“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soulmate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.”
~ Marilyn Monroe
Hi. This isn't so much a quote as it is a full blown monologue.
My first gut instinct was to immediately implement a no-twosies rule about these quotes. One quote by each person only, using the first one, skipping over the other ones that showed up on the list.
Then I read the quote and was like goddammitiguessishouldwriteaboutthisone.
It came out like that, mumbled under my breath.
Mostly because my relationship with many women in my life has been....well complicated. Quotes like this one make me think that there is something wrong with me. That I'm just too dysfunctional. That my family is too dysfunctional. That I chose poorly at times when it came to friendships and love.
Probably because there is a bit of truth to all that.
Marilyn had a half sister. They shared their mother, later diagnosed schizophrenic. Her sister was seven years older than her and had been kidnapped by her father and taken out of the state. Bernice didn't even know Marilyn existed until she was 19.
***taps fingers, intrigued***
Anyhow. On to the quote.
The first part about life being what you make it, messing up and choosing how you do it - all true, I suppose, assuming of course that one is truly in control of their faculties. Mental illness, something with which she was fairly familiar, makes that occasionally difficult and sometimes impossible.
The part about girls being your best friends, well acting like it anyway....well, that's freaking gospel truth. I've stared down the two faced liar who pretended to be my friend. I'm seeing manufactured drama playing out online right this instant between grown women. The ones who stick around are the best, she's right about that part. The rest will reveal themselves in time.
The sisters make the best friends in the world part. I don't know. I don't have a sister. I know plenty of sisters that would wholeheartedly agree with this, I know others who are sworn enemies. I see my own daughters fly from loving each other to hating each other and back again, sometimes over and over in the course of a single day. I hope that they will feel this way about one another someday.
The part about lovers. True. I guess I don't need to elaborate much on that. I think most of us have had our hearts destroyed at least once. If you haven't, you're lucky. If you have, I don't need to tell you what it's like. I don't know that I believe in soul mates or the idea of the one true love. I don't know that I ever really did. I just think there are people out there that you're compatible enough with to make it work. Or maybe my heart has been broken too badly for me to think that things like that can exist anymore.
The part about not giving up. (this is the point in the quote where I start to wonder what the hell she was talking about because this is rambling and all over the place, but I digress) It's true that perseverance is essential in life. You have to pick yourself up and go on, you have to recover after failures, you have to learn from mistakes.
The part about believing in yourself is huge, I think. Our society is one full of people who spend all their time and energy looking to others for validation. I've suffered the consequences of what happens when someone can't see their intrinsic value and depends on others for it. It sucks. There's no two ways about it. Far more healthy, far more stabilizing, far more productive is to turn it all inward. We're all broken and messed up in our own ways. We all have flaws and imperfections. We all make mistakes. But we are all important. We are all precious. We all have talents and gifts. We all have worth. We all have value. We need to see that in ourselves, we need to teach our children to see it in themselves...because if they can't, they will absolutely start seeking it in others. That's a promise.
The part about keeping your head up and how there is always something to smile about. This is actually the part that speaks to me personally the most in this whole paragraph. It speaks to me because she strikes me as the kind of woman who wasn't going to be held down, no matter how bad things were. In this respect, she reminds me a bit of my grandmother. My grandma's strategy for dealing with the bad days was a simple one. Wear the lipstick. I know it sounds simplistic, but it has helped me through some awful days. My grandmother had bright red lipstick that she saved, only using it only for the very best occasions and the very worst. For the good times, it made her happy, it made her feel complete, it made her feel beautiful. For the bad times, it helped her force herself to find the happy, find the complete, find the beautiful.
Life is short. Sometimes it's hell. Wear the lipstick. You'll feel better.
She was right.
So was Marilyn.
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