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The Price of Admission: Embracing a Life of Grief and Joy

Liz Petrone

Top 10 Best Quotes

“We need other women who know what it feels like to split into a thousand pieces as they give small pieces of themselves to their family, their job, their friends, and their neighbors, women who see our suffering and resist the natural impulse to shrink away, who meet it instead with an ear, a shoulder, an embrace, a meal. Women to teach us to stop apologizing for what we are not sorry for and to love ourselves enough to say no. Women who have taken their bodies back and learned to love the soft places. Women whose scars and stretch marks map a story of survival and strength for them to consult whenever they are feeling lost. And we need the women who create: babies or art or sustenance or beauty or words, worship, a testament of our feminine belief that yes, still, even now, the world is worth making better. Women who carry themselves and their babies through a world that still sometimes scares them with heads held high and shoulders back because they are the truest kind of warriors, those who are afraid and do it anyway.”

“They weren't terribly bad grudges, either. I wasn't going to boil someone's bunny or send them a horse's head, but maybe if I saw one of them in the grocery store and their hands were full and they needed to reach the good ice cream on the top shelf of the freezer, I would probably reach in and grab it and then run away cackling with it tucked under my arm.”

“These days I know what brings me joy like I know the back of my (mother's) hands. There's the sun shining through the freshly cleaned smudge-free window, the sound of a new bag of potato chips being ripped open, the moment of cracking the binding for the first time on an unread novel. There's the special way a child throws his arms around his mother's neck. There's new sweatpants and old sweatpants and all the sweatpants in between. There are big-bottomed goblets of wine and dark chocolate truffles and all-things bacon and realizing I can still do a cartwheel. There's stepping into an almost-too-hot bath and payday and the smell of garlic and onions sauteing in butter. There are the days the bathroom scale is kind to me and the days my pants look hot on my ass and the moments I pause to catch my breath after a long run and the sweat runs right down my nose and I catch it with my tongue.”

“These are the things they don't tell you about motherhood. How after a lifetime of struggling to love yourself it will be an absolute miracle to love these babies so wholly and unconditionally, sure. But also how they will love themselves the same way, at least at first, and in that maybe you will find a level of healing that all the therapy and self-help in the world couldn't get you to because you will realize at some point you must have loved yourself the very same way. Or how seeing the way they are so comfortable in their own skin, the way they strut around so confident in the fact that they are the masterpiece we too believe them to be, will make all the wok we've done trying to suck it all in or hide it or simply avoid looking at it in the mirror seem kind of silly. Because of course it is. It's against everything we were born knowing.”

“There is really only one thing I know for sure, one thing I believe in wholeheartedly and enough to write a book about, and that is what I wish I had said to my mother: We can do this. We can carry each other. You are not alone.”

“The lesson isn't that we should dance in spite of the suffering. It's that we should dance ourselves right through the suffering. We have to court that shit, get up close to it, extend a hand and make a dance partner out of it, twirling it around in the front lawn until we are both so dizzy that we can't tell anymore where the suffering ends and where the joy begins. Because what naturally follows, to anyone paying attention to the fact that each breath is a miracle, is the realization that the next one isn't guaranteed. And we can be grateful for the one we're in or we can panic about the one that we hope is next to come, but we can't do both, not really, not well.”

“So no, I don't think we can build a suit of armor against sadness and depression and genetics. Happiness isn't the antidote to depression, nor is it the distraction. Life isn't black and white like that. And if depression is the black and utter joy is the white, then maybe it's in the in-between where the colors are, where we can find sorrow and joy often coexisting right in the same moment. It's where most of us live most of our lives, most of our lives, most of the time. Most of us don't find ourselves in the black and white of either/or very often, nor would we want to. Usually we are both, nuanced, human.”

“My own eating disorder had begun with a friendly diet competition between my mother and myself, each of us trying to drop five pounds to look better in a bathing suit. It had started lighthearted and innocently enough--as innocent as denying yourself sustenance can be, that is--until I'd been unable to stop, something in me latching onto that restriction in a way that I'd assume other addicts latch onto their drug of choice. Eventually I'd lost fifty pounds and my period and my hair, and I needed help or I was going to die.”

“Is it an actual question? "You sure do have your hands full, don't you?" I don't even know if it's meant to be an insult or a light-hearted observation or even a compliment, something very American-esque about how incredible I must be at multitasking if for no other reason than because I have clearly had unprotected sex at least four times.”

“If we could just know when we were adults the kind of love that had welcomed us into the world, I don't think we would be lonely ever again.”

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Book Keywords:

children, love, funny, support, together, happiness, self-love, courage, grudges, joy, bodies, lonely, sadness, parenting, birth, dance, life, humor, suffering, dieting, friendship, women, anorexia, eating-disorders, depression, belonging

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