This topic is broken down into two entries because I have commitment issues and a short attention span. Seven years of collecting snippets of text to live by, part two.
11. “Liberate yourself from the idea that people are watching you” – Russell Brand. I read Russell Brand’s Booky Wook and then promptly sold it on eBay, it was not my cup of tea, and certainly not as controversial as I had hoped. This quote, however, resonates with me as I have a touch of social phobia/anxiety (at it’s worst in the past six months). I think I’m being judged by every step I take, every move I make, they’ll be watching me (okay, okay, that was The Police, but it works in this case). But most of the time I guess the reality is that people see me but they’re not watching me… unless they think I’m hot, or my skirt is tucked into my knickers, I was on the news, or they find out I shagged an entire football team at the weekend – I so did not. I’m so self-conscious because of the idea that people are watching me, and I need not be – work in progress.
12. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again” – Maya Angelou. This one came up quite recently, with the passing of Maya Angelou. It’s just about facing things head-on, working through them, learning about yourself, and coming out the other side wiser and stronger. As soon as I read this quote I thought of my father’s tragic, sudden death three-and-a-half years ago. It’s something I have to live with every day, there’s more good days than bad days, and I think that’s because I dealt with it, explored my feelings and came to peace with it very early on; it still hurts but the pain has subsided a great deal. Plus, Dad would tell me to just get on with life.
13. “Be the calm in the storm” – author unknown, I saw this on a poster at the gym in 2008. I read it and had this vision of doing tai chi in a cyclone, with complete silence. I like chaos, and particularly when everyone else is going nuts, rushing around, drama-queening, I’ll be sipping my soy flat white going, “Mmm, coffee”, and everything still turns out okay, better than okay, and of a high standard too. Exhibit A: My current workplace.
14. “If you talk to god, you are praying. If god talks to you, you have schizophrenia” – Dr Thomas Szasz. I’ve just done a google on this one and the full quote continues as “…If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist. If you talk to the dead, you are a schizophrenic.” It was a little bit humourous the first time I read it, but now that I’ve looked into Dr Szasz’s work, I’m intrigued, he makes some very interesting statements, and I now endeavour to read more about him.
15. While listening to a lecture in early 2013, the lecturer was talking about his visit to the dentist where he asked, “Do I really have to floss my teeth?” And the dentist replied, “Only the ones you want to keep”. Now that is funny. Until a few years ago, I never thought flossing was important, in fact, I just thought it was this stupid, made-up thing, that made my gums bleed. So, four years ago, my dentist taught me how to floss properly. My world was turned upside-down. Dental floss rocks. Yeah, flossing your teeth is very important and I think it requires more widespread attention.
16. “Ride the wave knowing that it will eventually subside” – author unknown. It wont always be like this – whether ‘this’ refers to something good or bad, things change, for better, for worse. I’m not religious or spiritual or whatever else, but I do believe that we can learn something from everything that happens to us. LEARNING. I LOVE LEARNING!! Hmm, went off on a tangent there.
17. “Don’t let someone else control what you do in life. It’s our decisions, your outcomes, your life” – author unknown. In the last few years I’ve started to develop this, “I’m strong, I don’t need anyone else, I know what I want, I do what I want, I am woman, hear me roar!” type of attitude. I’m not sure if it’s completely a good thing, maybe 99% good. This has developed due to a few reasons. My parents grew up in that era where there was men’s roles and women’s roles – and I didn’t like that Mum always cooked, Dad was the breadwinner, Mum cleaned the house, Dad mowed the lawns, etc. I also realised that on numerous occasions I have found myself doing, saying, liking things because it’s what I think someone else wants to hear. I have compromised my own plans and goals, for someone else who wouldn’t do the same for me. And one day I went “STOP!” (it wasn’t even hammertime!). I bought a house 18-months ago and for the first time ever, I wielded a lawnmower – mowing the lawns is so much fun and great exercise. I take the rubbish out, I clean the house, I cook, I fix things things when they break, I negotiate with tradesmen (no, I don’t use my breasts… not everytime), etc. You get the point. You’re also probably going “You live alone, who else would do these things?” Good point. IF I had a male living with me, I would barr him from the lawnmower. I’m also a control freak.
18. “Think positive. Life is good. Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting pure gold. Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best to always happen, but accepting that whatever happens is the best for the moment. So keep smiling and keep staying true to your heart. Someday, the negative voice inside you will have nothing left to say” – author unknown. I’m the eternal optimist. Sort of. I’m a very positive person, and I see the good in most situations. I rarely expect things to be perfect. People always wish for great weather on their wedding day, but I think, if it pours down, my heels sink into the ground and my dress gets muddy, I’ll probably laugh, and still consider it a very memorable day. That said, there has never been any time where I’ve been engaged or even in a relationship that was heading for an engagement. It probably just says, I don’t take myself or life too seriously. As long as you’re with the people you love and you can laugh.
19. “Fear will suck the life right out of you if you let it. It will rule you. It will ruin you. Rise above it. Do whatever it takes to manage your fear. Most often, giving your fear words will reduce its power. You shine light on fear when you voice it. It can’t maintain a grip on you that way. Find someone you can talk to and share your fears. Don’t keep them hidden. They grow in the dark” – author unknown. Fear, crippling fear. It’s similar to “life beginning at the end of your comfort zone”. There are some things in life that are almost unavoidable, that most people hate, that I enjoy: needles, job interviews, exams, change, to name a few. This probably started when people made a huge deal out of them, then they actually happened and I went “Well, that wasn’t so bad”. The word “fear” makes me think of Harry Potter, and Voldemort. “Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself” says Hermione in reference to calling Voldemort, “He Who Must Not Be Named”. Talk about fears, shine the light on them, conquer them.
20. “On a clear day you can see forever” – author unknown, again, I saw this on a poster at the gym in 2008. I end this entry with something about the future. For me, this relates to those very rare days where your head is absolutely clear (no, not empty), you know what you want, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. You know what matters, who’s important, and that life needn’t be complicated.