Featured Quote: Get out of the should and live in the could. — “Hella Perspective.” Insecure Best Of: [Talking about Golden Girls and Betty White’s character asking Bea Arthur’s what she wants in her next husband] ‘I want someone to grow old with’ and I thought, ‘Of course’ and she said ‘Because Stan never wanted…

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Featured Quote:

Get out of the should and live in the could.
Hella Perspective.” Insecure

Best Of:

[Talking about Golden Girls and Betty White’s character asking Bea Arthur’s what she wants in her next husband] ‘I want someone to grow old with’ and I thought, ‘Of course’ and she said ‘Because Stan never wanted to grow old with me.’ And for some reason, it struck me much later that is what most people don’t want. They want the young, they want the cute, and as soon as you stay that way with your body, your sensibility, it’s all great. And then when you get older, you change. You change physically, you change emotionally, and a lot of people aren’t in it for the long haul. They’re not in it for the changes. They’re not in it for the health scares or, I don’t know, death. They’re not in it for that. And I literally want someone to grow old with, I do. I understand what all those elements are. I saw it with my mom and dad when she had to sit next to his deathbed. That’s marriage. That’s love. That’s commitment.
— Viola Davis – Black Love (Part 4)

There are four Ls that I think are important. Obviously, love [but also] you have to like each other. Like is so undervalued. […] Laughter: You have to laugh at the same things man, that’s such an important thing to share between two people. And the last thing, not that it’s last on the list, but lust. You have to be attracted to each other – the lust has to be there. Because, otherwise, you’re just roommates. You’re just friends.
Black Love: Part 4

Don’t get advice from people who don’t love the way you love. Who don’t view things the way you view things. A lot of the time, people give advice based on their own insecurities and so what they’re saying will never benefit you.
Erica Campbell: Black Love – Part 4

My twenties represented a time when I had no other obligation than to figure out who I was. I took the time I needed to just be—to learn how to advocate for myself before becoming an advocate for others. I was accountable to myself. It was a time for me to process the experiences that had shaped me and to be bold enough to seek new ones. It was a time for me to make mistakes and learn from them. It was a time for me to seek my voice, my purpose, and my place in the world. My twenties taught me to create and uphold much-needed boundaries, to take hold and possession of my body, and to stake a claim on my life. My twenties also taught me to improvise and to loosen up. Boundaries are vital, but at times I could be unmoving about these self-imposed restrictions, and that often prevented me from going where I truly wanted, from knowing others as I wanted to be known, from loving and being loved in the way I desired. My twenties prepared me to be seen fully—in my own eyes, in the eyes of the people I know and love, and in the eyes of the public I’ve invited into my life to know me. More than anything, it was my act of being in process during those messy, fun, and formative years—all the decisions and mishaps, all the highs and lows—that brought me to yet another dark room. This time, though, I was free, overwhelmingly secure in who I was and certain that she was—and would be—enough.
Afterword.” Surpassing Certainty

He was kind enough, attractive enough, smart enough, but he never moved me in the way that made me feel obligated to him, that pressured me to be vulnerable. Our exchanges were limited to the kind you’d have with a great boyfriend but not necessarily a great love.
—           “Part 2/ Chapter 11.” Surpassing Certainty

I never realized that what I needed was a means to express myself. Hearing myself enabled me to heal myself. For so much of my life, I believed that my silence would protect me, that by keeping my circle small, by holding my truth close, by being cautious of others, I would be able to remain safe. But all it did was isolate me and leave me with delusions. I imagined that the people who cared about me would no longer love me if I spoke my truth. But I had to be open and honest with myself, and that began with telling myself the truth.
— “Part 2/ Chapter 14.” Surpassing Certainty

The first time we fall, we are new to that experience. Nothing can quite compare to it, because you’ll never be that young, that open, and that willing. But when you’ve loved and lost, when you’re forced to grow and move on, let go and love again, you become cautious. You learn to protect yourself, to be on guard. You are never as available. Or that could just be me. I wasn’t comfortable sharing myself with people. I let people in with discretion. It took time for me to open myself up.
—“Part 2/Chapter 13” Surpassing Certainty

This slight shift from ‘I do not have time’ to ‘I can make time for myself’ was the first stage to building a space for writing in my life.
—           “Part 2/ Chapter 14.” Surpassing Certainty

It’s a funny thing about hope. When it dies in you, everything turns black. The world starts to turn angry and mean. And you can try to put hope into other things, like hoping you’ll grow up and never be such an awful mom, but those hopes are bandages to the first wound, which never really heals.
— Chapter 4 – Page 14 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

Looking at the girl, her desperate eyes searching mine, I realize she’s my reflection. Had I been searching for answers from strangers when I was her age? Had I been desperate for attention or a treat like her?
— Chapter 18 – Page 86 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

Bad memories haunt you until you dig up the roots.
— Chapter 31 – Page 177 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

Pain is sometimes temporary. Sometimes it lasts a lifetime. The past can haunt for a night and then just as easily vanish in the day. It can hide for years and return when you least expect it. It can kill you, and it can save you.
— Chapter 34 – Page 200 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

My relationship with God didn’t allow me to feel comfortable in my foolishness.
Erica Campbell – Black Love (Part 3: Falling Down)

First of all, all love is, is work. It’s not easy. That other stuff, that’s lust. That’s like. Love is work, compromise, sacrifice, and a whole bunch of laughter in between. That’s all love is. The other things: Passion, Lust, all that, […] that’s the other side of it. That’s just something that’s primal. Love, you cannot just love somebody. You have to learn to love somebody because, until you’re tested, you don’t know what your real capacity for actual love is.
Neil Brown Jr. – Black Love (Part 3: Falling Down)

Letting things get personal is how we make it matter.
— “Burnt Food.” The Good Doctor

I don’t run from the fight, I’m not scared of consequences. Because if you’re scared of consequences then that breeds fear, and fear means you’re gonna stop.
Katt Williams

Sometimes when you’re expressing the thoughts of the minority, you run the risk of being rejected by the majority, but that rejection should not be the reason you stop. It should be an inspiration for you to continue.
– D.L. Hughley

[…] freedom of speech means you say what you want, and you’re willing to deal with the consequences.
– D.L. Hughley

The Rest

[…] there’s a lot of sex to be had, but it’s never a measure of a woman’s worth.

— “Two by Two.” Greenleaf

I can always bring my past with me but I can never go back. You gotta leave yourself behind.
— Gaga: Five Foot Two

You show someone respect because you respect them, or because you’re afraid of them.
— “Burnt Food.” The Good Doctor

[…] thankfully there’s a cure for youth and stupidity: Time and experience.
— “Burnt Food.” The Good Doctor

The difference between ignorant and stupid is that ignorant can learn.
— “Part 1.” Alias Grace

New or different doesn’t necessarily mean better.
— The Wilde Wedding

Don’t confuse what you’re capable of vs. what you’re willing to do.
— Amari Sali

“The mark of the very old is always the same. […] Reflection hampered by immeasurable regret.”
— Smartass

“Don’t confuse tactics with character.”
— Smartass

Ain’t nothing like a little fear to make a paper man crumble.
— IT (2017)

I wanna run toward something, not away.
— IT (2017)

Everything gets worse if you don’t deal with it.
— Chapter 5 – Page 15 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

[…] for the kids who aren’t the best at anything, unless parental dysfunction is a category, there’s a sense of shame. Like I don’t deserve to walk the halls. Like I’m a ghost or worse, like I’m walking around with a horribly contagious disease, one that could cause someone who befriends me permanent social annihilation.

— Chapter 9 – Page 30 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

Hating men has always been safer than trusting them.

— Chapter 9 – Page 33 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

I wish I didn’t care what others think of me. I don’t want to care, but there’s something about having a nice bag or new clothes that makes you feel acceptable to the world.
— Chapter 22 – Page 106 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

Familiar in my life means chaos.

— Chapter 23 – Page 115 [A Pain Less Ordinary]

Everyone’s mixed up. Adults act like kids. Kids have to be adults.

— Chapter 24 – Page 121 [A Pain Less Ordinary]


The way he held my eyes sobered me up for a few brief seconds. I gained enough clarity to realize that he saw me. He was not searching for answers. He knew. I did not know what he knew, but I felt seen. It was an intense, intimate, and surprising exchange.
—           “Part 2/ Chapter 10.” Surpassing Certainty

I am not fishing for compliments. I promise. I know I am cute, but this is as good as it is going to get. I am at the peak of my beauty.
—“Part 2/Chapter 13” Surpassing Certainty

Pushing Thirty forces you to take stock.
—“Part 2/Chapter 13” Surpassing Certainty

There was this constant pressure to prove myself, but the moment I did as I was told, “leaned in,” asked for what I was worth, or showed confidence, I was labeled a diva. Yet if I didn’t excel, I would be overlooked.
—“Part 2/Chapter 12” Surpassing Certainty

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