1. Don’t read lists on how to be anything. Don’t let a random person convince you to fit into a box. Because really? That’s just f*cking stupid.
2. …But hey, if you do, remember one opinion or voice will never be enough to define you. AND THAT INCLUDES WHAT I THINK! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3. In all seriousness, mess up. Mess up a lot.
4. Practice opening your heart a little bit more every single day. Even when it hurts. Even when it feels terrifyingly vulnerable. Sometimes, do it when no one is looking. Do it for the sake of loving.
5. Don’t leave anonymous hate to anyone, anywhere. Stand behind your words. Have opinions and convictions, but be prepared to back them up.
6. Tell people how you feel. Own your experiences, but realize you can’t expect them to reciprocate. You are only in charge of your emotions, you cannot place them as expectations on those around you.
7. Mess up more. Seriously.
8. Admit you messed up. Instead of lamenting for what you did wrong, figure out how to be better in the future.
9. Redefine what being “good” means. Because it doesn’t have to just be one thing. Just like being accomplished or successful can have drastically different meanings to different individuals.
10. When you feel ready to respond to something with hatred, take a moment. Ask yourself is it something you could try responding to with love? Maybe not, but take a second to consider.
11. Remember your specific universe is not the only thing that matters. Your universe is filled with other people, too.
12. Change your mind about shit. It’s okay to be different than who you were. Don’t put pressure on yourself to never change or experience new things. Let yourself naturally evolve.
13. Don’t place happiness above self-reflection. Ignorance may be bliss, but not being in touch with how you’re really feeling can manifest in dangerous ways. And besides, happiness comes and goes.
14. Cry when you need to cry. Don’t let someone shame you for it. It’s not weakness, it’s just an expression of something. If you’ve got to cry, babe, cry it out.
15. Laugh when you need to. Maybe it’s following that crying from above. Maybe you’re laughing at yourself. Carve out time to just be silly and let loose. It makes life so much better, trust me.
16. Recognize your insecurities and don’t let them seep into other aspects of your life. Are you feeling jealous of something someone else has? THAT’S OKAY. That’s NORMAL. But don’t use it as a vehicle to be cruel to them. Figure out where that insecurity is coming from instead.
17. Love loudly. Love quietly. Love with small pieces. Love enormously. Just allow yourself to love. Yourself, platonic, romantic — any and all.