if i was dating myself, i’d say: forget about how your parents never listened to you and only thought you were a good kid when you were quiet and obedient. forget about how people your own age called you awkward and frustrating and boring when you moved out and went to college. forget about the job you worked and hated for nearly five years. forget about the three years you spent waiting to die after you quit your job. forget about your tiny bedroom in the apartment you’ve lived in for nearly nine years. forget about still having a twin bed. forget about never having a real friend, or a romantic relationship, or a sexual relationship, or a close relationship of any kind to anyone. forget about all the desires that you gave up on. forget about the sharp pains in your chest that you’ve felt after saying “i want to die” to yourself over and over again every day for months on end. forget about being poor. forget about the baristas and bartenders and cashiers who’ve frowned at you as soon as you walk in the door for the first time. forget about the people who’ve made fun of you by calling you ugly or weird or scary or creepy in public when you’ve done nothing to them. forget about the people who’ve ignored you but spoken to other strangers as if they were old friends. forget about the noose under your bed. forget about crying in bed on friday nights. forget about the cigarettes you smoke. forget about not being fun or interesting. forget about having no talents or skills. forget how many times you’ve broken your own heart. forget about how inept and incompentent your fears have made you. forget about all the humiliation. forget about how much you hate yourself. forget about being thirty-one years old. forget about all the disgusting reflections of yourself you’ve seen in the eyes of someone else.
and i’d say: remember that you’ve never hurt anyone. remember that you might still learn to live peacefully even if you’re alone. remember that you might still learn to live in poverty. remember that people have liked you for a couple of hours at a time. remember that you’ve been kind to people. remember that having no connection to the world means that you can hide from the world whenever you feel like it’s too much. remember that you’ve gotten through about half your life already. remember that no one can hurt you as much as you’ve hurt yourself. remember that no one can love you unless you love yourself. remember that extended periods of sadness and loneliness will make you dumber and will, eventually, kill you. remember that people don’t know or understand you, so it’s not their fault. remember that you’ve been healthy and you’ve seen places and you’ve laughed. remember that you’ve been hugged. remember that all you need to look at yourself with love is a mirror.
Featured in Basement Babes, Issue 13