8 Posts for Life:

"It never occurred to me that I couldn’t live the life I wanted to lead. It never occurred to me that I could be stopped...I had this very simple view: that the reason people who start out with ideals or aspirations don’t do what they dream of doing when they’re young is because they quit. I thought, well, I won’t quit."

– Susan Sontag

"Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger than we were before.  Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be... for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed."

– Alice Walker

"One of the best secrets of a happy life is the art of extracting comfort and sweetness from every circumstance... People are always looking for happiness at some future time and in some new thing, or some new set of circumstances, in possession of which they some day expect to find themselves. But the fact is, if happiness is not found now, where we are, and as we are, there is little chance of it ever being found. There is a great deal more happiness around us day by day than we have the sense or power to seek and find.If we are to cultivate the art of living, we should cultivate the art of extracting sweetness and comfort out of everything, as the bee goes from flower to flower in search of honey."

– Thomas Mitchell

Source: Essays on Life

"Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all."

– Richard Feynman

Source: The Feynman Lectures on Physics

"The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming."

– Cheryl Strayed

Source: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

"If you’ re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’ t even start.This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind.It could mean not eating for three or four days.It could mean freezing on a park bench.It could mean jail. It could mean derision.It could mean mockery– isolation.Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’ re going to try, go all the way.There is no other feeling like that.You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’ s the only good fight there is."

– Charles Bukowski

Source: Factotum

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

– Jack Kerouac

Source: On the road

"If you love to read, or learn to love reading, you will have an amazing life. Period. Life will always have hardships, pressure, and incredibly annoying people, but books will make it all worthwhile. In books, you will find your North Star, and you will find you, which is why you are here. Books are paper ships, to all the worlds, to ancient Egypt, outer space, eternity, into the childhood of your favorite musician, and — the most precious stunning journey of all — into your own heart, your own family, your own history and future and body.Out of these flat almost two-dimensional boxes of paper will spring mountains, lions, concerts, galaxies, heroes. You will meet people who have been all but destroyed, who have risen up and will bring you with them. Books and stories are medicine, plaster casts for broken lives and hearts, slings for weakened spirits. And in reading, you will laugh harder than you ever imagined laughing, and this will be magic, heaven, and salvation. I promise."

– Anne Lamott

Source: A Velocity of Being: Letters to A Young Reader

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray." - Rumi