"It is a common mistake to assume that liberation is in itself enough for fulfilment, that everything will be fine if one can just escape the soul-destroying job, oppressive relationship, dreary town. But it turns out that freedom does not lead automatically to fulfilment. Instead, freedom leads to unremitting hard work. The old traditions may have been oppressive but living without them is uncertain, complicated, confusing and stressful. Having to think every decision through from first principles is exhausting. The potential of infinite opportunity becomes the perplexity of infinite choice."
"We live in constant expectation, believing always that something will turn up, some invitation or opportunity, and then we will step forward to seize our destiny and become at last our true selves. But the middle years bring the sickening realization that nothing is going to turn up. There will be no magical deliverance. This is indeed all it is."
"The failure of imminence, which seemed so catastrophic, may be revealed as a blessing. For the spell of potential is an evil spell that occludes the senses and deranges the mind. When the spell finally lifts it is easier to learn the crucial lesson that the journey is more important than the destination, the activity more important than the outcome. This is the conclusion that turns up again and again… Everything must be its own reward."