This weekend I found myself between two decisions. Stay where I’m at and be like I normally am or I take a job that could change me forever. It wasn’t something I took lightly. I need a change in my life and staying in southern Illinois is not apart of that change. I decided that I would take the job and hope for the best.
Pizza sex burger
Sweet baby Jesus hold me I’m shaking
I was always drawn to the outcasts.
Freshman year of high school, I would skip French class, at least once a week with this guy Josh. We hated the professor, and by the third week, she couldn’t stand our dumb remarks. I think that’s the only reason we were able to have an unspoken agreement where she would never confront us about our absences. When I had biology in 10th grade, I chose to sit next to the kids who failed, and sold drugs during class. I spoke with girls who dated college guys, drove shitty cars, and quoted bad philosophy.
After high school, I became part of the minimum wage and junior college lifestyle. I met people who had emerged from a young adult novel: Girls who took acting classes on Thursdays, and wore shirts that were worth as much as my whole outfit; guys, who want to kill time because they were still babies, and terrified of the real world. Even to this day, I see them stroll to class unprepared, just like in high school, but with middle school excuses about everything.
And somehow, I’ve always felt connected to their distaste for life. They knew it was rigged. School, fake friends, job security, marriage, and a vacation house was all a big fucking lie. When someone dared me to drive 80 miles an hour down Venice Blvd at two in the morning, the weird guy from work who had a mysterious sniff, would always be my co-pilot. Everyone I knew in high school wanted to get their life together, and I kept pulling away from them. They compromised for a mundane life: Money, Apple products, and an unreal notion of some everlasting safety. They were becoming people who hated their life, screamed about small dents on their car, and bought material possessions to feel some kind of comfort. They had a plan and families who were extremely proud.
But, I was a low-life. Who else would feel excited about working over-time during the holidays? I didn’t want to study abroad. On the contrary, I wanted to play UNO in Denny’s at 4 in the morning, while I ate a bacon-cheeseburger. My early twenties was a collage of unrequited love, teenage mothers, coffee after midnight, $7 dollar Pink Moscato, and parking lots covered with cigarettes. Don’t get me wrong, we all wanted to get out of that lifestyle. We all had big dreams of: starting a cafe, transferring to a four year school, or at least getting lucky enough to survive.
Still, I always wanted to talk to people who had tired eyes. The desperate faces, who walked everywhere with their headphones plugged into something, who were nose deep into books and searched for an answer, or some kind of salvation. I needed to see scars, a bad temper, and a hell of a sense of humor.
- push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.
3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.
4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.
5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.
6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.
7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.
8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.
9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.
10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.
11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.
12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.
14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.
15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.
16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.