your stars and mine
what's been foretold
Whatever else you do, remember that in all the ways that matter: it isn’t over for you yet. This month, saving someone else's seat might not be the best use of your time. However you’re feeling now, a subway ride probably won’t change much. Maybe a haircut will! The more you laugh while reading, the better you’re doing. Is it taking you too long to fall asleep?
You’re never going to get back the hours you spend binge-watching prestige television, but consider too that you’ll never get to re-live the years of your life before you watched whichever show taught you lessons that changed you entirely. How much longer can your long obsession with coffee continue? This month, take up some of those old aborted clean living habits again. Keep an eye out for intrigue. If something’s bothering you, wonder why.
If you’re not enjoying it anymore, why are you still doing it? You don’t have to answer now, and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t answer at all. But let that question drift on your surface like floating puddle debris. It’s going to be too hot too soon to think of anything at all. This month, be honest with yourself and your contradictions: you wonder sometimes about whether you still need to be worried about the ozone layer, but also wonder what you would do without air conditioning. Think of all the paper out there used only to display outdated roadmaps.
There are still streets in your part of the city that you’ve never walked on, and some are probably even nearby! What happens is you walk past something too many times to count and decide without any real good reason that it’s awful, irredeemable, not worth your time. You refuse to forgive the struggling restaurant for its poor menu font choice, or for advertising poutine and then never actually having it. Remember, if a waiter tells you the kitchen is all out of an ingredient for a dish you want, it is inappropriate to offer to buy some and bring it in yourself. This month, lighten up.
You too will someday look worse than you ever dreamed, your energy a fraction what it is now, your wits dimmed and eyesight damaged. This is difficult to imagine, but that does not make it any less true. But it works the other way, too: the good things we can hardly think of are just as possible. So this month, consider an alternative. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give the podcasts a break. Come up with a new nickname for yourself.
If you’re lucky, your name isn’t Trevor. But if it is, keep in mind there’s more to life than luck. There’s location and privilege and genetics, and really none of those things are without their own histories and origin stories. This month, read less. Who writes those lifestyle articles you’re spending so much time reading anyway? Good people, nice people, sure, but ultimately just people like you or me. They don’t really know where the absolute best brunch is, so you should feel confident about wherever you’re leading your troupe of friends or enemies too on Sunday mornings. Just remember: you’re going to run out of battery eventually. Your screen, one day, will crack.
When someone tells you not to do something, it's possible that they have a good reason. It's also possible that if you’re giving yourself enough time to do each thing, you’ll be okay. And ask yourself in the most loving way possible: what’s so authentic about you anyway? This month, you’re going to hate anything that smells of ritual. But still: clean and fill up the tub you’ve never used, dunk your head beneath the water and, while there, believe fervently you might emerge as something new.
One thing is almost certain: the less time you spend on the phone, the better. Is it harder to make new memories while looking at a screen? If it is, you might be one of the fortunate few who can do it. You’re going to drink so many more cups of coffee over the course of your life. If you have nothing else to do, consider chronicling the rise and fall of almond milk. This month, give yourself better reasons to keep going. Start with mango.
The worst part about whiplash is the surprise. Deliver bad news carefully and without false facial expressions. This month, prepare yourself to enter the stretch of year without any holidays other than the ambient always-fest of summer. For once, buy sunblock. Know that you can let go of fantasies of triumph and revenge without giving up on yourself. Shop more. Purchase less.
This month, remember how important it once felt to grow older. It’s unlikely that if you walk from one side of town to another in utter quiet you’ll still feel awful, but if you do, it will probably be for a new reason. When you’re almost done, that’s when it’s hardest. So build up a new defense against your worst instincts. Can any instinct really be bad? Find your friends again. Think about what it would really mean to break your lease.
Sometimes it takes a while before you know what you’re going to do. Find deep within you the reservoir of patience you will one day call upon as a grandparent. The rest of the year is basically already here anyway. And soon after that it will be 2020, and then 2024, and someone you haven’t even heard of yet – someone whose face you could not today pick out of a crowd – will be president. You will reach an age when you too could be president, first constitutionally and then practically. But maybe even now you’re as ready as you ever will be.
There’s either very little you can do to change the direction of your own personal set of universes, or everything you do is of endless importance. Probably best to split the difference and make most big decisions by flipping a coin. You used to be much smaller than you are now and you got along just fine. In some bookstores, there are whole shelves in the travel section devoted to Disney World. This month, be smart. Disable wifi. Buy low. Sell high.