremely determined to do it. It was a weird internal battle to have the scared part saying "You can't do this, it's stupid, it's impossible" and the stubborn part saying "Well, now I have to do it." 

(Fun story: I took swimming lessons in first or second grade--not because I couldn't swim, but so I could learn how to swim with real form. Actually, this may have been my one and only attempt to become an athlete at a young age. Never realized that. Anyway. When we started diving I got really nervous, mostly because I didn't like the idea of head-first and not being able to hold my nose. I stood on the side of the pool for 5 minutes just sort of staring at the water and my mom goes "Alright, you can't do it. We're going home." Which she knew would be the thing that made me do it. "Yes I can!" And it took me about 3 seconds to dive in. It was such an effective motivational strategy for me that I told my best friend in third grade to use it when I started being a wuss in P.E.)

So anyway. This is scary and it's hard and it's weird. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I'm geographically close to no one that I know. Phone calls are nice, but it's not the same as being in the same room as someone. And every day I cycle through my options. What I should do, what I could do, what I might do. How I'm going to do it. I'm always thinking because everything is so uncertain. 

My little bitty purpose is the hope that there are other people in a similar boat that might come across my blog and see someone else going through something similar. Not exactly the same, because I don't think there are that many homeless, road-tripping, zookeeper hopefuls out there, but similar, in the figuring out life, just starting out, what am I going to do?! way. 

That's why I'm sharing these quotes. Because sometimes it's really cool to be standing in line for a sweet tea and see a sentence that makes you think "This is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life right now." 

(Emphasis added in all cases.)

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!" - Christian D. Larson

“Courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" - Mary Anne Radmacher

"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." - Asha Tyson

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” - Souza

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” - unknown

"Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in the magic will never find it!" - Roald Dahl

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...” - Jack Kerouac (This, in case you weren't following tattoo trends, is a very popular tattoo quote. The "burn, burn, burn" part.)

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson

“Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel, meet people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.” – Lawrence K. Fish

"I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer…" - Rainer Maria Rilke


  1. Great post!
    When I move home I'm going to redecorate my bedroom, hopefully with a chalkboard paint wall for quotes!

  2. Tom and I were talking about that Rilke quote this weekend. That's a great one.

  3. "If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

    That's a keeper.

  4. And of course the great Mr. Kerouac....the burn, burn, burn quote.....I suppose that Kerouac has influenced my life as much as any writer.