Quotes to Live By

I am reading Bethenny Frankel’s A Place of Yes and one the facets of her storytelling I am most enjoying is how she often introduces pieces of her story and lessons she’s learned with quotes. I very much connect to and appreciate this aspect as I have had quotes which have pervaded my view of different chapters of my life.

When I was introduced to William Faulkner in high school, I frequently visited the idea  that “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past” How did this apply to my study of history and conceptualization of the world? How would this affect me – where did prior actions go and live if there was no past? Would the 1950s, 60s or 70s come back in more ways than fashion? What did this quote really mean?

After college, when I left an incredible job in DC for who knows what in rural America to be with the man who would become my husband, love quotes were paramount. Toni Morrison wrote in Beloved ‘Love is or it ain’t: Thin love ain’t love at all”.  There’s a historic African-American proverb:  “Tell me whom you love and I’ll tell you who you are. “ I love that idea: that the picture of who we are could be derived from our relationships rather than our 9 to 5; that by loving and giving of yourself, you could truly define who you are.

One of my most fashionable acquaintances on Facebook led me to the discovery of the Chanel quote “There is time for work, and time for love. That leaves no other time.” How fitting this quote is when you’re working and planning a wedding! Beyond that, this quote has at many times in my life been exemplary of how I would envision the ideal work-life balance: I’m not picturing grocery-shopping, or bill-paying or watching TV or even sleeping, eating or breathing: I picture one part of my time doing meaningful work and the other part with loved ones.

There is an Edith Wharton quote I keep mulling over these days. It reads: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” I love this quote, particularly being recently married. Am I the candle or the mirror? Can I be both? Who do I aspire to be? Is it a choice? Are we the candle for some and the mirror for others?

That I could spread light is noble in and of itself and figuring out how I may spread that light is part of the journey. I know this much, I’ll be considering this quote over many more lattes.