5 Life Lessons from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

On a particularly aimless Saturday night on a particularly aimless weekend, I cozied up with a nice Pinot to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was my husband’s first time watching it and I hadn’t watched it in a long time and barely remembered anything about it other than Audrey Hepburn’s mean outfits and oversize glasses and the ridiculous caricature of her Japanese neighbor (just plain awful).

Rewatching it, I was struck by how profound it actually was, and that it was 120 minutes of some pretty astute life lessons. 5 of the most poignant ones are listed below with direct quotes from the movie.

Being wild is not the same thing as being free

“You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself.”

“I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does they might as well be dead.”

We belong everywhere, and nowhere

“Poor slob,” she said, tickling his head, “poor slob without a name. It’s a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven’t any right to give him one: he’ll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like.”

“Home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.”

It might be tempting to look for the unattainable, but you spend more time and energy attaining it than experiencing it.

“Never love a wild thing…If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”

You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky.

You are who you believe you are

“I suppose you think I’m very brazen or très fou or something.” “I don’t think you’re any fou-er than anyone else.”

“She’s a phony. But she’s a real phony. You know why? Because she honestly believes all this phony junk that she believes.”

Maybe, of them all, confronting ourselves is the biggest fear there is to overcome

“No matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

“You know the days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”


Rent the movie now if you haven’t watched it!