I've collected quotes that speak to me for a while now. They can presage important things in my life — as I realised I was trans, I noticed many of the quotes I'd collected were about some sort of transition:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Lassie Benton

The beauty of writing is in reading, finding a phrase that feels true and valuable to you. Well-written words can serve as guidestones, leading you towards the life you want — sometimes it can be a life you didn't even know you wanted. These quotes are a map. I hope they take me somewhere wonderful.

I hope you find something that excites you here. If you have your own list of quotes, send it to me at hannah@hd-dn.com — I'd love to read it.


Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
– Anaïs Nin, D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study

dreams are not meant to be achieve
– Black Dresses, Concrete Bubble

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:16 (ESV)

When one is pretending the entire body revolts.
– Anaïs Nin, Winter of Artifice

I had been looking for a name that did not represent who I was, but instead who I would like to become. I wanted something that would serve as a reminder to put curiousity above power, that did not lock myself in the past, but would force me forward toward that ideal.
– Devine Lu Linvega, Visual FAQs

If you know what you want, why are you waiting?
Sam Sarris


In our bare feet we notice that the floor is dirty, and then we can sweep the floor or not, but either way it will be a new situation tomorrow. We can't treat this as a problem; there is not a solution to it. But a clean floor is nice to walk on anyway, and someday we may even be able to sweep the floor because we respect the dignity of our feet and not because we are afraid of the dirt.

I'm not doing anything but what I want to
And today, well I'm sure not gonna start
– She/Her/Hers, (Mis)gender Dysphoria Blues

Comfort cannot be combined with simplicity. And when life is no longer simple, it loses both beauty and joy.
– Sven Yrvind, With Four Square Meters of Sail and One Oar

[...] to impose a grand narrative is to distort. Naming is violence.

I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.
Mark 2:17 (ESV)

May we hold warmth in our hears for the dignity of all. May we not fear being fools. Really.

Some days we're strong and others we're scared
And others we promised ourselves we'd be strong
But felt vastly unprepared
– She/Her/Hers, Internet Ads

For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.
– Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed


The time to worry is three months before a flight. Decide then whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying. To worry is to add another hazard.
– Amelia Earhart

Revolutionary action is not a form of self-sacrifice, a grim dedication to doing whatever it takes to achieve a future world of freedom. It is the defiant insistence on acting as if one is already free.
– David Graeber, On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets

The hand you reach out is empty, as mine is.
– Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

All models are wrong, but some are useful.
– George Box

The secret is to really begin. The present social organisation is not just delaying, it is also preventing and corrupting any practice of freedom. The only way to learn what freedom is, is to experiment with it, and to do so you must have the necessary time and space.
Anonymous, At Daggers Drawn: with the existent, its defenders and its false critics

Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What's the function of a galaxy? I don't know if our life has a purpose and I don't see that it matters. What does matter is that we're a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass.
– Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

Three simple ways to get more of what you want in life:

  1. Be kind and pleasant to others.
  2. Ask for what you want.
  3. Follow up.
– James Clear

POPS: You think you can drive a car and change the world? It doesn't work like that!
SPEED: Maybe not, but it's the only thing I know how to do and I gotta do something.
– The Wachowski Sisters, Speed Racer

Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.
– Nadia Boulanger

Move slowly, and fix things.
– 100r