What is the best thing about people doubting your potential? The pleasure of proving them wrong.
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What is the best thing about people doubting your potential? The pleasure of proving them wrong.

-Ameya Agrawal

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Then the best thing I can do is—" He froze. The brown eyes that had been narrowed with aggravation suddenly went wide with...what? Amazement? Awe? Or perhaps that stunned feeling I kept having when I saw him?Because suddenly, I was pretty sure he was experiencing the same thing I had earlier. He'd seen me plenty of times in Siberia. He'd seen me just the other night at the warehouse. But now...now he was truly viewing me with his own eyes. Now that he was no longer Strigoi, his whole world was different. His outlook and feelings were different. Even his soul was different.It was like one of those moments when people talked about their lives flashing before their eyes. Because as we stared at one another, every part of our relationship replayed in my mind's eye. I remembered how strong and invincible he'd been when we first met, when he'd come to bring Lissa and me back to the folds of Moroi society. I remembered the gentleness of his touch when he's bandaged my bloodies and bettered hands. I remembered him carrying me in his arms after Victor's daughter Natalie had attacked me. Most of all, I remembered the night we'd been together in the cabin, just before the Strigoi had taken him. A year. We'd known each other only a year but we'd lived a lifetime in it.And he was realizing that too, I knew as he studied me. His gaze was all-powerful, taking in every single one of my features and filing them away. Dimly, I tried to recall what I looked like today. I still wore the dress from the secret meeting and knew it looked good on me. My eyes were probably bloodshot from crying earlier, and I'd only had time for a quick brushing of my hair before heading off with Adrian.Somehow, I doubted any of it mattered. The way Dimitri was looking at me...it confirmed everything I'd suspected. The feelings he'd had for me before he'd been turned-the feelings that had become twisted while a Strigoi—were all still there. They had to be. Maybe Lissa was his savior. Maybe the rest of the Court thought she was a goddess. I knew, right then, that no matter how bedraggled I looked or how blank he tried to keep his face, I was a goddess to him.

-Richelle Mead

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People always, always talk about confidence, it’s supposed to be such an attractive thing. I wonder why though, why is it supposed to be such an attractive thing? When confidence hides so many other things that are so much more beautiful! When you think of being confident, you think of tucking away all those other things that you consider to be nuisances; but those nuisances make up whom you are! And those nuisances are beautiful. They are beautiful and they are you and they’re always going to be there, even when you try to cover them up! So what happens when they all come out one day? Are you going to feel like less of a person? Are the people who are supposed to love you, going to see you as less of a person? I say that it’s not about going out into the world and putting on a certain face— it’s just about going out into the world. I’ve gone out into the world! And I don’t put on that face! Or any other face, as a matter of fact! I don’t want to hide the way I play with my hair to feel more secure or the way I laugh at all the wrong times. I don’t want to hide those things because those things are a part of me. And I can still go out into the world— and all alone, too! I know so, because I’ve actually done it! So more important than confidence— is serenity and acceptance. The serenity comes from having a deep acceptance of all those little things about you that add up like the trillions of molecules and atoms you are made up of! And that’s just beautiful. Being beautiful is something rooted and strong; being confident is just a matter of putting on something that isn’t even a real part of you. Falling in love with the molecules that make up your essence is so much more attractive. And maybe that’s what confidence really means— the acceptance and belief in every single atom that you are.

-C. JoyBell

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