You your best thing.


I do something quirky when I fall into a slump with myself. This is the first time I am admitting to it.

When a day comes along where I lose sight of myself as an individual I head up to the third floor of the college library. I power through the shelves of books to where catalog numbers PS meet PR and locate a book with the card number: PS3563.08749. I know it by heart.

The book is Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a novel that hardly allows me to draw any parallels to my own life. The cover is worn, the pages are torn. The message never breaks. It is hidden like a gem in the back of the book and I read it over and over again, sucking out the sweetness in the spaces and the syllables:

He wants to put his story next to hers.

“Sethe,” he says, “me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.”

He leans over and takes her hand. With the other he touches her face. “You your best thing, Sethe. You are.” His holding fingers are holding hers.

“Me? Me?”

Ok, I am a literature geek. I get that. I accept that. (P.s. I love it). But something about this line just hits me. It has hit me ever since I first laid eyes on it last year and began to cry in the middle of my literature class at the beauty of the statement. You your best thing. The broken message brings me back to the beauty in my own self. Every. Single. Time.

How often do we forget that we are indeed our best thing? Even worse, we insist on comparing ourselves to others. I am not as good as her. I will never be like him. I will never get as far as she has. What a terrible, terrible disservice we do to ourselves in knocking ourselves down all these notches. We think, why should someone ever look to me or want to be like me?

Well enough of this. Enough of not being good enough or not being like someone else. Clearly there is a very good reason for our individualism, so that I can do my thing and you can do your thing.

We need to embrace our individualism. We need to be our best thing.

So here is to “being our best things.”

I am my best thing.

I know hunger statistics like the back of my hand. I am great at baking cupcakes. I am not an awesome singer, but I have more soul than Mariah Carey. I can turn just about anything into a legitimate debate on feminism. I am an excellent dancer and gifted at rapping (if I do say so myself). I am ambitious and outgoing, passionate and poised. I could put you to shame in a Lil’ Wayne trivia contest and I would have made a heck of a forensic pathologist had I had not discovered that I did not like dead bodies. I am anxious but in a good way, full in the best way. I am healthy and I am strong; I can curl more weight than a handful of guys in the weight room and I concoct a killer smoothie. I have an eye for literature and a knack for prose. I have dreams in my head and I am a straight shooter; I speak my mind and I stand up for injustice. If I had been lived in the 60s I would have made one hell of a protester but if I had lived in the 20s you would have thought I was a great flapper. And if by chance I had been around in 1912, Jack Dawson would have fallen for me on the Titanic. Of this I am sure. I am a good communicator, a great debater. I am getting better each day with listening and even my flaws are beautiful. I can make people laugh (even if most of the time they are only laughing because I find myself so funny) and I can laugh at life. I am Irish. I am German. I am Slovakian. And I am proud. I wake up every morning and I show up for life. I do my part and trust I am doing enough.

I am my best thing.

Am I perfect? Far from it. But I am the best version of myself and I am no imitation of someone else.

I am my best thing and you your best thing.

What makes you your best thing?

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30 thoughts on “You your best thing.

  1. I think this is one of the best blog articles I’ve ever read. Maybe because you and I have similar interests, maybe because I just found your page, maybe because this article is coming to me at a time in my life that I needed to read it.

    I’m great at giving advice. [Not so great at taking it.] I’m a great care-giver. I care so much about people, even strangers, that my heart pours out to them and I wish I could give them a real-life hug. I’m the best ME that I can be, especially as of late. And I hope to stay that way.

    Thank you for writing about this topic. I think it’s highly under appreciated for people to tell others (and especially themselves) that THEY are good/great/the best at something. It is not selfish, rather, it’s healthy and more people should do it. Self-esteem is an emotion that everyone has (or doesn’t have) and we should do more to raise (or lower!) everyone’s self esteem- to a healthy level.

    Thank you again. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Brittney! Your words mean so much to me, you have no idea. I agree, self esteem is very important and at some times we just need to give ourselves a break and look for the qualities inside of us that are worthy of a round of applause. So I sound like a motivational speaker but whatever. Thanks again! I am happy that you were able to come to this page.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. Love this post. I had actually had a conversation earlier this afternoon with my mother that struck a similar chord. Art and Music programs in the elementary school are being cut due to the bad economic situation of the school district. My little sister is a self proclaimed activist, vegetarian and artist. She is the absolute opposite of me in every way. As we got to talking about my sisters outrage at these cuts, we explored how different two people brought up in the same house, same conditions could be so wildly different. I questioned her when she said that my sister wants to go to college to be an artist, and the other to be a pediatrician whereas I’m studying history and politics. She said she loved hearing about how different our interests and passions were, none better or superior to the other. And then my mother said something that struck me, she said she had never believed into pushing us to do what we didn’t want to do. Only to do our very best at what we loved and be happy. She said life has a funny way of working out and as long as you are trying to be your best to be your best in the way you define best then nothing can stop you.

    1. Ah I adore you! And I agree. I think as long as are passionate about what we want to do and who we want to be, then the world will have its own way of making everything unfold. And I know you will make a fantastic, I mean REMARKABLE lawyer. Love you. Thank you for always supporting me in my dreams and endeavors.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  3. Great post! I haven’t ever heard of that book, but just from those lines I think I should check it out!
    I really liked this part: “we got more yesterdays than anyone else…we need some kind of a tomorrow..”

    And thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog! I just love that I am finding more people on here that are in the same boat as me! (:

    -Jessica

    1. It is a wicked intense book, dealing with slavery and identity… but when you actually do a close read of it the text is full of amazing and remarkable words of wisdom. Ah I could talk about Toni Morrison all day! Ha ha

      But I will certainly be at your page more often love!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  4. This post made me smile SO big. I’m a literature geek too and I just love finding little gems that move you to tears. “we insist on comparing ourselves to others” – yes, we do, far too often, and worse, we insist on comparing ourselves to fake, airbrushed perfection. I love that you can recognise how wonderful you really are and how much you have to offer the world. Because there’s a heck of a lot of awesome about you, miss 🙂

  5. this post is amazing. i’m bookmarking it for the days i know i’ll need it.

    i am my best thing because i am forgiving. i am honest, sometimes to a fault. but i think that’s a hundred times better than being a liar. i love the people closest to me with everything i have. i work hard and never settle for mediocrity.

    again, love this. and thank you.

  6. This is AMAZING. Love this post so much. On a regular basis I remind myself of a quote from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: “”I think it pisses God off when you by a field with the color purple and dont notice it”.

    I’m not super religious, but it really speaks to me and grounds me.

    1. What a great book! I love The Color Purple. Isn’t it awesome how the simplest of words can just jump right off the page and into your heart? And it’s like you were never the same without them..

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  7. This is so awesome, Hannah. You just completely floor me every time. I love the way you put things into words! You’re such an inspiration. Just reading this made me believe in myself, just a little bit more. Made me feel stronger. Happier. Thank you for this awesome reminder that I am my best thing! ❤

  8. You know I think we should put an end to the stigma of being a literature geek (FYI, guilty as charged too! You should definitely check out LaurenLeto.wordpress.com if you’re not already. She redefines literature geek). While there is a stigma to being a, say, sci-fi geek, who can possible have negative thoughts about a subsection of people who dare to dream and share these dreams with others?

    And just another great post. Sometimes we need reminding that it’s OK not to be universally perfect, but instead to take stock of our individual foibles and strengths and realise it is what makes us more than the sum of our parts.

    I reckon what makes me my best (and worst) is that I think. About EVERYTHING. It literally keeps me up at night but it makes me analytic and more importantly deeply empathetic. A quality I see so much in you – one of the many reasons why you’re one of the blogs I so deeply admire.

    1. Ah, oh how I love how we relate Stephen. And I am a fan of Lauren Leto’s blog.. She is amazing with her knowledge of great literature- it is truly a gift of hers.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  9. love this blog it is uplifting and thought provoking reminding us to love & share ourselves & the love i am accepting of people, have pretty good hair, can never get enough of god stuff & the wisdom of His words the connection i get to have to god & his infinite outpouring of good gifts life sustaining & helping me to be the best me, i had a part in making three gifted children & i love children i can be pretty fun and i loved this line “sucking the sweetness in the spaces & syllables” love you

  10. Ahh, thank you for reminding me that we all are our bests 😀 I mean, no matter how many quotes had said it, like something with “… nobody is youer than you”, or “be yourself, everyone else is taken”, we tend to forget about it, no? About being the best for of ourselves. 🙂

    I love love love your blog 😀 first time visiting and I think I’m falling for it haha, love at first sight? ♥

  11. What a lovely post! It brought tears to my eyes. I am going to spend this whole day thinking about how I am my best thing.

    And I love the image of you going to the library to find that book and that passage. Although you know it by heart now.

  12. Hannah,
    I stumbled upon your blog over a year ago and just rediscovered its beauty, I am so happy you are still writing. This quote from Beloved as been a favoritve of mine since my AP high school lit class and you are so right when you said it just gets me every time.
    This is wonderful, please continue to write.

  13. I am lost. A week ago we learned how to write personal statements. My english teacher wants us to list down every defining moment of our life. In a matter of minutes she has made me feel like my life is worthless. Nothing. Nada. I could come up with nothing useful. So i came here looking…

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