I found it! That quote from Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, the one I’ve talked about in two blog posts already. It’s like a law–as soon as you complain about not finding the thing, you find it:
I’m keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.
What’s important is the work. That’s the game I have to suit up for. That’s the field on which I have to leave everything I’ve got.
–Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
I’ve added this quote to that New Year’s post, and I think I’m going to write a condensed version on the cover of my current journal. I have a thing for writing quotes on the cover of journals.
As exhibit A, I submit a picture of the journal I kept last year:
Some of the paint pen has rubbed off, but it says, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” It’s attributed to François Rabelais, but it came to me via John Green. I wrote it there after reading Looking for Alaska.
At the time, I’d been freaking out a bit about the whole Cross Country Road Trip, Shopping for A New Hometown adventure, and this quote reminded me of why I’d left my comfort zone–basically, I needed to know what was out there, and the “Perhaps” would have haunted me if I hadn’t.
So, I obviously have a thing for quotes. I knew this. I even have a “Favorite Quotes” widget on my sidebar. But I didn’t realize until I looked around my apartment this week that I’ve literally surrounded myself with words.
This is hanging in the corner of my room:
Mom gave this to me during my senior year of college, and I’ve been dragging it around with me during all my moves over the past five years. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of my mom telling me, “Go for it, Shelby,” which is, of course, what Mom was hoping for. (My mom is awesome, by the way.)
And here’s the chalkboard hanging across from our kitchen table:
That’s an abridged quote from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet (another book my mom gave me, just so you know). Don’t worry; I don’t expect you to read it from that picture:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
I wrote it up there a couple weeks ago after one of my roommates and I were talking about how you feel such pressure to figure stuff out when you’re in your twenties–even though that’s impossible since you’re still trying to figure yourself out.
And here’s what we have on the fridge:
(It used to be on the chalkboard, but we relocated it.)
And here’s one I completely forgot about, sitting on my writing desk, downstairs in my office:
It’s nice to have quotes tucked around the house, little reminders lurking around every corner. It helps make positive thoughts as common as the wallpaper.
Does anyone else have a quote that they <3 like whoa? That they want to share?