Longer III

“1) A boy telling you you’re pretty won’t make you see the beauty in the fullness of your cheeks, in redness of your lips at 2 in the morning when tequila is making the bar bathroom spin. He can’t take away the ugliness that you see in yourself, you have to do that.

2) You have to be ready to hear someone say they love you. You have to be ready, and you have to be willing, and you have to listen. Because sometimes, they won’t say those three words, they’ll put a blanket over you while you’re watching a movie, they’ll kiss your cheek when they think you’re asleep, they’ll smile when they see you first thing in the morning. But you, you have to be willing to see it, feel it, let it in. Letting someone love you takes practice.

3) Don’t make compromises you can’t live with. Compromise is a different version of what you want, not a whole other Universe.

4) Learn to say no. No – to a movie you don’t want to watch; no – to sex you don’t want to have, no- to a relationship that’s driving you mad. Say no – to things that hurt you, to people that extinguish your fire, to jobs you hate and places that are desolate. There are bad things that we can’t control, bad things that happen and we are sucked into and have to feel with every fibre of our being, but the rest – learn to distance yourself, learn to say no.

5) Don’t expect people to walk through fire for you – not your parents, not your friends, not the person you’re in love with. Love doesn’t mean sacrifice, love shouldn’t mean sacrifice. Don’t expect someone to give away pieces of them, so they could fit you better. And don’t feel hurt when they refuse to – it’s self-preservation. Instead – learn from them. Do it as well.

6) Don’t tether yourself to people. Learn to make connections, to love, with both your feet steady on the ground. Learn to let people pass through your life; like a summer breeze, not a storm that’s just been unleashed.

7) Learn the difference between growth and growing up before it’s too late. Rooftops and water fights and ice cream for breakfast can be a part of your life at 10, 25, or 35. But by the time you’re 35 you need to learn to say enough, to be able to walk away, you need to be able to love yourself. Love yourself the way you loved yourself at 10, before the world had a chance to fill your head with ugliness.”

-The list of things I learned before turning 22, pt.1. by m.v.

“i am more than a number,
but 26 makes me feel better than 28,
so i sit in jeans
that leave red marks on my hips
and make it hard to breathe,
but see it’s two inches, and –

i am more than a number,
but i know every test score i ever got,
and i still remember 4th grade and question 3
and crying because suddenly my mistakes
had weight and i couldn’t fix things by saying sorry, and –

i am more than a number,
but i was always the second child,
always the not-quite one,
not the best friend to anyone,
just a girl with kind eyes
and jeans that are a little bit too tight, and –

i am more than a number,
but to you i am nineteen, ten and three
and let’s be clear it’s the three that haunts me,
because sex doesn’t matter
and girlfriend is just a label,
but i wish i was the first girl you truly loved,
and not just the one
who helped you
heal your broken heart.”

-With you I fear I’ll forever be- just another number, m.v.

“And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.”

 

“But I don’t want small talk. Text me, and without saying hello, tell me why you got so angry at your sister this morning. Tell me why you have a scar shaped like Europe on the left side of your neck. Send me paragraphs about the time you spent at your grandmother’s house that one summer. Call me when I’m half asleep and tell me why you believe in God. Tell me about the first time you saw your dad cry. Go on for hours about things that may not seem important because I promise that I’ll be hanging on to every word you say. Tell me everything. I don’t want someone who just talks about the weather.”

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