- You are stronger than you realise.
- You are crueller than you realise.
- The smallest words will break your heart.
- You will change. You’re not the same person you were three years ago. You’re not even the same person you were three minutes ago and that’s okay. Especially if you don’t like the person you were three minutes ago.
- People come and go. Some are cigarette breaks, others are forest fires.
- You won’t like your name until you hear someone say it in their sleep.
- You’ll forget your email password but ten years from now you’ll still remember the number of steps up to his flat.
- You don’t have to open the curtains if you don’t want to.
- Never stop yourself texting someone. If you love them at 4 a.m., tell them. If you still love them at 9.30 a.m., tell them again.
- Make sure you have a safe place. Whether it’s the kitchen floor or the Travel section of a bookshop, just make sure you have a safe place.
- You will be scared of all kinds of things, of spiders and clowns and eating alone, but your biggest fear will be that people will see you the way you see yourself.
- Sometimes, looking at someone will be like looking into the sun. Sometimes someone will look at you like you are the sun. Wait for it.
- You will learn how to sleep alone, how to avoid the cold corners but still fill a bed.
- Always be friends with the broken people. They know how to survive.
- You can love someone and hate them, all at once. You can miss them so much you ache but still ignore your phone when they call.
- You are good at something, whether it’s making someone laugh or remembering their birthday. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that these things don’t matter.
- You will always be hungry for love. Always. Even when someone is asleep next to you you’ll envy the pillow touching their cheek and the sheet hiding their skin.
- Loneliness is nothing to do with how many people are around you but how many of them understand you.
- People say I love you all the time. Even when they say, ‘Why didn’t you call me back?’ or ‘He’s an asshole.’ Make sure you’re listening.
- You will be okay.
- You will be okay.
Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.