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Angie #937216 11/19/22 09:33 AM
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The world only exists in your eyes... You can make it as big or as small as you want.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

This line, taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1936 essay “The Crack-Up,” is spoken by an unnamed woman who appears near the end of the piece. For most of the essay, Fitzgerald paints a remorseful picture of himself as a man of little consequence, but then a mysterious woman shows up and tells him, “Listen!” She implores Fitzgerald to snap out of it, to see his own agency, and to understand that he can make his life as big or as small as he wants.

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Angie #937227 11/20/22 06:29 PM
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A true friend is one soul in two bodies.

Aristotle

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was a big fan of friendship. “Without friends no one would choose to live,” he wrote, “though he had all other goods.” The great thinker believed that our closest friends serve as a source of guidance and inspiration, to help us become the best versions of ourselves. A true friend, as he saw it, is someone who shares the same fundamental values, attitudes, and outlook on life — a kindred spirit. The quote above has also been translated as “a single soul dwelling in two bodies,” a striking description of the kind of bond two people can share. It's remarkable that some 2,000 years after Aristotle lived, his observation is still keenly felt when we find that rare and deep connection with another person.

Angie #937231 11/21/22 08:46 AM
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If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it.

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, sometimes called the “philosopher king,” ruled the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 CE. During that time, he wrote down his thoughts and reflections on the challenges of life and leadership. The collection would later be bound and published under the simple title of “Meditations.” The book has been translated and republished countless times, and the wisdom of Aurelius’ words, passed down through the centuries, continues to resonate.

Angie #937236 11/22/22 02:48 PM
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I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

Viola Davis

Celebrated actress Viola Davis has starred in dozens of movies and television shows, including 2011's "The Help" and 2020's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." She was the first Black woman to collect an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy, aka the Triple Crown of Acting. In 2016, when she was awarded the inaugural #SeeHer Award from the Critics’ Choice Association (she also picked up an Oscar that year, for Best Supporting Actress in the movie “Fences”), she said in her speech that being who you are is "the privilege of a lifetime." Strong words indeed from a woman who has embodied almost 100 different characters over the course of her career.

Angie #937241 11/23/22 09:12 PM
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Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

Allen Ginsberg

The second half of this quote originally appeared as a line in Allen Ginsberg’s poem “On Burroughs’ Work.” Years later, in an interview with “Writer’s Digest,” when Ginsberg was asked to share some advice for aspiring writers, he borrowed from his own material, adding the line about following your inner moonlight. It’s a concept that Ginsberg, who was known for disrupting the status quo with his eccentric ways, both preached and practiced.

Angie #937246 11/24/22 08:13 PM
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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Cynthia Ozick

Sometimes we find ourselves feeling so comfortable that we take the most basic aspects of life for granted. Novelist and essayist Cynthia Ozick tackled this feeling in her 1984 essay, "The Riddle of the Ordinary." In it, she pointed out the paradoxical way we experience extraordinary versus ordinary things: "The Extraordinary does not let you walk away and shrug your shoulders. But the Ordinary is a much harder case," she wrote. "In the first place, by making itself so noticeable — it is around us all the time — the Ordinary has got itself in bad fix with us: we hardly ever notice it." Ozick’s observation reminds us to treat everything — including the ordinary things — with gratitude.

Angie #937250 11/25/22 08:27 PM
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Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison — who in 1992 became the first Black woman to travel into space — was forced to contend with people’s limited imaginations throughout her pioneering career. During her education, she fended off marginalization by professors, refusing to buy into their dismissive assumptions based on gender and racial bias. Never deterred from possibilities that others couldn’t see, Jemison knew she had every right to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut. Along with making space exploration history — circling Earth on a NASA mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour — Jemison is also an accomplished engineer and physician, and a dancer to boot. Exemplifying her own advice, she has shown just how much is possible when we disregard barriers as the flimsy constructs they often are.

Angie #937253 11/26/22 08:03 AM
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"Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations." Angie, that's a great quote by Mae Jemison.

Young children seem to have the greatest imagination. As adults, we should never let go of that innate ability! Joy

Angie #937256 11/26/22 08:58 PM
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There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s extended essay “A Room of One’s Own” is one of the seminal texts of feminist literature. The essay explored a range of themes, from gender inequality and the subjectivity of truth, to the nature of creativity and the need for financial independence. The essay’s title derives from this latter point, asserting that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Woolf praised Jane Austen and Emily Brontë, who each had the strength and freedom of mind to ignore the pressures of criticism in a patriarchal society, and produced truly authentic literature. These two authors, Woolf explained, were unshrinking in their genius and integrity. “They wrote as women write, not as men write,” Woolf observed — which, especially in their time, was a brave act of creative defiance.

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Angie #937270 11/28/22 07:26 PM
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I have read that if you can imagine something, you can make it happen:

No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.

Edward Hopper

When it comes to art, a steady hand and technical proficiency will take a creator only so far. It is imagination that drives artistic endeavors to greater heights, as painter Edward Hopper was well aware. Hopper was a realist painter, but within that realism he painted windows into the soul — quite literally, as many of his most famous paintings, such as “Nighthawks” and “New York Interior,” place the viewer in a voyeuristic position, looking through literal windows at the poetic scenes unfolding inside. His paintings often have a strong dramatic narrative that go beyond reality into the thoughts and emotions of his subjects. “The inner life of a human being,” Hopper said, “is a vast and varied realm.”

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