Parts of a True Story

“The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it and the self wanders out of it. Traffic is two-way and constant.” -Bernard Wolfe

“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness; it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken; it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Don’t be ashamed.” -Anthon St. Maarten

“Knowing and feeling are two different things, and feeling is what counts.” -François Lelord

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“Of all the things I am not very good at, living in the real world is perhaps the most outstanding.” -Bill Bryson

“One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.” -Erich Fromm

“I don’t want to be the one who says life is beautiful. I want to be the one who feels it.” -Marty Rubin

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“No man or woman alive, magical or not, has ever escaped some form of injury, whether physical, mental, or emotional. To hurt is as human as to breathe.” -J.K. Rowling

“Everything was screaming: the sea, the wind, my heart.” -Yann Martel

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“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.” -Kahlil Gibran

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“Being too scared to even try — that’s just a waste. I can say I made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t regret things. Because at least I didn’t spend a life standing outside, wondering what living would be like.” -Sarah Dessen

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“One day you’ll laugh so much that you’ll forget you have scars.” -Benjamín Griss

“I don’t know why it is, exactly, but the people with the healthiest self-esteem are also the greatest at intimacy. I’m not talking about arrogant people. I’m talking about people who know they are both good and bad, yet believe at the deepest level they are really good for people.” -Donald Miller

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“Who’s the real you? The person who did something awful, or the one who’s horrified by the awful thing you did? Is one part of you allowed to forgive the other?” -Rebecca Stead

“You could feel things or you could find a way to shut down. But once you were feeling things, you couldn’t decide exactly what to feel. That was the trouble with letting them in at all. They made a mess of the place.” -Ann Brashares

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“Human behavior is messy and unpredictable and unconcerned with convenient symmetries.” -Khaled Hosseini

“I have seen him at his best and worst, and I cannot decide which I love more: his happiness or his raw emotion. But I love him, all of him. Every single side and bit. I love the sky above his head, the floor he walks on. I love the words he spills over morning coffee, the whispers he mumbles in sleep. I love the tears he blinks away, the red in his cheeks. There is not a part of him I can’t accept; there is not a part of him I cannot love.” -I.C.

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“I’m okay with your history. It made you who you are. And I happen to be in love with who you are.” -S.C. Stephens

“I have never known how to play it cool. It is not part of my repertoire, not a skill I’ve perfected over the years. I am a chasm of a person. My heart is a giant opening, and if you look, you will see everything I’ve ever been.” -Ari Eastman

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“I meant it when I said I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a moment. A moment when you glimpse the truth about someone, and they glimpse the truth about you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any longer, not completely. Part of you belongs to him; part of him belongs to you. After that, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you want to, no matter how hard you try.” -Claudia Gray

“The keys that unlock the heart are made of funny materials: a disarming phrase that comes out of the blue, nowhere, a certain sexy walk that sends you reeling, the way someone hums when she is alone. My father said it was the way my mother danced with him.” -Jonathan Carroll

“Does he treat you with respect at all times? That’s the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire you to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you’ve found a good man.” -Colleen Hoover

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“I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don’t want to look around anymore. I don’t need to look around for anything.” -Sylvia Plath

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“At this point in my life, I’m not looking for any happy endings. I’m just looking to get things started.” -Jonathan Tropper

“It’s always seemed to me that being in a relationship is, in large part, about bearing witness. You take a front row seat to your partner’s daily trials and triumphs and they do the same for you. And then at the end of your life at least one person knows what you went through — how often you struggled, how hard you tried and how much goodness you created.” -Ellen McCarthy

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“Make sure they can find their biggest fan in you, and you can find yours in them.” -Trent Shelton

“When you’re comfortable with someone, you don’t need to always fill the void with noise. I liked it when we would just be.” -Elizabeth Eulberg

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“I’m going to tell you something: thoughts are never honest. Emotions are.” -Albert Camus

“You’re sad. Not because of how life is treating you or anything — but just because you want someone next to you. Someone who at the end of the day will look at you and smile and ask what you want to have for dinner. You want a reason to shut off the computer and have a conversation. Someone who will be there, who will be willing to give you space but also keep you close. You shouldn’t feel pathetic for wanting someone to hold you, for wanting to feel loved and known. The ache for companionship is natural. But don’t let it cripple your life. When you have those aches for a love not yet known, take some time, write it out, take a deep breath. You are allowed to want love, you are allow to feel deeply, and you are allowed to wish it would come soon, but you are not allow to let it keep you from a life lived fully.” -T.B. LaBerge

“There are people we meet in life who miss being important to us by inches, days, or heartbeats. Another place or time or a different emotional frame of mind and we would willingly fall into their arms; gladly take up their challenge or invitation. But as it is, we encounter them when we are discontent or content and they are not. Whatever they are, we are not and vice versa. Two trains going in different directions that pass for a few powerful moments at full speed, blasting noise and wind but then they are gone. Whatever serious chemistry might have been possible if, isn’t.” -Jonathan Carroll

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“I love first times. I want my entire life to be composed of them. Life is only interesting when it’s wide.” -John Krokidas

“I like the feeling that anything, anything, could happen.” -Marsha Qualey

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“The truth is, everything you’re afraid of is going to happen to you. You’ll be poor. You’ll get dumped. You’ll lose someone you love. You’ll be ridiculous. You’ll make mistakes. So many mistakes! Sometimes you’ll feel completely lost. But whatever happens, you’ll always have yourself. Your sense of humor, your crazy theories, your love for life, your curiosity about others. Your ever-changing vision of the world — all of these things will stay intact. And you’ll realize that right when you think you’re going to fall into pieces and crash to the floor, there will be loving arms there to catch you, and whether that support comes from close friends or strangers, they will be there. You need to know that you will be loved, and you will be successful. And all those difficult moments that came before will protect you from being afraid. Stop worrying. You’re going to see the world, and meet people, and learn to love them. You’ll learn tenderness. Toward others, and toward yourself. You won’t be so afraid anymore. Don’t be so afraid, sweetheart.” -Garance Doré

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{Waterfront house portrait via @michaelmatti, Crater Lake via @leiferiksmith, Astoria bridge via @thisisjanellee, Latourell Falls via @iamandrewnelson, Mt. Hood National Forest via @kail_powell, PDX at golden hour via @jakeegbert, winter house portrait via @wildrecollection, PDX at dark via @scallywagswag, Diablo Lake via @hbmertz, campfire via @bethanymarieco, Mt. Hood via @kyle.pnw, sunrise highway via @bdorts, misty lake via @ioegreen, moon via @kyle.pnw, Trillium Lake trail via @bethkellmer, dreamy little log cabin via @tullitha – all on Instagram.}

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