House Beautiful

Words to Live By

Ever noticed how, growing up, people were always telling you what to do and giving you advice all the time…  most of it went in one ear and out the other, but for whatever reason, a precious few nuggets of wisdom made it through your filter and stuck with you forever?  Or maybe you heard something somewhere that resonated with you because it seemed so profound in the most obvious and simple way.  Either way, it seems that somehow those are the things that become woven into the fabric of who we are, what we believe, and how we live our lives.

Here are a few that resound in my head:

1.  “Character is what you are when no one is looking.” -My Aunt Bunky

2.  “Give people more than they expect, and do so cheerfully.” -My dear friend, Melissa Hobley, whom I once heard say it, and who embodies it.

3.  “It’s not the clothes you wear, it’s how you wear ‘em.” -My Step-Dad, Dave…  to me as a kid when I wanted cool, expensive clothes like some of the other kids had.  This was probably right about the time my mom sent me to the movies with penny rolls.  Oh… Jayne.  But I would never, in 100 million years, change anything about the way I grew up.

4.  “Your body is capable of so much more than you think it is!” -Cally Geiger, my Assistant College Volleyball Coach…  screamed from the sideline during our 8th round of vomit-inducing 300-yard shuttle sprints.  There were a few of us left standing; the rest of the team was on the sidelines puking or passed out.  And I genuinely thought I was going to die…  but I didn’t.  She was right.

5.  “Leave things neater than you found them.” -Grandpa Bud

6.  “Follow your heart, go with your gut, think positive, and everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to.” -My Mom

7.  “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everybody would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” -My High School Volleyball Coach, Reece Peacock

8.  “…carve out your own niche. A lot of times it’s tough to figure out what to do and how to make your mark if you’re only considering paths that have already been forged. I never knew design blogging was a career option and if I had stuck to the traditional route after college, I may never have been able to take part in so many amazing opportunities. If you know what you love, and what your real strengths are – be bold and find a way to make those two things your job.  It’s tough but it will always pay off in the end to do something you love and rely on your real talents as an individual.” -Grace Bonney in an interview with Carrie & Danielle.  I ran across this in 2008 when I was thinking about leaving my Big Girl Job and embarking on a career in design.  In hindsight, it was the least prudent and most impractical thing I could’ve done heading into a recession, but I don’t regret it for a second.  I learned things about myself I would’ve otherwise never known.

9.  “Ever notice that ‘What the Hell?!’ is always the right decision?” -On a refrigerator magnet, but inspired my totally rad girlfriend Gregg, who has the most infectious zest for life I’ve ever seen.

10.  “If you love it and it fits, buy 2 or 3.” -My Dad.  As a girl currently sitting in her favorite (discontinued) pair of jeans that have so many patches in the crotch area that it feels like I’m wearing a diaper, I can personally endorse this one.

11.  “When you’re standing at the sink washing the cup, wash the cup.  We so often forget to appreciate the mundane moments in life.  To find the sublime in the ordinary.” –Julia Roberts

12. “I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life, wherever you are.” -Diane Von Furstenberg


13.  “People don’t tell you who they are, they show you who they are.” -Oprah Winfrey.  I leaned heavily on this when trying to decide whether or not to give a philandering ex-boyfriend another chance.  I knew better, but I did it anyway, and it proved NOT to be a wise decision.  But maybe sometimes, you have to make your own mistakes and figure stuff out in your own time.

14. “We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.” -E.B. White

15.  “There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.” -Hilaire Belloc

16.  “If a guy wants to call you, he will.  If he doesn’t have your number, don’t worry.  If he wants to, he can find it.” -My best friend Mary’s (very wise) older brother.  I once had a guy who I’d met twice (and was seriously sweating) who lived 3000 miles away dig through my friend’s phone at a party to steal my number 9 months after our last encounter.  So Matty’s theory is on point…  however, this chick is hilarious:

17.  “I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” -Larry Bird

18. “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” -Henry James

19.  “You light up my mind… my heart… in ways I have a hard time describing with words, and for that I could never thank you enough.” -from the loveliest letter I ever received from an old boyfriend.  I tend to think people come in and out of our lives at certain times for certain reasons, and even though we went our separate ways in the end, I think that relationship existed to show me a small glimmer of what the one in the end is supposed to feel like.  That small excerpt from that crumpled old note is framed in a tiny frame in my bathroom, because it serves as a reminder to never, ever, ever settle.

20.  “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

21. If you have even one true friend, you have more than your fair share.” -Grandma Ruth

22.  Someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.” -Unknown

…what are yours?

Have a great weekend – xoxo!

*in a rush – my apologies – photo credits to follow shortly!

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