1. It will be okay. Even if you flunked your exam, or got left at the altar, even if rock bottom feels like home, things will get better. All you need is the mere belief that they will…and they really will. And darling, slicing your wrists off and seeing your life bleed out of you will not make things better. Throw your blades and pills away, and walk and out and smell the sunshine. Breathe. It’ll be okay.
2. Be selfish. Love yourself unconditionally and without recourse. Love yourself more than you’ve loved anyone or anything before, more than what you are even capable of loving so forth. Love yourself in moments you wish someone else would, love yourself in moments when you’ve been drained of all the love you could possibly give away. Have a whispered conversation with the darkest corners of your soul, just like you have with the sunlit ones- and embrace them.
3. Never, ever undermine the healing powers of chocolate. Or anything that keeps your stomach happy, be it chicken soup or a crème brûlée. Cooking is a life skill, make sure you have mastered it well enough to make yourself that dish your Mom made for you when you cried yourself to sleep or the dish you crave for every time you step into your favorite restaurant. Being able to nourish oneself is one of the greatest forms of independence.
4. Words are sacred. Words are what can build bridges..or burn them. Words are not meant to be thrown around in relentless carelessness, words are meant to be wrapped in righteous candor and handled with care. Mean what you say, or don’t say it at all.
5. Read. Wisdom is hidden in the unlikeliest of places..but more often than not within words sketched across the yellowed pages of a book. Reading is a virtue, and for all your darkest times, even the most fictional of characters can light the way.
6. Perfection is a mirage. And the only way you can catch hold of it, is by letting it go. You might be tempted to strive for what others want of you. But here’s a secret: they don’t matter. You do, and your happiness does. Strive for what you want of yourself. You’ll stumble and fall on your face while you do..but never stop believing you’re enough and you’ll get there.
7. We humans have mastered the art of pretense really really well, so make sure the people who you believe will be by you till the end of time, are really the people you think them to be. You’ll get stabbed, hard, in the back, maybe more than once and you’ll bleed dry. And when you’ll realize Superman isn’t coming, you’ll put on that damn cape yourself. And, no, revenge is not the answer. It is a sinful pleasure alright, but it will stand on your cape and not let you fly until you push it off the cliff. Hold close to yourself the people who have been with you when you had not even an ounce left of yourself to offer them. They are for you to call your own.
8. Laughter can be the solution to everything, if you let it. Okay, maybe not Donald Trump. But it can be the solution to your period cramps or fits of sheer anxiety or stress- so never undermine the magic of some good stand-up comedies or comic strips that can light up your day in an instant.
9. Everyone has a true calling. And believe me when I say everyone. Find it and sketch out a blueprint for it. Grope for it even in darkness and moments of despair, and it’ll come to you. It can be anything- from solving math problems, taking pictures to writing short stories, playing an instrument, or even having a knack for something not too conventional. Work at it and keep working at it until it becomes a part of your identity. Not only can you fall back on it every time you hit the slump, it can actually hold the power to make everything else fall in place.
10.Keep yourself happy. Treat yourself the way you’d want others to treat you. Practise kindness with yourself and others, little steps can go a long way. This world can make it hard for you to stay happy but the best way to punch it back is by being that ray of sunshine. Life is an ephemeral beauty, make sure you catch it before it slips away.