I am blown away in this moment. Completely blown away.
In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin touches on the Blank Books she filled as a kid. I, too, loved blank books. Reading her experience sent me to dig up a blank book that was given to me by my dear friend and roommate from the Joseph Baldwin Academy. I used the book beginning in 1991, to record quotes, poems, song lyrics, movie lines and anything that spoke to me. Reading through it tonight, I feel like the kid I was is loving on the adult I am now.
Here is some of what I found in that book.
- To be yourself in a world that is doing its best to make you something you are not, is to fight the hardest battle any human can fight.
- Why can’t we get all the people together that we really like and stay together? Someone would leave, someone always leaves, and then we have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos. (Snoopy)
- A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.
- Life is more than a vision. The sweetest part is acting after making a decision. (Indigo Girls)
- If I don’t take what I read or what I am told and weigh it against my own experiences, then of what value am I to myself?
- Each man had only one genuine vocation – to find the way to himself. (Herman Hesse, Demian)
- I am not capable of standing so naked and alone. I, too, am a poor weak creature who needs warmth and food and occasionally the comfort of human companionship. (Herman Hesse, Demian)
- I wanted only to try and live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult? (Herman Hesse, Demian)
- Every now and then I fall apart. (Bonnie Tyler)
- I will never give in until the day I die. Get myself some independence. Carve out a future with my two bare hands. (The Alarm)
- When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object. (Milan Kundera)
- “Stay” is a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary. (Amos Bronson Alcott)
- A true friend laughs at your stories even when they’re not so good and sympathizes with your troubles even when they’re not so bad.
- Even though my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there will always be two teacups at my table.
- We lie loudest when we lie to ourself. (Eric Hoffer)
- This is me. I’m not proud of it. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed by it, but this is who I am. (Bill Hybels)
- I don’t mind struggling if that’s what it takes to do what I love. (Richard Bach)
- I want to believe there is someone else in the world who is just as alone as I am. I want to believe that we’re going to find each other and love each other and never be alone again. (Richard Bach)
- I often find myself waiting for someone else to give me permission to pursue the things I desire. (Dobie theater preshow)
- You need a clean slate as much as I do. (the movie Heathers)
- I always seek the good that is in people and leave the bad to Him who made mankind and knows how to round off the corners. (Goethe)
- The poor man is not he who is without a cent but he who is without a dream. (Kemp)
I realize this is a long list. I fought hard to resist the urge to reproduce every quote, poem, song lyric and movie line here. It amazes me how much these words and all – literally all – of the words in my once blank book still resonate with me. I do value friendship. I do want to be true to myself. I don’t care to judge or be judged. I do struggle with who I am and being lonely far more than I would like.
Reading through this book, I feel like the kid who recorded these words nearly twenty years ago is reaching out to encourage me today. I am so thankful that she took the time to compile these messages. Through them, she is both challenging me and giving me permission to pursue and be…me.
Do you have a similar book tucked away somewhere? What does it say?