Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; But eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them.
When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.
1. Go to a party and stay sober. Listen to the way your drunk classmates talk when they don’t plan to remember tonight when they wake up. Never talk about these experiences, just keep them for yourself.
2. Start driving in one direction on the highway after school one day, pretending like you’re running away. Blast bad pop music and sing along. Stop in the suburbs when your mom calls you to come home, but buy your little brother a cupcake before you turn back around.
3. Kiss your best friend. It doesn’t matter what sexuality or gender you are or they are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a peck or you escalate to tongue. You’ll laugh about it later, but it will always make you smile just for the memory.
4. Smoke a cigarette. Let it burn your throat. Cough, loudly.
5. Take a stand for something you believe in. When half your school laughs at you, take it with pride. Someone agrees, even if they’re too scared to say so.
6. Make enemies. Make the kind of mistakes that cause your life to implode. Lose everyone and everything to these mistakes. Only when you fall will you find out that you can pick yourself back up.
7. Sit on someone’s roof and talk for hours. Forget about dinner and tell your origin stories. Let your guard down while the dog barks below. Talk about god. Listen.
8. Steal Bourbon from your parents’ liquor cabinet and put it in a water bottle beneath your bathroom sink. Spike your tea with it when you think you’ve hit rock bottom. Pour the whole thing down the drain when it’s too strong for you.
9. Become a stereotype. Buy a record player and combat boots. Wear all black. Dye your hair bright blue and get your ear pierced three times. Don’t care when people laugh at you.
10. Make wishes at 11:11. Wear your pajamas backwards in the hopes of a snow day. Look for answers at the bottom of a bottle. Pretend writing things on your arms makes you special. Believe in anything. Believe in everything. Open every book and look around every corner. You’ll never look like this or move like this or think like this again. Enjoy it while it lasts or hate every second. But feel. Feel every damn thing.
— Top Ten Things to do Before You Graduate High School by M.S. (via sestinalia)