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The Quote Exchange

January 27, 2013

I’ve told you before about how some of my friends and I have an ongoing tea exchange. Which I love. Not only is it practical (because we get to try new flavors without each buying packages of 20 or 36 or 50 tea bags) but also it is the next best thing to actually sitting down in the kitchen of a friend who lives far away.

Now, my friend Katie surprised me by starting a monthly quote exchange! Her January envelope was so inspiring and special to receive after a long day at work. You know I love snail mail anyway, but this may have been one of the nicest pieces I’ve ever opened, the kind that makes you feel immediately committed to never giving up paper mail for digital communication. The kind that makes you feel like another human truly thought about you and managed to send you pure happiness right through the postal service.

You probably figured this out from my most recent posts, but I love quotes and find words very inspiring. When I was younger, I wrote music lyrics and book passages all over this wooden crate I kept my CDs in, and also all over the shiny covers of my zip-up CD case. (Yes, I also love Sharpies.) Then in college I started a Word document that I pasted quotes into for years, until it was 28 pages long. My friend Talia and I used to title most of our emails with song lyrics. And now, of course, Pinterest has revolutionized my discovery of new phrases.

So anyway, I hung Katie’s quote on the bulletin board in our guest room/yoga spot/bike storage space/study room where our desk sits. My plan is to collect all of them there, where I’ll get to see them every day. I also hung up the burlap bag that was my favorite of the presents I received from Meghan in the Oh, Hello Friend shop swap. This multi-purpose space of ours has been in need of a little extra decoration and inspiration for a while, now that I think about it.

Katie decided to start a personal quote exchange after seeing this cool Quote of the Month Club through the beautiful Letter Girl shop on Etsy. She chose a few people in her life who are going through transitions right now, and plans to hand-make each one of us a quote every month this year. Katie says, “I don’t have pretty handwriting or know how to create gorgeous paper art, but I decided to not let that stop me… I just choose quotes that I hope will speak to each of you.” I love her idea, and her willingness to grab life by the horns and start her own personalized, creative experience, with or without “expertise.”

Of course, I was so touched by Katie’s quote that I wanted to return the thoughtfulness. Not only do I love picking out the words to share, but also I was eager to find time to sit down and make something by hand after reading about some benefits of creativity. I used feel like I “didn’t have time” for luxuries like crafting, but I’m slowly coming to realize that taking time away from my to-do list may actually be crucial for my productivity, happiness, and wellness. It may sound silly, but I felt happy just pulling out my supplies, and I honestly think I was more energized and cheerful after I finished the project. Who knew a little creativity could be so positive?

Here’s the quote I chose for January. I first came across my freshman year of college, when an older girl in my sorority (probably a philosophy major) gifted a beautifully hand-written version of it to her “pledge daughter” in my class. I like it because it makes me feel like the neuroses and anxious tendencies that sometimes put my heart into a frenzy may have a positive side to them too. :)

There’s still a little bit of time left in January! Is there anyone you’d like to start a quote exchange with?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee January 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

This was very timely. Love the idea!

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granolagrits January 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I’m so glad you like it! I had hoped to post about it sooner, but I couldn’t put it up until Katie received my quote- didn’t want to spoil the surprise! :) If you decide to create some quotes for your friends or loved ones, I would love to see what you come up with if you post them to your blog or want to share pictures. Hope you have fun, and I’m glad you feel inspired. Thanks for visiting!

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katie February 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

i’m so glad to be doing the quote exchange with you.
the planning and creating are as fun as the receiving.
very nice post.
oh my gosh. i am a sharpie hog too.
one of the last times i cleaned my house, i counted 56 fine-point sharpies.

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granolagrits February 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

Oh my gosh, happy to know a fellow Sharpie fan! Forget Alabama and Auburn, friend! We will unite behind Sharpies! :) Love how they write and their colors. And how they release new colors every so often that you can buy individually at office stores. Once I got a sort of latte colored one! And a gray! Chocolate brown! Next I have my eye on navy blue…

No, truly, it is I who am glad to be doing the quote exchange with YOU. So happy that you started this. Your words are so inspiring and encouraging, and I think a project like this is EXACTLY what I needed to let my creativity bubble up. This may sound dramatic, but I honestly feel like it is making me a better person? Not only in terms of absorbing your quotes, but also in terms of putting pen and glue to paper, finding thoughts that I hope will speak to you, and being part of something so above-and-beyond kind and thoughtful. Thank you for sharing the idea and practice with me!

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