Six Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me Before I Turned 18

Painting by  Piot Brehmer

Painting by Piot Brehmer

Here are the six things I wish my mother had told me before I turned 18:

1.Take off your make up before you go to bed. The mascara is going to paint itself all over your face as you lay crying in the dark biting into your pillow hoping no one ever hears you cry, you don’t deserve to look like a corpse when you wake up.

Wipe off that lipstick and moisturize, hydrate, exfoliate. Stand in the shower for an hour, until the skin on your back begins to scald, wash yourself clean because your life is not a montage and loving yourself won’t come so easy so please, please go easy on yourself.

2. Write, write like you’re the love child of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Vonnegut. Write like every word you say matters, write like this world is your Bell Jar and you are a propeller and make sure you break that bell jar every fucking day because bell jars are meant to hold vacuum and Victorian era watches not girls with Medusa hair.

3. You are not stupid for liking Starbucks, and wearing make up. You are not stupid for knowing who Reem Acra and Elie Saab are. But you are stupid if you deny yourself the right to like whatever the fuck you want to like.

Your iPod is not a judgmental twat like you and doesn’t really care if you listen to Nicki Minaj or U2.

You are well read for a kid, but please, reading Noam Chomsky at 15 doesn’t make you a special snowflake. It just means you know about Palestinian politics now and should try doing something about it.

4. Romanticize yourself. You are a queen. You are brilliant. You are the Tabasco sauce on his nachos that will set his face on fire. You are a dragon princess. You are not a stereotype walking out of a young adult novel. You are more than what he tells you. You are more that what your grades tell you. You are the curve of infinity as it dives, only to keep spiraling the palindrome in search for something more perhaps.

5. He doesn’t love you and that’s okay. But please learn how to pick yourself up after you’ve been sat on the bathroom floor for three hours wondering if you can be happy again. Put that war paint on and sling the high heels. Drink yourself blind and throw up in a bathroom stall. But always come back home and never sleep in party clothes.

6. One day you’re going to be 19 and life will make no sense. You’ll hate yourself, and none of the five things will be enough to stop you from suffering again. You will fall in love again. You, will learn to write again. You will go to bed in party clothes and make up and wake up hating yourself. You won’t romanticize yourself anymore. You will have read Susan Faludi and Simone de Beauvoir and will want to kill yourself. That’s when you’re supposed to read it all again.

Submitted to ArtParasites by Poulomi