“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”—Roald Dahl (via bookmania)
The way I process my thoughts is through writing, and that writing sometimes take place on my blog. I no longer feel so wound-up or restless and, while those feelings are still very much a part of me, I do not feel nearly as suffocated by them as I was before I began to write my post.
I love my life. Truly, I do. I love the people I share it with, too. But a vagabond isn’t a vagabond unless she feels a little restless from time to time, don’t you think?
My darling friend, Kate Gazaway, recently posted about her “rules to live by”. What can I say? I was inspired.
1. travel I cannot stress enough the importance of travel. When you step outside of your comfort zone and leave the familiar behind, you open up your life to the beautiful possibility of growth and (more importantly) perspective. If at all possible, go overseas. You won’t regret it.
2. be honest Always be honest. I’ve never been one to mince words or hesitate to share my thoughts and feelings. There is something so liberating about knowing that your voice is heard- you never have to fear that you are loved for being someone you’re not. Besides, lies have a nasty way of catching up to you. Now, do not confuse honesty with over-sharing. Some things are meant to be kept to yourself, and you and I both know what those things are. Use common sense, but when in doubt, be honest. To quote Shakespeare: To thine own self, be true.
3. listen This one’s tricky. I am a talker and in many cases I find myself dominating conversation. At parties, one-on-one, while out with a small group, etc. you can almost always hear my voice interjecting with thoughts and questions. However the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve learned to listen. That friend venting to you about her life? Yeah, just shut up and let her talk. She doesn’t want your advice and if she did, she would ask for it. One of the most beautiful, sacred gifts you can give to someone is your ear. People want to feel heard, and that much is evident from yappy children pestering you about the macaroni art project they made in school the other day. Be still, listen, wait your turn. You never know what’s going to come out of someone’s mouth, but you will if you listen.
4. be patient I’m writing this as much for you, dear reader, as I am for myself. Good things really do come to those who wait. Be patient with others, be patient with yourself. Life is a journey and that’s what’s so mind-numbingly beautiful about it. The end goal is not the end goal, it’s the journey. The fact of the matter is this: people take time, life takes time, and a good pot roast needs to marinate in its juices before you can eat it. Nobody likes a dry pot roast.
5. be adventurous I want to look back on my life with a smile, knowing that I wasn’t always safe and smart, but knowing that I took life by the horns and ran it all the way to the finish line. Routine can be good, but it can also suffocate creativity and passion. Watch out for those “comfort ruts”, they can be quite toxic if you take up residence in them.
6. work hard, play hard Show up, be on time and give it your all. This country was founded on the backs of the hard workers, the dreamers, the daring folks who wanted something different and fought hard until they got it. Get sweaty, get your hands dirty and get into it. But don’t do that for too long or pretty soon you’ll end up burned out and exhausted. Be passionate about getting work done and then be just as passionate about taking time off and “doing you”. The world won’t collapse in on itself if you take a day off, I promise.
7. be authentic I guess this could go hand-in-hand with honesty, but I think it’s important enough to have its own little segment. BE YOURSELF. Do what makes you happy, fuck all the rest. If you being happy means living in a cardboard box while wearing a pair of underpants on top of your head, DO IT. Who cares if people look at you funny? Sure, you may smell kind of weird after a while, but at least you’ll be pursuing your happiness and not someone else’s. If you laugh loudly at inappropriate moments during movies, keep laughing. Don’t let people sush you or put you in a corner. Don’t let their strange looks or rude remarks phase you. You’ve got to stand up for yourself and your dreams, because nobody else will. And while we’re on the subject: stop judging people for pursuing their dreams, too. This is a two-way street, you know. Words like “successful” and “happy” mean something different to every person and we need learn to respect that. Can’t we all just get along, underwear hats and all?
8. never, ever, EVER give up Not on yourself, not on others, not on life. Nobody likes a quitter, and messes can always be cleaned up. The only way a mess will stay there is if you do nothing about it.
Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Thank you so very much.
Yes, I have considered seeing a nutritionist. Thing is, I never had weird symptoms during my anorexia. This year, I started eating normally, living life, being happy, I gained a little weight but I was ok with it, it wasn't a lot and people even said I looked healthier and boom, I was hit with these weird symptoms. Now I'm just distraught. Can you give me some examples of what you ate during your recovery? And how much? Sorry for so many questions, right now I just don't have money to see a nutritionist...
Well, I ate a ton of fruits and veggies. Mostly raw, sometimes sauteed or boiled. That way, I got the most nutritional value out of them as possible. I started with small portions (because my stomach had shrunk) and over time made them larger. I can now eat full meals, and it’s pretty wonderful. Protein is incredibly important, so I made it a point to eat as much of it as I could. I drank a TON of water, to combat any dehydration. Whole grain breads, oatmeal, and dried fruits and nuts were great little “meals” for me before I started eating “real” meals. Just listen to your body. Start out small, natural, organic (if you can) and slowly progress to eating meals. It’s a process, and a long one, but it’s so worth it.
“The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. The must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going.”—Graeme Fife
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If this was sent to me by who I think it was, then:
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“Elizabeth’s spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. “How could you begin?” said she. “I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?”
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”—Mr. Darcy, Pride & Prejudice