Glorious mistakes

Now go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.

— Neil Gaiman



The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.

— Stephen Fry

Generational differences

Conversation a friend of mine who is currently in Ireland had with some lady there:

Irish woman: Where are you from?
Her: From the Netherlands.
Irish woman: How long are you staying in Dublin?
Her: Actually, I’m going to live here!
Irish woman: Oh, are you marrying an Irish guy?
Her: Haha, no, I’m gonna work at Google.


This made me happy.

Favorite words by others

I am obsessed with other people’s words. Passages from books, lines from movies, lyrics (Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”!), sayings and proverbs; anything quotable (All The Jon Stewart All Of The Time!). I’m so obsessed, in fact, that there’s a category on this blog just for Words & Wisdom. So obsessed that I have a Pinterest board that currently holds 165 quotations I liked or enjoyed. I also have Word documents filled with lines from movies and TV shows because I always think I might be able to use them one day. For what, I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I think I am this much into what others have already said, rather than putting a thought into words myself, because English isn’t my first language. And I’m not very good at pinpointing the essence of a thought, anyway. Others will forever better express what I’m trying to say. Part of it is surely that I love reading and writing and words in general.

So naturally, I could never chose a single favorite quotation.

In high school they wanted everyone in the graduating class to put a quotation under their yearbook picture, and it took me a couple of months to decide. I ended up with: “Never look down on anybody, unless you’re helping them up.” Which is a nice sentiment, and probably a good general rule to live by. But it seems oddly specific, doesn’t it? I still feel proud not to have gone for “Every journey begins with a single step” because that seems to be everyone‘s favorite saying. Also in high school, my best friend at the time, whom I had sort of grown apart from in our final year or so, gave me a card that said “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but they are always there.” It’s a bit cheesy but it really meant a lot to me at the time.

If I had to pick an all-time favorite now, it would be a tie between Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (read the whole thing, it’s lovely), especially the last part:

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

… and these lines from the poem that Tolkien wrote for Lord of the Rings (although, again, the whole poem is great):

All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost.

I’m not sure that it’s such a good omen that I begin NaBloPoMo by telling you how much I prefer others’ words to my own. But I shall not give up just yet! I shall be happy and cheerful instead…

Do you have any favorite quotations?

I think there is a lot of pressure to be happy all the time. I don’t think it’s one’s natural state to be happy all the time. I think it’s okay not to be happy all the time. It makes the happiness all the better.

— Anderson Cooper

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case you fail by default.

— J.K. Rowling