Slaughterhouse Five Quotes

When I read books, I always write my favorite quotes as I read. These are from the most recent book I read, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.

If I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I’m so grateful that so many of those moments are nice.

That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones.

There isn’t any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.

All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”

“Why me?”

“That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Well, here we are, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

Where have all the years gone?

All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. See how permanent all the moments are, and look at any moment that interests you. It is just an illusion that we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.

So it goes.

But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go.

And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.

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I Am Not Scared

In about five months I will be graduating college and entering the so-called “real” world.  Unlike many (dare I say most?) soon-to-be college grads out there, I am not afraid.  And I’ll tell you why.

What is there to be afraid of?

That’s why.

The world has been real since the day I was born, and I have been living in it just fine.  There’s really no reason to be scared.  It feels like everyone is freaking out about graduating because everyone else is freaking out about graduating.  This spiral effect of learning fear from each other is not okay.

So what if we actually change the course of this entire process and stop being scared and influencing others to be scared too?  Well…then graduation would be a lot easier on everyone.  There would be so much less pressure and so much more embracing of the moments.  There would be more inspiration.  Less paralyzing, long-term thoughts.  More excitement.  Less fear.  I think that’s what we need.

If you don’t know what you are afraid of, you can’t be afraid.  Post-graduation does not mean the end of your life.  In fact, it means the beginning.  It signifies this HUGE accomplishment and the many more to come.  Sure, nostalgia will come and visit a little more often, but that’s not so bad when you have beautiful memories to look back on right?

RIGHT.

My pledge on this January 14th of the year 2014 is to not be scared.  I will enjoy these last few months, as if the end of my college career is not right around the corner of April and May.  And I will accept that whatever plans I have or don’t have, and wherever I am or am not, after graduation, it does not have to be permanent.  Change will always be around the corner of tomorrow and the next day…so let go of expectations, and embrace to the beauty of not knowing instead.

Life will be real whether or not you haven’t entered the “real” world.

And then there were 10

Today begins the ten day countdown to the day I leave for Spain to study abroad for a few months.

It’s an extremely exciting time for me right now.  It feels like a satisfaction-guaranteed type of deal–and I’m willing to bet that it is.  I’m scared and I’m overwhelmed, but I’m more than okay.

I’m making my way around the corner to walk the road where I’ll make my most legendary memories, take some of my most spectacular photographs, write the most detailed journals, and feel most alive.  And beyond all of the good I expect to find, I have to say I’ve also been preparing for what scares me.  Missing home, missing people, missing the familiar.  Failure, disappointment, loneliness, getting lost.  Change is often good, but almost always something to fear in this life.  But regardless, I am sincerely looking forward to what these next few months have to offer me.

My infatuation with travel and meeting new places is in a state of unrest right now, so deep I can feel it in my boones, my blood, my breath.  Heart and mind aside, my body is aching for a new place to be.  My feet want new sidewalks and my eyes need new–or maybe just different–shades of color and sky.  And my hands?  They just want to high five all over the world.

I’m planning on a re-invention of sorts for this trip.  Try new things, be more adventurous (there is always room for more adventure), consume lots of alcohol, form good habits, never sleep, spend all my money, no regrets, etc.  To sum it up, I suppose one could say YOLO…

Sure, roll your eyes at me.

But I’m the one getting ready for the trip of a lifetime.