1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.
3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.
4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.
5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.
6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.
7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.
8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.
9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.
10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.
11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.
12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.
14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.
15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.
16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.
Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.
You cannot compare any love to your first love, because when you first loved, you loved with innocence and you risked, without fear. Because you did not know what fear was, the thought of heartache was lacking in your daily. When you first loved, you loved purely, without doubt and hesitation. You loved, uneducated and unaware. You loved, not knowing what love was. And it would be awfully unfair to compare any love to your first love— because from then and always on, you will always search for that familiar voice in static, emotion in white noise, magic in reality. And reality is, you’ll always have that void and it won’t ever be filled because it’s there and it exists from experience. And it won’t be until you realize that, do you finally understand that falling in love again is and could be far greater because you are so lucky if love finds you again, even if it has to force itself into the little crevice you try to fill with needless other unnecessary things. Because this time, you are aware, educated and knowing. Because if you really ever do fall in love again, you can differentiate real from lust and if it’s real, you know better how to love, and what it is to be loved.
Because you’ll wake up one day and realize your heartache has gone and that you’ve outgrown your old jeans. And to heal and know that you’ve healed is one of the best feelings of triumph. You’re allowed to be scared shitless, it would be more absurd if you weren’t, if your first love did not leave a few scars. But at the same time, it’s nice to know that you still have it in you to feel this way, regardless of the unknown possibility that the second or third or so on times you fall in love will work, when you swore you wouldn’t, again.