A Checklist for 22


Breathe. Eat the fries. Choose optimism even when it’s hard. Live a life that feels good, not one that just looks good in photographs. Achieve. Aspire. Become. Be spontaneous. Decide there are things worth doing even if you have to do them alone, even if you do them badly. Be better at forgiving yourself. Stop letting people take advantage you, but don’t ever stop being compassionate. Still, be kinder to people than you think they deserve. Make the most of transition seasons. Read more nonfiction. Write more poems. Finish knitting that sweater. Get better at the mandolin. Don’t hide from people so much. Let them know you, but don’t give away bits of yourself to people who don’t deserve them. Stretch. Don’t try to quit coffee again. You like it too much. You’re allowed to like things, even things that are kind of bad for you. But cut back to one cup a day. Save up for a fun vacation. Spend time with family. Remember that as you get older, they’re getting older too. Remember to cherish this time. Things will continue to change. They will never be this way again. Think positively of yourself. Surround yourself with people who won’t invalidate your feelings. Serve others. Take care of yourself. Ask for help if you need it. Doctors are not a waste of your money. Go to the doctor. Get to know people who are different than you. Explore new ways of seeing. Never stop learning. Grow.

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