Tougher Than Thou


“You’re doing fine, Cheryl,” he said. “Don’t worry about it too much. You’re green, but you’re tough. And tough is what matters the most out here. Not just anyone could do what you’re doing.”…He wasn’t tougher than me. No one was, I told myself, without believing it. I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me? The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth it was true, I said it anyway: No one.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

  • Pacific Crest Trail: Website and Twitter

Don’t Let It Get You Down



“if the sun was always shining and our load always light we’d be shaking like a leaf with every God given night and we’d break under the weight of any pressure that was ever applied”

“will you be ready when the straw boss calls? he’s got an ever loving bone to pick with one and all don’t let his condescension get you down just have the strength to know you’re wrong and when you’re right the strength to stand your ground”

Salt for Salt by Brown Bird

Need a Reason


The older I get, the more I’m convinced: I’ve suffered for a reason. It’s a reason I don’t know yet, but for all of my twenty years it’s been circling me—a forecast of something mighty. There’s no way a person could be born into dysfunction, fighting to survive and helping her family do the same, without some purpose to give it all meaning. On the days that feel dark and endless, I make myself a simple promise: I’ll get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll head up the hill to class. If I put one foot in front of the other, day by day, I’ll move closer to the light at the end of all this struggle.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Inconsequential Things


I braid my hair and tie it with the rubber band around my wrist. I feel more like myself. That is all I need: to remember who I am. And I am someone who does not let inconsequential things like boys and near-death experiences stop her.

Divergent (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth

Overcoming The Snowy Mountain


“When she stands still, Lulu can hear the trees creaking in the wind. A few dry leaves that cling to the branches ring like little bells. It sounds like music.”

“She’s not just Lulu, she’s Ladybug Girl, and Ladybug Girl can do anything! Nothing is going to keep her from getting where she wants to go!”

“The mountain seems so small now. It’s funny how one thing can change into another, just like that.”

Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow by David Soman and Jacky Davis

No Regrets


Setting goals, then busting your butt to follow through with them, takes effort, self-reflection, honesty, and perseverance. But think about the alternative: Do you really want to look back from your old age at the dreams you almost but never quite went for, or the relationships you didn’t find the courage or time to develop? Or do you want to look back and say to yourself, “Yes, I did it”?

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail by Keith Ferrazzi

Life and Bad Decisions


Doing unrectifiable, stupid things is universal and shouldn’t stop one from moving forward in life.

Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small by Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter

From the Introduction:We invite you to join us at the Shame Prom—a place where we wear our ugly dresses, then shed them. Where we parade our shame in public, dance it around on our arm, and take awkward pictures with it. But afterward, we’re not going to roll around in the backseat making out with it. This time, we’re breaking up with Shame and driving off into the sunset, stronger in knowing that we are connected at the deepest, most human level. So put on your tiaras, people. Let’s get this party started.”

Keep Trying


“Mama came over. She shook her head. “Stop. This is not working. We have to try something else.””

Spark, written by Kallie George and illustrated by Genevieve Cote

Note: This is a book that I almost did not quote. There are many excellent children’s books that have not made it into this blog because I could not identify a single, short, quotable-quote. Some books are great because of the sum of their parts and the smaller pieces don’t stand well without the rest supporting them. I hate to pass up and excellent example, but I can’t quote the whole book!