More Favorite Quotes

More Favorite Quotes from marissabaker.wordpress.comI was hoping to write a somewhat lengthy post today, but found I ran out of time to finish it. I didn’t want to just skip posting today, though, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite quotes which were not yet listed on my Quotes page. These are all one’s I came across for the first time on Pinterest. I’d read several of Hans Christian Anderson’s writings before, however, and he is an author I like.

“Every person’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers” — Hans Christian Anderson

This next quote is by Kurt Vonnegut, and I’m afraid I must confess I’ve never read any of his books. I like this quote, though, so I’ve included it here.

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” — Kurt Vonnegut

I was determined not to become a Tom Hiddleston fan and join the ranks of the crazy Loki fangirls. Then I started reading quotes from him (like these two), seeing interviews, and learning about his work helping children. I can admire a guy who likes kids, respects women, values humility, and describes his apartment as wall-to-wall bookshelves.

More Favorite Quotes from marissabaker.wordpress.com

“Stay hungry; stay young; stay foolish; stay curious. And, above all, stay humble because just when you think you’ve got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don’t” — Tom Hiddleston.

“This generation has lost the true meaning of romance. There are so many songs that disrespect women. You can’t treat the woman you love as a piece of meat. You should treat your love like a princess. Give her love songs, something with real meaning. Maybe I’m old fashioned but to respect the woman you love should be a priority” — Tom Hiddleston

Living With Style, Class, and Grace

Book cover: How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and GraceI recently finished a delightful little book called How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grass. It is written by a publicist for Warner Bros. Records named Jordan Christy. The basic idea behind the book is that in the years since Audrey Hepburn graced the silver screen, our culture has come to uphold standards of behavior that are simply unacceptable for smart girls to follow. This book sets out to show “modern ladies how they can be beautiful, intelligent, and fun while retaining values and morals.”

One of the most welcome things about this book is that it is not a Christian guide to modesty. I’m not saying those types of books can’t be helpful, but it was refreshing to find a book written for women who want to (or have to) work in a business setting instead of on an idylic homestead. It tells girls you can be modern as well as feminine, that you don’t have to wear ankle-length skirts to be modest, and that acting like a lady can be fun instead of restrictive. I think it would be a great book to give girls who feel like the commonly presented Christian ideals of womanhood are shutting them out (for the record, this does not include me, but does describe some of my close friends).

Just to be fair, there were some things I did not like about the book. In an effort (I assume) to keep the text relevant to modern readers, Christy uses many examples of actresses, characters, and reality shows. There were enough to become excessive (and I didn’t recognize most of them). Her writing style might also seem blunt and off-putting to some readers.

Best Quotes

Chapter 1: Keep Your Chin Up and Your Skirt Down

“If we want [guys’] undivided attention for a bout 2.4 seconds, we should keep wearing our glittery minis and doing the bend-and-snap. But if we want a real relationship with a real gentleman, we should just keep being our smart, classy, fabulous selves.” Or, for those who’ve never worn a mini skirt in their lives, don’t be tempted to compromise.

Chapter 2: Words, Words, Words

This chapter advised reading and increasing our vocabularies so we can become better conversationalists. She also covers knowing when to speak and when to keep silent, quoting George Eliot: “Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.”

Chapter 3: Use Some Elbow Grease

“Unfortunately, that hard-work-doesn’t-hurt mentality appears to be in short supply these days. Why? It’s become painfully clear that our society just doesn’t support a sincere work ethic anymore.” Be that as it may, if you want to be a classy, respectable young woman, you have to be willing to work.

Chapter 4: Choose Your Friends Wisely

We need to find friends “who will help us kick our own vices, not just drag us down in the mire with them and theirs. If we’re struggling with self-image and potential eating-disorder thoughts … we need to find ourselves some normal, curvy friends who will take us to counseling and won’t care if we’re a size 2 or a 10.”

Chapter 5: Let Him Come Calling

“Regardless of the guy’s current status, bank account, background, or beliefs, if he’s interested, he will do the pursuing. There’s no need to interfere with the ways of nature! Doing so will only scare him off.” This is one chapter I had a little disagreement with. She doesn’t allow for anything in between completely-ignore-the-guy and obnoxiously-pester-him-with-text-messages-every-few-hours. If you’re already friends, shouldn’t you be allowed to Facebook or e-mail him once in a while to keep in touch?

Chapter 6: Dress to Impress

Two quotes this time: “While it may seem frivolous to some, our personal style does more talking than we ever could about ourselves — and we want to make sure it’s saying nice things!” “While it can be tempting to want to keep up with the current inseam trends, the respect we’ll receive from not exposing our chest region and upper thighs is worth so much more than the five-seconds stares we’d get from a bunch of ogling buffoons.”

Chapter 7: Less Is More

“Our society is undoubtedly of the flashier/louder/faster/stronger mentality, and for some reason makeup tends to fall into the same category, but it really should be placed indefinitely in the less-is-more category. … We need to realize makeup is a simply something to enhance certain features — not a daily necessity that needs to be applied from sunup to sundown.”

Chapter 8: Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

“You can healthfully and happily maintain your weight without taking any weird voodoo pills or sprinting a marathon on the treadmill every week. You simply need to find a steady balance between those leafy greens and that Sprinkles cupcake. Let’s become the new poster children for happy, healthy young women.”

Vive Les Introverts

I’ve been fascinated by type psychology since high school. In lieu of a guidance counselor (since I was homeschooled), my mother suggested I see if the library had any books about career testing or if I could find websites that offered free tests. That was when I first stumbled upon the MBTI and discovered my personality type. I know there are many people who don’t find value in personality types, either because the type method doesn’t fit them well or they just don’t care, but when I found out what my type was, I suddenly felt like I wasn’t alone in the universe. Apparently this is a typical reaction for INFJs, since it is the least common type.

Before this turns into a post about my personality type, I want to get on to my real topic. Last week, I came across this video via the blog Personality Junkie. If you have 19 minutes, I highly recommend watching it. Even if you’re not an introvert, she has an interesting perspective on culture and the contributions of both introverts and extroverts to society.

I read Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, a few months ago. If you like this talk, you should check it out. Her research is extensive, and it’s presented in a reader-friendly, almost conversational format.

“Introverts … may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” – Susan Cain

Even though I grew up in one of the most introvert-friendly environments you can find (homeschooled by supportive, introverted parents), I’ve long felt like there was “something wrong with me.” This is apparently common for introverts, especially in western culture where we are constantly presented with extroversion as a cultural ideal. Fun, outgoing, talkative people are surrounded by friends and happy — melancholy, lonely bookworms who stay home on Saturday night can only wish they were that “cool.”

good grade, social life, adequate sleep. Pick Two [welcome to college]
I’ll take #1 and #3, please
By the time I was a couple years into my college studies, I’d become convinced that working alone was the best way for me to succeed. Writing my ideas was more productive than talking about them, working in groups just slowed me down. But even carrying a 3.98 GPA didn’t help much when favorite professors said, “You’d be the perfect student if only we could get you to talk more.” I was already talking more than I wanted — sometimes as much as once or twice per class to get those participation points I didn’t usually need, but was too contentious to just ignore.

Since reading Susan Cain’s book and another called Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life if Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe, I’ve started to feel more comfortable embracing my introvertedness. Ironically, this has helped me when I need (or want) to extrovert — it’s easier to talk to people when I’m more comfortable being myself.

“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” – Laurie Helgoe

About 50% of the world’s population is introverted, and research indicates we are born with a base personality type. Though socialization plays a role, we can’t help being introverted or extroverted. And there’s really no reason we should want to “help it.” Introverts have just as much to offer the world as extroverts. We just approach life a little differently.