Teddy Roosevelt’s diary entry from the day his wife died. He never spoke of her death again.
I went on a date last night and then you texted and asked, again, whether I would come there. Start our days with coffee, end with you making dinner. Forever. I feel myself tug towards yes and then I remember why it will always be no with you and I.
There are people in your life who are going to love you for all of the wrong reasons. They will love you for the best part of your face, the best part of you naked, the best mood on your best day, the best story you ever wrote, the best outfit you ever wore.
They are going to miss the scar on the underside of your nose from the time your older brothers dared you to run across a pile of logs. They won’t know that you fell on a hidden nail just as you completed the challenge. They’ll miss the scar on your finger, too from the time you were seven and closed a swiss army knife on it. They won’t understand that these are two of only a handful of things you can remember about your childhood. They’ll notice that you have great tits, but they’ll miss that your thumb tucks into their palm when you’re walking together and that your eyes have darker circles when a migraine is coming. They won’t know you get migraines. They won’t ask where the story you wrote came from, so they’ll never know that it was true. They’ll love it because it feels real to them. They’ll miss knowing the sweatshirt full of holes that they criticized you for wearing was your dads. You might tell them some of these things along the way, but they will remember the best things instead.
They will love your good moods, your energy, your sense of humor, but miss that you never turn to them, but rather to a shower or a pillow or the back of your throat to shed tears. They won’t ever consider you strong.
When the parts that aren’t your best come out, some people will shield their eyes as if you have just forced them to look directly into the sun for hours until their irises burn. They’ll silently make you promise to never show them that again. Those things are not to be shown. Be at your best so I can love you. I would love you more if only you never show me those things.
And you do not marry those people. You do not sit and sleepily drink coffee with those people. You leave those people and you remind yourself that they missed the better parts of you.
25 Things To Do Before You Turn 25
1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.
2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.
3. Minimize your passivity.
4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.
5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.
6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.
7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.
8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.
9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.
10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.
11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.
12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.
13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.
14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.
15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.
16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.
17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.
18. Stop hating yourself.
19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.
20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.
21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.
22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.
23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.
24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.
25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.