Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?

— Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

The great artist Michelangelo claimed that his sculptures were already present in the stone, and all he had to do was carve away everything else.
Our understanding of identity is often similar: Beneath the many layers of shoulds and shouldn’ts that cover us, there lies a constant, single, true self that is just waiting to be discovered.

— Sheena Iyengar, The Art of Choosing