Matt Haig’s powerful words that heal and show the way.
When I first picked up The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, I couldn’t go beyond the first few chapters.
There was a lot of talk about suicide, and I found some parts triggering.
When so many of my reader friends praised it, I wondered what the hype was about. But it took me another year to finally gather the courage to read the book.
And this time, I managed to stick through. It turns out only the first few chapters were depressing. The rest of the book was like a cup of hot chocolate, filling you with happiness and giving you a warm hug from the inside.
The book taught me how to be comfortable making difficult choices. It gave me the closure I didn’t know I needed.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the most profound quotes from The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. If you’ve read the book, here’s a chance to revisit them and smile as the memory hits you. If you haven’t, you’re in for a list of powerful quotes that will change your perspective on life.
“If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail.”
I still find some aspects of today’s world disorientating.
With so much information available at the click of a button, I find it scary how easy it is to slip into the abyss of comparison and self-retribution.
You see someone’s portrayal of their perfect life on social media, and you assume that’s how things are. You forget they’re human and have to battle their own demons.
Instead, you assume they have a wonderful life while you’re stuck in your shitty world where you play the same role every day, and no one would even miss you when you’re gone.
Okay, that might have been a bit extreme, but you get the gist.
With this quote, Matt Haig reminded me that there’s no one else in this world I need to be other than myself.
Someone else’s life might be perfect, but mine is mine, and that’s all that matters. I don’t need to abide by the societal standards of what happiness and success are supposed to look like.
I can move ahead at my own pace, and that’s okay.
“A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.”
I grew up with an idealized image of romance.
To me, the “happy ending” meant finding someone who complimented me in the best way possible. There would be magic in every moment of our togetherness, and they would understand my heart's desires even without me expressing it.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve detached myself from that unrealistic expectation. But no matter how much I try to take my partner off a pedestal and allow them the space to make mistakes, I always fail. In some unexpected ways, my childhood obsession with perfection rears its ugly head again, and I’m left with disappointments.
But this quote by Matt Haig helped me embrace the idea of a flawed partner.
Yes, nobody can be perfect. But that doesn’t mean their shortcomings always overshadow their good parts.
Somebody might not be able to meet all my expectations all the time. But they try. I get to decide whether the good outweighs the bad and draw my boundaries. But I must understand they are human and won’t always do what I want them to. If I accept them in my life, I need to accept their flaws.
“Sometimes just to say your own truth out loud is enough to find others like you.”
I’ve been a shy introvert for as long as I remember.
When I hung out in large groups, my default impulse was to shut down and keep my opinions to myself.
Of late, after feeling empowered by Matt Haig’s words, I’ve started speaking up more. No, I don’t always make valuable contributions. Sometimes, it’s a joke that no one laughs at. Often, it’s a silly question that I could have Googled in two minutes.
The content of these interactions doesn’t matter. What matters is I’ve finally mustered the courage to speak up, which has sparked several unexpected but delightful friendships in the unlikeliest places.
I know Matt Haig had something else in mind while penning this quote. But in my interpretation, I see it as an invitation to speak up about what’s on your mind. If kindred souls surround you, they will respond. And you’ll know where to find your tribe.
Speaking up is never easy. But it’s always worth it.
“Want is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else, the original want disappears entirely.”
There are days I’ve felt unfulfilled and unproductive. Like no matter how hard I try, things will never be okay.
On such days, the body and brain crave some dopamine hits. And instead of addressing the issue and working on what’s missing in my life, I opt for the easier option: binge-watching, eating, or mindless scrolling.
Matt Haig’s quote made me introspect on how if we keep filling the empty spaces in our lives with things that bring us instant validation, we can never address the root cause of our unhappiness.
Treating the symptoms doesn’t make the illness go away.
In the same way, filling the voids in your heart with instant rushes of dopamine isn’t making your life better. It will keep you distracted for long enough, so you learn to ignore your problems.
I understand this can be a coping mechanism for some people, and that’s alright. But when you’re on a path to self-improvement and aspire daily to be the best version of yourself, you don’t want to give in to the pleasures of instant validation.
The next time you feel your life has no meaning, instead of scrolling through that shopping or social media app on your phone, take a few moments to be alone and journal.
Writing your innermost feelings down will spark self-awareness and understanding, bringing you closer to being a better-rounded and more fulfilled version of yourself.
Which of these quotes from The Midnight Library by Matt Haig resonated most with you? Do share your insights and let me know in the comments.
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