Our life is made upon time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a quick few minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you? Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie
What I know for sure is this: The most important adventure of our lives doesn’t have to involve climbing the highest peak or trekking around the world. The biggest thrill you can ever achieve is to live the life of your dreams. Maybe you’re like so many women I’ve talked to over the years who have suspended their deepest desires to in order to accommodate everything and everyone else. You ignore the nudge—that whisper that often comes in the form of emptiness or restlessness—to finally get on with what you know you should be doing. I understand how easy it is to rationalise: Your mate and your children need you; the job that you admit makes you miserable demands so much of your time. But what happens when you work hard at something unfulfilling? It drains your spirit. It robs you of your life force. You end up depleted, depressed, and angry. You don’t have to waste another day on that road. You can begin again. Starting over begins with looking inward. It means ridding yourself of distractions and paying attention to that inkling you’ve been ignoring. I’ve learned that the more stressful and chaotic things are on the outside, the calmer you need to get on the inside. It’s the only way you can connect with where your spirit is leading you. Oprah Winfrey
You don’t have to follow a set path. You don’t have to fit into a predetermined life that someone else has decided for you. You need to do what makes you happy. Not what makes your parents, friends or family happy, what makes you happy. You don’t need to know what that is in your teens, in your twenties or whatever age someone expects you to have it all figured out, because it’s never too late to live life to its fullest. This is a journey, not a destination, and people grow and adapt every single day. They find new ways to be happy, new goals to set, new ways to live. So, make your own path in life. Follow it to your own happiness. Remember that this life is yours and it’s up to you what you decide to do with it. Reine-de-la-rose
Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” It’s never too early, either. Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect
Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realisation that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white t-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.” Nick Miller, Isn’t It Pretty To Think So?