You’re allowed to sound like yourself. That’s one of the things this blog has taught me. In interviews, on dates, in letters, on the phone. It’s okay to be exactly who you say you are. Unpopular, maybe, but okay. It’s better now that you’re not in school.
You’re also allowed to want a small break from yourself, now and then. It’s good to get out in the world.
I went three days this week without saying a single word out loud. There was a ghost of a smile for the receptionist at the gym, on Wednesday, and a nod of thanks to the cheerful checkout lady at Fairway, on Friday, but that was it. Will you help me remember that I need to open my mouth?
There was no shortage of words ricocheting around my brain. Face it: your number one skill is folding sweaters. Or clearing dishes. And then: Hannah you’re 23. It’s two years too early for a quarter-life crisis. Ha — you’re even failing at that.
Luckily, we’re still allowed to try on different voices. While we work on fine-tuning our own. What I’ve done today is make a little list of people’s voices that I love. I’ll give you some today, and if you like them, I’ll give you some more. In the absence of big bear hugs and bubbling blueberry things, I feel like I need them all.
“You are allowed to miss him. You are allowed to miss her. You cannot be expected to find each bobby pin she hid behind the couch, or toss every sweater he left at your house. Some things are supposed to be dwelt upon. And the same way a shell remembers the sound of the ocean so too will your heart remember their sleepy voiced ‘good mornings.’ You are not required to rush the immense task of moving on just because your folks are worried or your friends are tired or your ex has been sleeping with damn near the entire city. This is your process, you set the pace. So change the pillowcases and change the sheets. Know that your strength is not defined by the number of days it takes you to remove them from memory.” -Beau Taplin
“Your body is the house you grew up in. How dare you try to burn it to the ground.” -Sierra Demulder
“At school you might have been prodded to come ‘out of your shell’ — that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and that some humans are just the same.” -Susan Cain
“It’s a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them — and they simply don’t need you. That’s all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they’ll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on — this desperate need — and only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other.” -Madeleine L’Engle
“We work hard to disown the parts of our lives that were painful, difficult, or sad. But just as we can’t rip chapters out of a book and expect the story to still make sense, so we cannot rip chapters out of our past and expect our lives to still make sense. Keep every chapter of your life intact, and keep on turning the pages. Sooner or later you’ll understand why every scene, every chapter was needed.” -Sandra Kring
“There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.” -Zora Neale Hurston
“She laughs, and the sound of it crinkles in my chest like a candy wrapper in a quiet room. I want more.” -Elissa Janine Hoole
“But my heart is an old house (the kind my mother grew up in) — hell to heat and cool, and faulty in the wiring. And though it’s nice to look at, I have no business inviting lovers in.” -Clementine von Radics
“What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It’s a sure thing! It’s sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles.” -Nora Ephron
“So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that’s not what I actually needed. What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered. I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.” -John Green
“If you’re trying to find out what’s coming next, turn off everything you own that has an OFF switch and listen. Be proud of yourself for the work you’ve done. Be grateful to all the people who helped you do it. Write to them and let them know how you are. You are, every one of you, someone’s favorite untold story.” -Ann Patchett
“The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal.” -C.S. Lewis
“I had love once, in the palm of my hand. See the lines there.” -John Wieners
“I love you in a language that I don’t fully understand. In words that I haven’t found enough courage to forklift out of my chest.” -Rudy Fransisco (And, if you haven’t already: A Lot Like You.)
“The years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult — but you are not ready.” -Helen Mirren
“Will I be something? Am I something? And the answer comes: You already are. You always were. And you still have time to be.” -Anis Mojgani
“A word and everything is saved. A word and all is lost.” -André Breton
“Who taught me to suck in my stomach, or my cheeks? Who told me to stand with my legs apart and my hips thrust back to create the illusion of a gap between my thighs? Who made me believe that the most beautiful part of me is my negative space?” -Unsure
“It’s when you hide things that you choke on them.” -Charles Bukowski
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” -George Eliot