Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me.

1. When you’re at some party, chain smoking next to the window with the girl with odd tattoos and piercings with purple hair and large exorbitant eyes ringed with smudged eyeliner – don’t shy away. Talk to her – ask her about her life, ask her what her tattoos mean, ask her what her childhood was like, ask her about her day. You won’t regret it. You’ll find that everyone has a story, and often, the ones that society tell you to be afraid of have the most captivating of stories to tell.

2. One day, a boy will come along – his lips will taste like cigarettes and sin, and his touch will feel like fire. His words will resonate with the deepest parts of you, and when he leaves you, you will want to die. But that feeling will go away, and you will learn to live again. Because everything is temporary, my dear. That throbbing hurt in your chest will be filled with other things in life. Books, movies, art, friends.. You will learn to love yourself. And you will then find that the world gets on its knees for the people who learn to love themselves first.

3. Please never, ever mistake desire for love. Love engulfs your soul and nourishes you. Desire emerges like an ardent flame – setting ablaze everything in its way, seeping into your veins and burning you from the inside out. And when that leaves, you’re left with nothing but the scars of the flame, and melancholy in your pores.

4. No one is going to save you, my dear. Your sadness is not beautiful. Despite what you’ve read, and what you’ve come to believe (or hope for), no one is going to find you reading Fitzgerald in Starbucks and fall in love with you. No one will come along and rescue you from that unrelentless drumming in your soul. Darling, your life is as precious as it is fragile. And your sadness, this sadness will bury you alive. No heroes will be riding up to the tower you’ve locked yourself in with his gallant steed to fight for you. You have to fight for yourself. You have to slay your own dragons.

5. It’s okay to get drunk. Whether it’s just for fun or because you need liquid courage to tell someone how you feel, it’s completely fine. And you know what else is completely fine? Not getting drunk. Don’t fall under the pressure of pleasing people. Please yourself and live for you.

6. Don’t be one of those girls who go “You’re crazy!” or “That’s not true!” when someone compliments you. We’re raised with this expectation of self-effacement that society places on us, and it damages you. It damages your self-worth and your self-esteem. Learn to be praised vocally, and learn to be admired. Learn to bask in the effervescent awe that others have for you. Breathe it in, and accept that there will also be times where you won’t be accepted. But that’s okay.

7. Alone time is good for the soul. It’s good to cancel your plans sometimes, close your door, turn off your phone, and play some Bastille, or John Mayer, or whatever else you prefer, and just enjoy your own company. Maybe you could read a book, or hell, even write one if you’re up for it. But take some time to yourself and learn to be happy with you and the sound of your breathing. You are the only person who’ll be with you to the very end, so learn to laugh at your own jokes, enjoy the way you pronounce words when you read aloud, bask in your slight tone deafness while you sing.

8. Be a traveller. The world is vast, and you should never be content until you’ve seen all that you want to see. Be curious, be adventurous, be uninhibited. Learn by seeing new places, and experiencing new things. Learn by listening to someone tell you the details about the ancient civilizations. Understand architecture through the Greek structures standing right in front of you. Appreciate the beauty of the world when you watch the elephants in the wild in Kenya. Satiate your thirst for interesting people shacking up with dozens of unwashed backpackers in New Zealand. Write amazing poetry because you can feel the words coming to you as the wind tangles in your hair, glancing up at the brilliant orange sunset above Angkor Watt.

9. Contrary to what people might have you think, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sex (except when it’s not consensual – then it’s called rape).  Learn to love him, and let him love you back. But don’t ever be afraid of the moment. Embrace it – be loud, be clumsy, be real. Bump heads, miss when you kiss, laugh when it happens, and keep kissing. Enjoy your body and enjoy your partner’s too. Speak to each other while you make love – speak words, speak with your body, speak to their soul. Touch them – caress their skin, kiss their goose bumps, play with the scruffy hair on their neck. Keep the lights on and watch their eyes when they explode. Don’t worry about the extra skin, or sizes of parts, and things that are meaningless. Feel yourself coming together and falling apart. Revel in the closeness and intimacy that you share, and melt into one another.

10. Nothing is stopping you. If you wanted to, you could get up and just leave whenever you want. You could get up right now, and run up to a guy and kiss him – any guy. What’s stopping you? Your fear of not being good enough? Your fear of rejection? Your fear that people might not like you for trying to do something out there and different? That’s everything that is wrong about society. The idea that you have to follow the unspoken do’s and don’t’s. Don’t let them shackle you. Do what you want. Be who you want. And who cares if you fail? Stand up and try again. Nothing is stopping you, my dear.

11. You can never go wrong with pizza.

12. If you ever feel unloved or devalued and demotivated, know that you are the world to me and that I find the upmost worth in you. You’re destined for big things, my dear, I know it. The world is your oyster. Now go knock ’em dead.

“My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.”

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