- Jonathan, 55: There is no such thing as “the only one”. You will meet lots of “the ones”. Only commit when the timing is right for the both of you – that can take years for some, and that’s okay.
- Miranda, 24: Drop pre-med.
- Isaac, 48: Deodorant does not count as a shower, and that haircut only looked good on Bon Jovi.
- Anya, 42: Make the conscious decision to be happy, and then stick with it. Society will do everything in its power to convince you that your personal happiness is dependent on something external – beauty, success, wealth, etc. – it isn’t.
- Parker, 55: 60% of the things you think are important now won’t matter a whit to you by the time you reach 50. The trick is to figure out the important 40% and work it.
- Megan, 34: He doesn’t love you, and you will be okay.
- Peter, 58: Don’t let anything stand in your way of taking part (or all) of your junior year abroad. You’ll never again have quite the same opportunity to experience a foreign land, for an extended period of time, in your youth. It is destined to be one of the most memorable aspects of your life.
- Eleanor, 67: Talk less. Listen more.
- Donald, 27: There’s a huge difference between who you want to be and who everyone around you wants you to be. Figure out which is which.
- Camille, 56: Always remember: when falling off a horse, pull your tongue in.
- Jackson, 57: No one knows anything for sure. They’re all just doing the best they can with what they have, just like you.
- Vicki, 47: You’ll never have all the answers, so make every question count.
- Donald, 38: You don’t have to grow up to be the dad you never had.
- Katelyn, 30: Make the most out of college. You will never again be at a place where your only goal is to learn. Learn a lot, learn often, and learn with reckless abandon.
- Joshua, 55: Women love to laugh.
- Annabelle, 38: Drugs are not beautiful, glamorous or opulent. They are not a remedy, a solution, a cure-all, or a cure-anything.
- Colin, 50: You miss so much life when you sleep until 3 PM. Wake up to see sunrises; they are the most stunning of nature’s masterpieces.
- Eleanor, 26: Eating two pints of ice cream won’t make you happy. Neither will sprinting 10 miles. Be nice to yourself.
- Aaron, 52: Don’t forget to ask that girl in the Oberlin library what kind of perfume she’s wearing. You’ll buy it for her in 20 years.
- Scarlett, 54: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Those that get you will love you, those that don’t, well, their loss. Just remember: Wherever you are, it’s a party.
- Zack, 9: I hope you’re awesome. And be nice to girls.
when they’re born, leave an imprint of its spine
on their mothers, that there are machines
that can read these grooves like rings on a tree.
We count them, or we don’t, because we forget.
We forget our women, their quiet strength.
We forget what we have done to them in order
to be here now. There is no noise here,
in the place where the world begins,
where our women hold whole oceans in their bellies
like whales, their skin shiny and smooth,
mouths tilted open, lips painted to suit their moods.
Our women. Half of your DNA is first created
in the body of your grandmother, so yes,
you are a woman, you are part of a long line
of women that you will never meet,
have them running crazy thick in your veins.
Our women kiss other women in college
as experiments and then come back home
and marry their high school sweethearts.
Some elope with men who become
cruel over the years, men who flay them open
and burrow deep beneath slats of rib.
Men who claim to love them so much they want
to wear them like a second skin, clog their throats,
tear out lung, harpoon their brains.
It is these women that must learn how to untie, undo,
unravel the love knots that it takes years to make.
We forget what we have done to them,
to our women who stay up all night, watching,
their hands placed over their hollow wombs,
counting the rings, another year, waiting for us
to make the long journey home."
— Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell in a letter. Such beautiful advice. (via arbors)