Lessons learned

A collection of things people have told me that have stuck with me, quoted or paraphrased, perhaps wrongly. Things that meant a lot to me when they were said, or didn’t, and mean something now. Things I have learned from, whether or not I agree with them.

Told how I remember them now, without context, from whom they were told to me, even if I’m quoting wrong, even if know that person was quoting someone else.

“Everything is okay.”

“Existence exists, A equals A.”

“I’m trying to tell people what they could do instead of what they should do.”
Lauren from New York

“It’s the harder path but the faster lesson.”

“All deep earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea, while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore. But as in landlessness alone resides the highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God, so better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety!”
Herman Melville

“I am not you, I am like you, I am nothing but you, and they’re all true.”
Douglas Brooks.

“The universe is from New Jersey. It’ll ask you, whaddayawant?
Also Douglas Brooks.

“It’s like, if you are you, you are sane.”

“Dig deep and suck out the marrow of life, and if it be mean, find the full meanness of it.”
Henry David Thoreau

“I can’t be assed.”
Too many people

“I do care.”
Also Yas

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I think I first heard it from the guy playing Mia’s bodyguard in The Princess Diaries

“Simplify, simplify.”
Also Thoreau, maybe Emerson, probably both

“If you are here, you are ready.”
Also Douglas Brooks

“Are you honey badger enough?”
Also Douglas Brooks

“The uncarved block.”

“I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don’t want one.”
Emile Hirsch as Chris McCandless in Into the Wild

“Once you get to the oneness of the universe, you know you’ll never have a mortgage. Like I’ll just live in a tenth-dimensional string.”
Paul from Galway

“Staying found.”
Cheryl Strayed

“Ask yourself Why, and accept whatever comes up after you do that.”

“It’s a closed loop.”
Also David

“And so it goes with God.”
That guy as Pi in Life of Pi

“Society follows the chakras. The first chakra is chaos and survival, second chakra is tribalism, third chakra is independent self, fourth chakra is true community.”
My mom

“I love you,”
Also my mom, and dad, and others

“Greed isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom. The problem is the Separation.”
Charles Eisenstein

“Love is easy, everything else is fucked.”
Also David

“It’s all frue and tralse.”

“Yeah but your entire way of seeing reality is useless.”
Also Gerard

“Okay, so, what do we do now?”

“I don’t know, anarchism might be the answer,”
My Political Economy of African Development professor at Columbia

“Ashamed, I find myself envying the Iraqis and the Israelis. There seems nothing false about war. There are none of the subtleties and nuances of ordinary life. You’re at the core of every feeling, nothing else matters but to stay alive, and that’s how I want to feel.”
Heidi Postlewait

“The art that changes the world is made by young people full of anger.”
Gisli Snaer

“I feel like, in general, life isn’t really a big deal.”

“I am not looking for roses. I want to break like a fever. I want to break like the Berlin wall.”
Andrea Gibson

“Sometimes love, sometimes real love, is fucking rude.”
Also Andrea Gibson

“Until I am willing to sweat as much as I cry.”
Also Andrea Gibson

“As someone I love, I would like your permission to kill myself someday if that’s something I decide to do.”
Someone I love who will know exactly who they are if they read this, whom I can’t be sure would want to be identified here

“…All pleasures and all pains, remembering the bough of summer and the winter branch, these are the measure destined for her soul.”
Wallace Stevens

“I have so much passion and no idea what I’m doing with my life.”
Benjamin Wachs

“Writing as writing. Writing as rioting. Writing as righting. On the best days, all three.”
Some guy on Twitter


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