My Mum and I get invited to lunch or
dinner once a week by a good friend of ours. Mostly on weekend, he lets me
decide if I want to eat Italian, Asian or something else, and then we go there.
My absolute favorite is a little
Italian restaurant in our town. Not only because the food there is so tasty it
should be illegal, but also because there is that one elderly waiter – Italian himself-
who always makes my day.
The first time we went to that
restaurant, we were not served by that guy, though, but by a younger,
unlikeable young waiter. He didn’t greet us, brought the wrong drinks and didn’t
once smile or anything.
The whole time, I felt quite
uncomfortable around him, but I got a glimpse of that elderly waiter in the
background, watching with a frown. He caught my interest because he looked just
as uncomfortable by the younger’s display as I did.
And then, the young one made one
last misstep – he turned towards my Mum and said, “What does the boy want to
There was a long pause where we all
exchanged confused gazes, before I said, slowly but clearly, “I’m a girl, sir.”
(I wasn’t angry, mind you. It
happens quite a lot to me – I close to never wear tight clothes, my hair is cut
short and I never wear makeup. I see where it’s coming from, really.)
But what came then made me grit my
teeth, because instead of being baffled or even embarrassed, the guy looked at
me and said, “You’re kidding me, right?”
Before I could say anything – or calm
my mum, because she gasped loudly in outrage – the elder waiter swooped in,
bristling as he basically tore into the younger one. I couldn’t understand what
he said, because he talked Italian the whole time, but my Mum later said that
he had been outraged that “A beautiful young Signorina” just as me had been insulted like that.
All in all, it didn’t take very long
until the young waiter vanished back in the kitchen and the elder waiter turned
towards me, basically bowed to me and
apologized over and over again. “I’m so sorry, Signorina, that you had to hear that! Please accept my sincere apology…!”
“No, please,” I managed, not knowing
if I should be embarrassed or amused by the sight of him being so dramatic. “This
happens a lot to me, please, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Ah, Signorina, such a gentle soul you are!”
At that point, I laughed out loud
because he beamed at me with such a delight, it was just funny how passionate
he was about all that.
Since then, the dear waiter always
insisted on being the one who catered to us whenever we come to this
restaurant. I didn’t complain at all, and also my mum and our friend were quite
amused by that. The elderly man would take my jacket off, pull my chair back
for me and give me a kiss on the hand once we left again, insisting that I had
to be treated like “the gentle and nice Singorina”
Honestly, such behavior is strange
to me, since I didn’t really grow up with gentlemen, but I let him have his
fun, since he always pouted when I wouldn’t let him tend to me. It was his way
of showing me his respect, and if that was what he wanted, I would let him.
Today, we went there for lunch, but
I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I was still deep in thought about school
and that dumb group project, and the only reason I did leave the house at all
was because my Mum basically pleaded me to do so.
So I was kind of staring into the
air instead of making conversation, and didn’t even realize that I had taken
off my jacket alone before the waiter could help me.
Once my mum left to go to the toilet
and our friend went back to his car because he had forgotten his wallet there,
I was startled by the waiter appearing next to me, putting down a little plate
with chocolates on the table next to me.
I blinked, frowning. “Excuse me, but
we didn’t order that.”
“Ah, but Signorina,” he winked at me, smiled crookedly. “That’s a little
present on the house.”
I managed a little smile, thanking
He hummed, refilling my glass and
explaining. “I missed your smile today, Signorina.”
“I’m sorry. I’m a bit… lost in thought,
“We can’t have that, no, no.”
I shot him a glance, guessing that
he was already planning something again, but he just took my order with a wide
smile and disappeared in the kitchen again.
Let’s just say that he exceeded
himself that day.
The pizza I ordered was not round as
usual – somehow, he had managed to convince the chef to make it heart-shaped
this time. In between bits of conversation, he would appear at our table,
refill the little plate with chocolates again and again, shooting me a grin
every time. And when I followed my Mum out of the restaurant, he waited already
at the door, surprising me with a bowl full of chocolate mousse – “on the house”,
he explained with a wink.
Etiquette or whatever be damned – I straight
out hugged him then and there. And based on his delighted laughter and him
cheering “There is your smile, Signorina!”
I don’t think he really minded.
Honestly, bless this angel of a
person, please. Bless him and all his descendants.
1. You can have only one best friend and that best friend can only be you. Because you may come across a dozen lovely people but the only one who can keep the ‘forever’ promise is you.
2. Family is the most important. This is the only love that is truly unconditional and absolutely pure. They love you when you’re 5 and when you’re 18. They love you in your failure and your success. Their love doesn’t increase because it’s already at its maximum right from the beginning, it’s already infinite.
3. Cocktails and aerated drinks may soothe your taste buds but tea soothes your entire body. It’s warm and calming and well, healthy.
4. Your first kiss means nothing if it’s not with the right person. And the right person doesn’t mean your soulmate or someone who will never break your heart but someone who in that moment loves you as much as you love them.
5. You’ve written over 350 exams and you’ve got a perfect score in some and scored miserably in others but do you remember your 9th grade math score? Do you even remember 9th grade math? Education is so important but not the stress and competitive grading that comes along with it. If you get a low score or even fail, not much will happen – you will get a retest. But if you get ill – mentally or physically, it will have undesired long term effects.
6. In 8th grade your school psychologist told you that you’re one of the few people who walk in life with open arms loving and helping everyone, not because you haven’t bled but because you know you will heal and have the strength to do so. At that point you laughed at her but now, years later you’re loving, accepting and helping in spite of having both, actual and metaphorical scars. You’re kind and admitting that doesn’t make you conceited.
7. Goodbyes don’t always have to be dramatic. Writing an 800 words message won’t make it hurt any less than an 8 words one. Closure usually has not much to do with the ones who wronged you but with taking your time in dealing with all the stages of grief. Some stage like anger may take only a month but acceptance may take years and that’s okay.
8. Jealousy is a basic human trait. They can be the closest to you and yet envy your happiness and life. Envy is something you too experience and you can be happy for them and be sad for yourself at the same time because so bitter it is to view happiness from someone else’s eyes. You aren’t a horrible human being if you feel like there are better shades of green your grass could be.
9. Read at your own desire and pace. You don’t have to read particular books to qualify as a bibliophile or read a specific number of books to be a bookworm either. Read what truly interests you and take your time because reading was never a task, don’t make it one now.
10. Money is important. Money can’t buy love but it can buy happiness. But not blood money. Money honestly earned through hard work. That kind of money is good, that kind of money is required. You have a certain standard of living and if you want to maintain that after your parents stop financing you, you must make sure to earn the same. It doesn’t make you a snob or a spoiled brat, it only makes you a human aware of your wants, many of which have turned into needs by now.
11. There are somethings you just never grow out of like bubbles and glitter and your mother’s hot chocolate and hugs. Those are the kind of things that make life bearable when adulting gets too hard. Those are the little things that matter the most.
12. You cry. A lot. But you don’t cry in front of people for their pity. You don’t cry to manipulate situations. You cry because you accept the pain. You cry because you don’t reject or lock away your emotions. You cry because your mental, emotional and physical self are in sync and that’s healthy. That’s so lovely.
13. Bake cakes. They don’t have to look pretty as long as they taste delicious. Paint canvases. They don’t have to be a master piece as long as all the paint in your hands and face and jeans makes you feel complete. Write more. It doesn’t have to a novel or even be posted online as long as it lets you breathe a little lighter and smile wider.
14. Go for walks alone, sit on the beach without your headphones, look up at the sky without a lover, buy flowers for yourself. Nature is legit free (for the most part). And it’s the richest thing that the world has. Le it bring you peace, let it help you survive.
15. Make home feel home. Sometimes you won’t have your family to make it home. Sometimes you will have to make it home by putting a part of yourself and that means investing the time, energy and money in making it feel yours, in making it feel right. It may not be your ‘dream house’, it may just be a tiny room but it’s yours. Your surroundings play a major role in affecting your mood and vibe.
16. Energy is real. You may not know much about Science beyond 10th grade but you do know this, e=mc ² which means everything is energy, you are energy and there is positive and negative energy and you can feel it and you experience it in every person you meet, every place you visit, every room you step inside. You can and you must choose to surround yourself with positive energy. What you attract, you do get; what you attract you become.
17. Spend time with yourself. It’s some of the best time you will have. You need to unwind, you need it to re-energize, you need it to focus and you need it for peace. You can go to a cafe by yourself, write, read, meditate, talk to yourself out loud, dance in your underwear, cook and just be.
18. Take care of yourself- no one else can, no one else will. Drink loads of water, there’s a reason why more than half your body is made up of water. Sleep well because staying up all night isn’t something to be proud of, it’s stupid. Don’t skip breakfast because skipping breakfast makes you crave fatty foods for the rest of the day. Stay healthy not because you want to look a certain way but because you want to feel strong and energetic and have an active mind, body and heart. Staying healthy emotionally and mentally is just as important. So let those who want to go, go and never say yes to something your gut wants to scream ‘NO’ to.
19. Love yourself. If you don’t love yourself you will look for other people to love you. If you don’t accept yourself, you will keep seeking other people’s validation and the moment they withdraw it or walk away, you will crumble. And you don’t want to crumble. You want to enjoy the one person’s company you have to live with forever – yourself. Work on being a person you’d love to spend your life with because let’s face it, you don’t have a choice. It’s a long term investment and the only one that will never fail you.
20. In Shakespeare’s words, “To thine own self be true”. In order to love yourself, knowing yourself is very important. And knowing yourself doesn’t mean the adjectives that people use for you or what your zodiac sign says about you. It means what you know in your heart to be your truth.
One more for good luck?
21. You laughed and thought it was very witty when you came across the quote, ‘Don’t take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.’ but god. Can it be any truer? Most things you’re stressing over now won’t even matter 3 years from now. But good days will turn into heart-warming memories that will stay with you even 2 decades later. Happiness and success are two different things but remember, they aren’t mutually exclusive. At least they don’t have to be.
It’s not so surprising how YouTube Poop became a thing when you remember that there was a generation of kids where a majority of movies they watched while growing up had entire scenes dedicated to “Who Let The Dogs Out?”
green light: the haunting revelation of being free after the break up. but you don’t know what to do with that freedom. it’s frightening and beautiful and inspiring and it makes you lonely and excited all at once. you want to dance with friends and scream out the car window but you hit every red light just at the mere thought of ever moving on.
sober: depression and anxiety is wasting away your youth. you live for the weekend to come. you live for any kind of buzz. you sleep until the bright orange afternoon creeps into your window. but the night is always there for you. the parties, the confetti and the blue lights that rain down, is all worth it in the moment. until you realize you’re all alone.
homemade dynamite: all your decisions and all your actions are self destructive. every bottle of liquor you finish and every house you destroy, you know it’s a form of self hate. but it’s how you cope through all the bullshit.
the louvre: a evening drive through the city with your lover. the day is warm and the tar on the road is hot. the window is down and the air feels liberating. you want to love them forever. but it’s a sunday and your stomach sinks and nothing lasts forever. and now your at a house party months later and everyone is high and the music is booming and you see your ex across the room and you feel like you know no one there and you want to hide away so you leave and no one notices anyways.
liability: you blame the break up on all your insecurities. you blame it all on the way you’d call them every night crying. you think that maybe your sadness is contagious. you should’ve known to sterilize yourself from the start.
hard feelings/loveless: you pack up everything that belonged to them and put it into a box. you practice not having their name on your tongue. you attempt to forget the taste of them. you consider holding on and staying friends, but that anger overrules and you throw that box off the highway bridge. you’re over the aching and now you moved onto the hard feelings. you want to blame them for everything. summer nights are too long. mornings are empty without their texts of “good morning” and you taste this endless nostalgia for the rest of your life. but you don’t let them see this side of you. you let them see the anger. you let them think you’re indestructible.
sober II: growing up with drama stuffed inside of you like all the drugs and alcohol you consume, is tiring. you go through the motions and you nod to their questions and laugh at their jokes. but you know that this misery and that this young love is timeless. so you continue to go through the expected motions.
writer in the dark: that hollow ache in your chest when you realize that the break up is permanent, that this feeling of loss is forever. that nervous ache as you stalk their snapchat and Instagram and any other social media outlet, trying to see if they found someone else. that obsessive need to know if they still miss you, if they still love you and need you. that sickening feeling that makes you numb as you send them text after text but they never reply.
supercut: all the memories are blurry footage winding through your head. the time you ran down the hill, drunk. the time you said “I love you.” the time you looked at them on the roof of the car while you thought “I’m gonna be with you forever..” all the memories are fast forwarding and rewinding and pausing in your head and it is perfect and it is never going to happen again.
liability (reprise): you warned them from the very start. but did you ever listen when they warned you?
perfect places: everyone has a perfect place that is their getaway. but the reason for getting away isn’t perfect. it’s ugly and damaging and it’s cold nights like this that make you realize that nothing will ever be perfect. only for the moment will it seem like a person or a place can be your sanctuary. but the feeling never goes away. remember that.
1. High school friendships don’t last. Not the way you want them to anyway. Even if you swam oceans of pain together. Even if you never wanted to drift apart. Friendships fall apart. Most times they sadly do.
2. Your parents will still treat you like a child. They don’t care about your legal reality. When you’re with them, they still see you as their baby. That can get frustrating but also comforting.
3. Your undergrad degree won’t matter as much as you think it will. So choose what you want to explore. Don’t choose something you think is going to be your career. Chances are when you graduate you will be doing something completely different than what you were dead sure of when you started college. Explore.
4. People are more selfish now. People are more broken now. People are more cautious now. Everyone has been through something that haunts them.
5. Everyone is suffering. Some will use that as an excuse to mistreat you. Some will because of that very reason be there for you in your suffering in anyway they can. Most times it’s hard to tell which person you’re being. Don’t be an ass.
6. Not everyone makes life long friends in college. You won’t. That’s okay. Nothing good comes out of forceful relations anyway. It can get lonely but at least that kind of loneliness isn’t because of shitty company.
7. Grades. Internships. Extra curricular activities. They matter. Everyone acts like it doesn’t but it does. Whatever choice you make, whatever your course may be, how you perform does matter. It isn’t everything but it matters.
8. Self care isn’t boring or unnecessary. It’s important. It’s hard but it’s crucial. You don’t have to click pictures for aesthetics or share your progress. You can if it helps. But you don’t have to. Because that’s secondary. You know what’s primary. Do it.
9. Just because you become an adult by a number and are recognized as one because of law doesn’t mean you aren’t you anymore. The way you are at 17 years 364 days, is the way you will remain at 18. Perhaps 19. That’s okay. There’s a lot learn. You may have fought and conquered adolescence but this is a completely different story. There are new skills and lessons to be learned. All previous ones may not necessarily remain valid.
10. You genuinely have to learn to let go. Imagine your life to be a tiny box. A box that fits in your palm. If that box is full of past pain, regret and disappointments, of all the people who broke you, of negativity and dried blood, all the good things and beautiful people that are to come into your life will fall right off because there just isn’t enough space in that box. It is full of everything you don’t need or deserve. Good things will come your way, they will fall into your hands but you still won’t be happy if you don’t remember to take out the trash.
The evolution of Ariel and King Triton’s relationship. "The Little Mermaid is a different fairytale than Disney’s ever done. In this one, the girl, the heroine in it, is more real, more identifiable than any other heroine we’ve ever done. What really makes the picture real is the struggle that Ariel has to be free and the struggle her father has to let her be free, let her grow up. It’s really a story about a teenage girl becoming an adult and the struggle with her father in letting that happen.“ -Glen Keane, animator of Ariel and directing animator on The Little Mermaid.
Sometimes growing up isn’t what we thought it would be. It is almost never pretty. It is mostly about learning that you are to rely and count on yourself first. It is about understanding that the things you dislike about yourself aren’t definitive and the first steps towards change are acceptance and resolve. It is about accepting that the world isn’t black or white, and neither are people. It’s about not being overwhelmed by the things you don’t know or can’t do. It is about finding a way. It is about discovering what you love and hate and look for in others and in yourself. It is about coping with loneliness and abandonement. It is about handling feelings bigger than yourself. It’s neverending. It’s tiring. It’s what gets you from point A to point B. It’s what lets you look back on what you’ve done. Growing up isn’t what we thought it would be.
I know I say it probably way too many times, but to me, Mint is the Salt of the herb world. Here are some of my fave things to do with it!
Make Mint Tea! Get a tea strainer or a small sachet bag and chop up some Mint into them. Swirl that baby around in hot, not boiling, water and add sugar if you want! This drink can be made magical by adding intent to it such as wanting protection throughout the day, or to bring luck to you!
T H E B A T H. (Fuck, i’m not over that meme) You can add mint to your bath to attract beauty and luck to yourself. I find Mint works well with Roses in a bath!
Mint Protection Jar! Find some Mint, add them leaves to a jar, fill it with some rain water or sea water and bam! Basic Protection jar! You can add other herbs or sigils to it to increase it’s power, if you want.
Mint plants are so easy to grow and propagate, i want 10 of them.
Personal Growth Spell. Find a Mint plant, get a small piece of paper and hang it off a sturdy part of the plant, ask the plant if it will let you grow with it.
Mint can be used in break up spells for couples that need a fresh start.
Some negative entities hate the smell of fresh mint.
Remember that Mint Tea? Add it to your mop bucket and get mopping! That Mint will cleanse your home and make it smell nice.
Carry a few Mint leaves in your pocket or wallet to bring good luck and prosperity.
Tip that my nan taught me. Hang Mint leaves over a doorway to prevent arguments.
Mint leaves under a pillow are said to bring prophetic dreams.
Now, I’m only picking up bits and pieces here, of course. Overprotective mother, forbidden road trip. I mean, this is serious stuff. But let me ease your conscience. This is part of growing up. A little rebellion, a little adventure, that’s good. Healthy, even.