“There is only one success –
to be able to spend your life in
your own way.” Christopher Morley
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but when browsing in the bookstore I can’t help looking at the author’s photo, and maybe judging based on that. Maybe it’s just curiosity, shallowness, or the familiarity of putting a face with the words. I saw one recently a while back that really spoke to me, immediately and strongly, and the image has stayed with me in my mind’s eye, though I couldn’t tell you the name or the book’s title today. I’m not really the type of girl to get spontaneous emotional reactions to random things, so when I do I take note.
It’s just a normal photo, she’s looking over her shoulder, in a white oxford shirt, natural hair and makeup, a calm smile on her face. The words it put in my head were these: The objective reality of your life doesn’t matter, what matters is to live a life that you are proud of. Whatever that might entail.
I guess it must have been the simplicity, the pureness of the look on her face, and the serenity that seemed to come from that. A woman at peace with herself. It doesn’t matter what she might have planned for herself: going to a prestigious university to build some high-fueled career, or what her childhood friends might have expected from her, or what her family all do. Whatever the path she took, she was happy with where she had ended up, able to let any regrets go. And that’s all I could ever ask for in life: to wake up one day pleasantly surprised with where you’ve ended up, and to know that it is your own.
a few favorite female authors: Zadie Smith, Sophie Dahl, Plum Sykes