This book has been in my shelf for sometime now. I never had the urge to read it until now. I finally picked up the book to read when I saw Shannie's IG highlight about the book -- "It's hard to predict isn't it? The things that will make us happy.".
Then I started reading the book. It took me a while to finish it, but I did. Yet again! Another book finished.
Why does it seem like the books that I read seem to relate to the present--the way I am feeling, I am experiencing? Like it's too aligned to what I needed at the moment.
Here are some highlights:
"Every life contains many millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations."
"If you had done just one thing differently, you would have a different life story."
"Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?"
"The art of swimming--she supposed like any art--was about purity. The more focused you were on the activity, the less focused you were on everything else. You kind of stopped being you and became the thing you were doing."
"The only way to learn is to live."
"Never underestimate the big importance of small things."
"Stamina is essential to stay focused in a life filled with distraction. It is the ability to stick to a task when your body and mind are at their limit, the ability to keep your head down, swimming in your lane, without looking around, worrying who might overtake you."
"Doing one thing differently is very often the same as doing everything differently. Actions can't be reversed within a lifetime, however much we try..."
"What we consider to be the most successful route for us to taken actually isn't. But the truth is that success is a delusion."
"I never found the companion that was so companiable as solitude."
"When you stay too long in a place, you forget just how big an expanse the world is. You get no sense of the length of those longitudes and latitudes. Just as, she supposed, it is hard to have a sense of the vastness inside any one person"
"She'd had the sense that she wasn't enough. She imagined accepting it all. And in doing so, she imagined what it was like to be free."
"I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't."
"Sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness. You can't have one without the other. Of course, they come in different degrees and quantities. But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness forever. And imagining there is just breeds more unhappiness in the life you're in."
"Equidistant. That was how she had felt most of her life. Caught in the middle. Struggling, flailing, just trying to survive while not knowing which way to go. Which path to commit to without regret."
"Every move you make opens a whole new world of possibility."
"You can never run out of possibilities...But you can run out of wanting them"
"You are forgetting who you are. In becoming everyone, you are becoming no one. You are forgetting your root life. You are forgetting what worked for you and what didn't. You are forgetting your regrets."
"Everything we experience is ultimately just our perception of it. It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
"When you have worries about things you don't know about, like the future, it's a very good idea to remind yourself of things you do know."
"If you really want to live a life hard enough, you don't have to worry... The moment you decide you want that life, really want it, then everything that exists in your head now, including this Midnight Library, will eventually be a memory so vague and intangible it will hardly be there at all."
"What sometimes feels like a trap is actually just a trick of the mind."
"It's the regret that makes us shrivel and whither and feel like our own and other people's worst enemy... Those lives that are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on... We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays."
"We don't have to do everything in order to be everything."
"So let's be kind to the people in our own existence."
"How life sometimes simply gave you a whole new perspective by waiting around long enough for you to see it."
"It is quite a revelation to discover that the place you wanted to escape to is the exact same place you escaped from."
"She wouldn't run from her pain anymore. She wouldn't poison herself with the pressures of imagined perfection. She would see her own hurt, recognise it, and not imagine there was a life of unquestionable positivity and happiness she was being deprived from. She would accept the darkness of life in a way she never had, not as a failure but as part of a totality, as something that thew other things into relief, into growth, into being. The ash in the soil."
"And where there was uncertainty there was also possibility, whatever the present looked like."
"Well, that's the beauty isn't it? You just never know how it ends."
That was all the highlights in the book I've just read. It was really indeed a good read. I just need to let these all sink in. Appreciate the beauty of life as it is right now. I just told him, I just want to cherish what we have at the moment. Because we honestly don't know how long we got left. I honestly don't know if we'll stay together. I want to, but will choosing one another make up for the large indifferences we have? I honestly don't know. But still, I am here choosing him.