Thursday, October 11, 2012

#206 Assemble A List Of My All Time Favorite Quotes

Bucket List #206: Assemble A List Of My All Time Favorite Quotes

I love quotes. Why you may wonder? Perspective is one reason. You see, just like any work of art, be it a painting, a song, a poem, a symphony, a novel, etc., the piece has one meaning to the artist whom created it but takes on new life through the various translations that occur when others submerge themselves into the work of art. Quotes are spoken or written forms of art. They can be viewed as condensed versions of a profound speech, prose, or novel. Quotes express the ideals or reasonings of the author while providing maximum impact with minimum words.

The other reason I love quotes is simple. Quotes can be so inspiring. When you need a different perspective or a reasoning to your state of mind a quote can draw forth an alternative way of thinking. Circumstances you may be facing or emotions you may be feeling can make more sense when written word is put to paper by someone from another place or time. Simply put, sometimes what we are feeling or experiencing is too complicated to put into words. Those whom have a talent for reaching and relating to people are often times also equipped to put life into perspective for all of us to relate.

I, myself, like to think I am proficiently gifted with the written and spoken word. I also like to think that one of my other gifts is my ability to relate to people of all walks of life. However, because I am oft times the listener, I also need a constructive outlet for my emotions and circumstances. For instance, it's not always easy for the listener to talk. It's also not always easy for the listener to find someone willing to listen with the same undivided attention the listener provides. When I find myself feeling I have nowhere to turn, I enthrall myself in the written word to seek solace and inspiration.

In fact, I have many quotes saved in a wordpad doc. When I come across a quote that invokes something inside of me, I place it in my collection. They are all favorites of mine so constructing a list of my favorite quotes would be both time consuming and extensive. Instead I am going to limit myself as much as possible by listing quotes that have inspired me the most, gotten me through the toughest times, changed my perspective or just made me smile.

1.  “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." - Elizabeth Kubler Ros 

Elizabeth Kubler Ros

Physical attraction is enough to arouse a person's heart rate, but after the initial attraction, personality is what becomes the main component of attraction. A person with a poor or negative personality, no matter how physically attractive will lose their luster. Like attracts like. This quote reminds me to not become bitter or negative about the curve balls that life is always throwing my way. Every girl wants to be beautiful. I am no different. The key to being beautiful and positive is to start from the inside. Start with your soul. It's okay to feel anger, resentment and bitterness. We need to. It would be unhealthy not to acknowledge any emotion you are feeling. They key is to transform those negative emotions into a more positive, compassionate outlook. 

Find the lesson. Understand why it happened. Be grateful it happened. Be grateful because you learned something that you can use to better live your life. Help someone else with your new knowledge, but never remain bitter that it happened. Hardships do not have the right to make you a negative person. Only you have that right. You alone are responsible for how the hardships you face will affect your character. Practice compassion and kindness. Smile. Listen as much, if not more, than you talk. Teach. Learn. Empathize. Do not be to quick to judge. Open your heart more with each hardship rather than close it to the world. Everything happens for a reason. If you can fight through the negativity, you will find the power to move forward. If you allow it to consume you, you will remain exactly where you are. 

2. "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

This quote by the famous John Wayne has changed my life. I had worked in the food industry since the age of 14. After my separation from my ex husband, he decided to drop me from his insurance even though we were still legally married. He tried to tell me they would not allow him to keep me on even though legally I was still his wife. The only way I would have been able to make him budge would be to hire a lawyer. I did not have the money for a lawyer at that time. I also had a $500.00 medical bill because I did not know he had dropped me.

Looking back, his immature nature was actually a blessing to me. You see, anyone that has worked in restaurants knows the benefits, if there are any, are terrible. I needed to find a job that would offer me health insurance as well as some type of retirement program since I had relinquished my rights to my ex-husband's 401(k) to ensure I gained full custody of our children. In order to gain these types of benefits I would need to leave the restaurant industry, the only career I had ever known. 

In November of 2007, at my father's suggestion, I started working in the web and domain industry for Network Solutions. That was a far cry from waitressing in many aspects. Classroom training did go very well for me. Answering live calls, however, was confusing and stressful. I remember going home every night almost in tears because the job was not at all something I liked. I dreaded waking in the morning to go to work. The only other option I had was to go back to waitressing. Deep down I knew I couldn't go back. I didn't want to. I was burnt. I needed to move forward. I had two children who were dependent on me. I was now the breadwinner. I needed to learn how to become an independent woman. This terrified me.

Networks Solutions had various training departments which I knew I would enjoy and excel at. Assisting people was in my blood. The positions also paid well and did not involve sales. In order to be considered for those positions however, I needed to become one of the top 5% of customer service representatives in the center. I needed to become an expert in online technology and excel in sales. I did not believe I could do this. I had never really challenged myself before. I had never taken any real risks in my life. I had nothing to lose I reminded myself. I decided to set my sights on the prize. I made my goals and began working towards them.

I recalled seeing this quote online a year prior. It practically jumped out of the screen at me. This was exactly how I had been feeling for so long. I was scared to death of screwing everything up in both my life and my children's. I decided to print the quote and hang it in my cubicle. It was time to saddle up and be brave. I swear I looked at Mr. Wayne's words 100 times a day. I knew what I had to do. I had to take a chance. I could succeed or I could fail but I would not know unless I tried. What I DID know was that I could no longer afford to be complacent. I had to work harder than I ever had before. I studied anything and everything pertaining to the job. I worked with the top sales supervisor and representatives to improve my sales skills. I worked with my team supervisor on ways to perfect my performance.

Within three months I became one of the top 5% in the company. Within 5 months I retained a temporary training position. A position in which over 75 representatives applied. No one had ever gotten that position so early in their employment with the company. Within one year working at Network Solutions I entered the Quality Assurance department. They accepted 37 applications for the position. No one had ever gotten that position so early in their employment either.

For the first time in my life I believed in myself. I had set a goal and had followed through successfully. I had taken a huge chance and it worked out. I still have the same quote that once hung in my cubicle now hanging in my home office. I look at it often. It changed my life. It changed my way of thinking. It opened the door to my becoming the woman I am meant to be. I am no longer afraid to take chances or challenge myself. In fact, I can do anything I set my mind to. I can accomplish anything that really matters to me as long as I put the time and effort necessary into each challenge. Life is scary. It is full of the unexpected. Rising up to the challenge instead of running for the nearest exit is the best way to live a happy fulfilling life. I know this now. I live this now! Thank you Mr. John Wayne for changing my life. 

3.  "You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream

Thought it was fitting to follow Mr. Wayne's quote with this one considering this too, has changed my way of thinking. When I was a child, I thought life was over after 30. I believed that once you were 30, you just raised kids, visited grand kids and kept house. How wrong I was. My life did not even truly begin until I was in my thirties. I have seen and accomplished more in my 30's than I have my whole life. 

There is so much more living I have left to do. There are so many things I have yet to see, experience and feel. I refuse to allow my age to define me. I am not alone in my endeavors. More and more people are also following this mantra. I am certain when you remain young at heart it radiates from the inside out. I believe if C.S. Lewis were here today, he would agree. Never stop believing; never stop trying; never stop living. 

4. "Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

The first time I read this quote it brought me to tears. This one quote summed up the inner conflict I had endured for a good part of my life. As strong a woman as I was during that time, I was not strong enough to make the decision to be a happy person. You see, loyalty to a fault is one of my most prominent character traits. It can be a curse or a blessing depending on the situation. In this case it was a curse. It took much time from me. Time I could have spent blooming I instead spent trying to be someone I was not. I was living in the image of what others felt I should be until I finally took my life back. It came at a price but it was worth the cost in the end. 

Don't get me wrong, sometimes it is very difficult holding my ground, especially to loved ones, but I do because I can't go back. In fact, I look back to that time in my life to remind myself  just how much I have bloomed since then. I may have been late, but I did get my opportunity. I get to be true to myself. I don't want to be anyone else. I shouldn't have to be. No one should. I know I will continue to bloom even more as the years move forward, even if it seems like I am going backwards on occasion. This is yet another reminder that everything happens for a reason. No regrets, just lessons. 

5. "Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." - Henry David Thoreau

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves

If you have not noticed a theme here, I have done a lot of soul searching over the years. Going back through the previous quotes, you can see my journey has left me in uncharted territory several times. I have come to the understanding that it is necessary to become lost once in awhile through this thing called life. What Mr. Thoreau has written is undoubtedly true. If you want to discover who you really are at your core, face something you have never faced before. Whether life throws it at you or you challenge yourself, personal discovery will most definitely come to light when dealing with the unexpected. It's in this immersion that we can clearly see our strengths and our weaknesses. It is an opportunity to change, to evolve, to chart a new path in our life. 

6. "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." - Ernest Hemingway

Sometimes I randomly joke that I am running out of glue from holding all the broken pieces together for so long. Then I remind myself if I run out of glue there is always duct tape, liquid nails, safety pins, a needle and thread.....cement. Sometimes I come pretty close to shattering, and it isn't pretty, but I know my capabilities and they always set me right again. Sometimes it just takes a little longer is all. I've visited this place before. I know what to do.

This place I am referring to is "rock bottom." I am sure everyone has heard of the term "rock bottom". I am sure most of us have felt at one time or another that we have visited "rock bottom". I personally have hit rock bottom three times in the past six years. Every two years it seems like I am once again falling straight through the rabbit hole. I am currently there now. After I claw my way back to the light of day this time, I do not plan on visiting "rock bottom" again anytime soon. This is exactly why I take heart to this quote so very much.

What Mr. Hemingway is stating is that life is going to break us all in one way or another. Some carry a heavier burden than others, but just because something seems minor to one person does not mean it is minor to the person bearing the weight of the burden. Everyone's shoulders are different. Some are made to bear more weight than others. As my grandmother often said " God does not put more on your plate than you can handle. You have to find it in you to handle it and not give up. It will only make you stronger." 

There is something very positive about visiting rock bottom I have come to find from my many visits. Unfortunately we are often times too distressed and anguished to see anything positive. We are missing the lesson. Allow me to explain. There is a Hindu goddess called Akhilandeshvari. Translated from Sanskrit her name means "never not broken". Why would the Hindi have a goddess representing such a weakness? Because it is not a weakness at all. It is a strength. I'll delve further. 

As people we have a tendency to repeat the same things over and over again. We go from one toxic relationship to another. We go from one dead end job to another. We stay when we should go. We move backwards when we should move forward. We refuse to change. We become routine, mundane. We create excuses. We deceive. We settle. We do this because it is easy to do. Life is hard enough right?

All of these are learned behaviors and learned behaviors are the hardest to break. That is when fate intervenes with it's hammer and breaks the toxic pattern. You have now lost control. What's done is done. The question it life that is always making your living life harder or should you be pointing the finger elsewhere? Are you brave enough to ask yourself this question? Are you your own worst enemy? 

You have to make a choice. You can pick up the pieces, glue them back together and change your life to ensure this does not happen again, or you can continue to repeat the same learned behaviors. Don't worry, if you decide to do the latter, fate will be back to break you again until you learn your lesson. And sometimes we need several lessons before we learn. Some people never learn. The reason the Hindi have dedicated a god to being broken is because it is at our weakest moments that we have the most power to change our lives. We are actually at our most strongest. Power is a strength. You just have to see it. 

And...It is not an easy choice to make because we often want back what we lost. Or do we really? As I mentioned, learned behaviors are very hard to break. But if you think about it from a different perspective, it makes perfect sense. You have already lost something or for some people, everything. There is nowhere to go but forward. Which direction do you chose? Do you chose to go back on the same path or do you chose to take a different path. 

Perhaps there is something you have wanted to do your whole life but were afraid it would disrupt your life too much. Well guess what, rock bottom pretty much disrupted your life for you. Why not take that chance now? Why not rise from the ashes? You don't have to go balls out, you can do it in baby steps. The choice is yours. You have the power to pick up the pieces and change your life. 

7. "Ask yourself this question: Will this matter a year from now?" - Richard Carlson

Ask yourself this question: Will this matter a year from now

While we are on the topic of "rock bottom" and picking up the pieces, I came across this quote about a year ago. These words help me so much when I am going through distressed times. I ask myself this question all the time. And while yes, some things will matter a year from now, most instances will not. In addition to asking myself this question, the quote has inspired me to take this a step further. I remind myself that a year from now my life will be different than it is today. 

It may not be drastically different or it may be completely different, but it will most definitely be different. I try to picture myself a year from now and what my state of mind will be like. I always think of myself as calm, happy and trouble free. The picture I create in my mind helps me through some of the darkest days. I hope. I dream. I never give up. I roll with the punches. I live. I tell myself that most of what I am going through at this very moment will just be a memory a year from now. It works for me because I know it to be true. Maybe it will work for you. 

8. "I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen." - Ernest Hemingway

I like to Listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen

Another powerful quote from Mr. Hemingway. This made me smile because I have been doing this my whole life. To share a characteristic with Ernest Hemingway is very exciting for me. It is funny because I am sometimes accused of not paying attention when the truth is, I am paying everything. I have a mind that races, I do have trouble focusing, but I also have one of the sharpest memories you will ever meet when it comes to conversing, listening and most importantly, observing. 

Age has rusted me somewhat, used to be able to recall complete pages from books at will, can't do that anymore, but I can still do a lot. I didn't hone these skills until later in life because being the class clown was more important and way more fun for me than applying myself in school. I am glad I did not allow this to slip away from me completely. I can honestly say, these are some of the wisest words I have ever read. Simple yet profound. Think about it. Do you really listen or do you just hear? 

9. " Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met." -Author Unknown

Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met

I saw this incredible quote a little over a year ago. I had to read it several times because it was so philosophical for a modern day quote. It was not your typical quote written by a teen with a broken heart trying to reach out to the boy or girl of their affection on Facebook. This was written by someone whose maturity displayed itself between the spaces of each word. Only a person who has experienced true love and true heart break could ever write something like this. 

The author of this quote understood from personal experience just how incredibly difficult recovering from a broken heart really is. No one can take heart break away from someone else, no matter how much they may want to. You may be able to distract them from the heartbreak, you may be able to assist them in moving past their heart break but you cannot take it away from them. The only entity that has the power to remove real heart break from the soul of the inflicted is time itself, the great healer. 

10. "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time

This quote is also something I live by. I have two takes on this quote. First, it may be naive of me but in a world full of cynics and deception, I still take people at their word. I still give people the benefit of the doubt. I believe in second, third and fourth chances. I try to see the good in everyone. I try to draw out the best in the people I care about. Yes, sometimes my efforts are futile. Yes, sometimes people are not who they say they are. And yes, sometimes I find myself feeling like a doormat. However...I will not allow those experiences to prevent me from believing that there are good people in this world because I know many of them. I cherish them. I am blessed to know them. They give me hope and they bring happiness to my life. 

Secondly, what I believe Ms. Angelou is touching on more than taking people at their word is accepting a person for who they are when they find the trust and the courage to let their guard down to you. We all have little walls in which we surround ourselves. We do this as a preventative measure to protect ourselves from the more negative emotions we have experienced in the past. Experiences we may encounter when getting to know someone new in our life. Some walls are tall and thick, others are small and thin. It depends on how guarded a person is. 

When a person willing exposes their vulnerabilities, weakness and flaws to another person, it means they trust you at a very deep level. This is a very difficult thing for most people to do because most people have also been scarred by people from their past that they had bared their soul to. When someone finds comfort in your company, when someone connects with you on a deeper level, they may want to show you who they really are. They may want to invite you into their soul. This is a privilege. I personally feel one of the most beautiful and most human experiences one could behold is a bond with another person whom you can truly be yourself around and vice versa. This is what true intimacy is at it's core and it has nothing to do with sex. 

11. "What does not destroy me makes me stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche

What does not destroy me makes me stronger

This quote by Friedrich Nieztsche, a psychological pioneer, does not need much interpretation. Again, this is about choice. You can allow circumstances to suck the life out of you, or you can persevere. I have this quote branded on my brain. 

12. " The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." - Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep

I interpret this beautiful quote by Robert Frost as a polite refusal to give in to despair. The days we do not want to get out of bed, the days we wish we weren't born, the days where we have no choice but to encounter something we would rather avoid, the days when the end looks more beautiful than life itself is when we need to tell ourselves that there is nothing more beautiful than life. Tomorrow is a brand new day. We need to make a promise to ourselves to live each day to it's fullest. We need to make a promise to ourselves to spend as much time as possible living in this one life we have. 

We need to make a promise to ourselves to never give up on our hopes, goals and dreams. We need to promise ourselves to make every effort to banish negative thoughts from our mind. Let's face it, the more you think about something the more power you are giving those thoughts to engulf your very being. We need to keep those promises we made to ourselves. Those promises will bring better times because with any dark period in our life we need to remember this too shall pass. We have much living to do, some of the best days of our lives are ahead of us and we have miles to go before it is our time to sleep. 

13. "There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice

With love there often comes guilt and punishment. Why? Because we try to replicate love. Just like each person is one of a kind, so is love. I believe people would be much happier if they understood this. To err is human, and as humans we often punish new loves for behaviors past loves displayed to us. We are defensive and proactive instead of open and reactive. Sometimes we try to force love's hand rather than allow nature to take it's course. We tend to feel guilty and inadequate when compared to a current lover's past flames because we do not always share the same attributes and qualities of the previous lovers, making us more self conscious and unhappy with ourselves and the relationship. In other words, we are setting ourselves up to fail.

Love cannot be compared. Love cannot be recreated. It can only be felt. Think about it. We as people change as the years move forward. We are always growing. We are not the same people that we were 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago. Neither are the people we once loved. So why do we expect the love we feel to be the same? Why do we expect different people to be the same? Similarities are one thing, but no one will ever be exactly the same as someone else. And that is not always a bad thing. 

So why do we do this? We tend to think our last love was our greatest love and nothing will ever compare. We believe we will never find love again worth having. What we fail to realize, many times, is whether you ended it or it was ended for you, it happened for a reason. Why do we enter new relationships with such negative and hopeless thoughts? We need to let go of the past and experience the present.

I have changed my outlook on love quite a bit over the years. I still have to work on some of the above mentioned things myself. This quote reminds me to keep working and remain positive. I look at all the wonderful things that falling in love brings. Butterflies, lightning bolts, new memories yet to be made, new experiences yet to be had, finding arms that ache to hold you, finding someone that misses and thinks about you as much as you miss and think about them. It is so exciting. It's another chance to get it right! Who says a failed loved has cost you your one chance to have something real and wonderful and forever? You are alive aren't you? (If you are reading this you are alive.) And where there is life there is hope. It may not be the same love but it does not mean it will be any less of a love. In fact, it could turn out to be the greatest love. All you have to do is open your heart.

14. "I love her and that is the beginning of everything." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ever the romantic, this is more of an open love letter than a quote. What truly binds me to these words by F.Scott is how he fell in love with a woman (Zelda) that was independent, free spirited, honest and self respecting. He did not care what anyone else thought about her. What mattered was what he thought. It was his life to live, no one else's. She was his great love. She was his kindred spirit. He would die for her and she lived for him.

What inspires me more about this quote than Mr. Fitzgerald wearing his heart on his sleeve is that a man found a this type of woman appealing and attractive. He fell in love with her. And while their life was not a fairly tale, it was intense, passionate and real. Let's face it. In this day and age women outnumber men. In order to gain a man's attention many women are willing to give it up easily. They are willing to sacrifice who they truly are to win the affection of a man. 

Many women are downright deceptive to beat out the competition of other women. And men actually fall for this.... What ever happened to respect, dignity and just being real? When did love become a side show? Or a contest? Or a game? And more importantly why? I guess it is fun if you are on the receiving end. Whomever is the highest bidder wins right? But what are you really winning? 

I am by no means an ice queen and I am certainly not the most moral woman on the planet, but I will be damned if I am going to sleep around or present myself as something I am not to win a man's affection. Do not mistake my self respect for frigidness or a superiority complex. Do not mistake my independence or my capabilities as being feministic and man hating. Do not mistake my free spirited nature, my intelligence or my strength as a woman for someone who is uncaring, cold and unloving. It is the furthest thing from the truth. 

I try to lead by example for my children in all I do. I was raised by a man whom respected women. I was raised by a gentleman with a kind, giving heart who would do anything for the ones he loved. I was raised by a survivor whom also taught me how to survive when the chips were down. Is he perfect? No. Does he have his moments? Absolutely. Who doesn't?  The one thing to this day my father always is, is himself. I want my children to be proud of whom they are too. 

I do not want them to compromise themselves for affection. I see too many people doing that and it saddens me. Love, above all things should be where we can truly bare our heart and soul. I can be old fashioned sometimes I guess, but....I am not going to change that, nor am I going to stop believing. My mantra is, if it feels right, by all means go with it. Take that chance. If it feels like something I will regret later, I best leave it alone. Trust me, I still have fun, but it is always on terms I am comfortable with. 

15. "Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all of your heart." - Marcus Aurelius

Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all of your heart

Another quote I live by. Marcus Aurelius was one of the greatest emperors of ancient times. He was also one of the kindest and most intelligent. Just like King Priam of Troy, he loved his people and he loved his life until the very end. It was their way of thinking that made them legends. It was how they honored their hearts and life in general that made them such notably good men. I make no secret about believing in fate. There are no coincidences. It is all fate. And fate is our friend, even when it seems like it is not. I sound like a broken record I know but I do believe everything happens for a reason, even the small things. If you are open in your heart and your mind, you will take advantage of what fate presents to you. If you do it with all of your heart, you will be rewarded for your efforts. It may not be immediately, some things take more time than others, but it will happen. I know this to be true as well. 

16. " Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." - Anais Nin 

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

I love these words. I admire Anais Nin. What she so beautifully speaks of is how very different people can be. She talks of having an open mind when making a new friend because with each new friendship more doors will open. Doors you may have never thought of entering. These doors can lead to new possibilities, new worlds, new personal growth. There is something so lovely and exciting about that don't you think? Never judge a book by it's cover. Read a few pages first. You may find yourself not wanting to put that book down. 

17. "It's better to cross the line and suffer the consequences that to just stare at the line for the rest of your life." - Author Unknown

When I read this quote I was like "Woooooow." Very similar in nature to being scared to death but saddling up anyway, I think of regret when I read this quote. It inspires me to live my life with as few regrets as possible, something that becomes even more apparent as you get older and time becomes less of a luxury. I think of those three awful words....Could've, Would've, Should've. 

How many of these statements come to your mind when thinking about missed opportunities you were too scared to make happen or too "comfortable" to oblige? How many opportunities did you miss because you listened to what everyone else thought and not what you felt? Is it your life to live or everyone else's? How many times have you told yourself it was a terrible idea or it would be too difficult to make happen? How many times have you given in to impatience and settled? I am happy to say I do not have many regrets, but I do have a few and they were big ones. 

My theory is this, every single action you take is going to have a consequence. Some of the consequences will be very small and unnoticeable, while others will be life altering and impacting. I understand the word "consequence" itself has such a negative ring to it. But...clear your mindset for a minute if you will. Humor me. What if you took a chance and you suffered favorable consequences? What if you actually got what you wanted? Is that bad? No. It's not. We need to stop labeling every single little thing in life as "good or bad" and "right and wrong". 

Life is not black and white. It is many shades of many colors. We should not judge someone because they "sin" differently than we do nor should we be so arrogant to think our way is the only way. Unless you walked a mile in another person's shoes, keep your judgement to yourself because you could very well find yourself walking in those very shoes at any given time while eating your words with every step. Just because something isn't a fit for you does not mean it is not a fit for someone else.

We can't go back and change the past, but we can certainly go forward. Life is not going to happen to you, it is up to you to make life happen. Do it without regret! 

18. "Music is what life sounds like." - Eric Olson

Music is what life sounds like

This quote makes me smile every time I read it. I am a music lover. Always have been. And what Mr. Olson says is true. Music can express and invoke emotion as much as and sometimes more than words themselves. Actions are the only things that are louder than music and words when it comes to emotional expression. Songs can take us to memories we experienced throughout our lives. They can be happy, sad, angry, melancholy, breath taking and profound to name a few. What does your life soundtrack sound like? Maybe you should make one. 

19. "Life is like a roller coaster ride. It has it's ups and downs but it's always worth it in the end." - Author Unknown

I always think back fondly to a conversation I had with my best friend years ago when I read this. I was very frustrated with life and people, especially men, in general. He told me life is an amusement park and I am the roller coaster. He said when people observe you, they see a woman that is spirited, positive and full of life. When they are in your presence, there is a light that they are drawn to. It's my aura. And just like the roller coaster, everyone wants to experience that. Some jump right on the roller coaster while others take coaxing. Some think about the roller coaster all day, finally get up the nerve to approach the roller coaster but then lose their nerve at the last minute and run away. Some people never come back. Others eventually gather the nerve to take that roller coaster ride. 

At the time I did not like this. I told him I wanted to be the tea cups. He said I would never be the tea cups. I stated I could be a merry go round. They are not scary. He said I could not be that either. As a last ditch effort I asked him if I could be the tilt-a-whirl. He said no to that too. I am the roller coaster. I did not want to be the roller coaster I told him. He asked why I felt this was a bad thing to be. I told him I did not want to be a ride people were afraid of, especially men. 

He told me that the right people and the right man will understand how fun and exciting the roller coaster is. They will know you will be there for the ups and downs of life because you have already experienced the many ups and downs of life. You know what to do to be happy. You know how to live life to the fullest. You are deep and intense. You have a positive, fun loving nature but also a calming, nurturing side. You will have your moments too but you rebound quickly from them which will also be thrilling because we all have a drama quotient, your's just happens to be minimal. 

These people will not want to get off the ride because they know it will be the ride of their life. They will love you for being a roller coaster. Their roller coaster. Some people and the right man will stay on that roller coaster forever. They are the people you want in your life. They are the people worth the ride. Don't be ashamed of being the roller coaster, don't be ashamed of who you are because it's the best ride in the park. The right people for you will know this. 

As much as I did not want to hear this at the time, I now look at is as one of the best things anyone has ever said to me. Not only did I take it as a huge compliment, but I took it as a lesson to be who I am and let the cards fall where they may. I also took it as another big lesson about life. I have felt just about every emotion there is to feel. I am glad I have too. It is what makes me the person I am today. It gives me my compassion and understanding. It gives me my long fuse. Life is a roller coaster and so am I. I am a roller coaster and I am proud. I should have a t-shirt made! 

20. "You are the result of the love of thousands." - Linda Hogan

You are the result of the love of thousands

I read this quote for the first time a week after my grandfather passed. It took my breath away. My deep spiritual side totally grasped these words for the very depths they invoke. There is no explanation needed for what this does to me. It just moves me completely. 

And there you have it! This is my list. It was very difficult to construct this list. I knew it would be. It was even more arduous to pen the emotions these little banks of words solicit in me. I tried to do the best I could. These quotes may take on even more meaning to me as my life moves forward. We all have our ways of getting through each day. The positive thing is...we are finding a way to get through each day. If you practice positivity daily, it will eventually become a way a life. Even the bad days are still the best days because we lived through them. Each day above ground is a gift. If you take anything from a trying day, take this away....each day will get better as long as you are willing to use the gift of another day to your advantage. 

How do you do that? You need to make the effort. You need to pick something up when you fall, even if it is just yourself. You need to remain strong at the broken places. You need to remember just because something did not go your way today does not mean it won't go your way tomorrow. Remember, just because one thing did not work out does not mean many others things won't. Ask yourself..."in a year from now will this even matter?" Saddle up people but do it with all of your heart! I hope this inspires all of us to take on the roller coaster of life and love the ride! 


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