28 for 28, then, as a way to guide this coming year. Your time is now, baby. It always was.
1. You’ve fallen in love with taking care of yourself this year, and it’s changed everything. You will, of course, forget that you ever learnt these lessons and ultimately you’ll gain a few pounds, or won’t work out, or skip eight hours a night, because you couldn’t not. That’s okay. Forgive yourself imperfection and then get back on the bandwagon. That’s what matters, love. NBD.
2. Don’t get another full-time office job, whatever you do. It ain’t you. Go lay down your own path like a big girl in charge of herself. Everyone knows that you can.
3. Boys – men – happen. Remember to keep casual sex respectful, because it is so much more enjoyable that way, sugartits. And when the time comes that maybe – just maybe – there’s one worth becoming exclusive with, speak up. He’s not a mind reader.
4. Whilst we’re talking about respect, the jig is up: you can’t wait for people to treat you how you deserve to be treated. You have to either demonstrate your expectations, or scarier still: verbalise them. Weak people with bad energy respond badly to this. Those are the ones you bid ciao to. You won’t have lost anything.
5. What would Beyonce do?
6. SPOILER ALERT: It seldom looks how you thought it might. Repeat this to yourself until the end of all time.
7. You don’t have enemies. That’s in your imagination.
8. On the last day of your 27th year, you took the morning after pill and it made you cry. You want children – to become a mother – more than anything, and there was the tiniest part of you that wondered, “But what if…?” Don’t be so fucking dumb. You need about £25,000 more in the bank before you have a kid and taking risks isn’t cute. But it *will* happen, and the wait will be worth it.
9. Use a condom.
10. When somebody does something that touches you – stranger or friend – say so. Don’t take the kindness of others for granted, and be original with your praise. Everybody deserves that much.
11. Your housemates have made the home that you love. Don’t get pissy when somebody forgets to wash up, or talks too loudly when they come in at night. The pots will get washed, and you’ll fall back to sleep. Keep your perspective.
12. Not working out feels worse than actually lacing up your sneakers and just going on the goddamn run. Always.
13. Your biggest responsibilities are to two people: your brother, and your best friend. Whenever you feel “a bit funny”, one of these two men is the answer. Prioritise them accordingly.
14. The social web you have woven over the past five years is tighter and wider than you could ever have imagined. You don’t have to keep acting so surprised. Both Italy and America are a part of your fabric, now, and forever will be.
15. …But babe, your Italian is shite. Sort that out, yeah?
16. You need about 67% more time alone than you admit to yourself. Resolve to take a trip somewhere once a month, alone, to somewhere you have never been. Do this for twelve months, and report back on how it makes you feel. Place your bets on “GLORIOUS” now.
17. Picture messages are the fastest, most effective way to say, “You’re on my mind.” Use them liberally.
18. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE BROKEN TO BE INTERESTING.
19. Related: when somebody calls you inspiring/beautiful/talented, you can totally just say, “Oh! Thanks!” #noexcuses
20. Declare your intentions. Do it to yourself, and then do it to the people who matter to you. If you decide the people who matter to you are the whole goddamn Internet then sod it – post the weight loss pictures, or write about the boy. You’ve nothing to apologise for.
21. He speaks in black and white, and you talk rainbow. That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook on this one, sweetie. He’ll push you to be clearer, to simplify and say precisely what you mean, and you should let him. You might learn something.
22. You get acne when you eat cheese. Make the connection already.
23. Start your days with what you love, and see how it transforms your relationship with “having enough time.” It goes like this: 1. Write. 2. Sweat. 3. Everything else.
24. Saying no to others more often than you say yes could mean that you end up saying yes to yourself with greater ease. You’ve seen glimpses of this already – experiment with it. You feel like the most selfish person in the world when you do it, but it will get easier. Probably.
25. You’re a documentarian: that’s how you draw your own narrative. Continue taking the photos and writing the notes and making everything a story for yourself. It’s starting to make sense.
26. You have parents, but you also have a mother, and a father. Keep those relationships separate, because it’s what makes them stronger. When you realised this is was like lightening striking your brain.
27. Trust yourself. Especially these past few months you’ve tried so hard to let things unfold naturally, without too much pushing, and it has served you well. You only need ask the question once – if you keep talking, you won’t hear the answer. Ease off the gas.
28. Just show up. Above all, day after day, know that for all things it begins with just showing up. Do that, if you are ever in doubt. Sit at the computer, pull out your running shorts, pick up the phone. It starts with action. Show up.