24 Things I Learned By 24

1

1. Eat the ice cream. Stop questioning and dig in.

2. As much as you hate it, not everyone is going to like you and that’s completely out of your control. Sometimes it’s a personality thing. Remember how you don’t like some people’s personalities? Well, same thing goes for other people regarding you.

3. Mom is right about mostly everything.

4. You don’t need 100 friends to be happy—you just need one.

5. Just be nice!

6. Love things without restriction. Stop being embarrassed by things that you like. Embrace your dork.

7. Being alone and being lonely are too separate things.

8. Don’t wear shoes that are a half size too small. Your feet will thank you for it.

9. Laugh until you cry.

10. Saying you don’t understand something is okay. You don’t have all the answers.

11. Get your oil changed.

12. Take care of yourself—have time to breathe and reflect on things and don’t always be go-go-go. You need to have downtime.

13. Stop thinking about the things you did in your past. You can’t change them, so move on.

14. No one’s lives are like they appear on social media. Stop being jealous.

15. Don’t feel bad about sleeping in. Sometimes you need it.

16. Always check you’re logged into the correct social media account. Tweeting something from your work account that was meant to go on your personal isn’t always the best.

17. Do not touch your face when you have a zit. Don’t pick at it. Don’t mess with it. Don’t even stare at it.

18. Stop hanging out with people that make you feel bad about yourself. You’re essentially in an emotionally abusive relationship. If you wouldn’t want your friends to hang out with them, why are you?

19. Get your haircut more than once every six months.

20. It’s okay that you don’t know what you’re doing in life. You’re still young and figuring yourself out.

21. Don’t ever pass up the opportunity to snuggle a cat.

22. Learn how to make a basic meal, and not just microwavable meals.

23. Do things that scare you.

24. When someone is sad, just be there for them anyway you know how.

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The Things I Know

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You kissed me in a car. You kissed me in the coffee shop. You kissed me at my doorstep. You texted me good night. I texted you good night.

You kissed me in your basement. You kissed me in a red dress. You kissed me between your sheets. You kissed my naked skin. You kissed me to stay. You texted me, “I wish you’d stayed.” I texted you, “me too.”

You bought me three red roses that I hated but pretended to like. You wore the green sweater that I loved. You bought me a used book with yellowed pages. We slept in your bed more often than not.

We ate Thai take away on the floor in your room. You laughed at stand up much too loudly, as I looked on and smiled. I kissed you with fervor when I had too much wine. Your hand found every crevice when you smoked more than you should. You always asked me to stay.

I left. We can make this work. We didn’t try hard enough.

I took up baking. You had sex with someone else.

I was back in the Spring. We went to the movies. You kissed my neck in the dark. You walked me home. You told me you loved me. We ordered Chinese and had sex in the kitchen.

You kissed me in the dark. You kissed me long and hard. You kissed me in the morning when the light was reflecting on the wall. You kissed me at the door. I texted you, “I love you.” You didn’t text me at all.

Loving the Forgetfuls

 


When they forget your birthday, smile graciously and let them know you don’t care. It’s just another day. You’re only another year older. It doesn’t matter too much. Yet. They will say all the right things to you. Things that will make you forget that you were kinda sad about the fact that they forgot you were born on this day. They will say how nice you look before placing their hand on the small of your back and bringing you closer. You will smile because you feel special and not used. Okay, maybe slightly used. But, who cares about birthdays. You’re not 21 anymore. 

When they forget to text you back, reply with an emoji. The one with a straight line for a mouth. Make it seem like you’re only slightly annoyed. Hurt. Unfeeling. Whatever. You will be forever understanding that they were busy and had to play video games or watch some new movie that came out. Their phone wasn’t anywhere near them. Sorry. Sorry. 

When they forget to meet you for drinks, don’t answer their calls. Hit “ignore” and drink another whiskey and coke, extra lime on the side. Smile with muster at the bartender, call him a “bar keep” because that feels funny to you. When they call your phone again, turn it off and push it to the bottom of your purse. When they show up at your house, wear the skirt that shows too much thigh. Bite your lips too much and only give them ten minutes of your time. Look at your nails too much. Point your toes inward and bounce on your heels. Walk back into the house and wipe at your eyes. Go back to bed. Turn off your phone. Envelope yourself into darkness.

When they forget to tell you that they love you too, realize it isn’t because they forgot, it’s because they don’t feel the same way. They’ll look at you and say “thanks” and that will be the end of it. Just nod and take a sip of your drink and walk upstairs without saying another word. Don’t tell them good-bye because who cares. They obviously don’t. They keep forgetting about you.

For the Non Lovers

Romantic

Is there a word for our non lovers? The almost? The could be, the should have been, the would have been if they were different? If we were different, if we had let ourselves give in to it? I was in his bed, clutching around for my clothes, my underwear, trying to figure out what I was doing. Why I kept going back to this same old routine. He was in the other room, getting a drink of water, while I put back on my jeans, and my bra, and my sweater, and slipped on my shoes deciding my words with each zip and button. It was at the door, while leaving, that I looked back at him. Half naked, half smirking, and me, half in love with him. And, I told him that. Told him and walked out the door while the look of surprise flashed on his face, and he was putting down his glass to walk towards me. Wait. Stop. Look back, but I didn’t. I wouldn’t. I walked away because I was scared, nervous, vulnerable, because I wasn’t ready for the next step, because I didn’t want to know his answer, because it wouldn’t work even if I wanted it to. Between us, the relationship wasn’t real, but the feelings were. At least on my part, but I didn’t have the words for them. I don’t think I ever will.