I just finished reading Brave Enough, a book of quotes by Cheryl Strayed. It’s a sweet and simple book – each page has an inspiring quote from one of Cheryl’s previous writings. (Honestly, almost everything in Tiny Beautiful Things, which is my favorite of Cheryl’s books, is inspiring. I have no idea how they culled the list of quotes so that the book could be only 135 pages long.)
Here are a few of my favorites:
“Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.”
“There is a middle path, but it only goes in one direction: toward the light. Your light. The one that goes blink, blink, blink inside your chest when you know what you’re doing is right.”
“The narratives we create in order to justify our actions and choices become in so many ways who we are. They are the things we say back to ourselves to explain our complicated lives. Perhaps the reason you’ve not yet been able to forgive yourself is that you’re still invested in your self-loathing. Perhaps not forgiving yourself is the flip side of your stealing-this-now cycle. Would you be a better or worse person if you forgave yourself for the bad things you did? If you perpetually condemn yourself for being a liar and a thief, does that make you good?”
“Trust that all you’ve learned was worth learning, no matter what answer you have or do not have about what practical use it has in your life. Let whatever mysterious starlight that guided you this far guide you onward into the crazy beauty that awaits.”
“The body knows. When your heart sinks. When you feel sick to your gut. When something blossoms in your chest. When your brain gloriously pops. That’s your body telling you the One True Thing. Listen to it.”
“Real change happens on the level of the gesture. It’s one person doing one thing differently than he or she has done it before.”
“Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.”
“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.”
Read this book immediately; it will take you less than a day.
Tee and I are going to see Cheryl Strayed speak at Sixth and I this month – I am so excited. It’s going to be major #spirit food.