Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What someone should of told me at seventeen

You'll grow into your skin and into yourself. I promise. Years from now people will come to you with their insecurities and self-doubts like broken phones they want fixed because they'll see you as whole and brave and born-that-way. And you'll tell them you weren't, you aren't. That they should have seen you at seventeen. It is a continual battle between the waves of all your darker thoughts breaking on the solid shore of your beliefs and better self, you'll say.

There is a world bigger than the shots you take at the clubs you want to go to with the people you think you want to be with. Outside of the over-confident guys with the too tight t-shirts and girls you are jealous of because of their ability to attain the afore mentioned stereotype, there is a world of magic and wonder that will make everything else look paper thin and two dimensional. It is so wide that your mind's eye will not capture it in memory, so deep that you will fall giggling and disbelieving reaching for the floor. You will remember only with silliness the thumb sized club room you thought was the world before.

The right people are everything. You need to sift a little more. Be a bit more choosy. Remember that you are the company you keep. Make room for the kind that will be there when the photos aren't being taken and the conversation turns to something deeper than the puddle you like to see your reflection in.

Break out of your prejudice. Not everybody who wants to talk to a young filipino girl is or is becoming a creepy old man with a yellow fever complex. Not all the girls that don't look like you or talk like you are unlike, or vapid, or ignorant. Drop the paranoia, and even if it's justified, be civil. Being a bitch is unnecessary and does not mean you're strong, being mean is easy and that doesn't make you better it just makes you mean.

Read more non-fiction. Books from the real world do not all read like encyclopedias. They will kick-start a curiosity and awe that you did not believe could exist outside of the made-up.

Make up your own mind about everything. Challenge the definitions you were given even if you believe them to be true. Be open to the possibility that you may change. Be okay with life-long held definitions being scrapped and new ones be scribbled and scratched out dozens of times in their place. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed about changing your mind - the shame and embarrassment is reserved for drunken ramblings in so-called spanish, losses in dignity you deeply regret and blanks in your memory that are filled in by friends who rightfully laugh the whole way through the story.

You'll have your turn. To be on planes over oceans, to have your tongue fumble over a foreign language, to fall deep into a search for purpose, to have your eyes opened to the light and dark of humanity, to be self-indulgent, to be selfless, to be challenged, to be reckless, to be loved, to discover the plethora of variations on what love is not, to decide what your life is going to look like and to dance your way there on a rainbow brick road fuelled by sweat and luck and gratitude and privilege and the incredible possibility of the universe that you will hold, twirling infinitely in your small brown hand.

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