• Kristina Cherep

My Favorite Quote

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

For my birthday this year, one of my lifelong friends asked me what my favorite quote was and then made me this beauty! This quote is my favorite for multiple reasons...

First off, anything and everything Maya Angelou is my favorite. She is my favorite writer of all time. I can’t really put into words why, which is funny because I’m a writer and she has me ‘writeless’... like speechless, but I can’t even put into written words why! Her words just feed my soul in a way it’s never been fed!

Now back to the message of the quote,

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place - you belong everyplace - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

The message of this quote is quite simple, but also not. It takes a few times to read it to truly start to understand the meaning. This is another reason why it’s my favorite quote; it challenges me and makes me work for the meaning. It took me awhile to grasp the concept and what it was saying.

Growing up (I think this goes for most kids) I always had the thoughts and worries of fitting in. Softball was one of my biggest identities and I felt a sense of belonging on the field. I also felt a sense of belonging with my teammates.

Fast forward to college and I suffer from a career ending injury. I could no longer play softball and softball was no longer where I belonged. This is when a whole lot of depression and anxiety kicked in for me. I was so used to being known as the softball pitcher that I couldn’t even identify myself without that part of me. I had no idea who I was anymore. In some moments I was okay with losing myself because I didn’t care anymore (depression). In some moments I freaked out not knowing who I was (anxiety).

It took me about a year and a half after my softball career officially ended until I crashed. I was hospitalized for my mental health. Not only because of my injury, but because of all the emotional and mental damage I had been hiding for years.

It has taken me LOTS of therapy and support to get to where I am today. To get to a place in my life where this is my favorite quote. During my darkest time I HATED motivational quotes and anything positive really. I felt like those quotes didn’t apply to me, so I totally understand if this post frustrates you if you’re feeling low. However, once you are back up, these types of quotes will probably help you realize how much stronger you are.

Maya has taught me that once you detach yourself from striving to fit in, it’s freeing. The world seems to feel a whole lot bigger; in a good way! You start to realize all the parts of life you would’ve missed out on if you were still trying to fit in. You start to make your life story instead of trying to fit into someone else’s story. I am so much more than my softball career or any other identity I’m currently latching on to. And so are you!

I also apply this quote when thinking about others. It makes me realize that we all belong. We aren’t defined by our race, gender, and etc.. We all belong everyplace. Together.

P.s. This is the way I’ve interpreted this quote, but everyone interprets quotes in different ways.