“I do not define myself by how many roadblocks have appeared on my path.
I define myself by the courage I’ve found to forge new roads.
I do not define myself by how many disappointments I’ve faced.
I define myself by the forgiveness and faith I’ve found to start again.
I do not define myself by how long a relationship lasted.
I define myself by how much I have loved, and am willing to love again.
I do not define myself by how many times I’ve been knocked down.
I define myself by how many times I’ve struggled to my feet.
I am not my pain.
I am not my past.
I am that which has emerged from the fire.”
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Extracted from “Life’s Little Instruction Book”, by Jackson Brown and H. Jackson Brown, Jr.:
- Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
- Memorize your favorite poem.
- Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
- When you say, I love you, mean it.
- When you say, I’m sorry, look the person in the eye.
- Be engaged for at least six months before you get married.
- Believe in love at first sight.
- Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
- Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live completely.
- In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
- Don’t judge people by their [family and] relatives.
- Talk slow but think quick.
- When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
- Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- Call your family.
- Say, “Bless you,” when someone sneezes.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
- Remember the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
- Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
- When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
- Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, his/her conversational skills will be as important as any other.
- Spend some time alone.
- Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
- Read more books and watch less TV.
- Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
- A loving atmosphere in your home is important. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
- In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
- Read between the lines.
- Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
- Be gentle with the earth.
- Never interrupt when you’re being flattered.
- Mind your own business.
- Don’t trust a lover who doesn’t close their eyes when you kiss them.
- Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
- If you make a lot of money, put it to use while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.
- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
- Learn the rules, then break some.
- Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
- Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
- Remember that your character is your destiny.
- Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul-mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”
- Marilyn Monroe
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
“A jealous woman, it was said, had multiple, all-seeing eyes, so that even if she sat still and never moved once, she could see every small action of her man in every part of the room. A woman’s jealousy was always born of a deep sense of personal outrage: the man who ought to be paying attention to her was ignoring her and attending to another woman. Jealousy turned its sharpest focus on the rival, noting her every small response, every small look and gesture, to assess the seriousness of the rivalry. A jealous woman was the most tormented woman, her body sprouting a hundred quivering antennae to catch the warning signals to respond to the humiliation of being completely ignored, even of being ridiculed by the laughing, flirting, cavorting pair.
It filled her with rage and shame, with hatred directed outwards toward the whole world, and inwards toward herself. Never in her life had she been in such a maelstrom of conflicting thoughts and feelings, which was threatening to toss her around like a small helpless creature in a whirlwind, and then smash her to the ground.
Jealousy gouged out holes in a woman’s sense of self-worth that could only be filled by proportionate contrition and amendment on the part of the man who had started it all.
Jealousy, suspicions, anger, humiliation – she could not survive their combined power. Jealousy was part of love’s package which she was a fool to think she could approach with a fine selectivity: select in the passion and laughter and pleasure, select out the jealousy and the ugly, painful realities. No woman has ever managed to do that.”
Extracted from Miss Seetoh in the World by Catherine Tan, a famous author in Singapore. [REVIEW]
P/S: Dark, isn’t it? But that is just how compelling and ridiculously intense this book is. And that preceding excerpt is my personal favourite.