Things my mother didn’t tell me, but should have
Never give any kind of pleasure to a boy you wouldn’t give yourself. Kiss like a promise and wait for the other person to break it. Human beings are not ships; you cannot save them from sinking if they don’t want to be rescued from the floodwaters. Loving someone that doesn’t give a damn about you isn’t sexy; it’s misplaced energy, also known as self-destruction. Don’t ever treat anyone like a refugee from a civil war; they will come back from battle and leave you as wounded as if you were the one who had been paid for military service. Forgiveness isn’t putting the weapon down; it’s learning how to kiss the person pulling the trigger, not just a quick peek on the cheek, but a full one with tongue. Let the dead be dead. They have no answering machines, no phonelines: if you call them, only the ground will ring. Never trust a boy who already has a pack of condoms ready in his coat pocket before he even asks your name. When the world tries to break your back with it’s weight, get a stronger spine.
Your father left us because he was ashamed for not being the one that gave birth to you. Even oceans misplace their anchors sometimes. Never “give a man permission.” You shouldn’t have to. It should be mutual. Stop treating your body like currency, don’t pay anyone who doesn’t deserve it.
- Warsan Shire