By Travis Bedel
Happy Valentine's Day, Darling! Let's discuss how to treat yo'self like the dish you are on this most polarizing of holidays, shall we? And how!
1. Don't be a Marnie. You don't need no man (or woman or particularly scrupulous cat -- Elmer, I just want you to love me!) to validate your existence. Just by virtue of existing, you're already valid. And all of your thoughts and doings and hard-earned connections are sweet-ass soul-cherries on top...Really, you're much, much more than enough. #math ...#manhattanme
2. Dream on, Mama. If you 're in your twenties, you're probably not where you want to be yet: just know that you're where you're supposed to be, and follow everything that glitters for you along your path. Trust that the curbside litter and miscellany you're drawn to will teach you something about yourself. Remember what you were taught growing up: if you work hard to make your vision real, magic happens. As a young adult, it's not that we forget the positive messaging we were spoon-fed in elementary school; it's that one day we realize we don't know what we want -- our visions of yore are dim and obscured by distrust and false purpose. The road we've been on all along becomes a windy road to nowhere, and all of the maple leaves and bottle caps and essential life skills we've collected along the way -- i.e. how to apply liquid liner on a moving train, how to say the alphabet backwards in French, how to hashtag all of our thoughts -- only seem to weigh us down. Should've been practical: should've majored in finance, should've packed some granola bars and dry socks and a bedazzled whiskey flask.
One day, Bubeleh, it will all make sense. Until then, let your dreams flicker in your heart's wick, let them hum in the cells of your marrow, and trust. Then keep going.
3. You have permission to screw up. There exists a school of thought, I think, that if you shoot for perfect, you'll be all right even if you're a little off the mark. I call bull sh*t, though. Because it's V-day, let us consider cupid: if his aim was off, you'd probably have eyes for your local sidewalk preacher instead of your resident dream man. Translation: don't attempt perfection and settle for surrounding riffraff. Point your lil' love arrows wherever you want them to land. Be intentional about your choices, and accept when you've made the wrong decision.
4. Along those lines, you have permission to change. I think the most important trait you can have is authenticity. Maybe you're unhappy; the way you live your life isn't true to you and the way you feel in your guts. Maybe you surround yourself with booze and boisterous others when you're actually a cat lady in training. Maybe you'd rather read Harry Potter than Love in the Time of Cholera and your literary friends would vote you off the erudite island if they only knew. Be who you are... or at least be who you think you are. We're all figuring that out, and if the people in your life can't understand your newly established need to be genuine... find new people. Tell the old people to suck it. Do you.
5. Try a little. If you have a thing, or an idea of what you want your thing to be, you have to do it. If you want to write; write. Start a blog. Submit here and here and to Paris Review if you want to (if you get published in Paris Review I will die of jealousy. But don't worry about me.) Write me a guest post. For reals. Email me at rosetruesdaleATgmailDOTcom (decode THAT spambots!) Seriously, if I end up posting your work, I'll pimp your good name all across the internet.
And if your thing is something you can't quite do yet, start developing the resources and connections to eventually make it happen. In my case, I'm interested in a less hokey variety of life coaching -- let's call it "lifestyle consulting," mmkay? -- but I'm not certified and I don't know how to run my own business and I'm not yet a published author which would make me 1000% more legitimate. That's okay, though, because I'm collecting experiences like the ol' magpie I am, and I'll get there. Try with me.
6. Self care is... somethin'. Look, I would never judge you. But maybe you'll feel more like the goddess of love that you are if you, like, pluck your eyebrows. Wash your hair, if it's crunchy with dry shampoo and smells like everything you've cooked for the past two weeks. Shave your legs for the first time this winter (#projecting) if that's something you do... and if it's not, you go, hairy sister. Take time to feel your best this Valentine's Day. That's all I'm saying.
7. Wear your insides outside. Ladies, be your version of sexy today, okay? I tend to favor man repellent clothing, e.g. harem pants, oversized sequined schmattas, capelets, platform wedges that make me a head taller than every boy I meet... Perhaps sweater sets are your thing, Idk. Perhaps you rock the fringed leather/bobby socks combo like no one else. Get it girl. And don't EVER let your significant other tell you how to dress, because that's apparently a thing. Someone recently told me that her boyfriend wouldn't let her buy a jumpsuit. I'm sorry (Nope. Not sorry at all), but aren't we talking about your body, and the way you present yourself to the world? If he thinks you're too provocative or not provocative enough, tell him to take a hike. In platform wedges. WUT.
8. Eat some chocolate today. I had a chocolate cherry smoothie for breakfast. Amen.
9. Tell somebody you love them. Hi Mom!
10. And listen to this song on repeat.
I love you all so much! Take care, today and every day.
XOXO (XOXOXOXOXOXOXO, Valentine!)