“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better. It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story.”—
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
**One of my favorite books of all time. I truly believe every young woman should read it.
“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”—Anais Nin (via thatkindofwoman)
“No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater…The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.”—Sarah Dessen (via kari-shma)
“People think they know you. They think they know how you’re handling a situation. But the truth is no one knows. No one knows what happens after you leave them, when you’re lying in bed or sitting over your breakfast alone and all you want to do is cry or scream. They don’t know what’s going on inside your head—the mind-numbing cocktail of anger and sadness and guilt. This isn’t their fault. They just don’t know. And so they pretend and they say you’re doing great when you’re really not. And this makes everyone feel better. Everybody but you.”—William H. (via runawaytrain)
Seigneur-terraces (French) Coffee shop dwellers who sit at tables a long time but spend little money.
Ya’arburnee (Arabic) This word is the hopeful declaration that you will die before someone you love deeply, because you cannot stand to live without them. Literally, may you bury me.
Schlimazel (Yiddish) Someone prone to bad luck. Yiddish distinguishes between the schlemiel and schlimazel, whose fates would probably be grouped under those of the klutz in other languages. The schlemiel is the traditional maladroit, who spills his coffee; the schlimazel is the one on whom it’s spilled.
Packesel (German) The packesel is the person who’s stuck carrying everyone else’s bags on a trip. Literally, a burro.
L’esprit de l’escalier (French) Literally, stairwell wit—a too-late retort thought of only after departure.
Hygge (Danish) Denmark’s mantra, hygge is the pleasant, genial, and intimate feeling associated with sitting around a fire in the winter with close friends.
Spesenritter (German) Literally, an expense knight. You’ve probably dined with a spesenritter before, the type who shows off by paying the bill on the company’s expense account.
Cavoli Riscaldati (Italian) The result of attempting to revive an unworkable relationship. Literally, reheated cabbage.
Bilita Mpash (Bantu) An amazing, pleasant dream. Not just a “good” dream; the opposite of a nightmare.
Litost (Czech) Milan Kundera described the emotion as “a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.”
Murr-ma (Waigman, language of Australia) To walk alongside the water while searching for something with your feet.