by Thalia Rose
1. not everyone will like you, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t like yourself. it’s natural to feel sad when things don’t turn out as you want them to; it’s also natural to feel happy when things improve.
2. human emotions exist for means of communication. your sympathetic nervous system triggers an increased heart rate and dilation in skeletal muscle so that you know to protect yourself or to flee. your reactions have been finely tuned for your survival.
3. scenario: a friend of yours doesn’t hug you or joke around with you as much as she does with her other friends. when you talk to her, she usually brings up deep subjects and you ponder them together. she doesn’t seem to do this with her other friends.
4. reaction: your mind as a broken record. the thoughts deafening. “it’s winter. this time of year, you should be dead in the ground. no one wants you around.”
5. reflection: different personality traits radiate around different people, so interactions vary. your relationship is not marked with a stamp of nullification for not being identical to other relationships. relationships function uniquely and separately. your relationship is not less valid or less reciprocated, and you certainly aren’t less of a person.
6. your emotions are valid: forgive yourself for your anger, your fear, and your sadness. tell yourself: i will never stop wishing you well! you will never stop changing for the best!
7. you are more comfortable when you forgive yourself, and you make room for positive experiences.
8. it was a big deal that you survived another year.
9. fifteen was the age nostalgic for other ages. you slipped away from its sentimental ideology and pessimism.
10. sixteen is done with nostalgia. sixteen is independent. sixteen makes its own breakfast (an omelet with kale and watermelon juice), sixteen picks out its own clothes (albeit, an oversized sweater), sixteen is late for school (with an iced coffee). sixteen is self-centered, and that’s better than fifteen’s self-deprecating! selfishness is natural to a certain extent, as sixteen only pilots itself.
11. even when the sun rises like a scythe, your honesty and determination will restore the order in your life. “you didn’t cause all of your own problems and you have to solve them anyway.”
12. don’t allow yourself to romanticize bad habits. mistakes are inevitable, but don’t tell guilt and discomfort “make yourself at home” or “stay as long as you want.” don’t give them free reign.
13. defend yourself when necessary. apologize when you mess up.
14. standing up for yourself is not crude. apologizing is not weak.
15. be confident in change, if nothing else. there is going to be a future larger than everything that is weighing you down. you’ll see more vivid sunsets than you could imagine, you’ll see them at new altitudes from new places.
16. kindness to yourself comes in many different forms. kindness to yourself was when you stayed up on the porch with a blanket over your shoulders and a cup of tea, watching the sun rise. kindness to yourself was when you allowed yourself to cry. kindness to yourself was when you brushed your teeth – as simple as it sounds. kindness to yourself was eating three meals as your doctor told you to. continue to be kind.