10 Literature Lovers On Quotes That Changed Their Lives

Thought Catalog

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1.

“They wanted happiness without knowing what it was, or where to look, which made them want it all the more.”

-Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods

Sara, Mount Holyoke College:

2.

“We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog’s yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum’s scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartner feels at his mother’s retreat. That only we love the only-we…

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When Someone Lets You Love Them Without Loving You Back

When Someone Lets You Love Them Without Loving You Back

Exactly.

Thought Catalog

When you settle for the only love you think you can get, for someone who doesn’t mind you being around, for someone who lets you love them — someone with whom you just kind of are, without real effort or desire reciprocated both ways — you spend your life in a hope-sustained limbo. You’re constantly pining for someone who is only ever that far out of your grasp. Every time you close your hand in on their own, you come up with air. You scroll through social media hoping to find their face, to know what they’re doing, if only to feel as though you’re with them for a moment. Every ring on the phone is a spike in your heartbeat; everything they do, you imagine doing with them, if only, if ever.

You initiate everything. Texts and times to see each other and nights you stay over. You’ve met their roommates, their…

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Saying Goodbye Makes Us Brave

Saying Goodbye Makes Us Brave

Thought Catalog

I often find myself navigating the space between being upfront and oversharing, but with matters of the heart, one can never be honest enough. This experience is mine, but it’s also the experience of every other person who enters a relationship with an expiration date stamped boldly across it. In honor of this, I will be totally honest about two things: one, my overwhelming feeling of sadness at the end of my first real relationship; and two, my overwhelming love of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. I hope you like honesty and Julia Roberts.

I started a relationship with someone I knew would be moving away. I broke it off once out of fear, though I cited other reasons at the time. I decided to go back when I realized it might be something worth the consequences. It was. Is. Now that the crummy part is here, everyone says “but you knew it was…

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How Can You Look For Love When You Don’t Know What It Looks Like?

How Can You Look For Love When You Don’t Know What It Looks Like?

Thought Catalog

“It’s okay though, because he didn’t love me.” My friend had just gone through a breakup. It was Epic Female Bonding Time.

“He didn’t love me,” she repeated. “Like, when it’s right, we’ll just know. We just need to find a guy that makes us happy in all the ways that matter, so that even if to someone else it appears imperfect, we know that deep down this is the right person for us. Being with them will feel like home. You’ll feel safe, relaxed, and you’ll never get sick of them. You’ll fight, but know that it’s out of love and that you’ll resolve it and be stronger.”

I sat there and wondered about where he was, this elusive person who would be my home. It was then that I started sighing in resignation. I didn’t dare to disagree with her then, fearing that I’d come across as (God…

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Things Don’t Get Better, We Do

Things Don’t Get Better, We Do

This is great.

Thought Catalog

It’s misleading to say that “things will get better,” in campaigns and in advice given to friends and to ourselves especially. It not only takes the control away, deflects “happiness” onto a circumstance and implies the impossible knowledge that a situation could, in fact, get better – we can only ever hope it will — but it also gives false assuredness and breeds inaction.

The other day, a reader asked me what I thought the most important thing I’d ever learned was. I told her: “you will never be happier than you are right now.” It wasn’t exactly the answer she was looking for I don’t think, but it isn’t the answer any of us are looking for. It’s not as comforting as the alternative. It requires us to stop deflecting. It forces us to get on our knees and do the work.

But that’s the only place from which the real…

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Why You Can’t Let Go

Why You Can’t Let Go

Goodbye Donald.

Thought Catalog

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You know what you’re holding onto. I know what I am. And I also know that there are many others that have, are, or will be, holding onto something as well. Sometimes it’s for a minute and sometimes it can last for years. Regardless, it’s debilitating. It’s paralyzing. It keeps you stuck in what could have been.

After we seek all the advice we can, it usually rounds out to the same thing: it’s time to let go and move on. If you’re anything like me, just reading that sentence made your heart sink a little and you’re filling up with resistance, shame and anger. You don’t want to let go. You want to hold on until you’re right. You want to hold on until the situation resolves itself the way you want it to.

Because what’s the alternative? You have to go on without that person or thing…

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How The People We Once Loved Become Strangers Again

How The People We Once Loved Become Strangers Again

This is just me and D.

Thought Catalog

It’s interesting to think about how we make people who used to be everything into nothing again. How we learn to forget. How we force forgetting. What we put in place of them in the interim. The dynamics afterward always tell you more than what the relationship did — grief is a faster teacher than joy – but what does it mean when you cycle out to being strangers again? Because you never really stop knowing each other in that way. Maybe there’s no choice but to make them someone different in your mind, not the person who knew your daily anxieties and what you looked like naked and what made you cry and how much you loved them.

When our lives revolve around someone, they don’t just stop revolving around them even if all that’s left is the grief and pain that comes with their memory. Because you loved…

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