The Best Staged Plans

This is what I have for you this morning: banana-baked oats, and a little yogurt with a lot of berries. How do you feel about blackberries? They’re growing on me, I think.

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And how do you feel about walnuts? I put a few in the oatmeal. Are you worrying about that inexplicably bitter aftertaste — the one that immediately makes you want to reach for the nearest buttery pecan? I have these worries too. Would it help to know that I rolled the raw walnuts in cinnamon sugar and roasted them in my trusty toaster oven beforehand?

You can usually count on me to have a story for you too. I’m going to let you down today, I think. Especially if you don’t like walnuts any which way.

To be honest, I don’t feel much like telling a sad story, and it would be sort of sad, today. Maybe tomorrow? Come back tomorrow, and we’ll have bacon and eggs for First Breakfast, and coffee and pastries for Second Breakfast, and we’ll talk about all the happy things.

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“‘You disappear so completely into your head sometimes,’ he said. ‘I wish I could follow you.’” -Cassandra Clare

“Why are we embarrassed by silence? What comfort do we find in all the noise?” -Mitch Albom

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“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye with nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence, and nothing else.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What about when someone doesn’t need a shoulder? What if they need the arms?” -Stephen Chbosky

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I’m not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.” -Stephanie Perkins

“You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.” -Nina Simone

“She was desperate and she was choosy at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn’t have quite enough going for her to become what she imagined herself to be.” -Charles Bukowski

“What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?” -Langston Hughes

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“It is a joy to be hidden, but a disaster not to be found.” -DW Winnicott

“I think I’m greedy, but I’m not greedy for money — I think that can be a burden — I’m greedy for an exciting life.” -David Hockney

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” -Unknown

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” -Isabelle Eberhardt

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“I’ve stopped being sorry for all my soft. I won’t apologize because I miss you, or because I said it, or because I text you first, or again. I think everyone spends too much time trying to close themselves off. I don’t want to be cool or indifferent, I want to be honest.” -Ezra T.

“I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and I’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.” -Frida Kahlo

“Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.” -Gregory David Roberts

“April was too lonely a month to spend alone. In April, everyone around me looked happy. People would throw their coats off and enjoy each other’s company in the sunshine — talking, playing catch, holding hands. But I was always by myself.” -Haruki Murakami

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“Loneliness is the human condition. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” -Janet Fitch

“Happiness is simple. Sadness forks into many roads.” -Arkaye Kierulf

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” -Terry Pratchett

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“Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Just give today all the love and intensity and courage you can.” -Unknown

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” -David Mamet

“Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful — be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.” -Patti Smith

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