I wrote this a while ago. Just a heads up.
I’m writing this even though, at the moment (twelve minutes past three p.m. — hi, Bubba — Sunday, May tenth), you can’t read it because I freaking forgot about paying for the fucking domain name so my blog is, at present, invisible. I’m writing this because I am confident that at some point I will right this situation, even though I’ve yet to figure out how.
Why I Wanted to Read It: Because I figured I should.
What I Loved: SO much. I marked a LOT of pages, yall… and even if I end up not going through and sharing every page, because usually when I go back to revisit a page and determine what made it noteworthy to me I end up not being as impressed by the words… but in the moment, I must’ve appreciated something, there were GOBS of moments like that for this book. Did you follow that? God, I hope so. Anyway, I might not share ALL of them here, but I go and reread the pages, and just reading them again is sometimes enough.
If you’re unhappy, that’s on you (page 5).
You are in charge of your own life, sister, and there’s not one thing in it that you’re not allowing to be there (page 9).
If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you’re not making promises at all… How many times have you bailed on yourself to watch TV? How many times have you given up before you’ve even started? How many times have you made real progress, only to face a setback and then give up completely? How many times have your family or friends or coworkers watched you quit? … When you really want something, you’ll find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse (page 14).
Whatever standard you’ve set for yourself is where you’ll end up… unless you fight through your instinct and change your pattern (page 15).
“You’ve lived through tougher things than this. Don’t give up now!” (page 39).
I made this so big because, right now, I’m really needing the reminder. I’d never understood why people would battle depression for decades, only to toss the towel in their forties and fifties. I get it now. I. GET. IT. It’s not successful you feel for withstanding but pathetic and foolish and why the hell did I try? and a whole lot of other pitiful emotions that are now heaped, H E A P E D on top of the bullshit.
I heard God very distinctly say, “Imagine all of the things you would have missed today if you’d only been out here for yourself” (page 39).
One of the best days I’ve had was standing near the finish line, often alone, because I wasn’t on the patio of some restaurant or bar but beside the parking garage, at the top of a long incline, which I knew for an IronMan Triathlete would feel like a slap in the face after doing ALL the things. I stood there for HOURS, screaming at the top of my lungs, “You’ve GOT this! Get UP here!” And one of those athletes was a gal with whom I’d worked while at Pottery Barn Kids. And she stopped at the bottom of that incline and hollered back at me, and then she ran up and hugged me, and it was SUCH an AWESOME feeling to have been there for her. But even better… and I can’t remember if it was the same race or not, but… another coworker from my days as a journalist, her husband had tried to do the IronMan last year but timed out, and so he was at it again, and I later learned, she’d thought he’d given up at one point but he hadn’t. Yall, he was the LAST one to come through in time to cross the finish. The. LAST. One. I didn’t know it was her husband at the time. I said to him, “You’re almost done. Three turns to the finish, and two of them are right there.” And he was BEATEN, yall. He was thinking he wasn’t going to make it. He was thinking he would time out AGAIN. And he said, “Are you kidding me?” Because I know LOTS of people say, “You’re almost there,” when they’re not. I jogged beside him and insisted… and he made it. And I was so, SO glad I could be there in that moment. I can’t run that race. I will never be able to do a small fraction of what these people do, but I LOVE that I could be there.
I don’t know the central tenet of your faith, but the central tenet of mine is “love thy neighbor.” Not “love thy neighbor if they look and act and think like you.” Not “love thy neighbor so long as they wear the right clothes and say the right things” (page 40).
Judgment comes from a place of fear, disdain, or even hate… Do you know the number one thing that I hear most, get emails about the most, get asked for advice on most? Friends. How to make friends. How to keep friends. How to cultivate real, valuable relationships (page 41).
I wish I could tell you boys are meaner. I wish I could tell you the most horrible moments in my life are caused by men–and yall, men have caused some HORRIBLE moments. But they’re not. Girls are MEANER, yall. We learn it at a YOUNG age and have perfected it by adolescence. And I’m just as capable, if not moreso, of the nastiness.
Usually our judgment and gossip come from a deep well of our own insecurities (page 41).
I didn’t cry when I wrote the chapter about my brother’s death or the pain of my childhood–but this? This flays me. I am so sad for that little girl who didn’t know better. I am devastated that nobody prepared her for life or taught her to love herself so she wasn’t so desperate to get any form of it from someone else. I’m sad that she had to figure it out on her own. I’m disappointed that it took her so long (page 49).
I saw that phrase and platitudes like it scattered like mortar shells over the terrain (page 51).
What if life isn’t happening to you? What if the hard stuff, the amazing stuff, the love, the joy, the hope, the fear, the weird stuff, the funny stuff, the stuff that takes you so low you’re lying on the floor and thinking, How did I get here?… What if none of it is happening to you? What if all of it is happening for you? (page 59).
You have to shout out your hopes and dreams like the Great Bambino calling his shot. You need the courage to stand up and say, “This one, right here: this is mine!” (page 60).
Don’t tell me you don’t have it in you to want something more for your life. Don’t tell me you have to give up because it’s difficult. This is life or death too. This is the difference between living a life you always dreamed of or sitting alongside the death of the person you were meant to become… If you’re lucky, your legacy will be a lifetime in the making… Your dream is worth fighting for, and while you’re not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight (pages 66-68).
Don’t you dare squander the strength you have earned just because the acquisition of it was painful. Those are the most important stories to share (pages 68-69).
When a voice of authority says it’s taking too long, you’re too “fat, old, tired, or female” for it, or your trauma is too big… do you know what they are giving you? Permission to quit. You’re already scared, you’re already second-guessing yourself, and when someone or something comes along and speaks into that exact thing you were already questioning, you think, Yep, that’s what I thought. I give up… You do not have permission to quit! …Your perception of what’s holding you back is currently big and bad and terrifying, but those obstacles are only real if you believe in them (page 69).
It’s your dream. Your own special wish your heart made long before you were ever conscious of it… They’re your dreams, and you are allowed to chase them–not because you are more special or talented or well-connected, but because you are worthy of wanting something more. Because you are worthy of not letting your past dictate your future (page 70).
Sister, please, please, please stop allowing your fear of getting it wrong to color every beautiful thing you’re doing right (pages 96-97).
So for them, birthdays served as a reminder of all the things they hadn’t achieved… each year they didn’t reach preconceived destination was a harsh reminder of the promises they were breaking to themselves (page 104).
Nothing is wasted. Every single moment is preparing you for the next. But whether or not you choose to see this time as something wonderful–the time when God is stretching you and growing you or maybe forging you in fires hotter than you think you can withstand–all of it is growing you for the person you’re becoming, for a future you can’t even imagine (page 106).
The most beautiful things in my life were never on my to-do list… Focus on what you have done… Celebrate the small moments. They’re sacred, even if they aren’t stepping stones to something else. Nothing is more important than today… Write yourself a letter about your tenacity! (page 110).
I have so many goals and dreams for myself, and not one of them is small. They’re big and wild and full of hope. They require faith and courage and a whole lot of audacity. I cannot get there, I will not get there, unless I start embracing every side of my character–including the sides of me that make other people uncomfortable… I cannot continue to live as half of myself simply because it’s hard for others to handle all of me… Do you really think God made you–uniquely, wonderful you–in hopes you would deny your true self because it might be off-putting to others… Have you spent a lifetime muting yourself for fear of what others will think? I believe that you are not a mistake–and feeling guilt about who you are (working, staying at home, overweight, underweight, overeducated, uneducated, emotional, bookish, street-smart, or whatever) does a disservice to yourself and the Creator who made you. There are hundreds of ways to lose yourself, but the easiest of them all is refusing to acknowledge who you truly are in the first place. You–the real you–is not an accident… You were not made to be small (page 129-130).
Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business… So, sister, if you’re going to work that hard on a project, do you really want to allow it to be blown apart by something as flimsy as an opinion? (page 147).
You were forged in a fire worse than this (page 156).
I want you to see someone who kept showing up again and again, even when it was tearing her apart (page 173).
Eat every last cookie. Eat everything in this room. Eat until you’re ugly and worthless and the outside finally matches the inside… My weight was no longer just a part of me like hair or teeth; now it was something that defined me. It was a testament to all the ways I was wrong (page 178).
Sixty-eight pounds I weighed my freshman year in high school. Sixty-eight pounds on a fine-boned, five-foot-one frame. Yall, I ATE. ALL THE TIME. Because I hated my body. I hated that I couldn’t make it fatter, and OH, how I tried. I know this mentality well. It’s persisted, only now it’s one hundred pounds greater, and now I’m definitely not eating to gain weight, but the punishment’s the same.
Your Creator delights in the intricacies of you, and He is filled with joy when you live out your potential (page 182).
Childhood trauma is not a life sentence (page 182).
Please stop telling yourself that you deserve this life… Get out of the fog that you have been living in and see your life for what it is (page 183).
Every year you close a new chapter in your story. Please, please, please don’t write the same one seventy-five times and call it a life (page 205).
The very first half marathon I ever signed up for was a Disney race… We were one giant, sweaty mass of hope, made up of people from all walks of life who’d dreamed this dream and found themselves on the road together. With that many people, it takes a while to make your way to the start of the line, but when my queue was called up, they started playing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella over the loudspeakers. I know it sounds cheesy in the retelling, but, y’all, I was bawling by the time it was my turn to run. I kept thinking, This is a wish my heart made! And for once I didn’t beg off or get lazy or stop trying… I did it! (pages 209-210).
What sucked: Nothing.
Having said all that: It’s a FAST, easy, friendly read. Pick it up!
In other news… I have jumped ship from Blogger to WordPress. I will bring posts over from the old Picky pages as throwbacks as I see fit. But for now… this is all you get.