Authors’ Advice for Aging

Rachel Manwill

Staff Writer

Rachel Manwill is an editor, writer, and professional nomad. Twice a year, she runs the #24in48 readathon, during which she does almost no reading. She's always looking for an excuse to recommend a book, whether you ask her for one or not. When she's not ranting about comma usage for her day job as a corporate editor, she's usually got an audiobook in her ears and a puppy in her lap. Blog: A Home Between Pages Twitter: @rachelmanwill

A few weeks ago, I marked a milestone birthday, as I hit the big 3-0. As I do for most things, I turned to literature to help me cope with the inevitable depression and saggy skin that’s sure to come as I leave my 20s. (That’s what happens right?)

Here’s some of the best advice I found, from some of my favorite literary (and not-so-literary) minds:

“Age isn’t how old you are but how old you feel.”

― Gabriel García Márquez

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
― William Shakespeare

“Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched.”
― Mindy Kaling

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“Live in the sunshine. Swim the sea. Drink the wild air.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
― Roald Dahl

“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”
― Cheryl Strayed

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
― Nora Ephron

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

― C.S. Lewis

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
― A.A. Milne

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case you fail by default.”
― J.K. Rowling

“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”
― Tina Fey

“Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts.”
― Charles Dickens

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
― Lemony Snicket

“By the time you’re thirty, your worst enemy is yourself.”
― Chuck Palahniuk

“For what it’s worth: it’s never to late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

And finally, the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
― Dr. Suess


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