Quote #1 – Kelly Cutrone, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside
And if there are people around you who aren’t listening to you, who don’t believe that you can manifest what it is you are dreaming, or don’t want you to, then you should get the fuck away from them.
I can’t recommend If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You enough. Part memoir, part bad-ass manifesto, this particular quote has stuck with me since I first read this book four years ago. The fact is, there will always be people who don’t believe in or aren’t sufficiently invested in your dreams. Not all of them are malicious about it – sometimes people just have their own stuff going on. That’s okay! But others will actively try to tear you down, either by not listening or by giving you every reason you’re incapable of making amazing things happen.
You cannot – cannot – surround yourself with those people or give them any room inside your heart and head. Even…especially…if they’re family. It may seem difficult to distinguish legitimate concerns from constant negging, but if you feel drained or less-than when you’re around certain people then it’s time to cut them out. Don’t let anyone stifle your flair.
Quote #2 – Gregory Maguire, Wicked
‘The real thing about evil,’ said the Witch at the doorway, ‘isn’t any of what you said. You figure out one side of it – the human side, say – and the eternal side goes into shadow. Or vice versa. It’s like the old saw: What does a dragon in its shell look like? Well no one can ever tell, for as soon as you break the shell to see, the dragon is no longer in its shell. The real disaster of this inquiry is that it is the nature of evil to be secret.’
Despite my long-held and unwavering belief in Kurt Vonnegut’s literary supremacy, Gregory Maguire follows very closely on his heels – and the Wicked series of books is my favorite. This is another quote that has stayed with me for a long time, as evidenced by its place of honor on my Facebook profile that I’m sure I haven’t updated in forever.
I love this quote because I identify with Elphaba more closely than I do with nearly any other literary character. When you turn the trope of the Wicked Witch of the West on its head, what you find is an intelligent, independent girl who loves and believes fiercely and spends her life watching others receive the love she craves so desperately. She is an expert in love, and loss, and the eternal search for redemption. As the quote above illustrates, she is also able to cut to the heart of things quickly.
Words can be used to build up or tear down, to darken or illuminate, to dumb down or elucidate. The right words contain timeless wisdom whether they were uttered thousands of years ago or in the last several seconds. What quotes resonate with you?