In The Words Of…

As an avid reader, aspiring writer and university student, it is no surprise to anyone that I have read my fair share of books. Usually with each book I read there is a chapter, a page, or just a few words that stick out to me in some way. Sometimes, unexpectedly, a line will give me chills, move me to tears, inspire me, or even give me hope. These quotes are the ones that stick with me. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite quotes – some are obvious, some maybe less so – to share with anyone who stumbles across my blog. Hopefully these quotes will inspire you in the same way they inspire me!

“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Lewis Carroll

I love this quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so much that I have it written on my bedroom wall! I think it has always inspired me so much because it promotes individuality and creativity. People often label me as “mad” or “weird”, and this quote speaks to me because Carroll is saying we should embrace our “madness”. The things that make us “bonkers” are the things that make us interesting.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Charlotte Bronte

I have studied Jane Eyre twice – at college and at university – so my first read of the novel was not by choice. However, I am so glad that I was forced to read this book for my studies because it is now one of my absolute favourites. This quote (which I also have framed in my bedroom) from Jane, a feminist character way ahead of her time, is so empowering for women and such an important quote in feminist literature.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl

I love more or less everything written by Roald Dahl, but this quote in particular has always stood out to me. It’s such a lovely reminder that a person’s character is more important than their appearance. Kindness creates true beauty.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real.” – J.K. Rowling

I can’t explain why I love this quote so much; quite simply because I don’t know. When I first read these words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I got chills, and the quote wouldn’t leave my mind for days. Even now, years later, the quote makes its way into my head and stays there. I think the closest I can get to an explanation would be that this quote captures the importance of magic, dreams and imagination.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” – Stephen Chbosky

Anyone who hasn’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower needs to read it immediately. The book explores growing up, adolescence, mental illness, sexuality, relationships and friendships in such a beautiful way. This quote is important to me because it manages to capture my struggle with depression. For years my depression has left me feeling sad, empty and hopeless, but this description is far too simplistic. Having depression doesn’t mean you can’t feel happiness. There have always been bright spots in my life – family, friends, my partner, animals, books, coffee – that have inspired a tiny spark of happiness even on my darkest days. I can identify with his feelings of confusion.

“I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.” – Stephen Chbosky

Another quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower that proves how amazing Stephen Chbosky is. I’ve heard “you should think yourself lucky” and “there are people much worse off than you” all my life. I have encountered many people that say, “what have you got to be depressed about?”. It’s important to remember that regardless of how anyone else perceives your problems, it is still a problem to you. No one has a right to belittle your emotions.

“Comfort, the enemy of progress.” – P.T. Barnum

Of course I had to include this quote in my list! Although from a movie instead of a book, this quote is incredibly important to me. It inspired this blog! Check out my ‘Home’ page to read about why I love P.T. Barnum’s words so much.


Share your favourite quotes in the comments below!

Dear Ana – A Letter to Anorexia

I was required to submit a creative writing piece for my A Level English course. I decided to write a letter to ‘Ana’ – the personification of anorexia – to try to explore the thoughts, feelings and emotions of someone with an eating disorder. I recognize that anorexia is an extremely complex condition, and by no means am I trying to suggest that everyone with experience of an eating disorder feels or has felt this way. I have used my own experiences with mental illness and my sister’s experience with anorexia nervosa as inspiration.


Dear Ana,

We had the talk again today, mum and I. She’s worried about me. Past worried, actually. I know what you think of her worrying, but it’s different this time, Ana. That’s why I’m writing this letter.

Let me explain.

It all started when she knocked on my door this morning. I wanted to tell her where to go. I couldn’t face her constant nagging. I know she thinks she’s helping me, but she does my bloody head in. Of course, I didn’t really tell her where to go. I’m a pushover. I know, I know, you want me to stand up for myself. Stand up for us. If only you and mum could learn to accept each other, my life would be so much easier. I already know how you’ll react to that one. “Idiot,” you’ll call me, “how could you be so stupid?” You’re right, of course.

Anyway, she came into my room carrying a tray. “Brunch,” she’d called it. I hate that word. Brunch. I tried to sit up in bed, but I felt so weak, I could barely move. I can already hear your voice whispering in my ear, “You know the real reason why you can barely move, you fat cow!” You’re right, of course. It’s kind of funny. No one has ever been so honest with me, Ana. I really need your honesty. It helps make me better.

She brought me a blueberry muffin and a glass of orange juice. 377 in the muffin, 118 in the juice. 495 in total. I can already hear you laughing in my head. You have such a distinct laugh, Ana. Has anyone ever told you that? When you laugh, it stays with me for days.

I know you’ll be proud of me, Ana, for not touching the muffin. My stomach rumbled, but I tried not to want it. I didn’t want to want it. As soon as I looked at the plate I could hear you chanting, “FAT! FAT! FAT!”. I stayed strong. I didn’t eat.

Ana, I drank the juice.

I’m weak. Pathetic. The guilt is consuming me, Ana. I was just so thirsty – I know it’s no excuse. I know you’ll want to punish me, but don’t worry, I’ve already taken care of it. God knows what mum would say if she knew about that.

This just proves how much I need you. You help make me better. I won’t give in again. Promise.

Mum just sighed when I refused to eat. I could see her trying not to cry. Again. I hate upsetting her like this, but she just doesn’t understand. Nobody does.

Except for you.

“Have you been in touch with Rebecca?” She asked me. Rebecca is my best friend. Well, she used to be anyway. I suppose you could say we drifted apart over the summer. She would call round the house every now and then, but she hasn’t done that in ages. Last time she came over, she took one look at you and stormed out. That was the last I heard from her. Don’t know what her problem is.

Mum got angry when I told her that I hadn’t had any contact with Rebecca. How dare she?! She’s not allowed to get angry. She’s not the one who got abandoned by her best friend for no apparent reason. Then she told me that my dad had been in touch. Can you believe it?! It’s been, what, nearly four months? Apparently, he’s worried about me too. They’ve been trying to think of ways to handle the situation. That’s all I am to them, Ana. A situation. I’m so angry with him. Does he really think he can just waltz back into our lives like this and have a say?

They’ve decided, without me, that I’m not allowed to go back to school. How do they expect me to catch up with my old friends if I can’t go to school? Apparently, I’m not well enough to go. Pfft, please! I’ve never been thinner.

She was throwing words around like “therapy” and “treatment”. Isn’t that just ridiculous? Only crazy people need therapy. Only sick people need treatment. I’m neither of those things. That’s what I said to her. “I’m not sick, mum.”

I couldn’t believe what she said next. “Yes, darling, you are.”

They want to send me somewhere to get help, and that’s why I’m writing this letter. I need you to know. The thing is, Ana, she thinks you are a bad influence on me. She thinks it’s your fault. She said that ever since you came into my life, four months ago, that I’ve spiralled out of control. But that’s just it, I’ve never had this much control! She says I don’t eat, I don’t drink, I don’t speak to my family, and I don’t see my friends. But why can’t she see it from my side? I don’t need those things. I don’t need my friends, I don’t need my family, I don’t need to drink, and I certainly don’t need food. I have all I need, right, Ana? That’s what you told me. All I need is you.

Then she pulled out her “research”. She’d been on the internet again. I knew I should have talked my dad out of buying her that laptop last Christmas. “Anorexia Nervosa”, she kept saying to me, over and over. All I could think was, “Huh, that’s strange. Ana never told me that she had a last name.”

They expect me to leave you behind, when they send me away. That’s all this is, isn’t it? They want to split us up. Of course, I’m not really leaving you behind. How can I? You’re part of me now.

It’s like you always say, Ana. I’m nothing without you.

Welcome

“Comfort, the enemy of progress.” – P.T. Barnum

The moment I heard Hugh Jackman utter these words in The Greatest Showman, I was transfixed by the sentiment. For many years, and for many reasons, I have stayed safely in my comfort zone – ignoring things I don’t like and avoiding things that scare me. On many occasions this has been to my own detriment; opportunities have passed me by as I lay sleeping in my little bubble of comfort.

I have aspired to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but letting others read my work has always terrified me. I write and write, filling page after page, but rarely let anyone see. If anyone does read my writing, I bounce back and forth between wanting to rip my laptop from their hands or trying to justify myself – why I said what I said, why I did what I did. My biggest problem is that I actually want people to read my writing, but I have spent so long letting my fear and embarrassment control me.

Hearing this quote from P.T. Barnum has inspired me to finally wake up and do something. I have created this blog as a space to showcase my writing and put myself out there. It’s finally time to step out of my comfort zone.