1. Ice cream makes your stomach hurt, gives you a headache, and makes you grumpy. You will always, always regret it. Special seasonal artisanal ice cream flavors are not excluded from that rule. The only exclusion to that rule is if the ice cream happens to be from the precise northeast corner of Italy between Villagio del Pescatore and Sistiana, you will most likely enjoy that particular ice cream enough to make you weep and therefore, all aforementioned points are rendered null and void.
2. Be kind. You used to scoff at this because the only people who say shit like this are pseudo-enlightened skinny blonde yoga teachers on ayurvedic 'kichari' diets. But this year especially- the importance of kindness, and just how damn hard it is to put into practice has become apparent. You want that tribe of fierce, loyal, vulnerable and strong women to do life with, but without kindness- the closest you'll get to that is watching the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and even then you'll feel left out. Being a snarky, judgey bitch with a prickly ego and then baking someone macadamia-cacao nib cookies is not quite the kindness we're talking about here but atleast the cookies taste good.
3. Big words like race and class and privilege and positionality and intersectionality have all become important words to you and points of huge learning and struggling and growing. This is good. They are important, and will maybe help you on your future attempts at world peace and well-meaning dictatorship, but they are not everything. This vocabulary is the product of a fair amount of intellectual privilege so don't belittle people for their inability to get down on critical theory. That's pretty fucking pretentious, you are fucking pretentious. No, that's not a compliment, don't smirk.
4. Food and gathering around food and community and sustainability are important. You know this, and you have decided that you want to spending your life working around this and that has dramatically reduced your teenage angst and blood pressure levels and that is overwhelmingly delightfully delightful. However, everything is not about food. Those raw vegan micro-biotic lacto-fermented $14 'abundance' bowls are delicious but they do not make you a better human being. They make you a human being with the money, resources, inclination and hipster tendencies to seek out that bowl in the first place and whilst it may actually be doing good things for your IBS, it also may not be at all and that's fine too.
5. Love does not have to be forever. Maybe in 5 years, or 10 years you'll decide that love is forever but right now, love can be about today and tomorrow and next week, and next month and the fact that you have someone to make pancakes for and tell bad jokes to and stick your tongue out at- and that doesn't make it any less meaningful. Isn't it funny how your 19 year old self would have balked and judged the daylights out of you for even thinking that? Right now, you may decide that spending time in Madagascar is more important than romantic love. You may decide that having time to lift weights and drink protein shakes and be in bed by 9pm is more important than romantic love. You might decide that traveling alone and meeting new people and letting yourself grow in every which direction is more important than romantic love. That is okay. Congratulate yourself for that breakthrough, I remember a girl who was scared of the world and scared of her own self-hatred and scared to be alone, who spent far too much time and tears holding onto this idea of eternal romantic love. That being said- be grateful for the romantic love that you have. That stubbly dimpled human being willing to get tangled up in your life and who has taken the trouble to learn when to console you and when to step away and avoid having his head snapped off. Be grateful that he is not like the ones that came before him, that he is his own person, that he is critical and independent and incredibly kind. That he doesn't know if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you or think about it very much at all- that you don't either.
6. That being said, you should've written that damn book about losing first love. It was your big, creative moment and potential entrance into the world of indie screenwriting and really, will you ever feel that intensity of romantic emotions again? Is there any part of your life henceforth, what you with your stinky jars of kimchi and weird love for Johnny Cash, that will ever be as relatable to the romance loving masses? Probs not.
7. Home is 4A Brighton #2, Rungta Lane, Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai 400006. Home is not your teenage memories of a high school that was awful to you, home is not the other darker memories that you've slowly spent the past 6 years working through, home is not the small village of Duino where so many pieces of your heart are left behind, or the corner of Kingston and Prospect in Brooklyn, NY where so much of your self-definition and self-confidence came into being, and home is also not the address on your mailbox in Montclair, CA in the yellow house with the yellow kitchen and the bed by the pool where you have felt so loved and accepted and content and full that you have quite literally wept. Home is 4A Brighton #2, Rungta Lane, Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai 400006 where your ma and dada and aman and ollie live. Where you struggle and throw tantrums and laugh and cook and live more snugly and securely and safely and smilingly than anywhere else in your life. Hold onto that for as long as you can.
8. There is so much power to the internet. Stong, fierce, loyal, joyous, real power to this beeping buzzing web of wires and computers and tablets and smartphones. Hold on to that, take inspiration from that, appreciate it. But when your eyes start to twitch from all the scrolling and your elbows hurt from being propped on too long? It's probably time to go to bed, or go make dinner, or go live outside of the light of your screen.
To be continued.