Some women get erased a little at a time, some all at once. Some reappear. Every woman who appears wrestles with the forces that would have her disappear. She struggles with the forces that would tell her story for her, or write her out of the story, the genealogy, the rights of man, the rule of law. The ability to tell your own story, in words or images, is already a victory, already a revolt. Rebecca Solnit,

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unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was. Charles Bukowski

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Be your best self and do not imitate anyone else. Find your strengths. They are your talents. They will make you smile and cause you to real joy on the inside. Don’t listen to those who ridicule the choices you make or the dreams you share. Let no one despise your youth. As Og Mandino explained in The Greatest Salesman in the World, “Experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.” Create your own experiences. And know that you are creating memories for a lifetime. Life is not about finding yourself; it is about creating yourself. You have to take chances to make your dreams reality. Face your fears head-on and move rapidly. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Make lots of them! Your odds for success will increase with the number of decisions you make. Have patience with your dreams and the expectations you have for others. Be impatient with yourself daily. Live as if this is your last day. Say “I love you” to all those who matter. Know that everyone matters. You must play full-out right now. Sit up, hold your head high. Breathe deeply. Lift your chest up. Stand up straight and with confidence. Dust yourself off. Stop being a party pooper in your own life. Smile. A bigger noticeable smile. Start acting happy. Yes, you act first. I promise the feeling of happiness will soon follow. Robert Smith

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