For as long as I can remember, I have loved quotes. I’ve always been amazed at how the arrangement of a string of words could mean so much. Quotes, to the people who love them, have so much power. They make us feel understood, loved, accepted, liberated and important.
These smart people, the ones who seem to know just what to say, and exactly how to say it, are my heroes. I have never had a lack of role models because of them. I have never searched and came up empty of advice. I have never experienced a hardship that couldn’t be healed by the comfort of someone else’s words. Someone who had already learned what I was being taught now, who had learned it and survived, someone who was much smarter than myself. These writers, actors, poets, activists, characters, and humans that have no idea I exist, but have taught me so much about life anyway.
Here are twenty of my favorite quotes that I have found truthful, helpful, inspirational, or just plain beautiful. I’d like to think that is was them that got me through the last 20 years. (Well, them and my mom.)
1. "I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good." – Roald Dahl
2. "She wasn't doing a thing I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together." – J.D. Salinger
3. “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” – Elsie De Wolfe
4. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." – Eleanor Roosevelt
5. "We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they are old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end and so it cannot fail." – John Green, "Looking For Alaska"
6. “You must become unshakable in the belief that you are worthy of a big life.” – Kristin Lohr
7. "And my mother again would say to me, 'You can't eat beauty. It doesn't feed you.' And these words plagued and bothered me. I didn't really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume. It was something that I just had to be. And what my mother meant when she said you can't eat beauty was that you can't rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us...what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul." – Lupita Nyong’o
8. “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
9. “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” – Frida Kahlo
10. “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.” – Sophia Bush
11. "Why don't you tell me that 'if the girl had been worth having, she'd have waited for you?' No, sir, the girl really worth having won't wait for anybody." – F. Scott Fitzgerald
12. "There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice." – F. Scott Fitzgerald
13. “And when people try to minimize your pain they are doing you a disservice. And when you try to minimize your own pain you're doing yourself a disservice. Don't do that. The truth is that it hurts because it's real. It hurts because it mattered. And that's an important thing to acknowledge to yourself. But that doesn't mean that it won't end, it won't get better. Because it will.” – John Green
14. "Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time." – Maya Angelou
15. “Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
16. "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." – "The Help"
17. "And you tried to change, didn't you? Closed your mouth more. Tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake... You can't make homes out of human beings Someone should have already told you that. And if he wants to leave, then let him leave. You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love." – Warsan Shire
18. “Words are in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore
19. "Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry." – J.D. Salinger
20. "Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray." – Rumi