I think we should all live on the precipice of life, as fully and as dangerously as possible. Everyone should make the assumption that they’re going through life only once. Tomorrow we die. Why not take chances, extend yourself? How awful it is when a person comes to the end of life full of regret.

— Edward Albee

Introversion – along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness – is now a second- class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.

— Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

The beauty of letting go is not about forgetting at all. It is all about remembering what happened without any hurt, it is about accepting things as they are, and it is about freeing yourself. The thing is, if you don’t learn to let go, it will only anchor you down for as long as you hold onto it.

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.

— Anaïs Nin

I am a weak, ephemeral creature made of mud and dream. But I feel all the powers of the universe whirling within me.

— Nikos Kazantzakis, The Saviors of God

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

— Carl Jung, “Modern Man in Search of a Soul”

Even painfully shy and awkward people are not painfully shy or awkward when they are alone. The way to access this natural, comfortable alone-self when you are with others is by choosing to forbid yourself to wonder what “they” are thinking. Instead, force yourself to exist in the instant, then take it- and give it- as it comes.

— Augusten Burroughs, “This Is How”

I waited for my life to start
for years, standing at bus stops
looking into the curved distance
thinking each bus was the wrong bus;
or lost in books where I would travel
without luggage from one page
to another; where the only breeze
was the rustle of pages turning,
and lives rose and set
in the violent colors of suns.

— Linda Pastan, “Waiting for My Life”

If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.

— Michael Bassey Johnson, “The Infinity Sign”

I can finally see that all the terrible parts of my life, the embarrassing parts, the incidents I wanted to pretend never happened, and the things that make me “weird” and “different,” were actually the most important parts of my life. They were the parts that made me ME.

— Jenny Lawson, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.

— Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook”

Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.

— Jeannette Walls, “The Glass Castle”