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Nineteen things I’ve learned before I turned nineteen.
1. Always carry $5 and a lighter with you (even if you don’t smoke).
2. Ask every person you meet how their day is going. Genuinely ask with the soul intention of learning how their day is. Ask the coffee shop employee. Ask the person next to you in line at Walmart. Ask your distant friend. Ask everyone.
3. Take many photos of yourself. Take photos of yourself when you’re happy. Take photos of yourself when you’re sad. Take photos of yourself because there are millions of trees in the world, and we all look at the same sky, but there is only one of you.
4. Stay in contact with your parents. Try not to hate them. They are the reason you have the ability to feel anything at all. Try not to hate your parents.
5. Opening your skin will not set your demons free. Open your heart. Open your mind. Open your hands.
6. Nobody knows anybody completely. That’s okay.
7. Be gentle, but be aggressive. Take a stand. Nobody hears your voice if you stay silent.
8. Respect everybody. We are all humans trying to survive. We all deserve respect.
9. Wearing black will ALWAYS make you feel better about yourself.
10. Always give tips, whether it be a couple extra dollars or a piece of mind. You never know how much you could be helping someone.
11. Change is the only thing consistent in life. Do not allow that bother you. Embrace chance and move with life, whichever direction it chooses to take you.
12. Smile often. Smile at strangers. Smile at your friends. Smile when nobody is looking and you’re alone in your bedroom. Smile when somebody is rambling to you.
13. Body image means nothing. Your body is merely just a seatbelt in the car. Your body is here to protect you. You choose the direction you go, and your body will not hold you back. Only you can hold yourself back.
14. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t allow yourself to hate anybody. Forgive them. Learn to love them for the person you never got to see them to be. Believe that a beautiful human exists in that person. Wish them well.
15. Drink orange juice. Lots of it.
16. Don’t allow the opinions of others to choose your destiny. We are all simply trying to live our own life.
17. Sing all the time. Sing off key. Sing in a silly voice. Sing like you’re on stage. Sing no matter who is around. Singing is breathing for the soul. Sing.
18. Take time to think. Write your feelings down. Write letters to the people you love. Texting is overrated and not as heartfelt as a nice handwritten letter.
19. Live for yourself. Breathe for yourself. Do everything in your life for nobody but you. This is your life. This is it.
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Get out of bed, make a hot drink and go outside. You owe yourself that much. Maybe you still cry in far too many public bathrooms, but I swear, you stay a few seconds less every time. Smile at strangers if it’s all you can do, know that life doesn’t start when the sun rises or the credits roll but when you decide it’s time to go after what you deserve, and you deserve everything because we are alive both only once and a million times every day and every minute is something new to learn and someone new to love, and if it all crashes and burns as it so often does cling on to hope through it all and don’t ever ever ever let it go. Start your life again whenever you need to. Repeat after me: it is not yet the end. It is not yet the end. It is not yet the end.
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We are the generation of the selfie and of self-induced sadness,
born in the same year that three of my idols would commit suicide.
Most poets die with the lights on,
but we all plan on drowning. We are the generation of grounding
lightning into coffee beans, of pulling strings from the hems of our dresses until we unravel,
of leaving footprints in the gravel on the way to the edge of the world. I am a computer girl,
and I was born in the year of the boar. Maybe that’s why I’m a whore,
and my best friends are all pigs,
and I dig my own grave every time I open my mouth.
We are the generation of meaningless trophies, it’s true.
My parents like to tell me: “you
think that you deserve everything.” But we are a generation of scraping,
watching our parents cry over housing prices
and dying white clothes black to blend in.
We are children of the wind, born to land wherever freedom settles us
and we take our parent’s debt with us everywhere.
We are a generation of change and of chains, and mostly
I think we deserve any fame we can get:
thirty people hitting “like” on a status.
Girls posting photos of themselves naked have earned every moment of bliss
they receive from finding themselves beautiful in their own skin.
We are a generation of women airbrushed to perfection
and daughters taking pills to feel pretty again.
And mostly, I don’t like to make sweeping generalizations about my friends
but I think it’s okay
if at the end of some days we feel like relaxing,
taking a photo of our dinner,
telling two hundred near-strangers how lucky we feel
to be existing anywhere at all.
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Each time I’m asked to tell about myself, I find myself starting the same way: “My name is Kelsey and I’m nineteen..”
but what I’d really like to say is:
“My name means island of the ships but once
I found a translation that said I’m a burning shipwreck-
not a burning ship but a ship that has caught fire
after the wreckage and well, I’d say that’s more fitting.”
I’ve learned that people don’t have time for about me’s.
They need two things: a name and an indication you’re someone special.
The doctors, they want facts not details.
“I broke my leg when I was three, it’s a funny story actually-“
The right or the left?
The teachers, they want interests, hobbies.
You’re sad, yes, but what do you like to do?
The adults are a spew of questions.
What school do you go to? What classes are you taking?
What do you plan on becoming? Got a boyfriend?
People my own age are the worst.
“I’m planning on an English degree with a concentration in creative writing.”
Yeah, aren’t we all. So how many times have you, you know,
I’m pulled apart, my interests travelling highway 2
my goals at a stop light at traffic hour,
my medical history on a billboard for the world to see.
But what about me?
Where’s the chance to say,
“I hang on to fistfuls of poetry like loose change in my pockets,
and I keep waiting for the day that the world turns upside down
so I can swim with the stars.
I’m not afraid of darkness, it’s a loneliness I can empathize with it.
It’s the blackholes like cigarette burns inside of me that get troublesome.
I walk through graveyards and read the dashes between years,
each a story I’ll never know. Sometimes I create my own.”
No wonder none of us know who we are anymore.
I can’t even open a program to screenshot this
You said, ‘I love you.’ Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? ‘I love you’ is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say it we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them. I did worship them but now I am alone on a rock hewn out of my own body.
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this kid is going places
It’s exciting when you find parts of yourself in someone else.
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TV MEME → [2/4] Families - The Cohens
You may have never saved the planet, but you did save us.
My life better be building up to something really fucking great.
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