In Finding Me: A Memoir, American actress Viola Davis shares her story of personal transformation, reinvention and changing her story. Here are some great quotatable quotes from Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis:
- Memories are immortal. They’re deathless and precise. They have the power of giving you joy and perspective in hard times. Or, they can strangle you. Define you in a way that’s based more in other people’s tucked-up perceptions than truth.
- One of the beauties of getting older is really getting to know a parent.
- Abuse elicits so many memories of trauma that embed themselves into behavior that is hard to shake. It could be something that happened forty years ago, but it remains alive, present.
- When you’re clutching to live, morals go out the window.
We were “po.” That’s a level lower than poor.
- You know, when you’re poor, you live in an alternate reality. It’s not that we have problems different from everyone else, but we don’t have the resources to mask them. We’ve been stripped clean of social protocol. There’s an understanding that everyone is trying to survive and who is going to get in the way of that?
- There is an emotional abandonment that comes with poverty and being Black. The weight of generational trauma and having to fight for your basic needs doesn’t leave room for anything else. You just believe you’re the leftovers
- Shame completely eviscerates you, destroys any sense of pride you may have in yourself.
- The loss of any pet is hard, but it’s especially hard when they serve a larger purpose that is fulfilling the deficit of loyalty and love.
- The invisibility of the one-two punch that is Blackness and poverty is brutal.
The invisibility of the one-two punch that is Blackness and poverty is brutal. Mix that with being hungry all the damn time and it becomes combustible.
- I ain’t never found no place for me to fit. Seem like all I do is start over. It ain’t nothing to find no starting place in the world. You just start from where you find yourself. —AUGUST WILSON
- When you haven’t had enough to eat, when your electricity and heat are cut off, you’re not afraid when someone says life is going to be hard. The fear factor was minimized for me. I already knew fear. My dreams were bigger than the fear.
- When you are a dark-skin girl, no one simply adores you. They laugh with you, tell you their secrets, treat you like one of the boys . . . but there’s no care given to you, no devotion given to you. The absence of that becomes an erasure.
- As an actor, you become a soul searcher. A thief. After the curtain call, you are left with you.
- If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. —THOMAS MERTON
- Working hard is great when it’s motivated by passion and love and enthusiasm. But working hard when it’s motivated by deprivation is not pleasant.
- I had the persona of being real because I didn’t know what or who else to be. But being real and being transparent are two totally different things. Being real is wearing fifteen-dollar shoes and being proud to wear them. Being transparent is saying, “I’m always anxious. I never feel like I fit in. I need help.
- Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall. —RAY BRADBURY
Stop making love to something that’s killing you.
- Agent and actor are like a marriage. The agent has to “get” you.
- Everybody has secrets. Everybody. I guess the difference is that we either die with them and let them eat us up, or we put them out there, wrestle with them (or they wrestle with us) until we . . . reconcile. Secrets are what swallow us.
- There is absolutely no way whatsoever to get through this life without scars. No way!! It’s a friggin’ emotional boxing ring, and either you go one round, four rounds, or forty rounds, depending on your opponent. And by God, if your opponent is you . . . you will go forty. If it’s God, you’ll barely go one because Big Daddy has rope-a-dope down! He’s a shape-shifter. You think you’re fighting him, screaming, punching, begging him for help. And he leaves you with . . . YOU.
The same time you’re laughing hysterically, your life is falling apart. – Anton Chekhov
- Struggle is defined by not having choices,
- In finding my way, the great role was not the biggest objective. Waiting tables to make ends meet until that awesome role came along was not the objective. I had to live: that was the objective.
He who has choices has resources.
- Luck is an elusive monster who chooses when to come out of its cave to strike and who will be its recipient. It’s a business of deprivation.
- Jealousy is the cruelest of emotions. The part that makes it cruel is its lack of ownership.
- Success is absolutely wonderful, but it’s not who you are. Who you are is measured by something way more abstract and emotional, ethereal, than outward success.
Fame is a vapor. Popularity is an accident. Riches takes wings. And only one thing remains . . . CHARACTER. —HORACE GREELEY
- My biggest discovery was that you can literally re-create your life. You can redefine it. You don’t have to live in the past.
- I learned the hard way that when there are underlying issues, money does nothing. In fact, money exacerbates the problem because it takes away the individual’s ability to be held accountable.
- Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a different past. They tell you successful therapy is when you have the big discovery that your parents did the best they could with what they were given.
- We always hope that it lands in our favor. At least, that’s how stories play out onscreen. There is living life for pleasure, great moments, and living life waiting for doom and gloom. Life exists somewhere in the middle.
- When you get older, you change. You change physically. You change emotionally and a whole other area of life rears its head. Your body slows down, retirement; death becomes all too real. A lot of people are not in it for the long haul. They’re not in it for the changes the life journey brings—the health scares, death.
- The purpose of life is to live it.
You can either leave something for people or you can leave something in people. —ANNE LAMONT
- Your depth of understanding of yourself is equal to the depth of understanding a character. We are after all observers of life. We are after all a conduit, a channeler of people. What you haven’t resolved in your life can absolutely become an obstacle in the work that you do.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.