What’s “Best” for You

I Do A Lot of Bad Things

Like reading in the dark, or barely the dark, just LED twinkly lights or the over-the-stove kitchen light. I nap in my contacts. I “treat myself” to ice cream or cookies WAY too often. I don’t check my bank account as often as I should. I never organize the tupperware cabinet. I can’t figure out how to park close enough to the curb. I call people I shouldn’t. I drive with my one leg folded up in a triangle, leaning against the driver door. My carrot to peanut butter ratio is outstandingly in peanut butter’s favor.

I don’t always make the best choices. But here’s the thing that I’ve always had a secret pride in: I don’t let anyone tell me what to do.¬†Almost everyone I’ve dated, someone, at some point, probably a hundred of times, has told me not to. “You’re going to get hurt.” And want to know what? I did. Who cares. When I was writing scraps of silly, incoherent syllables all strung together about some 7th grade heartbreak or clusters of cliches, I was told to give it up. Clearly, I never did. I was that weird girl who wrote poems for boys and slid them in their desks instead of just holding their hands at the football game. I was told I needed to wear more eyeliner. I was told to not get my hopes up, but I always do. My hopes are way past the “fill here” line. People recommended I take a gap year to “figure out what I wanted,” but here’s the thing, I already knew. I’ve always known exactly what I wanted, and I’ve always done it anyway.

So stop thinking you have to do whatever people think is best. Stop letting him say you “deserve better.” And you know what, maybe you do, but don’t let him decide that. Your mom, yeah, she’s probably right. She’s always right. But she’s also your mom, so no matter how unbiased she claims to be, she’ll still compose her advice with the scope of wanting to protect you because she’s your mom; it’s her job. So maybe, just this once, don’t listen to her. Stop thinking you have to slow down just because someone else is ten paces behind you. Stop thinking you have to catch up. Stop thinking that you’re life is going to hit this “sweet spot,” and stop being disappointed in yourself when you’re not where you thought you’d be five years ago. Secret? No one is.

Don’t take people’s criticisms of why you’re not “using your degree” too seriously. Take a gap year, hell, take five if that’s what it takes to get you where you want. It’s also okay to not yet know where you want to get. You don’t have to be world renowned. You don’t have to do the dishes before bed. You don’t have to go home at the end of the night. You just have to do what feels right, healthy, nurturing, and best for you. That’s it. That’s all you¬†have to do.

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