The seventeen year old version of myself liked a lot of things that make the twenty seven year old version of myself squirm.
Chunky trainers, ugly boys, blue eyeliner, frosted pink lipstick, J-Lo perfume, those stupid hair bobbles that had cubes on them…the list is shamefully endless.
But sitting right at the top of all of them was quotes. I lived by them, I lived for them and I had one ready to whip out for any occasion.
They were printed on my t-shirts, they were doodled across my books, they absolutely COVERED my MySpace page, and there was even one particularly embarrassing example where I broke up with someone using a combination of quotes from The Notebook, High School Musical 2, and Russell Brand.
Which, in case you were wondering, went like this…
“That’s what we do, we fight…I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings. You have like a two second rebound rate, then you’re back doing the next pain in the ass thing. So I’ve got to move on and be who I am, I just don’t belong here – I hope you understand. Plus, I couldn’t possibly have sex with someone with such a slender grasp on grammar.”
Then I got older and realised this had gotten way out of control. Quotes are fine – they can be both brilliant and inspirational – but when your entire conversation becomes a catalogue of them, you mainly just sound like a tool. Which I did.
So now, while I still secretly love them, I try to stay away from them for this very reason.
But there is a very select one which I’ll never stay away from.
It resonated with me the very second I discovered it, almost five years ago now. I still say it to myself all the time because I feel like it provides me with a healthy disposition. (And surprisingly, it didn’t come from Carrie Bradshaw.)
It’s not a particularly notorious quote – the author isn’t even credited – it’s just one simple line which I saw in magazine. One that taught me a really valuable life lesson. One that I think a tonne of people could benefit from.
The world doesn’t have to be poor for you to be rich.
In my head it’s never meant in the literal sense of material wealth – it’s meant in the metaphorical, grander-scheme-of-things wealth. You know, like...
The world doesn’t have to fail for you to succeed.
The world doesn’t have to be fat for you to be thin.
The world doesn’t have to suck for you to be amazing.
The world doesn’t have to be miserable for you to be happy.
In other words, there’s no real need to compare yourself to anybody else. There’s enough of everything to go around everybody.
And since we’re now existing in a time where comparing yourself to everybody else is as popular as Glow by Jennifer Lopez was circa 2006 (clue if you weren’t there, it was very) it can be all too easy to get sucked into the mindset. Which can ultimately lead to a deep down feeling of self-loathing, bitterness and resentment each time you see someone who looks to be happy/thin/successful/doing something you want to do/going some place you want to go/carrying that Prada bag you wanted.
This quote is a spectacular reminder of why that’s unnecessary, which is why I’m certain that it’s a pretty marvellous one to live by.
Which is why it’s stuck with me all of this time.
And why it always, always will. ❤️