Stephanie Klein Quotes
“You learn to be friends with someone, get to really know them before you get all excited about the guy. You have to keep it tempered and figure out if you even like him, for who he is, not how he feels about you. I know it's not easy. Believe me, I know. But this thrill you feel.. is probably only there because things are new and uncertain. It's not about him. It's you, caught up in you. Your mind craves anxiety, the good exciting kind and the bad I-can't-function-at-work kind. You need to deprive your body and recognize that your propensity to chase codependency is leading you toward a fat, greasy life of miserable.”
“I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible.
When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth.
"Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger."
Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud?
"Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly.
"Okay, good. What else?"
I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.”
“If someone wants to lead a double life, they will find a way to do it. And they can promise you things until your nerves unfold and you can finally put up your feet. But it can all be a lie. There are no guarantees, even when people mean what they say at the time. People change their minds. People die. And the hurt is as real as a baseball bat.”
“With relationships, I always had a reason why some time in the future would be better for me than it was that day. When I was fat, I thought I'd feel pretty when I was thin, and when I was thin, I thought I'd be happier if I was more toned and muscular and had more money to look more coordinated. I wasn't comfortable in my own skin unless there was a man there to tell me just how radiant that skin looked. I was a victim of low self-esteem and had the Soon syndrome bad. I was running toward a brighter future, unaware of the mirages I'd created in the distance.”
“I want you to think of two different situations. First, remember times when you've felt your best, at the top of your game, alive and vibrant. Pay attention to your posture, the muscles in your face, your breathing. Then, I want you to think of occasions where you've felt sick or anxious. Don't just think of people. Think of activities. This will help us reveal what makes you happy. Pay attention to how your body responds to these scenarios - it will serve as your biggest indicator in the future when you're actually doing things." This woman was damn brilliant. "And remember, it's okay to feel sad, but just try to limit your bouts with it to an hour a day. Let it all out, give yourself that time to heal, nurture and comfort yourself. You won't heal unless you grieve. Grieving is good."
"Yes. It takes courage to grieve.”
“She’d heard my theory on funnel cake and celery stalker men before. Most men were either like funnel cake: delicious and interesting, but who at the end of the day just aren’t good for the heart or complexion. Or they were celery: a sensible, healthy choice that didn’t really bring much to the table but an occasional crunch. If you OD on celery, you end up bingeing on cake behind closed doors.
Funnel cake, while warm and delicious, is difficult to make. But you go there because you long for it like the double-twist stomach-dropping roller coaster as soon as you arrive at the amusement park. Wet ribbons of batter crackle and pop until golden and crisp, yielding in the center. The steamy swirls of tender yellow dough absorb confectioners’ sugar like pores. When the luxurious fat melts on your tongue, you exhale. You’ve got sticky batter, dribbling down spouts, leaving rings on your clean countertops, splattering oil growing darker and beginning to smoke. Layers of paper towels and oil-draining weapons clutter your space. With funnel cake, you’ve got steps to follow. Procedures. Rules.
No one makes rules about celery. It’s always around for the snacking. You choose it when you’re dieting or trying not to consume too many wings over football. Come to think of it, you don’t even bother eating it when you diet. Instead it’s a conduit for blue cheese. You use it to make stocks and stuffing. It becomes filler, pantry almost.”
“My therapist told me I need to learn to love myself. It sounds easy enough, but really, how do you just wake up one day and learn that? It feels like something you should just do involuntarily, like swallowing or blinking, but now I have to work on it. It feels so forced. I mean, I know I went to a good school, and people tell me I'm smart and creative, but I don't KNOW that. I don't know how to make myself feel that.”
“Cookie, you have to stop preemptively ending things before they even start. I know you're afraid of making yourself vulnerable, but if you keep impeding things before they even begin, just out of fear, you'll never know." I'd never know joy. Shit damn. I worried she was right. What if I was snapping into "screw you, your loss" mode too fast? How do you take back, "No you're the one who missed"? Me and my drama trap doors.”
- Born: New York.
- Description: A foodie who sometimes abuses hair care products, Stephanie Klein is an acclaimed writer and photographer with a cult-like following. Her work has been published internationally, and her blog, Greek Tragedy, was recently ranked the 26th most powerful blog in the world by The Observer in the UK. Klein's photography is on permanent exhibit in New York's Hotel Gansevoort. Her first memoir, Straight Up and Dirty, is currently in development as a half-hour comedy series with NBC Universal. While she enjoys living in Austin, Texas, with her husband and twin son and daughter, shell always be a New Yorker.