- Enter a friend’s nice apartment, clutch their wrist and whisper “How much do you pay if you don’t mind me asking?”
- Catch up over lunch with an old friend from high school and actually consider taking the fork and gouging your eyes out. Picture yourself with one of your eyes dangling out of your skull and telling your friend, “Well, it’s been real but I’m blind now so I gotta go. Please don’t contact me ever again.”
- Date someone for four months and forget that it ever happened until one day you find an old shirt of theirs in your dresser. Think to yourself, “Oh yeah. That guy.”
- Quit drinking. Quit carbs. Quit unhealthy foods. Quit bad friends. And then pick them all up again. Repeat these cycles until you know how to drink, know how to eat, and know who to love. Or turn 30. Whichever comes first.
- Go to a party after you graduate college and answer questions about your career. Tell people that you’re freelancing and then excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and silently weep.
- Move cities, move apartments, move countries. Tell your friends “I just need to get away. I’m not healthy here.” Realize it’s expensive to find your happiness. Do yoga instead.
- Respond to a lame text with a simple “k.” so they know you’re pissed and not going to take it anymore!
- Go into an Internet blackout for eight hours on a Saturday, and come to and see the following tabs open on your computer: Friday Night Lights on Netflix, your ex’s Facebook, a Seamless web order for Indian food, A Google search of “What does it sound like when doves cry?”, and 50 photos of you making “twentysomething dead eyes” taken on Photobooth.
- Ask someone “What sign are you?” and when they tell you, respond with “Yeah. I have no idea what that means actually. I just know my sign and Scorpios.”
- Tell 5 people about the weird cool dream you had last night and ask surprised when they run away from you screaming.
- Miss your mom and dad soooooooo much. Ignore all their phone calls.
- When your peers tell you any good news about their career or relationship, smile widely and say “I’m sorry. I have to go. I just got shot in the stomach and there’s blood everywhere LOL. Call me?”
- Consider marrying someone for health insurance.
- Think you always need to lose five pounds. Maybe ten if it’s after winter and you realize you have to show your body again.
- Still try to die before you turn 30. Almost succeed when you exhale too much smoke after falling asleep drunk while cooking pasta.
Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.
“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino
Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.