This itch to have things over again, as if life were a film that could be unrolled twice or even made to work backwards… was it possibly the root of all evil? No: of course the love of money was called that. But money itself - perhaps one valued it chiefly as a defense against chance, a security for being able to have things over again, a means of arresting the unrolling of the film.
— C.S. Lewis, Perelandra (via gladlybeyond)

there is so much ridiculous conflicting advice out there on how to be happy and healthy

and I just cannot figure this shit out
there’s all this GET OFF YOUR ASS AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS THE DAY YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR IS TODAY rah-rah bullshit, like achieving happiness is all about just punching your problems in the face and choosing the best trendy Productivity Method or app or whatever and staying motivated and disciplined

and then in a similar vein you’ve got your YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS CHOOSE JOY DON’T LET NEGATIVITY RULE YOU like again the solution to feeling bad is just being tougher and more resilient than the feel-bads and punching them in the face

but then on the other side you have the TREAT YOURSELF WITH GENTLENESS AND LOVE YOU DESERVE TO BE NURTURED TAKE A DAY OFF AND DRINK SOME TEA which is tough to reconcile with the above because it often feels like an invitation to laze around and wallow - how do you GET SHIT DONE YOU LAZY MOTHERFUCKER and also GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK YOU BEAUTIFUL FLOWER what is the proper ratio of this

and when it comes to interpersonal relationships, we have all this FORGIVENESS IS HEALING and LIVE IN LOVE and EVERYONE HAS BEAUTY and such but you have to be careful not to overcorrect on that, because there’s also LEARN WHEN TO SAY NO and YOU DON’T OWE OTHER PEOPLE ANYTHING and DON’T BE AFRAID TO CUT YOURSELF OFF FROM TOXIC PEOPLE - but forgive them too, I guess? How can you do the huggy-bunny forgive-everyone thing while also standing up for yourself and saying “I was wronged by this person and I will deal with it in a way that serves my needs”

Plus then we’ve got ACCEPT THE LOVE YOU THINK YOU DESERVE and REACH OUT FOR THE HELP YOU NEED and BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES but be careful not to come off as CLINGY, DEPENDENT, OVERSHARING or someone else’s TOXIC, DRAINING, NEEDY FRIEND which is a delicate balance I find difficult to strike

I’m also hearing BE A GROWNUP, BE RESPONSIBLE, CULTIVATE A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR YOUR FUTURE AND SAVE MONEY running up against FUCK IT YOU’RE YOUNG GO BACKPACKING THROUGH FRANCE because I want to set myself up well for a future, with a strong resume and some savings and maybe some health insurance and kitchen implements but also I’m 22 and want some manic pixie dream adventures how can you do both

then we have the EVERYONE FEELS LIKE THIS SOMETIMES LOL THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE drum circle fighting with the YOU DESERVE TO FEEL BETTER, SEEK HELP and the question becomes, are the struggles I’m having the same as everyone else’s and I just need to embrace the messiness of being alive or are they a little more pathologizable and when does it become okay to say “I think I need some extra help, I am having a very hard time” and where do you go from there? Either way you look for answers and you ask the world “how do I feel better” and it throws all this bullshit advice at you which is often tinged with self-righteousness or judgment or a super-twee disconnect from reality and

guys

I just want to be happy and healthy and what is all of this shit

So the Midwest nourishes us […] and presents us with the spectacle of a land and a people completed and certain. And so we run to our bedrooms and read in a fever, and love the big hardwood trees outside the windows, and the terrible Midwest summers, and the terrible Midwest winters […]. And so we leave it sorrowfully, having grown strong and restless by opposing with all our will and mind and muscle its simple, loving, single will for us: that we stay, that we stay and find a place among its familiar possibilities. Mother knew we would go; she encouraged us.
— Annie Dillard
I still don’t support myself as a writer. I support myself as a college professor. I couldn’t pay my mortgage on the revenue from my books. The myth is that you make a lot of money when you publish a book. Unless you write a blockbuster, that’s pretty much untrue. Starting when I was five, I always identified as a writer. It had nothing to do with income. I always told people I was a poet if they asked what I did. That’s what I still tell them now.
— Mary Karr
we need stories like we need food and water: we’re built for narrative, nourished by stories, not just as distractions or diversions or entertainments but because we constitute our world narratively. It is from stories that we receive our "character," and those stories in turn become part of our background, the horizons within we constitute our world and engage in action. I cannot answer the question, what do I love? without (at least implicitly) answering the question, what story do I believe? We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
— James K.A. Smith