This fork in the road happens over a hundred times a day, and it's the choices that you make that will determine the shape of your life.
In the years ahead of me, I learned that the world is actually filled with people ready to tell you how likely something is, and what it means to be realistic. But what I have also learned is that no one, no one truly knows what is possible until they go and do it.
There's always a way through things if you work hard enough and look close. It all depends on your level of determination.
But avoidance allows you to believe that you're making all kinds of strides when you're not.
You are bigger than your circumstances.
I've learned in my life that you really don't know what's possible until you're already doing it,
Anything that is within someone else's reach is also within yours. Set your goals no matter how impossible they may seem. Then focus on what is between you and that goal. And then, simply take out the obstacles as they come.
Like my mother, I was always saying, 'I'll fix my life one day.' It became clear when I saw her die without fulfilling her dreams that my time was now or maybe never.
Life has a way of doing that; one minute everything makes sense, the next, things change. People get sick. Families break apart, your friends could close the door on you.
Life takes on the meaning that you give it.
One point of view gives a one dimensional world.
When you go back to your environment and you deal with employees... do you inspire people or do you make them feel fear? Do you make them feel confident or incompetent? I think that distinction really marks the leader.
If I want to be a loving, generous, giving person, I'm not going to test the waters. I'm simply going to be a loving, generous, giving person.
Success creates opportunities for other people.
... In our family, if you said the words 'I feel,' they better be followed with 'hungry' or 'cold'. Because we didn't get personal, that's just how it was.
I'd been living on the streets of New York, and I was sleeping at my friends' houses, sometimes in the subway.
The lesson that people can't give me what they don't have, and if there's anything I took from it, it was: okay, I don't really expect anyone to hand me anything. There's going to be me and the world.
As well as being blind, Ma turned out to have the same mental illness that her mother had had. Between 1986 and 1990, she suffered six schizophrenic bouts, each requiring her to be institutionalised for up to three months.
My mother used to sit at the foot of my bed and she would share her dreams with me.
Many nights, I longed for home. But it occurred to me as I struggled for a feeling of comfort and safety: I have no idea where home is.
Shortly after I turned 13, Child Welfare took me into care. I was sent to a residential centre where girls with behavioural problems were 'evaluated'. My time there comes back to me now only in flashes of smells, images and sounds.
If I had a magic wand, I would live in a building in New York, big enough so my friends, my family could all have apartments in it. We'd raise our kids in the same space and have backyard barbecues and get old and fat together.
Ma was legally blind due to a degenerative eye disease she'd had since birth. This meant she was entitled to welfare, and our lives revolved around the first day of every month when her payment was due.
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