What should an 18 year old be doing after high school, with months to kill before more school?
I’m figuring it out, but I think it has something to do with sitting by the harbour, gazing at the buildings, the reflections on the water, the waves that curl and rise and converge; ripples over ripples over ripples. Imagining the many people doing their own shit through each window, each tiny golden square, finding their own way, figuring it out. Sitting at Starbucks with somebody else’s finished drinks on the table – a Mocha and a Cappuccino- with our legs tucked in awkward positions (crotch to the world), talking about who we want to be and how we’re going to get there.
I think you should spend your time finding inspiration, or being receptive to it. I think you should be admiring beautiful things, learning something -in books, through people, about people, whatever. I think you should spend your time thinking about the mistakes you’ve made, and how you’re not going to make them again. I think you need to be thankful. Live to be thankful, and find reason to laugh. Don’t hold it back even when you’re on the train, surrounded by people with judgemental eyes. Be like the grandmother who laughs until she cries, or like the grandmother who chuckles after every sentence. They’ve had more of life than we have yet they’re happy with simple, quotidian things. Why? Because perspective is determinant and thank God for Things! Look for things that remind you of your friends and then treat yourself to a shirt on sale. Buy beer because you’re too cheap for wine, try a banana frappe and eat chocolate at 11pm. Listen to the girl busking by the sea, singing in what sounds like a european accent. Ask questions, listen, and remember how they’re answered.
“What are you most afraid of?”
“Not ending up happy”.
“I guess lying is kind of unforgivable, because you can’t really get that trust back”.
“What’s your take? On God?”
“I don’t know what to believe so I don’t really believe in anything. If I did, I’d want to be able to commit but I don’t know if I could right now”.
And know that finding any-old boyfriend is easy. Settling is easy whilst genuine happiness and fulfilment may take patience. And look for unconventional boys who carve out their own paths in life; they are guaranteed to be inspiring. Look for boys in real life, in the most mundane places, because you’ve always been romantic– like, in a grocery store (because apparently it means that they know how to cook). Up to luck? All the sweeter when you meet him. Listen to the advice you give other people: you don’t need to prove anything to anyone because you know what’s important, what’s true; only the people who matter, matter; give yourself credit- you deserve to be adored, loved. And ask yourself: BUT DO I REALLY CARE?
Finally, talk to your best friends, they know you better than you think. They may tell you things you already know but somehow it makes more sense coming from them. Theirs are but an affirming echo of your own voice.