If I could tell my 18-year-old self anything, it would be this: write it down. Write down everything because you will forget it. Keep it for yourself. Keep it on paper in leather-bound notebooks and stock pile them. Turns of phrases that haunt you, poems that rhyme too much and not at all, unexpected twists that catch you and your breath. And for the love of science, go to class.
Go to class and watch for when the professor’s speech pattern speeds up, when they’re passionate about something they’ve been covering for years. Get B’s and C’s because even though you go to class, you should go to the party and you should see the show and you should exhaust yourself. At least once, work as a waitor so you can learn how to tip and how to survive if you need to. Look for the compliments in criticism. When someone says your writing is too flowery, let it bloom. When someone says your skirt is too short, revel in your confidence in your body. When someone says there’s no future in an English major, know that you are made of courage and passion. An hour of Candy Crush will never be as fulfilling as writing a letter to your mom, telling her what she means to you. A pile of new clothes will never be as incredible as showing up on your best friend’s doorstep across the country unexpectedly. A new computer will never mean as much as the weeks you could backpack through South America. Respect your time, your wishes, your body, your feelings, your passions, your opinions, and your right to do with all of them what you please.
But above all else, remember the power of kindness. Be kind to the barista that didn’t make your latte correctly because he’s making $7.50 an hour. Be kind to the bus driver who didn’t greet you because this is her third straight shift. Be kind to the boss who didn’t sleep because the baby needs to go to the doctor, again. Be kind to your parents, to your enemies, to your self. It will make you happier and in the long run, it will bring so much more into your life, and how easy is it to write a story when the story comes to you? Be a beacon of light and guide your dreams to the shore.
- Dear DateByNumbers on CollegeCandy
4:27 pm • 24 October 2013 • 232 notes
“But back to the bigger problem: being embarrassed about never having a serious relationship. I’ve yet to read anything that genuinely relieved me of humiliation. We’ve all been there, yeah but I’m there right now. It’s not a big deal, but it sure as hell feels like it. The only person who notices is you, and I’m with me the whole day! As adults, embarrassment is often self-inflicted. Other than the occasional stereotyped relative asking why you never have a boyfriend, it’s pretty rare that anyone will call you out on being consistently more single than not. The only person calling you out is you because you’ve led yourself to believe that regular serious relationships are the ideal. They certainly seem to be the norm, but don’t discredit the life you’re living by believing them to be the ideal, to be the end-all-be-all. Don’t be so closed-minded to think that your own life isn’t unfolding the way it should. Do not allow yourself to find shame in being alone. Instead find caverns and novels, find out-of-the-way pizza places and poorly written books about adventure. Find a little faith in yourself that having a committed relationship is nice, but it’s nothing without an education, an imagination, and a well-investigated and cared for relationship with yourself.”
— Dear DateByNumbers on CollegeCandy
5:09 pm • 10 October 2013 • 175 notes
Anonymous asked: How did you and this new guy from LA connect so well? What makes him or this relationship different from others in the past? I guess I'm asking how you know when something is different in a good way, if that makes any sense.
I am cerulean. I am saturated and vibrant, deep and blue. But my color can change when you need it to. Around some people, I am navy, dark and steady. I am an ocean to carry you, and a night sky to cradle you. Around others, light as the sky, with wispy clouds of barely white, a blue like a smile. I am a million shades of blue for everyone I know. But when I’m on my bike, when I’m with my best friend, when I’m on the phone with my Dad, I’m cerulean. I like fading along the spectrum, I like those shades of who I am, but when the waves settle, when the clouds clear, I am cerulean.
We chameleon into other colors around new people to build a bond, to show commonality and shared ground, to appear cooler, smarter, more interesting, and brighter, friendships and ties can rest on those laurels. Bonds can be forged. And you’ll show glimmers, you’ll show streaks of your color, and with any luck, your color will shine through more often than some makeshift swirl. You will find complementary colors and you’ll be your brightest self. But some people will make you want to be a different color forever, something else. They will want you to be a darker, sexier oil, or a quieter, more palatable pastel. And the effort that will go into becoming a shade that is not your own will weather you, it will age you, and it can hurt like hell.
You mix in a little black to make your text message more mysterious. You mix in a little blue to appear cool when he asks if you’re serious. You mix in these colors trying to find the perfect shade of response to what you think they want. You ask your friends, “maybe a little darker? Maybe a little brighter? Maybe this and maybe that?” and they always say, “maybe, but make sure you remember to fade back.”
So what makes this relationship different than the ones in the past? With him, I say what comes to mind because I’m not worried if it’s right or if it’s time. With him, I curl up close because there’s space for me and the space he made is mine. I wish I could say what it was, or why it’s different, but all I can say is that when I am with him, I am saturated and blue, deep and vibrant. I am unequivocally and without effort the only color I ever really want to be. With him, I am cerulean.
5:18 pm • 9 October 2013 • 139 notes
how we move on
I am terrible at the two-step. There are two steps to this dance, and I am terrible at both of them. A Saturday night some Saturday nights ago, I found myself in the arms of a cowboy, laughing and stepping on his feet, one step at a time. It had been a slow ascent to laughter, but he smelled like hay and sweat and he looked at me like I was a fantasy. I tripped over him until the rhythm I never found turned over into a slow dance, and I peeled myself from his cradle and waved as I skipped toward the bar, pulling out my phone to check the time.
Instagram: 102 liked your photo.
7:32 pm • 25 September 2013 • 146 notes
“My general policy is that if they’re smitten, they can’t resist communication. If they’re curious, they’ll use the three day policy, if they just want ass, they’ll wait ‘til the next weekend.”
This girl. My new idol. (via gettingamyright)
I do not remember writing this, but I do still believe it.
11:28 pm • 16 September 2013 • 224 notes
Anonymous asked: Do you believe in the ever elusive answer, "you just know" when you find that person..
I think we’d like to know that we know. Like a serial number on love, this is the one you were looking for. And if we didn’t “know” about someone, then we wouldn’t have to try or worry or care. We could cancel plans for lazy nights on the couch, for raucous nights with friends because we didn’t know.
But would he know when I was a redhead in a band? Or would he know when I was a blonde cyclist? Would he know when I was sleeping in a sail bag and scrubbing decks in a bikini? Would he know when I was standing up in a room full of men, speaking about women’s rights? Would he know when I was tear-streaked in the Boise airport? When I was whooping and hollering, cliff jumping in Malibu?
I’ve been so many different people, and God, I hope he has too. And the people I loved instantly…some of them stayed. Some of them didn’t. But it was the people I didn’t know at first, the people that surprised me, that I hold such revery for, because they give me hope that I am more than my first impression, that the girl I hold so dear and close to my chest is a heart and a fire that someone could wait to find, wait to learn, wait to love.
I think the people you know will be yours are such a great comfort, like driving to the beach for the warmth you know, the joy you expect. But along the wrong turn, 10 forgotten miles down the road, when you find something you never knew was there, something surprising and incredible, are you not filled with awe?
I would like to say you just know, but the winding path has crossed so many times that I’ve fallen so deeply in love with people after they’ve reemerged from the wood in a light I hadn’t seen them before and I feel blessed for the chance to see them again.
You can know all sorts of things in a moment, but there is so much more that we don’t. Butterflies and gut reactions, intuition and its companion suspicion, they’ll build a life of reassurance and comfort and beauty, but we can’t forget we are naïve and prone to habit, to favor what looks like us and feels like home, and sometimes just outside the glow, just beyond what we believed to be right, could be something wrong and dangerous and perfect. I like to think I know that I don’t know anything at all.
2:20 pm • 6 September 2013 • 69 notes
Aside from the city and the classes and the big world adventure, the most important, difficult, and worthwhile part of your next journey will be the solitude. The dripping faucet in the other room, the wheel on your grocery cart that squeaks on left turns, the slender space on the train just big enough to sidle into, those moments of deafening stillness shattered and crammed around just you and you alone where your senses are piqued and you’re over and underwhelmed and there’s no one there except your bones and your brain to deal with it. Those are the moments to look for. Those moments when your grocery bag breaks on the busy sidewalk and you try to keep your umbrella over yourself as you pick up cookies that might be crackers or might be biscuits and your shoes are soaked and your keys fall out of your pocket and no one stops to help and you remember to laugh because you took a jet across an ocean by yourself to a city you’d never been to and the moment that makes you crack is cookies that could be crackers splayed across the cracks in the sidewalk.
You are opening a vestibule of fearlessness. You are accessing a star gate to a bigger and brighter version of you. One that’s been there, one that understands, one that will think harder and pause longer and realize they don’t know everything and know so much more because of it. You don’t need words of wisdom. You need a platform. You need to tell the world just how scared you are and that you’re doing it anyway.
— Dear DateByNumbers on CollegeCandy
5:59 pm • 5 September 2013 • 91 notes
because there was no one to ask me to stay
The table was littered with empty plates and emptier wine glasses. We were getting louder as we leaned back into our seats in laughter. My laugh was genuine, but it was controlled so my hair slipped into my eyes, so my posture was perfect, so my smile was sultrier than comedy allowed. I was performing, and he was watching. He walked toward our table, his hair slicked back, his face angular and angled at me. We stared. The side of my mouth curled into a grin. He walked past and the table erupted again. We shoved our settled checks into the center, and I wrote my name and number on my guest copy. I stood, smoothed my dress and shook my hair back over my shoulders, walking toward him, his back to me. He turned, and something I’d been missing reappeared.
2:49 pm • 21 August 2013 • 144 notes
“It’s neither here nor there if and how much he loved you because he made his choice, and now you must make a choice too. Do you dwell and linger? Or do you choose yourself as well? Life twists in peculiar ways, and there is the chance that he’ll realize what really made him happy was you, but of all the roads life can take, that’s the most precarious for you to travel. You two were driving along a sun-splotched road under a canopy of trees, laughing and smiling, but he couldn’t go as fast and as recklessly as he wanted to with you in the car, so he veered to a stop at the first bus station and asked you to get out. Yes, you’re abandoned. Yes, you’re lost. But you’re also at a bus station with nothing to hold you back. Go on a lonely adventure until the loneliness turns to curiosity and the curiosity turns to joy.”
— Dear DateByNumbers on CollegeCandy
3:28 pm • 9 August 2013 • 261 notes
Anonymous asked: what’s your it’ll be alright pep talk?
I was 10, and I was a wood nymph. I was wearing brown leggings and a brown turtleneck, and my mom had taken me to Michael’s to purchase plastic strands of fall leaves to wrap around my arms. I wore shimmering gold lipstick and orange glitter around my eyes, the colors of fall. We had been studying Greek mythology and I had taken a particular interest in the dryads. I was proud of my costume until approximately 8:27 am when anyone other than my mother saw it.
12:23 am • 9 August 2013 • 197 notes