2017: read, heard, written down and remembered

Back in 2016 and 2015, I shared a little of what I learned throughout the year from articles, books, music, conversations and more. This year, I’m back at it with 2017: read, heard, written down and remembered. I know I will bring this wisdom into the new year with me, and I hope you do too.

  1. “The most significant thing we can do for our well-being is not to ‘find ourselves’ or ‘go within.’ It’s to invest as much time and effort as we can into nurturing the relationships we have with the people in our lives.” — Ruth Whippman, Happiness is Other People
  2. “What we know now more than ever is that we don’t have to wait a moment longer. The cracks in the ceiling have been made. Our light is coming through. Today we shine. Tomorrow we shine. The next day we shine some more. The future is brighter because we illuminate it.” — Cleo Wade
  3. “I assumed that racism is synonymous with bias. Yet you could take every white supremacist and ship him off to Mars and you’d still have racism in the world. That’s because racism is systemic and institutional, but it is both perpetuated and dismantled in individual acts.” — Jodi Picoult, Are You Sure You’re Not Racist?
  4. “No is a final answer, not a starting point for negotiation.” — Lisa Winjum
  5. “Funny how things that once seemed so charming can become dull and annoying. We think we want all the time in the world with the people we love, but maybe what we need is the opposite. Just a finite amount of time, so we still think the other person is interesting. Maybe we don’t need acts two and three. Maybe love is best in act one.” — The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  6. “When you feel the world around you spinnin’ out of control, you can find someone around you to bring you out of the cold. But you don’t ever have to hide, what you really feel inside.” — Moon Taxi, Two High
  7. “We’re not mind readers. So if you like someone’s drawing, tell them. If you think someone’s bracelet is pretty, tell them. If someone’s podcast helped you in some way, tell them. If a friend or acquaintance has inspired you, tell them. Say it in person, leave a comment on a blog post, send an email, tweet, write a letter. Use your words.” — Rebecca Rose Thering, I Puked, I Sketched, and Then One Man in Munich Changed My Day
  8. “Don’t be worried if you feel like you’re just pretending like you know what you’re doing. No one knows what the fuck they’re doing. We’re all just putting on a costume every day and trying to make it work.” — X Ambassadors, X Ambassadors Talk Spontaneity, Willingness to Experiment
  9. “You’re entitled to your opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” — Hillary Clinton
  10. “There was a time, not long ago, when a social commitment was not regarded as a disposable Post-it note, when people took it as a matter of course that reliability is a core element of treating people well, that how you spend your time is how you spend your life, and that if you don’t flake on people who matter you have a chance to build deeper and better friendships and live in a better and more respectful way.” — David Brooks, The Golden Age of Bailing
  11. “The reality of pursuing something exceptional is that it is always hard. There is no other side of hard. It’s about reframing your perspective and loving the hard.” — Katia Beauchamp
  12. “Every time a couple moves they begin, if their attention is still drawn to one another, to see each other differently, for personalities are not a single immutable color, like white or blue, but rather illuminated screens, and the shades we reflect depend much on what is around us.” — Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  13. “Your words, your actions, your art projects, your efforts, every small, tender, beautiful thing that you put forth into the world matters so much. So much more than you may realize. Every single day, as you go about your work, you have no idea whose life you could be impacting for the better — often, in ways you can’t even imagine.”— Alexandra Franzen, It All Matters
  14. “New york is a funny city. You can live there for years and never see your next door neighbor, and you can run into your best friend while getting into a subway car on your way to work. Fate versus free will. Maybe it’s both.” — The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
  15. “No state of existence is permanent….For as much control as you think you have, you don’t actually maintain that much. This isn’t a bad thing; surrender.” — Leandra Medine, I Asked Women What They’d Tell Their 28-Year-Old Selves
  16. “People will always be there for your highest moments but only a few will remain at your lowest. Always check the weather, and see who’s there for you when the sun is shining and when the rain is pouring… The ones who were with you when the sun was shining and when the rain was pouring are the people who are truly worth keeping and fighting for.” — Gab Garcia, The Art of Friendship
  17. “It would be great if human beings were great at being human and if all of mankind were made up of kind men. It would be wonderful if common knowledge was knowledge commonly known and if the light from being enlightened into every heart was shown. It would be fantastic if the war to end all wars was the last war that we fought. It would be amazing if we learned the lessons from every lesson we were taught. It would be cool if our freedom to us was freely granted and if every seed of kindness would grow wherever planted. It would be glorious if neighbors were neighborly and prejudice a forgotten word. It would be awesome if we shared everything and being greedy was absurd. It would be spectacular if the golden rule was golden to every man and the good things that we ever did was everything that we can.” — Joe Flach
  18. “You can be right, you can be wrong. You can be anything you want. You can be you.” — Saint Motel, You Can Be You
  19. “When someone has an opinion that challenges you, welcome it like you would an old friend. If you can be gracious in accepting feedback, you will grow a lot faster than if you think you don’t need growth. Be great to work with, easy to give feedback to, and everything else will be easy to fix over time.” — Eli Silva Montgomery, Letter to a Junior Designer
  20. “We decide that it means something that a person likes cats instead of dogs, or has a certain kind of artsy tattoo, or can land a good joke in a text, but, really, these are reassuring self-deceptions. Our initial impression of a person is pretty much entirely a mirage of guesswork and projection.” — Kristen Roupenian, Kristen Roupenian on the Self-Deceptions of Dating
  21. “I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one’s center of life inside of one’s self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity — to decorate one’s inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone.” — Edith Wharton
  22. “All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.” — It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  23. “Action over inertia is a victory.” — Ann Friedman, This Week Is a Reminder: It’s the Long Game That Counts
  24. “Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.” — E.E. Cummings
  25. “We are rarely prepared for the next stages in our lives, and we lurch forward into positions we are not equipped for, without the expertise we might sorely need. With that in mind, perfection can never be the goal. But fluidity might be. And sometimes without exactly realizing it, in the process of doing what we are doing, we become the people who are capable of doing it.” — Lauren Marks, What My Stroke Taught Me
  26. “It’s easy to be a critic. The question is whether or not it changes anything.” — Zat Rana, 77 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life
  27. “We get so fixated on the job we want or the person we’re dating because we don’t think there will be another. But there’s always another.” — Marisa Lascher, Single, Unemployed and Suddenly Myself
  28. “In modern life, there is always a suspicion… that one is living a lie or a mistake; that something crucially important has been overlooked, missed, neglected, left untried and unexplored; that a vital obligation to one’s own authentic self has not been met, or that some chances of unknown happiness completely different from any happiness experienced before have not been taken up in time and are bound to be lost forever… As children, we have the opportunity to play at other roles; as adults, we often find ourselves confined by the ones we’ve been assigned or the ones we have chosen… Yet we remain forever curious: What other stories could we have been part of?” — Esther Perel, Why Happy People Cheat
  29. “Purpose is not something practiced. It is something felt. It is what you want to ‘make perfect.’” — Erica B., For Those Who Are Multitalented AF And Suffering
  30. “How come even together there can be loneliness?” — Walk The Moon, One Foot
  31. “Part of what we need to shift and change if we’re actually going to end sexual violence, is that we’re all going to need to take accountability for how we allow this rape culture to continue. No one comes out of the womb knowing how to torture somebody, how to rape somebody, or sexually assault somebody. These are learned behaviors.” — Mia Mingus, What Would it Take to Actually End Intimate Violence?
  32. “It’s an odd trick, to consider how different someone looks when you strip away the forgiveness of familiarity.” — The Futures by Anna Pitoniak
  33. “We spend so much energy and time focused on productivity that we no longer recognize fun when we see it.” — Rebecca Scritchfield, The Trouble With Me Time
  34. “You don’t have to draw. You don’t have to paint. You don’t have to be able to make music. Creativity is like a spirit of generativity. … If you see something, and you’re not happy with the way it is, well, let’s figure out new ways to address that. Come at it from the side. Come at it from a different angle….You can apply that to any field.” — Wendy MacNaughton, We’re Born Creative
  35. “Only wholeness leads to clarity. We only know bits and pieces. Fragments. What the universe allows us to see. The rest… the rest is just things flying around. Uncertainty.” — The One Man by Andrew Gross
  36. “That’s really what falling in love is, isn’t it? Yearning to know more about a person, the amazement and delight as each layer is peeled back, the realization that you can never get enough of the one you love. Perhaps the death knell of love is not anger or even indifference; it’s losing the desire to know more about your partner.” — Kerry Egan, Married to a Mystery Man
  37. “When it feels like we are approaching failure, it’s really freedom in disguise.” — The Moth
  38. “This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” — The Guest House by Jellaludin Rumi
  39. “The path up is always a jagged line, not a straight one.” — Gloria Steinem, What Gloria Steinem Learned from Hillary Clinton about Progress
  40. “In life design, if it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem… It’s a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life. It may be a drag, but, like gravity, it’s not a problem that can be solved… People fight reality. They fight it tooth and nail, with everything they’ve got. And anytime you are arguing or fighting with reality, reality will win. You can’t outsmart it. You can’t trick it. You can’t bend it to your will. Not now. Not ever.” — Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
  41. “To have authentic connection, you have to be willing to truly be seen for who you are — not who you think you should be.” — Brenne Brown
  42. “With every day comes the promise of hope and that is multiplied by the turning of the calendar to January 1 — staring at a wide open year ahead. So much will happen, good and bad, and we will learn and grow and laugh and cry and we will live life to the fullest. Remember to always offer a hand to anyone who may lose sight of that.” — Ben Lovett
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