Could someone please explain the phrase “he/she has a great body” to me? Because let me tell you that makes no fucking sense.

If you have a great body, where did you obtain it? Furthermore, who were you before acquiring this body? If you were to gain weight or lose a limb, would you then have to exchange your great body for a just-okay one?

Guys, I’m going to tell you something right now and I want you to read it a couple times and think about it: your body is your only lifelong partner. 

You can’t get a new one – this is all you got. You can’t hate your body without hating yourself. You can’t make your body look the way you want it to without loving it. Loving it means taking care of it, giving it the things it needs, listening to it when it’s trying to tell you something.

Whether your body is “great” should be the last of y’all’s petty concerned. Ask yourself whether you two are happy together. Ask yourself whether you’re treating your partner right.

(Because, psssst, here’s the kicker: you don’t have a body; you are a body.)

If you come from a long line of extremely fertile women, you may spend every fourth Tuesday jumping up and down in the hopes that gravity might speed along your bleeding. Because yeah, you’re on the pill, but so was your mother exactly 21 years ago.

If you come from a long line of extremely fertile women, you may keep your fridge stocked with orange juice, because you read once that Vitamin C can be an abortifacient. You allow yourself to get way too worked up on Period Day, because some people told you stress can also get the job done. You resent girls who can afford to resent pre-menstrual bloating and cramps – these are your longtime friends, these are bearers of glad tidings.

If you come from a long line of extremely fertile women, you probably have a speech prepared, just in case. “Dear Partner, I love you very much but I do not want this baby of yours. I ask for your support as I deal with this. I ask you to respect my choice even if you do not agree. I hope you will still love me after I’ve flushed all traces of you from my body.” 

During your childhood, your grandmother may have asked you on several occasions what you’d like to be when you grow up. A doctor, you’d say, or maybe a writer or maybe a pastry chef. 

"What about a mother?" she’d ask without fail.

This idea would never have occurred to you, but to appease her you’d say, “Yeah, maybe,” which would make you a practiced liar by the age of eleven. You have never wanted children but this is not something a long line of extremely fertile women wants to hear.

Sometimes you may wonder whether the religious right had a point, if you should maybe stick to abstinence until you’ve got a white picket fence at the ready, but coming from a long line of extremely fertile women has taught you the power of choice. You are not ashamed of your choices because the extremely fertile women before you were not ashamed of theirs. You know you can have everything – yes, everything – because you live where you do and when you do. You know you’re here because your mom wanted you here, wanted so badly to meet you and to be your mom.

If you come from a long line of extremely fertile women, there is no earthly reason why you can’t choose to be the end of the line and still be your mother’s daughter.

  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.

I think I am the only English major in Boulder who still doesn’t know who M. Night Shyamalan is.

long-distance long-term

You have your eyes trained so far ahead.
How can I keep up?
How can I compete with the horizon,
with everything you expect to find
between now and the edge of the world?
You say you see me there but I’m still
tying my shoes, unchunking my mascara,
waking up shaking from dreams of killers
and reaching out to find you there,
to take comfort in the shape of your breathing.
You see I need so much right now,
food and sleep and music but mostly you,
so I just don’t know how I’m going to make it
all the way to the horizon
if you leave before me,
if you promise you’ll meet me there.