I. There will be days when your body feels like dead weight, but you are not dead. Hold your head up high and look around your room. All those knickknacks. All those small bits of paper you hide in your bedside drawer like love letters. All the words you’ve yet to say, the places you’ve yet to see. These things should be enough.
2. Never think the heart of another is your home. Never think the arms of another are your sanctuary. Never believe that only someone else can grant you safety.
3. Crying does not mean you are weak. It takes forty-nine muscles to cry. It takes less to smile. The strength of a person is not measured by their poise; it is measured by their ability to feel and grow. People were not meant to be statues but rather, statues were modeled after us.
4. Your first broken heart will feel like a knife driven through your chest. Remember that pain. Save it in a jar. Label it with their name. That jar will become your first biggest lesson, and eventually, if you allow it, it will turn into something beautiful. Although they were not meant to be, the lesson they taught you was.
5. When he touches you because he wants to, slap his hand away. When he keeps persisting, break his wrists. You are a temple. You are a goddess. You are a soldier who takes no prisoners and feels no mercy. If people want to treat you like an object, do the same. Objects are much easier to break than people. And it will never be your fault.
6. When a man loves you a little less than he loves his drink, there is no excuse in this world good enough to convince you to stay. Leave.
7. Every scar on your body has a story as beautiful as any of your favorite novels, your favorite poems. Even your stretch marks. Look in the morning light, and you will see they actually glow a pale ivory. You’re not ugly. You have grown. You have proof you survived. And learn to let your lovers kiss them.
8. Your virginity is not something to give because it does not exist. It is not something to lose because it was never there. Sex is meant to be fun, meant to be dirty, meant to be romantic, meant to enjoyed. Always be safe. Always be safe.
9. There is a difference between a kiss that means, “I love you,” and “I love you only for tonight.”
10. If you get the paranoia that where you live is not enough for you, leave. This world is too big and too vibrant to go unexplored. Pack your bags and fill up your gas tank. Life will never coming looking for you. And I will forgive you every time.