1. There will be several days that you daydream about stepping in front of a city bus. Don’t. It will not be beautiful. It will not be brave. It will be selfish. It will be broken. Your mother will cry.
2. Don’t write for him. Write for you. Write for others like you. Write so the girl that thinks about stepping in front of public transportation doesn’t. Don’t be selfish.
3. When you will yourself to sleep and it doesn’t come- get up. It doesn’t matter that it’s 3 am. There will be other 3 am’s. Take a shower. Take two. Wash him out of your hair. Write a poem. Read the same book you’ve read 202 times again. The 203rd time might tell you something different. Don’t stay in bed- you will think about the bus again.
4. Don’t kiss him because he’s broken. Don’t kiss him because his laughter never reaches his eyes. Don’t try and fix him. Fix yourself first. Be selfish. He can’t save you.
5. Date yourself. Take yourself out to eat. Don’t share your popcorn at the movies with anyone. Stroll around an art museum alone. Fall in love with canvases. Fall in love with yourself.
6. Dress up and wear red lipstick and get drunk with your friends. They’re the ones that will pick you up. Don’t kiss him. Or him. Don’t fall asleep on strange couches with strange boys. When his hand slides up your dress walk away. Hit him. Don’t kiss him. He can’t save you.
7. Get another tattoo. Get five more. Get another hole in your ear. Don’t listen to your dad. You will still be able to get a job. Did you really want to be employed by someone like your father? Haven’t you had enough of judgmental old white men anyway? Get fuck you tattooed in tiny letters on your hip.
8. When you feel the yearning for a new city- start over. Take 200 bucks and a three suitcases. Work anywhere that will have you. Meet strange people and forget your name. Call yourself Ruby. No one will know the difference. Remember to call your mother. Don’t be selfish. Come home when you find yourself in the strangers and the small one bedroom apartment.
9. Don’t whisper evil things into your own ear. Other people are going to shout them at you. Be your own hero. Keep a sword on your key ring.
10. Don’t step in front of a city bus. It will not be beautiful. Live. Stay up all night with a boy that promises you everything and means it. Live. See shitty local bands with a friend. Wear a different band’s t-shirt. No one will care. Live. Have a baby girl with tiny fingers and tiny toes someday. Pour love into her until it’s overflowing. Live. Wake up. Staying in bed all day is not poetic.
Do you hear that? It’s me. It’s your life. Wake up.
1. Stop faking your fucking orgasms. Society already tells young men that they run the fucking universe - if they can’t turn your cunt into a shooting star then for god’s sake, let them know about it.
2. Once you’ve stopped faking your fucking orgasms, use this newfound honesty throughout the rest of your life - stop ordering coffee you don’t actually like; stop sitting at a desk and allowing people to treat you like shit in the hopes that a meek attitude will earn you a promotion (it won’t); stop telling people they can finish your food when you’re not actually done yet. These may seem petty, but they add up, just like every orgasm you didn’t actually get to have.
3. If you wanna dance all night, dance all fucking night. Dance all night even if you have work in the morning. The worst that will happen is you’ll drink RedBull all day and look like a zombie - pass it off as a head cold to the real zombies you work with and flick through the embarrassing photos you’re being tagged in as you pretend to take a shit for some peace and quiet. I promise, you’ll remember dancing all night in ten years, not the suspicious way your boss looked at you that morning.
4. If your ass looks big in that, that’s a good thing.
5. You will never be as young as you are this second. Embrace it.
6. Embrace the fact that you’re going to get older. Ask your boyfriend if he will still love you when you’re seventy and your tits are down to your knees. Look forward to this time - seventy year old women are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want, and no-one can stop them. You can carry candy in your bag and not share it with a single soul. You can stay home all day and cross-stitch expletives onto handkerchiefs for your grandchildren and slip them under the table out of sight of the people you raised. You can drink whisky at 10am. Every phase of your life is going to be amazing for different reasons. Embrace that.
7. A lot of people will pretend to love Bukowski. Don’t pretend to love Bukowski if you don’t love Bukowski. It’s overplayed and no-one will mind if you actually like Virginia Andrews instead - the people who do mind are boring.