“Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.””
1. Lay on the floor of your shower until you can breathe again. Water will always love to love your skin.
2. Start writing with the intention of filling up one page. Write until your pen stops working.
3. Reread a book that once made you cry. Learn something new on every page. Notice how different chapter make you sad. Notice how the book didn’t change and grow; you did.
4. Sleep with your windows open. You can hear both the rain and boys drunkenly singing Frank Sinatra on their deck. Both are equally good.
5. Don’t forget that honey will always taste sweet, but the best way to eat it is off your fingers, laughing.
6. Remember that, sometimes, getting out of bed is enough.”
“I know that I exist, that I live. I also know that I’m constantly alone, moving closer to myself. But what good is it for? Can this loneliness hold my hand or exchange into something that makes sense when I’m gone?”
“I want something else. I’m not even sure what to call it anymore except I know it feels roomy and it’s drenched in sunlight and it’s weightless and I know it’s not cheap. It’s probably not even real.”
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 but 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 but 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 so cherish that love and revel in it because 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 and other times you shouldn’t. Trust yourself and 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 and keep some things to yourself.
5. Some nights you won’t be able to sleep. You will lie awake at 2 a.m., contemplate existentialism and wonder if the French had a point. Get up, get out of your bed and do something because even if there is no God, what you do matters and who you are matters because 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 North-West, 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 and 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 but it’s okay, I will still love you in the morning.
8. One day, in the midst of work, you will learn to forgive and 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 but it’s stupid and that if Gatsby had just let go of the green light, he would’ve lived so forgive your past because 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 so follow that compass and 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 and days when you wish you had never been born but darling, you are beautiful. 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 and 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 so don’t kill them and don’t be selfish.
12. Some days will be beautiful and live for those days. Live for the days when the sun shines on your soul and the smile on your face isn’t forced and 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 and live for every person who has ever loved you and 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 to keep going and 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 so stay and sing for your people and sing for us.
Are you listening? This is your life singing a siren song to capture your attention and steer away from the rocks to guide you back home.”
Envy is when someone walks around with a pocket full of “That should’ve been me”.
Insecurity is when you turn up the volume on all the wrong voices.
Hate is what happens when you put a shotgun to the face of understanding and it cowers in the corner.
Courage is ripping your heart from your chest and saying “Here, hold on to this for me”.
Truth is everything you tell yourself when you realize you are the only one still paying attention.
Self is whoever you become when the door is locked.
Trust is jumping into someone’s arms and knowing you won’t have to pick yourself up when it’s over.
Love is a tablespoon full of hemlock that I’ve been dying to try.
Faith is doing what you love and watching the bills pay themselves.
Failure is when you talk yourself out of becoming something amazing.
Victory is standing in front of the school bully with no intention to back down and a fist full of irony.
Success is explaining to your mother exactly what you do for a living without feeling ashamed. It’s falling asleep at 2 A.M., waking up at 4 A.M. and going to work with excitement stitched into the fabric of your smile.
Success is a thank you letter from a kid who lives in a city that you’ve never even been to. It’s breaking up a fight between a person and everything that’s telling them they will never be more than what they are.
When I was fourteen, my friend Adam stole a dictionary from his English class. He brought it home and we set it on fire.
Since then, I’ve been defining things for myself.”
“Say it before you run out of time. Say it before it’s too late. Say what you’re feeling. Waiting is a mistake.”
“Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It’s all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary.”
“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”