The hope was, people like me got to finally find our place in college or in the actual world. People who understood this told you that high school wasn't the actual world, that it was more like a temporary alternate reality you were forced to believe in for four years. A video game you played, where you could never get to the next level no matter how hard you tried.
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I wondered if parents had an easier time with the secrets their children kept than children did with the secrets of their parents. A parent's secrets seemed like some sort of betrayal, where my own just seemed like a fact of life and growing up and away. I was supposed to be independent, but he was supposed to be available. Him having his own life seemed selfish, where me having my own was the right order of things.
I didn't know what I wanted to Be...A sense that I had permanently botched things already, embarked on the trip without the map. and it scared me too, that I might end up as a mother of 3 working in a psychiatrist's office, or renting surfboards...I guess I saw their lives as failed somehow, absent of the Big Win...What is fate was an inherited trait? What if luck came through the genetic line, and the ability to "succeed" at your chosen "direction" was handed down, just like the family china? Maybe I was destined to be a weed too.
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It was more work than it seemed, looking through a telescope, as the Earth was continually moving and you had to move along with it. You don't realize how fast this acutally happens, and it's kind of both creepy and wonderful when you stop to think about it. And it makes you realize there's absolutely no way to avoid change. You can sit there and cross your arms and refuse it, but underneath you, things are still spinning away.
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summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you're not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don't have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.
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Family was even a bigger word than I imagined, wide and without limitations, if you allowed it, defying easy definition. You had family that was supposed to be family and wasn't, family that wasn't family but was, halves becoming whole, wholes splitting into two; it was possible to lack whole, honest love and connection from family in lead roles, yet to be filled to abundance by the unexpected supporting players.
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It makes you realize how basically everything we do comes down to a) mating or b) competing for resources. It's just like Animal Planet, only we've got Cover Girl and Victoria's Secret instead of colored feathers and fancy markings, and the violence occurs at the Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale.
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The six rules of maybe 1. respect the power of hope and possibilites. Begin with beleif. Hold onto it. 2. If you known where you want to go, you're already half way there. Know what you desire but, more imporantly, why you desire it. Then go. 3. hopes and dreams and heart's desires require a clear path-get out of your own way 4. Place hope carefully in your own hands and in the hands of others 5. Persist, if necessary 6. That said, most importantly-know when you've reached an end, Quit, give up, do it with courage. Giving up is not failing-it's the chance to begin again.
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It was possible, maybe, to have facts in your mind that weren't facts at all. You could build a whole life's story on false assumptions. You could make truths out of untruths and untruths out of truths. Until you spoke them, really said them out loud or checked for sure, you may not have known which were which.
Or so we don't think about how we're just vulnerable specks trying to survive on a violent, tumultuous planet, at the mercy of hurricanes and volcanoes and asteroids and terrorists and disease and a million other things. We concentrate on having little thoughts so we don't have BIG THOUGHTS. . . . You've got to ignore the one big truth - life is fatal.
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At the root of every large struggle in life is the need to be honest about something that we do not feel we can be honest about. We lie to ourselves or other people because the truth might require action on our part, and action requires courage. We say we "don't know" what is wrong, when we do know what is wrong; we just wish we didn't. Art lets us tell the truth, but even art can be something to hide behind.
Onyx is angry," Damian says. "Onyx has a right to be angry. You've got to remember, for many elephants, their life is that of a human in a war-torn country. Ravaged homes, killed relatives, separation," Damian says. Here's another thing I've learned over two months--every elephants here has a sad story. Every captive elephant's story is one of loss and separation. Something to remember every time you see happy people getting elephant rides.
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I had always had a little problem looking out for myself in love. I was afraid people would leave me. So I sort of clung and did everything possible to keep someone around. I didn't have a hard talk with myself about who I was keeping around. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I clung to people like human life preservers. I thought i'd die if someone left me. Its ironic because now I'm the one who's leaving.
I've heard that people stand in bad situations because a relationship like that gets turned up by degrees. It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. Place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, and he will stay until he is boiled to death. Us frogs understand this.
You can forget that other people carry pieces of your own story around in their heads. I've always thought-put together all those random pieces form everyone who's ever known you from your parents to the guy who once sat next to you on a bus, and you'd probably see a fuller version of your life than you even did while living it.
It's some twisted, limited, grocery-store mentality, where people have to be dairy products or vegetables or frozen foods for us to be able to understand them and feel safe. Maybe we've just become such mega-consumers that we can't deal with anything that's slightly inconvenient (basically, anything that requires thought). I was the tofu amidst the Baking Products and Cleaning Supplies." (pg. 71)
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You have the ability to just go on and forget people and how much they are meant, but I don't. You can people in their own little boxes and leave them there. So much for love. So much for soul mates. I'm sorry you don't want to believe the best or how I can change. You put a stake through the heart. I'm the only one who cared enough to suffer like this.
We were right to come here, if only because the ocean reminded you that impossible things were possible. Miles and miles of the deepest waters that moved like clockwork were possible. Creatures like jellyfish and sea urchins were, too. Millions and jillions of the tiniest grains of sand to form one long, soft beach-yep, even that was possible.
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It starts so young, and I'm angry about that. The garbage we're taught. About love, about what's "romantic." Look at so many of the so-called romantic figures in books and movies. Do we ever stop and think how many of them would cause serious and drastic unhappiness after The End? Why are sick and dangerous personality types so often shown a passionate and tragic and something to be longed for when those are the very ones you should run for your life from? Think about it. Heathcliff. Romeo. Don Juan. Jay Gatsby. Rochester. Mr. Darcy. From the rigid control freak in The Sound of Music to all the bad boys some woman goes running to the airport to catch in the last minute of every romantic comedy. She should let him leave. Your time is so valuable, and look at these guys-depressive and moody and violent and immature and self-centered. And what about the big daddy of them all, Prince Charming? What was his secret life? We dont know anything about him, other then he looks good and comes to the rescue.
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Sometimes love is a surprise, an instant of recognition, a sudden gift at a sudden moment that makes everything different from then on. Some people will say that's not love, that you can't really love someone you don't know. But, I'm not so sure. Love doesn't seem to follow a plan; it's not a series of steps. It can hit with the force of nature-an earthquake, a tidal wave, a storm of wild relentless energy that is beyond your simple attempts at control.
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This is what I know. Don't settle for 40, 50, or even 80 percent. A relationship-it shouldn't be too small or too tight or even a little scratchy. It shouldn't take up space in your closet out of guilty conscience or convenience or a moment of desire. Do you hear me? It shold be perfect for you. It should be lasting. Wait. wait for 100 percent.
We look down our noses at people who've made mistakes in relationships. She's so stupid! How could she do that! Our superiority makes us feel better. But I'd bet everything I have on the fact that people to claim to have a perfect record in love are either lying or have very limited dating experience. People who say, I'd never do that! Someday, unless you are very, very lucky, you'll have a story to tell. Or not to tell.
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A person shows signs of clutching on too fast, of being needy, of not hearing the word "no, " of jealousy, of guarding you and your freedom. But the signs can be so small they skitter right past you. Sometimes they dance past, looking satiny, something you should applaud. Someone's jealousy can make you feel good. Special. But it's not even about you. It's about a hand that is already gripping. It's about their need, circling around your throat
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People can attach themselves to something-an idea, another person, a desire-with an impossibly strong grip, and in the case of restless ghosts, a grip stronger than death. Will is a powerful thing. Will-it's supposed to be a good treat, a more determined and persistent version of determination and persistence. But will and obsession-they sit right next to each other. They pretend to be strangers and all the while meet secretly at midnight." -
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Unconditional love is like a contry of two with no laws and no government. Which is all fine if everyone is peaceful and law abiding. In the wrong hands, though, you got looting and crime sprees, and let me tell you, the people who demand unconditional love are usually the ones who will rob and pillage and then blame you because you left your door unlocked.
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I used to think that finding the right one was about the man having a list of certain qualities. If he has them, we'd be compatible and happy. Sort of a checkmark system that was a complete failure. But I found out that a healthy relationship isn't so much about sense of humor or intelligence or attractive. It's about avoiding partners with harmful traits and personality types. And then it's about being with a good person. A good person on his own, and a good person with you. Where the space between you feels uncomplicated and happy. A good relationship is where things just work. They work because, whatever the list of qualities, whatever the reason, you happen to be really, really good together.
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I didn't know what I wanted to Be... A sense that I had permanently botched things already, embarked on the trip without the map. and it scared me too, that I might end up as a mother of 3 working in a psychiatrist's office, or renting surfboards... I guess I saw their lives as failed somehow, absent of the Big Win... What is fate was an inherited trait? What if luck came through the genetic line, and the ability to "succeed" at your chosen "direction" was handed down, just like the family china? Maybe I was destined to be a weed too.
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It was strange to have those papers signed. Like any big project or crisis that takes every waking and non-waking moment in your life, it was odd to have it concluded. A move, a college degree, a wedding-something long-strived-for is completed, whatever the outcome, and there is a huge space where it all once was. All that open time now, and a continuing nagging sense that there's something you need to be doing.
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Let me tell you, you either have chemistry or you don't, and you better have it, or it's like kissing some relative. But chemistry, listen to me, you got to be careful. Chemistry is like those perfume ads, the ones that look so interesting and mysterious but you dont even know at first what they're even selling. Or those menues without the prices. Mystery and intrigue are gonna cost you. Great looking might mean something ve-ry expensive, and I don't mean money. What I'm saying is, chemistry is a place to start, not an end point.
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Because what is more like love than the ocean? You can play in it, drown in it. It can be clear and bright enough to hurt your eyes, or covered in fog; hidden behind a curve of road, and then suddenly there in full glory. Its waves come like breaths, in and out, in and out, body stretched to forever in its possibilities, and yet its heart lies deep, not fully knowable, inconceivably majestic.
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Truth was funny, because it was an insistent thing, maybe as powerful and insistent as some force of nature, the push of water or wind. You could keep it out only so long, but it had its own will and its own needs, and maybe you could keep it at bay with lies, but not for long, not for always.
Usually, I set one foot in a library and I feel my own internal volume lower. A library is a physical equivalent of a sigh. It's the silence, sure, but it's also the certainty of all those books, the way they stand side by side with their still, calm conviction. It's the reassurance of knowledge in the face of confusion.
You read all kinds of books and see all kinds of movies about the man who is obsessed and devoted, whose focus is a single solid beam, same as the lighthouse and that intense, too. It is Heathcliff with Catherine. It is a vampire with a passionate love stronger than death. We crave that kind of focus from someone else. We'd give anything to be that "loved." But that focus is not some soul-deep pinnacle of perfect devotion - it's only darkness and the tormented ghosts of darkness. It's strange, isn't it, to see a person's gaping emotional wounds, their gnawing needs, as our romance? We long for it, I don't know why, but when we have it, it is a knife at our throat on the banks of Greenlake. It is an unwanted power you'd do anything to be rid of. A power that becomes the ultimate powerlessness.
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True love, the good, beautiful, one-and-only kind, the kind between loving friends and family and partners who are mostly just trying hard to do their best, it manages to overlook some pieces of its story. It overlooks what he can't give you or how she failed you or what mistakes he made when he was struggling. It stays steady at its center. It evolves, through drought and storm. It grows. It survives.
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In the middle of the night I am awakened by a sound. I sit up abruptly in bed. I hear it again. It's music. Wait, it sounds like the ice cream man, in our house. Is this some kind of twisted nightmare? The flipping ice cream man, breaking in to chop us all up in our beds to the tune of 'Zippity Do Dah'?... My heart slows. I remember. There is no psycho ice cream man here. It is just our new musical soap dispenser...
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To be devasted, or to let the truth in, finally, finally, all the way, all the way, all the way, until it fills you with its own strength, with it's own knowledge-that love is light and not darkness, that love that is not good is not wortht of you, that love can only truly be given by those who are ble, those with hearts of quality and with careful hands.
We should have the right to have someone leave when we want, to only allow those in who we want in. But the truth is, people can force their way into your life whenever they choose. If they want to remind you forevermore that they exist, they will. They can reappear in a card or call or a "chance" meeting, they can remember your birthday or the day you met with some innocuous small note. No matter how little they matter in your new life, they can insist on being seen and recognized and remembered.
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I love to see those paragliders weaving softly around Moon Point, their legs floating above you in the air. When they drift in for a landing, their feet touch the ground and they trot forward from the continued motion of the glider, which billows down like a setting sun. I never get tired of watching them and I've seen them thousands of times. I always wondered what that kind of freedom would feel like.
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