Bad Hair, Great List

The mid-twenties are going blow the early twenties out of the water. That’s what I’m thinking.


I’m also thinking that it’s Sunday, and Sundays are supposed to be nice and slow. Sundays are supposed to be pajama-clad, well past pushing it. May I suggest we reduce our rush?


I started writing long before I got to my laptop this morning. Long before coffee cups clanked and hot water hissed and neighborhoods woke. I started writing when I was 70% awake, lying facedown on a fluffy comforter too white for comfort. I started writing with forehead resting against backs of hands, with t-shirt tag sticking up and tendrils of hair sticking out.


Those women who come awake slowly, beautifully? With long lashes making lazy sweeps, with silky strands of confusion already artfully arranged, streaming over shoulders, fanning out across pillows? Not one of those women.

I come awake early, much too early. Four o’clock, today. I come awake with heart pounding, with hands fumbling. I come awake blindly — groping for a light, any light. A pencil, a pen. A notepad, a receipt, an envelope — anything to write on, write with.

When I rub open my eyes, I am miles away from any state of irresistible disarray. I am not a painting personified, propped up against stark white sheets. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I am a bundle of nerves, a riot of curls. A stubbed toe. A woman who’d give her left leg for a toothbrush and a capful of mouthwash.

Getting it all down is harder now. I miss being able to write every day. I am so happy to be sitting here, doing this.

These are the things, this week:

Comparison is the thief of joy, really and truly. Plus one for Pinterest.


“No relationship can truly grow if you go on holding back. If you remain clever and go on safeguarding and protecting yourself, only personalities meet, and the essential centers remain alone. Then only your mask is related, not you. Whenever such a thing happens, there are four persons in the relationship, not two. Two false persons go on meeting, and the two real persons remain worlds apart.” -Osho (On intimacy.)

You don’t force it. You cherish it when it comes; you shift your focus when it goes.


You seek your comfort where you can, when you can. You clutch a warm towel to your cheek in the fuzzy edges of the morning, when that’s all you’re ready for.

You make the road by walking.


You trace maps across your own skin; you listen to the sound of your own heartbeat.

You forgive. You forgive what can’t be forgiven. You bump up against the same bruise, over and over, until one day you look down to find it all healed over.

You remember yourself screwed up and scared. You remember yourself strong. Surer every day.

You try not to make any important decisions after five o’clock.

You take a deep breath in, a careful breath out. You sit up a little straighter, pull your shoulders back. (Posture. Posture is a big one.)


You dress in a way that suits you. Your figure, your coloring, your personality.

You remember how nice it is to eat what you wanted, to sigh in satisfaction. To giggle in delight, just a few hours later. You remember what it’s like to live out loud, to walk tall, to breathe free. To be less lonely, less exhausted, less conflicted, less afraid. To be more awake, more grateful, more patient, more present.

You ask if you like the way your life feels. If you like the way you treat people, if you like the way you treat yourself.

You tell yourself the truth. You are a force to be reckoned with. You are sensitivity and smarts. A concoction of sugar and rain, not yet crystalized. Sweetness and warmth and so many fresh starts — that’s what you are.

You ignore the people who get your story wrong. Who tell it loudly, smugly, to anyone who will listen.

You look for beauty. It’ll be there, even past its prime.


You enjoy your simple life. It’s grand: fifty-two degrees in February. (There are crocuses coming up!) And there’s more, besides: there’s a ripe avocado on the counter and a purple plant for ninety-nine cents. A brand new loaf of bread, and more salt in the shaker. No resumes to revise, and a borrowed book to read.

You falter, you cling, you retrace your steps. You make mistakes without becoming one. You put away all your red pens, all your permanent markers.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” -Christopher K. Germer

You find a place you can go when you need someplace to go, in every city you can see yourself calling home. You don’t stress — you don’t have to decide just now.

You grow older and you learn about all the homes without four walls.


You take a trip to the ocean and you stand on the shore and you think of the people you’ve loved. You can’t help it, and you don’t need to. You let the memories swim to the surface, wash over you, swirl around you. It’s peaceful now, isn’t it? Not so painful.

You live your life in an open-armed embrace, or you keep trying to. You quote all the quotes, if that’s what helps. You aim to extend yourself the same grace you would anyone else. You slip off your stool and shrug into your coat, swearing to at least try not to be so invisible, next time.

{Ocean via @dantom on Instagram.}


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