positive inking

compliment people. not in the “fake” way, but in the sense that if you notice how great their hair looks, or how hard they have been working in the past few days, or how cute and inspiring their blog is, tell them. they’ll appreciate it, and maybe blush a little or smile, eyes lightening up, and maybe that little compliment or ask will make their day.

1. Let go of anyone that doesn’t make you feel happy and cut the ties, no matter how good of a friend that person was. If they no longer make you feel good, if they no longer make an effort to stay in contact, make sure to distance yourself. Maybe things will relax in time, maybe they won’t. But don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t care.
2. Don’t try to run from pain. Don’t shut it out. Face it, cry, scream, throw a pillow at the wall - do whatever makes you feel better, then try to find closure and start over. You can’t outrun pain, it will catch up to you sooner or later.
3. Take care of yourself. You are important. Don’t neglect your own needs because you’re so focused on putting the people you love first.
4. Accept your flaws, your scars and the mistakes you made. Embrace them. They make you who you are.
5. Tell people how you feel about them. I have a hard time taking my own advice, but I know what it’s like to regret not opening up to someone only to be confronted with the situation that you no longer can. There is so much to gain, nothing to lose.
6. Don’t be scared to dream. If there is something you want to do with your life, don’t let someone else’s opinion stop you.
7. Be patient. If I have learned anything this year, it’s that everything moves at its own pace, whether it’s the amount of time your heart needs to heal or the weeks or months or years you need to move on. Small steps, always.
8. Forgive others - and forgive yourself. Forgiving doesn’t equal forgetting, it doesn’t mean that you should accept destructive and abusive behaviour from someone else (or yourself, for that matter). Forgiving sets your soul free. You’ll feel lighter and better.
9. Read more. Books are magical. There is no easier way to escape your own thoughts for a couple of hours than reading.
10. Make time for people you love. Distance means nothing if you keep them close to you in your heart. Talk to them, text them, ask them how they are and what they’ve been up to and also: listen to them. It’s so important to listen.
—  10 things to keep in mind for 2017
Suddenly you’re 21 and even though three years ago you swore to yourself you’d have everything figured out at this age it’s not the case. At all. You still cry your heart out over boys who do not deserve a single one of your tears, you still struggle to let go of things and people you told yourself you were done with. You don’t speak up for yourself or people who deserve it. You live in the background even though you’ve been fighting for it to change. Life passes you by and you’re never in control - you’re always stuck in the passenger seat. You told yourself “I’ll be happy in a year’s time” but you’re not. Happiness is always something that waits around the corner for you, but you’re never fast enough to catch it and close your fingers around it so it doesn’t escape. You don’t know what your life will be like in another three years, you have absolutely no idea, and it scares you senseless, not knowing where you’re going, where you want to be. It’s like you’re walking with a blindfold covering your eyes.
You know what? It’s not too late to get your life together. It’s not too late to write that letter, to send that application, to say goodbye to the people who do you no good and to be who you want to be, whether you’re 15 or 21 or 45.
—  tearing off the blindfold / n.j.

i. separate yourself. discipline is key. remember you’re better than him. block him. text your best friend instead. and turn the pictures around.

ii. lie to yourself and say that the good times weren’t that good. repeat this until the voice that’s arguing against it is silent.

iii. delete the screenshots. you won’t need them.

iv. cry. a lot. it’s okay. cry with your friend. cry alone. cry to your family. it’s okay.

v. get angry. you’re allowed bitterness.

vi. spit the putrid taste of his lips out of your mouth and onto the ground. curse his name until it is raw on your tongue. scrub your skin so you are clean of his touch.

vii. replace him with that friend you haven’t spoken to since august. it’s worth it.

viii. reject the phone call. that one, too.

ix. smile. force it if you have to. smile at strangers. and at children. and at your mother. and at the “other girl”. and at yourself.

x. forgive if only you wish to.

—  ten essential steps to moving on

the story of us

i met her when i was 15. a head full of thick brown hair, and a cocky smile that i thought was charming. a popular girl, so i’d thought. but unlike any i’d met before. she had green eyes and olive skin that i was jealous of. she seemed so confident in herself and i loved that. i was shy and awkward and i didn’t know who i was.

“i’ve never questioned my sexuality” she scoffed as she gushed about her crushes on topless italian boys. her giggles and that grin made me shrink in my seat. alone, i thought, just the token weirdo of the year group.

the way she tickled me to wind me up made me feel like i was a kid again. she was the only one that could get away with stealing my stationery. a joke and a laugh that caught the attention of the teacher filled me with adrenaline. i want this girl to be my best friend, i thought.

outside of p.e. class was when things changed. we sat, legs touching, as our friends talked about everything and nothing. she picked up loose pieces of grass and thew it at me - a gesture that reminded me of childhood and boys. i like this girl, i then knew.

we talked over text about tv shows and homework. when i asked her for her number i briefly wondered if she’d know. but she smiled and said yes, and on the bus home i carefully wrote out my first message. the grey bubble in response made me smile ear to ear.

when she told me she wanted to kiss me i didn’t know what to say. you wouldn’t say that if you knew, i responded with teary eyes. she must have been smiling as she text back because she told me she already knew. i didn’t understand but she said she knew i liked girls. how could i be so stupid, i remember crying on the kitchen floor.

it felt like a whirlwind when i realised she was also like me. she had been hiding everything inside just as i had. we sat on the couch in my living room and my heart was in my throat. i’ve never done anything like this before, i tried to stop thinking. 

when i turned my head and we finally kissed i knew it was something i wanted to do again. it was summer and we were kids but it was somehow the start of something magical. not perfect, but ours. 

somehow the stars had aligned for the two teenage girls in maths class.

It dawned on me this morning that prioritizing self-care is a radical notion in our society.
I find this incredibly disturbing-
both the fact that it’s true in the first place,
and that it’s taken me this long to realize it.
We are taught to work hard,
to succeed and to achieve,
but what nobody’s told is to step back and breathe.
Because taking a day off is lazy and unprofessional,
finishing homework is more important than finishing a meal,
and good grades are better than a good night’s sleep.
Today I told a friend not to worry about the messages she didn’t reply to because she’d had a panic attack.
I should never have had to tell her that.
I should never have to tell someone not to feel guilty about taking care of themselves.
I should not have to remind myself every single day to treat myself with kindness.
I should not be writing this poem.
But here I am,
writing it anyway.
—  this shouldn’t need to be said // c.r.h.

there are people who are rays of sunshine, cherry blossoms, vanilla candles and the colors of dusk.

there are people who are marble floors, roman temples, black ink and the smell of the earth after rain.

there are people who are star-gazing, holding your breath, little smiles, subtle touches and soft fabric.

who are you?

girls don't have iron in their veins
iron rusts with change
we do not
girls don’t have gold in their hearts
gold yields to fire 
we do not 
girls don’t have diamonds for bones
crowds steal them away
we remain
One of the biggest lies we are told is that we need someone else to feel complete. We’re not broken, or fractured, or only halves of ourselves. Sometimes we’re bent or injured or completely screwed over and life temporarily makes us feel like we lose parts of ourselves - but we are never incomplete. We were born whole - we’ve been whole ever since.
—  we are whole / n.j.
Only a handful of days separate you from the end of the year. While I’m not big on new year’s resolutions, I like to treat a new year like a new book. An empty page to start over. The beginning of a new chapter or a new story altogether. An old year ending and a new year beginning doesn’t mean any of the mistakes you made or the things you regret are erased. It doesn’t make days you dread any easier or shit situations you’re stuck in disappear. But it gives you a chance to find acceptance, not in others, but in yourself. You can start over, not only on January 1st, but also on every single morning that comes after. Hell, you can even start over tomorrow morning. If there is one piece of advice I can give you for 2017, it’s this one: be more forgiving. You have been blessed with this one life and you don’t know how much longer you will get to live it. Please be considerate. Please be compassionate. Please try to accept yourself, flaws and all, and spend more time doing what makes your heart race. If you love someone, tell them. Maybe it’s what they need to hear. Spend the last days of 2016 being grateful. I’m so glad you made it through another year. You are loved and deserve the world. To a happy 2017.
—  I hope you know. I just wanted to make sure you did.
n.j. { @ninasdrafts }