too much time spent on nothing, waiting for a moment to arise

smal and bright smoking gif slow
There is a quote from Anais Nin that states simply, ‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’. I have always found this a comforting thought, as being courageous is something that I wish for myself, and admire in others. I am sometimes accused of being dangerously romantic, and failing to see the hardship, pain, or risk in ways of life, or ways of thinking, that to me, just seem brave. I was the kind of child that wanted to run away and join the circus. I am now a grown woman that wants to run away and join the circus. Or failing that, perhaps a commune. Sometimes I know I can be a bit reckless in pursuit of my own ideas of what courage means – but when it pays off, and I see my world open up because I threw myself at something that everyone around me warned me to steer clear of, then my faith in my own instincts, and in Nin’s philosophy, is restored. This might sound like vague, hippy bullshit to you guys. The truth is I have to be vague for the sake of the individuals involved in my life, who have not elected to forsake their privacy for the good of the blogosphere. It is, simply, not my right to give details. But this viewpoint is something that I very often give out to people (poor, unfortunate people) who come to me for advice. It is something I would like to live by, because in the moments when I have, I have never regretted it. Being brave is not the kind of thing you regret.


  1. Anais Nin is an inspiration to me too, a brave literary genius

  2. anais nin is also an inspiration to me as well. her and Henry millers story is something I hold scared. one in which I will be sure to pass along to my daughters. and you're right; bravery will never be regretted.

  3. It feels odd when you read someone else's words, and yet they describe you, or a part of you. I can find myself within those lines.
    On another note: Sadly it's the first time I hear of this author. She sounds promising, I think you just helped me choose my near future lecture, which I thank you for.


  4. I will dwell on anything ever written or said by Anaïs Nin ahah :) Being brave is what makes us feel alive. We should think what would we do if we died tomorrow or something and live by those standarts...

  5. Being dangerously romantic is something I definitely relate to, and anyway, it has to be better than being safely complacent, right? Now let's find a circus as fats as we can! xxx

  6. I don't believe in courage, only luck. I wish it were that easy though, that as long as you want something and dare go after it you'll get it eventually.



    1. Easy? To be brave? I see it the other way around. Believing in luck is easy, because it takes away any sense of responsibility for what happens to us. I believe in cause and effect. Luck is a superstitious concept. I'm not saying that if you want something and go for it you will always get it, but if you live your life with a brave attitude, the world tends to open up in many different ways. Believing in luck seems slightly irrational to me, seeing as it can't be proven to exist.

  7. I've learned to rely on my instincts for nearly everything. They seem to be the greatest tool. :)
    I used to walk very cautiously down hills while the other kids ran down. I'm trying to be more courageous in my own ways now.

  8. Love your writing as usual.
    The whole thing about love rewarding the brave is also true, I think. Confidence is so linked to courage though, so I find it all so difficult.
    I like your new, simple blog design as well :) xx

    1. Giiiiiiiiirl where have you been?! Hope you're well xx

  9. Courage is something I lack. I admire and look up to people who have it. ♡

  10. "I am sometimes accused of being dangerously romantic, and failing to see the hardship, pain, or risk in ways of life, or ways of thinking, that to me, just seem brave."

    This is me, too. Dreamers are often cursed (or blessed. I prefer blessed) with feeling this way. I see bravery in so many acts, even if they are harmful or dangerous to ones spirit. Throwing everything at every part of life is something I see beautiful but many regard as dangerous.

    Tightrope to the Sun

  11. Ugh i love this. I have a tattoo that says "courage is the thing" (a JM Barrie quote) and I think you and I think about courage in much the same way. We are romantics and risk-takers!


  12. You have a really nice blog here! I like your posts! :)

    My Fashion Jar

  13. I need some of your courage. Although, the few times I have been brave, I did not regret it.

  14. A little while back, a friend of mine of considering getting a quote tattooed on her ribcage and, although it's been a few years now, I still remember ‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’ being one that she had 'shortlisted' :) It was great stumbling upon this here.


  15. I never know how to reply to your posts but i always want to because after I read them i just sit there in awe, you have so many great thoughts and feelings, you write so perfectly and i'm so happy i found your blog. xxx

  16. Adore your gif, and I'm sure brave is a high quality by this time, Anais Nin has a deep impact on me either M-C

  17. I have an Anais Nin tattoo :) I figured you'd approve of that. I love your writing but Google is being a callous bitch and not allowing me to follow you at the moment. I'll keep trying. - Tea For Two

  18. I'm a huge fan of Anais Nin.. a total junkie for her words...and that is in deed one of her greatest quotes.
    I relate with you about being the girl that wanted to run away and join the circus ha.. I swear I've always said that too!..and now..a grown up woman..still want to.
    Although I sort of did... a year ago, I left it all, I quit, I booked a flight, packed my bags and moved to the beach...Everyone told me I was nuts... they still do...but I've never been happier... it's like living in total freedom...freedom from the media, from the social events or society more like; free from technology, from gossip, from silly customs...it's a totally different world to live in this small paradise...away from everyone's reality...In a way.. this is sort of my "circus". I finally did it :)

  19. Your words are not bullshit for me because I really enjoy reading it though :) I used to think about running away all the time but now I've changed to be like ''running away to stay with myself" When you have a state piece of mind, i am sure that your head and feelings are way better. Brevity, Strength and Faith are 3 things I have in mind. Once you trust yourself, things always become easier xx

  20. Your bravery always comes through in your writing, it's beautiful and a great way to live. Love this :)


  21. What a way to live! I agree with this, I wish I were brave enough at times to break away and do what I truly want and need to do for myself. I have that yearning to be free, travel and do more of what makes me happy. I wish certain things weren't weighing me down so I could just go for it!


  22. I totally agree with you. I have decided to be braver in the last few years and it really paid off. I don't regret any moment of it and would do it all again. with the good and the bad consequences.

  23. I see life in that whimsical sense of rose tinted glasses, I find it difficult to brave amongst others who do not see the world this way and make it their mission to make sure I see it in their view, not my own. I have far too many regrets already at a young age and it seems that days go past that list grows alarmingly steadily. I want to be braver, fearless in my pursuit of freedom and happiness because to live a life with even one regret is the worst possible thing one can do.

    Dancing in Black

  24. Courage is such a difficult thing. I took a big risk lately, but had to. Was forced to. So I don't know if that counts. But i love what Nin says.

  25. There have been times where I've been brave, and it's kind of backfired.

    Love the gif. On Monday, it will be 8 weeks since I stopped smoking!

    Corinne x

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  27. I like your vague, hippy bullshit. This vague, hippy bullshit in particular gives me a little bit of faith because sometimes these days I wonder if I'm being stupid pursuing seemingly arbitrary dreams with little direction. Plus you just have better ideas to write about than I do.


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  29. you're right. i know you are right. i have never once regretted those instances where i have been brave and stepped out of my comfort zone. i think, for me at least, it is always the fear of failing, of being judged harshly, or thought of as stupid that holds me back.

    and like you i have always admired courage and strength in others. it's probably what attracts me to people the most! (that and passion and intelligence but i'm rambling now)

    thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog (you were the first and that's kind of exciting ha ha) x


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I appreciate every one. You can also tweet me @hollycassell, or email me at contactpersephone@gmail.com.