(*photo credit to Thomas Shahan*)
Accept that life, humanness, will always be messy. Imperfect. That the routine of living is good days and bad days and mediocre days and days where you wade through the shit, and days where you bask in the sunlight. You are entitled to live and feel and experience all of these days. Be honest with yourself. Be honest with the people around you. Know where you're at.
Permit yourself to be. To show up. To fuck up. To grow up.
Know that you are allowed to take up space. Allow yourself to take up space. Ask the question. Send the email. Walk into that event wearing your jazziest, sparkliest shoes and talk to the people you feel you're not good enough for. You'll soon find that you are. Book the flight. Say yes. Do all of the things that weave knots of giddy apprehension into your stomach.
Get out. Of your front door. Of your hometown. Of the country. Look up, look out, look around. With as much awe and gratitude as possible. Surrender yourself to the perpetual beauty of the world around you: sedated and spectacular all at once. Rich, crashing waves. Beautiful, rolling green hills. The sky, the sky, the sky. Nothing rejuvenates quite like it.
On the days you feel like you're drowning, because there will be many of those, do at least one thing, one small, tangible thing that gives you a sense of control, a sense of something. Brush the knots out of your hair, do the crossword, wander to your favourite cafe and order yourself a slice of that cake you love: the one with the berries the same colour as your favourite lipstick and the fresh cream that lingers, like an unexpected kiss, on the corners of your mouth. It's there, somewhere, that little beacon of light, even when darkness blinds you.
Accept that mindfulness isn't just a load of 'hippy shit'. There's science behind it, my friends. Be mindful. Switch your phone off. Try to meditate. Fall about laughing. Try again. Do yoga poses until your thighs shake and beads of sweat dance across the top of your forehead. Sit. With fear. With discomfort. With joy. With whatever you might be feeling.
Spend a pocket of each day doing that thing that fills your heart with the good stuff. Pursue whatever you feel like you were put on this earth to do. And change your mind about what that is, as often as you like.
Know that the success of others doesn't invalidate your own. Remember that self acceptance, self compassion, does not invalidate self-growth, and that tomorrow, or the next day, or the next year, you might be better: more accomplished, more confident, but that right now, you are all that you are. And that is okay.
Rid your life of toxic people. If they don't get you to the depths of your grubby soul, or can't make you laugh until you wee a little, or don't make you feel extraordinary or valued or inspired or loved, how you deserve to be loved; you don't need them. What a refreshing realisation it is that you don't have to spend time with people you don't like.
Listen to your favourite song on repeat 24 times, if you want to. Fill your bedroom with candles, just because you like the smell when you blow them out. Go to bed at 9pm, if you feel the need.
Remember that nothing in life is permanent: not your fear, not your sadness, not that awkward crease in your beloved dress.
Somehow, amidst the chaos, learn to be your own best friend. Accept with empowering grace that the relationship with you is the only one that will weather the storm of time, the only one.
It's pretty fucking special, really.