Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quotes for Singles

This has been a crazy-busy week, so despite good intentions, there was no juicy midweek post on Singletude. Next week, however, Singletude kicks off its first ever giveaway contest, so be sure to tune in then to find out how you can win over $150 in prizes! And, of course, this Sunday "Singles in the News" is back with more links to the best and worst of world headlines concerning the single state.

Today, though, I've rounded up some quotes that I think are particularly inspirational for those living the solo life. So pour yourself a glass of lemonade, head out to the hammock, and ponder these words of wisdom:

"If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning."
--Carl Rogers

"I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude."
--Henry David Thoreau

"You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose."
--Jo Coudert

"Solitude is such a potential thing. We hear voices in solitude we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life. We receive counsels and comforts we get under no other condition."
--Amelia E. Barr

"I want out of the labels. I don't want my whole life crammed into a single word. A story. I want to find something else, unknowable, some place to be that's not on the map. A real adventure. A sphinx. A mystery. A blank. Unknown. Undefined."
--Chuck Palahniuk

"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings."
--William Blake

"I may climb perhaps to no great heights, but I will climb alone."
--Cyrano De Bergerac

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be."
--Ellen Burstyn

"You alone know Yourself by Yourself."
--Bhagavad Gita

"One of the greatest necessities in American is to discover creative solitude."
--Carl Sandburg

"In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself."
--Laurence Sterne

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
--Helen Keller

"A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable."
--Eileen Caddy

"I like being single. I'm always there when I need me."
--Art Leo

"Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement."
--Alice Koller

"Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward."
--Patricia Sampson

"I would rather be a beggar and single than a queen and married."
--Elizabeth I, Queen of England

"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."
--Blaise Pascal

"It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection, and filled with reverance for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say."
--Thomas Merton

"A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode."

"To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet."
--Charles Caleb Colton

"Hail! Independence, hail! Heaven's next best gift, To that of life and an immortal soul!"
--James Thomson

"Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius."
--Edward Gibbon

"You only grow when you are alone."
--Paul Newman

"The thoughtful soul to solitude retires."
--Omar Khayyam

"It is only poverty that makes celibacy contemptible. A single woman of good fortune is always respectable."
--Jane Austen

"Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up."
--Pearl S. Buck

"Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind."
--Albert Einstein

"Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself."
--Sir Thomas Browne

"But while I breathe Heaven's air and Heaven looks down on me, And smiles at my best meanings, I remain Mistress of mine own self and mine own soul."
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson

"I would be married, but I'd have no wife, I would be married to a single life."
--Charles Bukowski

"It is better to travel alone than with a bad companion."
--African proverb

"Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self."
--May Sarton

"You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with."
--Wayne Dyer

"Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light, the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone and leave it alone."
--Thomas De Quincey

"A great revolution in just one single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a society and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind."
--Daisaku Ikeda

"Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath."
--Mary Wollstonecraft

"The surest way to be alone is to get married."
--Gloria Steinem

"Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sign that you will recognize it."
--Simone Weil

"I restore myself when I'm alone."
--Marilyn Monroe

"Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist...Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Whoever starts out toward the unknown must consent to venture alone."
--Andre Gide

"Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines."
--Paul Brunton

"Independence--is loyalty to one's best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes."
--Mark Twain

"He who lives in solitude may make his own laws."
--Publilius Syrus

"I was never less alone than when by myself."
--Edward Gibbon

"A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude."
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty."
--Ho Chi Minh

"When I'm alone, I can sleep crossways in bed without an argument."
--Zsa Zsa Gabor

"When I am alone I am happy."
--William Carlos Williams

"I feel the same way about solitude as some people feel about the blessing of the church. It's the light of grace for me. I never close my door behind me without the awareness that I am carrying out an act of mercy toward myself."
--Peter Hoeg

"It is far better to be alone than to wish you were."
--Ann Landers

"I think that one of the things that has changed the perception is that there are so many more single people. In New York City, it's 47 percent. When you have that many people who are single, they have a bigger voice and they're more willing to speak and say, 'We're not miserable, we're not sitting at home waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right, we're having a good time.' And I think single people have better friendships."
--Candace Bushnell

"Solitude is often the best society."

"A man is never completely alone in this world. At the worst, he has the company of a boy, a youth, and by and by a grown man--the one he used to be."
--Cesare Pavese

"Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude."
--Miguel de Unamuno

"I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing."
--Michel de Montaigne

"To be adult is to be alone."
--Jean Rostand

"Solitude is independence."
--Hermann Hesse

"If you are blessed, you are blessed, whether you are married or single."
--Greta Garbo

"Voyager upon life's sea, To yourself be true, And whate'er your lot may be, Paddle your own canoe."
--Sarah Bolton

"One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more."
--Thomas Jefferson

"If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself, or even less, in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct; and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight."
--Leonardo da Vinci

"It's better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else."
--Phil McGraw

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Solitude is the place of purification."
--Martin Buber

"He never is alone that is accompanied with noble thoughts."
--John Fletcher

"The first of earthly blessings, independence."
--Edward Gibbon

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
--Henry David Thoreau

Which of the above quotes speaks to you as a single person? Why? Do you have a favorite quote not mentioned here that inspires you as a single?

Fun Link of the Day

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have a rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a Singletude Q&A or your rant or rave in a Singletude Sound-off!


Alan said...

I find that I like the Merton quote the best.

Honestly, I find I can be more kind to people when I have some solitude. And as an RN, I can tell you that patients can put incredible demands upon you, and the only way I can deal with them kindly and patiently is to have peace and solitude away from work.

Also like the Palahniuk quote, I've always been interested in the unconventional, always tried to go my own way, always asked "why are things this way and not another"

April said...

These are great. Thanks!

Writer Vixen said...

Fantastic! Here's another one I like:

"You feel like telling him you're not single in the way that he thinks you're single. After all, you have yourself." — Sloane Crosley

bobbyboy said...

As I was reading them, I was going to post my favorite until I realized I have many favorites :)
Great stuff Elsie!

Clever Elsie said...

Alan: I wish everyone had the good sense to know when to take some time out to recharge, as you obviously do! Too many people are too uncomfortable in their own company to realize how valuable peace and quiet can be. I know that many RNs are overworked and underappreciated, and I think it's wonderful that, in spite of this, you prioritize kindness and patience and take care of yourself so that you can take care of them, day after day. If more people made sure to take time for themselves, maybe we'd all be a little more relaxed and nicer to each other.

What you said about the Palahniuk quote reminded me of yet another quote I like by George Bernard Shaw, later made famous by Bobby Kennedy: "You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’"

April: You're very welcome. I had fun digging them up!

Writer Vixen: Ooooh, good one! Thanks! (Oh, and welcome to Singletude if this is your first time here!)

Bobby: Me too, Bobby. I'd have a hard time choosing one. Since I was young, I've been very partial to that last quote by Thoreau, but given my current stage in life, I'm really digging the Alice Koller, the first Emerson, the Charles Caleb Colton, the Wayne Dyer, and the Thomas De Quincey.

Filipina Girl said...

"I like being single. I'm always there when I need me."
That is the quote that suites me best as a single person. It makes me feel much stronger whenever problems or trials arises in my life because in my own opinion I do not have to depend on someone else to help me and perhaps get disappointed when they do not have the time to aid me in my sad or blue moments. Although it is good also to have someone beside you to comfort you but no one else can help you except yourself.

Great quotes by the way!

Clever Elsie said...

Filipina: I love that quote, too! It's so succinct, yet so meaningful. Come to think of it, it's also a perfect quote to use when someone asks why you're single, like we were discussing a few weeks ago.

So glad that you found some inspiration from these!

Kaite said...

Here are some great additions to the quotes on the singleton's life that I think all will appriciate as much as I do:

"never compromise yourself, you are all you've got!" - Janis Joplin

"I think, therefore I am single"

"Tis' better to be alone than in bad company"- Shakespere

Clever Elsie said...

Katie: Hi, welcome to Singletude if this is your first time here! Thanks for these quotes! They're great!

Kaite said...

"To be alone in the only real revolution.
To accept that you are alone is the greatest
transformation that can happen to you."

- Osho

p.s thanks Elise for your kind words and warm welcome, it fill's a great void in me to know that there are other good people who are single and more than 'ok' with that as well!

rachel said...

I find you have to like yourself to be single or not. Interesting collection of quotes here.

travel tips said...

This is soooo true "You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose."