Hi, my name is Navi, and I am a quote hoarder. There. I feel better already.
I love words, especially when they are strung together in a way that deepens understanding, makes me laugh, or motivates a better me. I don’t remember when my obsession with quote gathering began but I’m certain it won’t end until I do.
Documenter Me would feel better if every quote included a full citation. Among those meticulously cited are some underwhelming sources. "Without scary we don't get to be brave" is still a keeper even though it came from a Quicken Loans commercial , as was this truth from Queen Latifa’s short-lived talk show, "If you have to get out of bed to talk to your best friend, you married the wrong person." I couldn’t agree more.
Regardless of the source, learnings are all around us.
From Albert Camus came, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” Don’t you feel stronger just hearing it?
Both Stephen King’s "Talent is a wonderful thing but it won't carry a quitter” and Yoda’s “Do. Or do not. There is no try” will motivate the Yes-I-can inside you. Remember Nike’s “Just Do It”? Well, it’s time.
Voltaire’s "Perfect is the enemy of good” encourages grace—for others, to ourselves. Cut yourself some slack. Nary a one of us is perfect. But, we are good enough.
Maya Angelou’s cautionary words, "When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time,” will strengthen confidence in your inner voice. Trust that click inside. Every. Time.
Without pen in hand, I might have missed one that still makes me laugh. You may have heard Roger Miller’s “Trailers for sale or rent.” As a kid, my husband sang it, “Sailors for cigarettes.”
I stopped in the middle of a dirt trail to log a fresh perspective on aging from an audio book, "I've completed life's requirements - home, career, and children; and, now I've moved to electives.”
“Everywhere I go, there I am” is the epiphany that keeps on giving. I could write a tome about baggage carrying and acceptance. A project for a different day.
Maya Angelou, a repeat contributor, said “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maybe that’s what The Blacklist's Raymond Reddington meant when he said "Find the peace below the winds."
Journey sharing is sometimes the first step to peace. A trauma survivor described her inner torture before seeking help, “I have been holding that beach ball under water for 30 years and it just keeps surfacing.” A Marine, haunted by PTSD, said the Veteran's Writing Project saved him, "Living with it inside my head wasn't sustainable” and the words that helped him move forward, "I am better than my worst actions."
We do better when we face our demons head-on, don’t we? When we can finally say, "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Thank you, Louisa May Alcott.
Today, my “Quotes” file is eighteen pages long. The working copy on my laptop regularly backs up to the cloud. I’m not paranoid or anything, but just in case, I replace the printed copy in our safe every few years. What am I protecting? A mish-mash of unrelated quotes? No. I’ve come to realize that in some ways, I’m protecting a leave-behind of sorts. If anyone wants to learn more about me after I’m gone, this is a darn good start.
Life by quotes or quotes of life? Maybe both. The words we value can reflect where we’ve been, what we’ve been through, how we see ourselves, and who we strive to be.
Gather your own nuggets, but be warned. A few months before her death, I shared several with my mom. I valued them; she would too. Although I’d envisioned her nodding as I read, impressed with my insightful selections, overall, she was unimpressed. More than once I heard “I’m not sure I get that one.” I felt like a bouquet of hand-picked flowers, unworthy of a vase. I didn’t say anything, but took my hurt feelings and went home. On the way, it came to me. Quote saving is a highly personal endeavor. This was my list, not hers—eye of the beholder and all that. Even as I was reading them, I realized that some no longer even fit me. They’ll stay though. Quote hoarders don’t leave gaps in the journey. My choices evolve as do I.
Borrowed wisdom should be shared. I leave you with two parting gifts: “Do it with class or let it pass.” And this one from my mom: “You need three things in life: A reason to get up in the morning, someone to love, and something to look forward to.” Yup. Sounds about right.