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Anaïs Nin 4 comments

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an Anaïs Nin quote that I'd forgotten about.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

It captured something that I needed to be reminded of in that moment. Remembering this, I did a Google search for Anaïs Nin quotes and found quite the treasure chest. I thought I'd share some of what I found here.

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
  
Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

Dreams are necessary to life.

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.

People living deeply have no fear of death.

The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.

The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. 

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[Cross-posted from Vox.]

I’m interested in bodies these days. Not exactly in the way that sentence implies, though. Although … (pause) never mind … moving on

So, as I drop a few pounds, slowly, my body is changing. People are noticing, which is nice. Other people look at me more than I look at myself given that I rarely look in the mirror other than to check to see if my hair is standing up on end.

I caught a glimpse of myself putting the ironing board away tonight, as it is stored in a cupboard in my downstairs bathroom and one must stand in front of a mirror to access the cupboard. It was a mirror action shot, I suppose. There are parts of my body that are just not going to get that much smaller for a while, like my arms, possibly my calves. These are pretty muscular and are likely to remain so.

Today, I wore a shirt that I haven’t worn much since I bought it. I really like this shirt but it has never fit quite properly, until today. So the wardrobe re-claiming begins, which is a lovely side benefit of all this.

It needs to be noted that the fact I was putting the ironing board away indicates change also, since one of the things I do both poorly and rarely is iron. I have, however, run out of summer-weight work pants and this situation needed to be addressed pronto.

On my drive home today, I thought about change and how people respond to it differently.  I’ve left the
most stable job I’ve ever had, albeit temporarily and with a wide and welcoming safety net, to pursue a more entrepreneurial life. The change feels refreshing and invigorating. After several years of work stability, I chose change. Similarly, I’ve been the “leaver” in all but one of my relationships, long or short – choosing change repeatedly there. Some time ago, I was having lunch with my sister and my niece (sister’s daughter) and we were listing out the significant relationships we’d had and how they ended. We then went back in the
family tree and concluded that the women in our family don’t put up with much crap, as we all seem able to pull the plug on relationships that aren’t working and just walk away. The pattern is that we do the ending, rather than have endings forced upon us.

In my own history, this has caused me to attract no shortage of criticism from folks who have claimed that I haven’t done enough to resolve differences in relationships, to “make it work”. I consider these opinions ill-informed and offered from the cheap seats. It is easy to look in from the outside and render such a verdict. In particular, I remember leaving my partner of nine years and hearing no end of criticism for this. No one but the two of us knew how much pain had been caused in the last two of those nine years, and few people know how hard we had both worked to figure things out for the last eight months. One does not discuss such things as a matter of course over coffee. The leaver often gets tagged as being cowardly and emotionally lazy, at least I certainly felt that at the time. In truth, I felt like I’d achieved something brave and gargantuan – I made a strong choice to support my own mental and emotional health. It was absolutely the right one, I can say with clarity six years later. This situation taught me never, ever, to judge someone else’s relationship choices and to offer input on such things only when asked directly for advice or guidance.

Did this relationship ending work out entirely as I expected? No. In some ways, it worked out better as I retained the friendship of my ex with the added bonus of not having to negotiate nearly impossible relationship issues with her. Other than the actual decision to leave, did I feel “in control” of this process? Absolutely not – it remains one of the most chaotic and frightening periods of time in my life. Do
I know how this entrepreneurial gig is going to work out? No idea … I feel very excited and optimistic. Each day, I see progress and new horizons, new possibilities. Will we be fast enough and smart enough to
capture enough of what we need, quickly, to survive and thrive? I have absolutely no idea. All I can do is my best, and support others as they do their best.

Do I feel “in control” of this diet shift? To some degree, yes … but bodies are what they are. The end results are, frankly, unpredictable. All I can do is give it my best shot.

The only things one can be sure about are death and taxes, or so it is said. And change as a feature of life. No matter how hard one struggles to control the nature and direction of change, I think it is seldom
that we are ever fully in control of how things unfold. The opposite of change is stagnation which, to me, would be like death if one succumbed to it. The silver lining of change is possibility and growth. I must
remember this the next time that life proves to me that I’m not entirely in charge.

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