I can’t believe that a year ago today I was getting settled in France. There were days when I thought that I would never make it back, and there were days when I couldn’t believe that the time was going so fast. Where did the year go? I see the shadows of its passing: a fellowship to study for my masters, my parents moving to the sunshine state, my older sister getting married and pregnant, my baby brother turning into an adult, Elisha finding a full time job…but even with all these residues of a lovely year that’s passed I can’t believe that it has. As I reflect on the transition from early to mid-twenties I decided that I would share a few quotes and ideas that I gathered in the last year. They’ve helped me to blossom and my hope in sharing is that maybe one or two of them will inspire you too. Some I’ve shared before in other blog posts or on Facebook, others I may have shared with you personally. Of course I started out with way more than 24, but in the hopes of being symbolic I narrowed it down. Et, voila:
1. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer” (Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God). (Don’t know a page number because I read the book online).
2. “But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason./ In those days, though, the spring always came finally; but it was frightening that it had nearly failed” (Hemingway 39, A Moveable Feast).
3. Olaf is right. “Some people are worth melting for” (Frozen).
4. “But it’s such as pity, a boy so pretty, with an ugly heart.” This goes for many girls too.
5. “By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better” (Hemingway 52, A Moveable Feast).
6. “Relinquishing responsibility and blaming others for what you do is very fashionable, but it was, is and always will be extremely unexistentialist, that is, extremely inauthentic” (Cox 6, How to be an Existentialist).
7. “You can’t claim to be a Christian who believes to be saved by the grace of God and not also experience a great change of heart. If it doesn’t change you and your perspective of the world around you, then you don’t really believe it” (Sermon, Grace Bible Church).
8. “But if they had learned anything together, it was that wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good” (Márquez 26, Love in the Time of Cholera).
9. Gratitude changes everything.
10. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go” (Dr. Seuss, Oh! The Places You’ll Go).
11. “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90…time is a concept that humans created” (Yoko Ono).
12. “The trouble is: you think you have time” (Buddha).
13. “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela).
14. “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” (Rumi)
15. "I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things” (Mother Teresa).
16. “I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure if I’d feel like it” (J.D. Salinger).
17. “You know that place between sleep and awake, the place you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I will always love you, that’s where I will be waiting” (Peter Pan).
18. And the unicorn thought to himself, “I don’t believe in humans.”
19. “You don’t have to be Anti-man to be Pro-woman” (Jane Galvin Lewis).
20. Having a rough day? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? It’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason.
21. “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly” (Morticia Addams).
22. Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.
23. “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore. It is a decision” (Paulo Coelho).
24. “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” (Anais Nin).