1. Don’t ever tell anyone they look tired.
2. Help people, and if you offer to help someone, follow though.
3. Be kind to people who work in retail and food service.
4. Let someone know you’re not interested.
5. Actually “hang out sometime.”
6. Be a little more honest.
7. Stop calling each other mean names on the internet.
8. Send more letters (not emails) and gifts.
9. Give more genuine complements.
10. Have more patience while waiting in lines.
When I Can’t Sleep I Think This
1. Even though we live in one world, there isn’t just one world. There are over seven billion worlds. And sometimes it’s hard to understand how the world of every person in one room could be so drastically different.
2. How do you tell someone you have imagined a whole future with them? From the way he would smile at you if he liked your laugh, to the way he might look at you at the altar. His words at your deathbed. No one wants to hear that. And I have imagined a life with every person I’ve met. How few I’ve told about it weighs my heart down at 3 a.m.
3. There are children in St. Louis dying on the streets. A 9-year-old in Africa was just killed. A woman was just taken hostage and sold in sex trafficking. Yesterday, she checked her Facebook messages. She called her mother. She smiled with her best friend. A boy two doors down from you just realized he will never kiss the girl he loves again. He’s crying himself to sleep tonight. You’re not sleeping at all.
4. I am at a loss for words for the simple things. I want to say something about chameleons and the intonations of every person’s voice, about rocks turned smooth from rivers, black holes, and worn pavement on 74th street near Central Park. I wish I could show everyone how beautiful the small things are to me, and you will never look through my eyes.
5. Nothing in this world is about me.
6. There are at least five parallel dimensions where I know what he sounds like when he says “I love you” and kisses my forehead. There are even more where I never feel those things. And not knowing which one I’m in kills me.
7. I fall impossibly in love with people impossibly fast. In one day. In three seconds. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who showed me a part of them I didn’t want to hold onto forever. That’s my fault, I care too easy.
8. My imagination is not good enough to think up every situation happening in the world. My head is not big enough to hold all of history, like a rescue boat that can only fit half of the people who need to be saved.
9. No one can ever know you better than yourself. You are the only person who knows what your life has been and you can’t even remember all of it. There are days you forget. Or rearrange in your mind. Everything about your world is fragile. And you can choose to tape it up with bubble wrap and fence yourself in to stop from feeling and thinking so much. Or you can let everyone and everything take a wrecking ball to it, and rebuild it every day of your life, making mosaics of the fragments you find in yourself.