Call your Mom, like right now, stop everything and call her, you are all she thinks about, and someday she won’t be a phone call away, and you should laugh with, and love your parents as much as possible. Hold your Dad’s hand in public, I don’t care how old you are, the universe [unfairly] doesn’t let us have parents forever, so don’t be embarrassed to love yours.
Broken hearts are terrible, miserable, achy things, but a heart that’s been broken grows back three times as big, and loves better and harder than before. I’ve had a couple of broken hearts in my day, but they’ve made me the woman I am now. My first loves taught me to stand up for myself and to be my own person – indirectly, That person I became, happens to be who Darren fell in love with; and he’s totally dreamy. Tell the boy you love you love him, every chance you can, and realize that relationships take effort, bring him a milkshake at work on your day off, do little things just to let him know you’re thinking of him. Thank him, for loving you, for teaching you what trust feels like, for holding your hand, for being your forever date, for the flowers, for giving you that good morning kiss, for noticing your makeup, and for supporting your dreams. I always ask couples who have been together forever their secret, and they always tell me the same thing, that even when you don’t feel like trying, do something nice for the person you love.
Wear those pom-poms, red lips, and crazy stripe-y socks proudly. Dance and sing at every red light. BE YOU. You will never please everyone, and that’s okay. Someone will always think you have on too much makeup, or too little, or you’re too skinny, or too not, or too loud, or too annoying, or too happy – whatever! Along with that, be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you are to everyone else. You are so good at giving everyone else the benefit of the doubt, or seeking to understand their point of view, but end up loathing yourself when you say the wrong thing, or can’t decide what you want, or even when you don’t look the way you want to. Be nice to yourself, if you’re not, no one else will be either.
No one has the perfect career, and if they do, they had a few jobs they didn’t like along the way to get there. Breathe, everything is falling into place, even when it feels like it isn’t. If you work hard and have an honest job, you’re doing okay. No matter what you’re doing right now, be the best at it, even if it’s not your forever thing, because you never know who’s watching, or when you’ll have to show some passion. Be passionate and curious and the rest will come, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Put your phone down, I mean you can read this first, but BE PRESENT. I know, I know, it’s all too addictive to check your likes, and to get the perfect filter, but sometimes the best moments aren’t for documenting, and sometimes life is just beyond the screen…