Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is a sparkly, crushingly beautiful collection of Dear Sugar advice columns. I read it first 3 years ago, just out of college, on the recommendation of @templetontaylor (like basically every good book I've read--she has the best taste of anyone).
  1. “Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it."
  2. “Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”
  3. “Write like a motherfucker.”
  4. "You’re going to be all right. And you’re going to be all right not because you majored in English or didn’t and not because you plan to apply to law school or don’t, but because all right is almost always where we eventually land, even if we fuck up entirely along the way”
  5. “You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all”
  6. "You are so goddamned young. Which means about eight of the ten things you have decided about yourself will over time prove to be false. The other two things will prove to be so true that you’ll look back in twenty years and howl.”
  7. "In your twenties you’re becoming who you’re going to be and so you might as well not be an asshole.”
  8. "You can't fake the core"
  9. "You earned the right to grow. You’re going to have to carry the water yourself."
  10. “I know it’s a kick in the pants to hear that the problem is you, but it’s also fucking fantastic. You are, after all, the only person you can change.”
  11. "Don’t do what you know on a gut level to be the wrong thing to do. Don’t stay when you know you should go or go when you know you should stay. Don’t fight when you should hold steady or hold steady when you should fight."
  12. "Don’t focus on the short-term fun instead of the long-term fallout. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”
  13. “How beautiful. How ugly. How little. How big. How painful. How sweet.”
  14. “There are some things you can’t understand yet. Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding. It’s good you’ve worked hard to resolve childhood issues while in your twenties, but understand that what you resolve will need to be resolved again. And again.”
  15. "You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue.”
  16. “Most things will be okay eventually but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small quiet room.”
  17. “The useless days will add up to something…these things are your becoming.”