On being 18 and wiser than you thought possible:

1. Waking up when your sheets alone suffocate you, pulling the weight of your bones back into the delicious forgetfulness of sleep is the hardest thing in the world. It’s harder than algebra. Learning how to keep going is what I will need 20 years from now- not the value of x.

2. Hearts are made out of muscle and sinew but oh boy, they’re a lot stronger than they look. If a heart can keep beating even after being shattered beyond recognition, you can move on too.

3. There’s an art to the way His eyes change colour in sunlight- brown to almost gold. You’ll spend your whole life trying to explain it- but you know, good art never warrants an explanation.

4. You are made up of millions of little cells, working day in and day out to keep you alive. Remember that when you’re sitting alone in the bathroom floor, your broken heart and a blunt blade in your hands, painting exit signs on your wrists.

5. The terminal velocity of a life lived in regret is one that no science can measure. You’ll understand that when you watch your mother cry herself to sleep while your father weeps silently into a half empty bottle of whiskey, his breath stale with the bitterness of “what if”.

6. Exactly a hundred years ago, a single bullet killed an archduke and propelled the whole world into war. So don’t listen when people tell you to brush it off. Feel. Feel everything, no matter how small. The little things make the big picture.

7. There are 164 different languages. With so many words to say, don’t forget to tell your mother you love her every night after dinner.

8. We are all made of the same star stuff. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. You’re breathing in the same air as Audre Lorde, Amelia Earhart, Cleopatra. Remember this when the boy at the check out counter brushes your breast in a not quite accident. Do not laugh it off. Confront him. Find your voice. Live up to the legacies left behind by women as strong as you hope to be.



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Lishani is a fierce feminist, a lover of all things chocolate and an unapologetic fan of Nicki Minaj. She lives her life aiming to do no harm, but will take none of your sh*t. She also really dgaf if she's not your cup of tea. She currently shuttles between two homes on two beautiful islands - Sri Lanka and Singapore.

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