“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.”
― Shannon L. Alder
The Greatest Challenges that any of us have to overcome is the little boxes that society tries to place us in. For me, it was ADD, Small Town, Woman, Same Sex Attraction, Heathen, and Deviant (to name a few). These are the labels I wear around and people want to typecast me based on these facts about myself. Each presents its own set of challenges and obstacles that I must cross in order to be included in a society, who clearly rejects me. I like this quote because it, essentially, gives us the answer to overcoming these challenges….do not allow yourself to be defined by the box but rather define your existence based on your view from the box. It’s a beautiful sentiment and great motivational words to live by.
“We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don’t share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear
This is the kind of quote that did not change my thinking but, rather, validated it. I was born with a defect….the kind of defect that lives in the brain and dictates behavior. It is the kind of defect that horrified my teachers, pastors and parents. I was born without the ability to simply accept anything as truth…to take the world at face value. Sure, ignorance is easier…more comfortable but I can’t live life that way. I don’t believe anything that I haven’t discovered myself. As a result, I find myself always taking the hard road; finding things out the hardest ways; and living the most honest life that I know. I am not without faith…but my faith is one of my own making. I am not without knowledge…but the knowledge I possess I have searched and worked to gain. I am stubborn, unmovable, and relentless at times but I am secure, curious, and strong. So, this is the code of my existence….to be continually asking questions…to always search for answers….and to live a life based on my own truth.
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.” ~Rebecca West
“I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” ~Jonathan Safran Foer
There is a place within us all…a hole…that we crawl into when things get bad. When the rolling tides of sadness rush upon us, we move into this spot, to weather the storm. One day, I moved in and forgot, for a while, to move back out. It was the easy thing to do, because being present in the moment…because feeling meant that I had to endure the pain and negativity that lived around me….because not living in the hole meant that I might have to believe the words that were said to me. I lost something, valuable, in that hole. Before I crawled in, I had a hopelessly idealistic view of the world…people are, inherently, good…the world is a good place…Before all this happened, sadness was temporary…it was natural… It was something that came and went with the ups and downs of human life. I had never, before, experienced the type of sadness that comes around and stays for a while. The kind of sadness that flows through your blood and poisons your mind. I never knew that sadness could feel like a ball and chain…I didn’t know that it could ever weigh so much.
In my hole, I was safe from all this. I was numb but it was so hard to breathe….it was so hard to believe. I became the walking dead…soulless and muted…I moved through my days with little pleasure or excitement. I was still breathing but I had already stopped living. Under these circumstances, it’s impossible to feel happiness. The sadness just grows and grows and it starts to seep out of your body into the world around you. Then one day, you realize, you’ve become the sadness and there is not hope of ever feeling happy again….This is depression…Sometimes it occurs naturally and sometimes it is man made…Either way, it’s crippling…it’s not a disease but a state of being….a state of being overwhelmed and ashamed…a state of being toxic and unaware that good things exist in this world…It’s a state of blindness that resigns you to seeing only the grays and blacks in this world.
“Never Love Anybody Who Treats You Like You’re Ordinary” ~Oscar Wilde
To me, there’s nothing worst than being ordinary, and so, when someone looks at you and never sees the magic beyond your eyes, you should never give them your love. I spent a long time doing this: giving love to those who saw me as nothing more than flesh and blood. In fact, I’m so much more…I know the things that make me more than ordinary and I will never give myself to anyone unless they can see me for something so much more than I appear to be.
“I can’t do shit with sorry.” ~Red, Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black is hands down, my favorite TV show, right now…why? Two words: Alex Voss!!!!!!!!!! Okay, maybe I’m not that shallow but I do appreciate the show for giving us some quality, and well rounded (and mostly, really hot), lesbian characters…so thumbs up on that…Actually, characterization is great, across the board on this show and the plots are intense and interesting but still provide plenty of laughable moments…and because (let’s face it), we’re all imprisoned in some way…. It’s just a really great show!
I love this particular quote because Red is one of my favorite characters. I love how tough she is, while still remaining nurturing and motherly at the same time. I would like to think, if I went to prison, I would be Red. I know this feeling well. I think it’s easy to get the point where “I’m Sorry” just stops working…seeing becomes believing and some action must be made to PROVE regret…it’s not enough, just to hear it.
“My number one goal is to never feel like I’m strictly defining myself. The minute I feel like I’m doing that as anything-as theatrical, as feminist, as songwriter-I feel like the minute I name it, I’m stuck in a box.” ~Amanda Palmer
In a world and an industry that seems to always thirst for originality, Amanda Palmer NEVER disappoints. I can relate to her, as many of us can, because of her refusal to be anything other than her true self. The quest for today was to choose a quote from a headstrong female…Amanda Palmer was my initial choice. The word “headstrong” can mean obstinate. Amanda Palmer is naturally, and inspiringly so.
If you don’t know who Amanda Palmer is, I can tell you all sorts of things about her. I can tell you about her music, her exploits, her writing, ect. but to get a feel for who she really is, you should check out her blog, her Facebook page (like her page, she posts quite often and it’s always “good stuff”), her TED talk and her book (out November 11).
“I had given up
I didn’t know who to trust
So I designed a shell
Kept me from heaven and hell
And I had hit a low
Was all I let myself know
Yeah I had locked my heart
I was imprisoned by dark” ~Sia
This quote touches me in all my tender places. I really don’t need to get into how I identify with these lyrics, because they speak for themselves. That’s the true power in music; to speak for a heart when that heart can’t find the words to speak for itself…and here is the entire song:
“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Of course, the future is important…I see it rising in importance, too. I see all the movies and novels that seem to be trying to imagine the future…I’m writing one myself. The problem with this is that the future is an ever-changing entity; subject to change with the slightest decision…I think that imagining the future is a way to escape the present…a way to pretend that, one day, things will be better. As it is, that can be a helpful tool in times of despair but the future should never be anyone’s main focus….allowing yourself to be shaped by the probable future is like trying to take the shape of a flowing river….it’s futile and will only lead to certain failure.