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anthropology of an american girl- quotes

"It's better to keep grief inside. Grief inside works like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won't get it."
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: grief 15 people liked it



"Boys will be boys, that's what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to display. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves -- this way those who do succumb to sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. Girls demand a covenant because if one gives in, others will be expected to do the same. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. Or we are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars. (p. 65)"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: boys, girls, hamann, identity, masks, sexuality 9 people liked it



"And loneliness. I should say something of loneliness. The panic, the sweeping hysteria that comes not when you are without others, but when you are without yourself, adrift. I should describe the filthy province of mind, the blighted district inside, the place so crowded you cannot raise the lids of your eyes. Your shoulders are drawn and your head has fallen and your chest is bruised by the constant assault of your heart. (p. 37)"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: hamann, loneliness 9 people liked it



"Since he knew things at the beginning, maybe at the end he knew things too. That we had gone as far as chance would take us. That nothing is more sacred than youth or more hopeful than turning yourself over to someone and saying ~ I have this time, it is not a long time, but it is my best time and my best gift, and I give it to you. When I revisit my youth, I re-visit you."
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: first-love, page-444 7 people liked it



"The unusual thing about quiet is that when you seek it, it is almost impossible to achieve. When you strive for quiet, you become impatient, and impatience is itself a noiseless noise. You can block every superficial sound, but, with each new layer extinguished, a next rises up, finer and more entrapping, until you arrive at last in the infinite attitude of your own riotous mind. Inside is where all the memories last like wells, and the unspoken wishes like golden buds, and the pain that you keep, lingering and implicit, staying inside, nesting inside, articulating, articulating, through to the day you die. (p. 240)"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: impatience, quiet 4 people liked it



"Kate lost a mother," I said, "but I lost a nothing."
Kate doesn't feel that way," Jack assured me.
But what about everybody else besides Kate? How can I ever explain to anyone what she was when she and I had no name? People need names for everything. I wasn't a relative or a friend, I was just an object of her kindness."
He wiped my cheeks, saying Ssshh. I buried my face in his shoulder.
True kindness is stabilizing," I went on. "When you feel it and when you express it, it becomes the whole meaning of things. Like all there is to achieve. It's life, demystified. A place out of self, a network of simple pleasures, not a waltz, but like whirls within a waltz."
You're the one now," Jack said definitively. "That's why you met her. She had something she had to pass on." (p. 95)"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: death, evie, grief, hamann, jack, kindness, labels, loss, relationships 4 people liked it



"Having to talk to people was one thing, but soliciting conversation was something else entirely. If I acted squirmy or didn't make eye contact, they would want to know what was wrong, and I would have to say "nothing," since nothing really was wrong. Nothing is an easy thing to feel but a difficult thing to express. It's impossible to describe nothing without seeming sneaky. (p. 58)"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann
tags: awkward, evie, hamann, interaction 3 people liked it



"It was frankly sort of confusing, the way everyone stared at our bodies exactly as they tried to erase the ideas of our bodies from our minds. We were supposed to get over ourselves but no one was supposed to get over us. The female body was our worst handicap and our best advantage -- the surest means to success, the surest course to failure. (p. 72)"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: body, girls, hamann, identity, sexuality 3 people liked it



"It's better to keep grief inside. Grief inside works like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won't get it."
— Hilary Thayer Hamann
tags: grief 3 people liked it



"The most awful hunger is the type that is satisfied too soon, before it moves you, before you are moved by it, before it becomes protracted and superior, a motivating business, making you honorable, graceful, clever - a hunter."
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
tags: page-337 3 people liked it



"Hell is only loneliness, a place without play for the soul, a place without God. How could there be God in loneliness when God is presence?"
— Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
2 people liked it



"And loneliness. I should say something of loneliness. The panic, the sweeping hysteria that comes not when you are without others, but when you are without yourself, adrift. I should describe the filthy province of mind, the blighted district inside, the place so crowded you cannot raise the eyelids of your eyes. Your shoulders are drawn and your head has fallen and your chest is bruised by the constant assault of your heart."
— Hilary Thayer Hamann
1 person liked it



"Boys will be boys, that's what everyone always says. But no one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether."
— Hilary Thayer Hamann

the newest of beginnings.

this year has been...unexpected, to say the least.

i have learned a lot about people, life, culture and myself within the past ten months. there are people i will always love, cherish and respect til my dying breath, and there are those who i never expected to fall away from. i do not regret a thing, however.

i just got out of jail yesterday afternoon. 420pm and i was walking out those doors next to my sisters boyfriend. the irony of that does not escape me. those 48 hours were some of the most agonizing, painful and educating experiences of my life. i learned that i need to continue to write. i have never felt so at peace as i did when i picked up a pencil that monday afternoon, on my lower bunk which consisted of a 2 inch mat, two gray & ragged blankets, two navy sheets and me- in my red jumpsuit and navy blue t-shirt. no piercings, no hair tie, no underwear, no bra, the same hair since saturday afternoon. my eyes were foggy from the hysterical crying fits the day and evening prior. my cell mate's name was lindsay. she discussed with a fellow pod mate about heroin, and showed her her heroin marks. they then moved on to discuss another woman who had "pencil marks" up and down her arms. lindsay borrowed me a book of hers to occupy my time- "The Anthropology of an American Girl". that book bought my time, and probably my sanity.

i hurt and disappointed a lot of people that i care about during this process. i regret nothing, however. perhaps that sounds selfish, but in reality, it isn't. without this experience, i may have kept running down this path, away from my responsibilities. i may have dug myself in a rut so deep that i wouldn't have been able to get out. fortunately, the hole i did dig myself into was shallow enough that i could reach up and have my support group pull me out. any further and i may have drowned.

i have goals now. i have ambition to be someone, and whoever that someone may be, it isn't who i was a few days ago. my mother called me an alcoholic and began to compare me to my father and my uncle (RIP uncle jimmy). that frustrated me, although i realize i have to take what she says with a grain of salt. she doesn't quite understand the construction behind the destruction. i don't drink because i enjoy being a sloppy, hammered drunk; i drink because i enjoy being carefree, happy, numb. i don't drink every night- in fact, i prefer not to. i don't enjoy the feeling in the mornings- the gut rot, the headaches, the dizziness. i don't drink on those days- i'm too hungover to do so! my family doesn't quite understand who i am, and they don't understand the day-to-day pressure of being someone i'm not, even in their eyes. i am a chameleon- i blend with different people, and when i'm at home, i blend with the atmosphere. i am depressed, ill, sad. the very best thing about being at home for extended periods of time is that i strive to grow up, go back to school, get a good job and move on from this hell and never look back.

i have a lot of issues that i am working on. i am not stupid- i know a lot of the things i do are not acceptable. i know that experimenting with drugs, drinking heavily, spending money that isn't mine & not eating healthy are terrible things to do to your body. i think i'll make a terrible writer. i have so much to say and i cannot put into words how i feel at times.

i am a scatter brain *TRUTH*.

i can't wait to grow up. i can't wait to fall in love with someone who will love me back...but i need to learn that being in love with a man isn't always what will get me by in life. i know i'd make a terrible girlfriend, and that is the realest reality ever. at least right now.

i need to start writing down my dreams again. i used to have the craziest, most vivid dreams ever. they always hit a certain nerve with me. sometimes, at certain times of certain days, i'll get flashbacks of some of them. right now, i can't think of any of the dreams i've ever had.

i want to travel. i want to see the world. i want to get out of this god forsaken town. there is so much to see in this tiny world and all i've ever seen is the midwest & tourist-ville in florida. i want to go to thailand. i want to go to new zealand. i want to see the mountains. i want to see sunsets over oceans, over mountaintops, over villas in italy. i want to enjoy sunrises with more people. the first sunrise i ever thoroughly enjoyed was butchered the next day. i went camping with people i didn't know, really. i knew one of them briefly, and his cousin even more briefly. we went to illinois state beach park, which is right off of lake michigan. it had been a very strange friday night, the first night we got there. i won't go into details, but this guy, his cousin & i went down to the lake to watch the sunrise. his cousin went down to the water with a stranger from the south. we stayed on top of the mound of sand to watch the sunrise and talked. when the sun came over the horizon and bled across the lake, dragonflies came out everywhere. it was beautiful and a sight i will never forget...

my life is insane.

i love it.

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