“When we hold each other, in the darkness, it doesn’t make the darkness go away. The bad things are still out there. The nightmares still walking. When we hold each other we feel not safe, but better. “It’s all right” we whisper, “I’m here, I love you.” and we lie: “I’ll never leave you.” For just a moment or two the darkness doesn’t seem so bad.”—Neil Gaiman’s Midnight Days, Neil Gaiman
Growing up, we’re told: behave, get good grades, go to college, get a job, find a career, pay your bills, buy a house, get married, have kids, save money, retire, send your kids to college so they can repeat the process.
Well here I am, 20 and in college. But, I have no idea what I want to do with my life…do I want to be a teacher, get a degree in anthropology, backpack through Europe? I need to find a job. The problem is I don’t want any of the jobs that are hiring and the ones that I do want and apply for, no call back. It’s just so discouraging.
I just want to fast forward 5 or 8 years and be out of school and in my career. Independent. In love. Happy.
I think I would call Him. Because if it was something like cancer or the world ending, I know that my friends and family would be around. So I would call Him. The one I can’t get over. The one that never really existed…for Him. But if I was going down in a plane or bleeding out in a car accident, I would definitely call my mom.
A female pal has taken to lamenting to me about how she’s gaining weight and feels increasingly “gross” about herself. She’d put on a few pounds, but she wasn’t gross by any standards. Still, regurgitating the usual niceties in hopes of bolstering her spirits felt hyper-fake, given how close we are, so instead of laying it on thick I probed deeper. What do you want to look like? “I want to be so skinny my ribs stick out.” Why? What’s hot about that? “Thin is in. Plenty of people will think I’m sexy!”
Her mindset was born from popular media, as a casual glance around her apartment instantly verified. Scads of twig-like celebrities on the covers of tabloid magazines stared up at me from the coffee table. Her TV was continuously tuned to reality shows featuring female contestants who seem to be secretly battling for the title of skinniest woman ever to live.
Scores of cleanse directions littered her wood countertop, each purporting to “shed pounds in days.” There were juice-only cleanses, vegan cleanses, organic cleanses, and the list went on. Each absurdly unappetizing regiment was vigorously highlighted and marked up with her flowery handwriting. “Yum!” she’d noted near the asparagus, kelp and tofu soup. She loves fried chicken and burgers. Not seaweed. She agreed, but stipulated “I love thin more.”
“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”—Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami (via fuckyeahliteraryquotes)
“A man’s heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn’t like a mother’s womb. It won’t bleed. It won’t stretch to make room for you.”—A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini (via fuckyeahliteraryquotes)
“I want morning and noon and nightfall with you. I want your tears, your smiles, your kisses…the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face. I want to see you in the final hour of my life…to lie in your arms as I take my last breath.”—Again the Magic, Lisa Kleypas (via fuckyeahliteraryquotes)