“Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say fuck it.”
Johnny Knoxville (via fluffynips)
1. There will be some days when you close your eyes while crossing the street, maybe because you want to see what fate has in store for you, or maybe because your depression is running rampant again and you don’t know how to calm her. It’s okay. I will still love you.
2. There will be a year, or a series of years when your birthday doesn’t feel special. Celebrate anyway. Because people spent time baking you a cake and buying you cards and even if they’re your family and they’re obligated to, they still love you. Cherish that love. Revel in it. It is the best gift you will ever receive.
3. You will learn that the saddest word in the English language is stay. Whether it’s your mother’s voice whispering it before you leave for college, or your ex-lover’s desperate screams as you walk out of the house, it will always be a hard word to hear. Sometimes you should listen to it, other times you shouldn’t. Trust yourself. Go with your gut.
4. Along with hearing the word stay, you will also hear the word why from every person who is remotely related to you. Why did you get that tattoo? Why did you try to kill yourself? Why aren’t you married yet? You don’t have to answer them. Be selfish. Keep somethings to yourself.
5. Some nights you won’t be able to sleep. You will lie awake at 2 am and contemplate existentialism and wonder if the French had a point. Get up. Get out of your bed. Do something. Because even if there is no God, what you do matters, who you are matters. You matter to me.
6. Some days you will want to run away and never return. So go. Drive to a small town in the Northwest, maybe Oregon, and settle down there for a while. Tell people your name is Elizabeth, because you loved Jane Austen as a child and because this a town full of strangers and who’s to know the difference? Don’t be selfish. Call your mother each night and remind her that you love her. Come back home when you find yourself seeing your sadness painted in the shadows, and when you feel more at home in the arms of a stranger than on your own.
7. There will be several nights when you lose yourself in the medicine cabinet, because liquor and morphine seem like a faster cure than time. It’s okay. I will still love you in the morning.
8. One day, in the midst of work, you will learn to forgive. It will start out with a simple reminder of the past, maybe a facebook notification from an old schoolmate or a wedding announcement from an ex-lover. In that moment you will learn that yearning for the past isn’t romantic, it’s stupid, and that if Gatsby had just let go of the green light he would’ve lived. So forgive your past, it didn’t know any better, and move on.
9. Leaving home will hurt, but soon you will learn that home isn’t a place but a feeling, and that there is a compass on your heart that points directly to that feeling. Follow that compass. Don’t get sidetracked by boys who don’t care or alcohol that doesn’t forgive. If you follow that compass, no matter how lost you get, you will always have a home.
10. The hardest lesson you will ever learn will be to love yourself. But you can do it. There will always be days when you hate yourself, days when you wish you had never been born. But darling you are beautiful, and if Shakespeare had met you you would’ve inspired his 18th sonnet, and if Monet had known you he would’ve given up painting water lilies and chosen to paint you instead. I know it’s hard to love yourself, but sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish with your love.
11. When you begin to feel worthless, remember that the stars died for you. You are made of elements that are thousands of years old, elements that make up every atom of your being. When you want to cut your wrists, remember that the souls of stars live in your veins. Don’t kill them. Don’t be selfish.
12. Some days will be beautiful. Live for those days. Live for the days when the sun shines on your soul and the smile on your face isn’t forced. Live for the days when you don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks because your scars are a part of your story and you don’t need someone else’s approval to wear them with pride.
Live for the life you always wanted but were too scared to pursue.
Live for you. Live for me. Live for every person who has ever loved you, for the people who have come before you so that you may be here today.
Live for the fire that burns in your soul, that tells you: keep going, you’re almost there, just a little farther. Because when Rome burned down the emperor didn’t run away, he stayed and he sang for his people. Stay. Sing for your people. Sing for us.
Are you listening? Because this is your life, singing a siren song to capture your attention and steer away from the rocks, to guide you back home.”
“Inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is who we are.”
Anthony Marra (via natural-magics)
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
Lao Tzu (via bodyfluids)
“i want to know your birthday and your parents jobs and if you ever heard them fighting or having sex and if you love your siblings and the worst fight you’ve ever gotten into and if you like one sibling more than the other and what you wanted to be when you grew up when you were seven and your dream vacation and the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you and if you’ve been to therapy and if it helped and the hardest thing you’ve experienced and how you overcame it and if you like what you see when you look in the mirror and if you think appearances matter in a relationship or at all and your favorite movie and which books changed your life and the hardest you’ve ever cried and which grandparent you loved the most and if the words “we need to talk” make you sick to your stomach and why and which holiday is your favorite and which season and which color and if you like rain and if you’re scared of dying and if you believe in god and if you have allergies and to what and what your favorite food is and restaurant and if you like to cook and whether or not you care about cleanliness and what your political views are and if you’re a feminist and your favorite flower and song and if you’d rather own a cat or a dog and if you’d shave off all your hair to give it to a little girl going through chemotherapy and where you’d like to live and honeymoon and what kind of gum and candy you like and what you act like when you’re mad and if you’d rather someone buy you silver or gold jewelry or neither and what clique you were in in high school and what you think your spirit animal is and which flower you’d be and who you admire and which traits you wish were more dominant and if you ever worry you’re a shitty person and what hurt you the most and why you ever thought you were worthless and how someone can make you feel better when you’re sad and if you prefer hugs or kisses and what your house looks like and what your dream car is and which celebrity you think lives the most tragic life and why you think people become so cold and what you think about nature vs nurture and if you believe in heaven and aliens and mermaids and reincarnation and the bible and which feeling is your least favorite and what was the best day you ever had and what would be the best day and if you see yourself as the protector or one who needs protecting and how you deal with your pain and what you would do if you had 100 million dollars and if you think wealth affects people’s morals and what good you think writing is and if you could do it all over, would you and what would you change and what mistake was your biggest and which language you wish you spoke fluently and how many people you’ve loved and if you loved the person you lost your virginity to and if you realize you’re remarkable and what your enneagram is and how you think we could improve the education system and what you think of people who commit suicide and if you think they’re selfish and what you say to them before they did it if you could and what your favorite memory of your childhood is and how you take your tea or if you prefer coffee and when you last wrote someone a handwritten letter and what the best gift you ever received was and what the best piece of advice was and when the last time you cried was and if you’re competitive about board games and which is your favorite and if you feel pressured to settle down and what you notice first in a person and what your top three pet peeves are and if you have any phobias and what you’ve always wanted to do but don’t have the courage to go through with and what you do when you feel overwhelmingly sad and if you ski and if plastic surgery was 100% safe and painless, would you get it and where and why and where you think home is and if you think politeness is important and what you think of indecisive people and if you think there’s ever a reason to go to war and something that scares you and if you believe in therapy and what you want in life and what you look for in a partner and what you want to change about yourself and about the world and who you want to be and who you are. just tell me who you are.”
There will come a time when you want to cut off all your hair. Do it. Realise that the thing you want rid of doesn’t lie in the long curls that frame your face so perfectly. Live with short hair for a while. It’ll grow.
You won’t always want to talk to people. That’s okay. When it’s late and you hear your friends talking in the next room, you don’t have to join them. You’re allowed your solitude. It makes company sweeter and it teaches you how to survive alone. You will need that skill.
In the winter, you’ll believe that nothing will ever grow again. You’re wrong. Every year, London looks like it’s on its last legs, wheezing through those last cold days in March. Every year, spring comes like an explosion and the city shakes off its sleep.
Mundane problems will get the better of you sometimes. Don’t worry. Try as you might, life cannot be an endless, beautiful, intense moment. Find comfort in money worries and late trains; they’re a welcome rest in between heartbreaks and breakdowns.
People will call you a cynic, a wry smile on their faces. Pay them no mind. You alone know that you are capable of a love greater than anything they can comprehend. You alone know that you are not willing to sell your identity and respect to the first smirking halfwit to pass by. It is not cynicism. It is reverence for your own vast and fathomless heart, and it makes sense only to love someone who understands that and is awed by it.
You will not always get what you want when you want it. Accept it. Your goals are not set in stone and you are not on a fixed trajectory. Sometimes, life will take its time and you will have to play the long, interminable game. Play it well and with as much grace as you can muster. Live at your own pace.
At night, you will occasionally wake up afraid, wanting to die. Don’t give in. Night plays its tricks, but you are not so easily fooled. Your mind will play its tricks, too. It will make you believe that you’re not who you are, but you must not give in. You take a breath and you tell yourself that you are here. That you always were.”
Practical Advice for Difficult Women (#20 - 9th December)