things that are okay

Written by Haley Jakobson

1. not wearing underwear. screw the kids who saw my buttcrack in the second grade. we weren’t born with underwear y’all, and as my mother says, “it’s good to air out your parts.”
2. to let go of the narratives you’ve collected as un-won badges. the ones that say you are clumsy, ditzy, spacey, lazy, a pushover, dramatic, overly emotional. 
3. even the ones that are said in jest, inside jokes, “we’ve been saying it since we were kids,” “that’s our sense of humor.” it’s okay to detach from the people who gave you those badges, too. 
5. to let go of the notion that lots of sex means a healthy relationship. healthy sex, in any amount, makes a healthy relationship. and remember that whatever is going on with you emotionally, mentally, will show up in the bedroom. there is no turning off your trauma or your tense for a “quickie,” and if you’re worried that everyone else is able to - they’re fucking lying. 
6. to have bad, terrible days. lazy, gross, snotty kim k crying days. angry, vicious, inconsolable days. those days make way for days that are the opposite. 
7. to not go to the party, to be uncomfortable without “relaxing,” to take a walk mid-conflict, to sleep in, to forgo the drink for a water (hydration is fucking sexy), to say no without explanation. 
8. to not talk to your mother, or take her advice, or believe she is the only compass you should ever follow. 
9. to talk about money, and how complicated it is, and how entrenched in the way we learn to love and live. how it tries to define us, from the moment we are born, and how it mixes with our hopes and shame and fear and future. 
10. to talk about mental illness and how it is normal and how it is okay to ask for advice but not shoved with it. how no one has the right to tell you how you feel, how you should, to compare their brain chemistry and heartache to yours when you’d never compare finger prints.
11. to have vices, and coping mechanisms, and bad habits. 
12. to be entirely special, and gifted, and confident, and proud. to be voracious in the pursuit of your dreams and scream loudly as they come closer into view. to let go of those who resent you for your successes. without explanation. without guilt.
14. to eat the sandwich and the donut and the pasta and the cake. without saying “treat yourself” or “cheat day” or whatever fucking excuse we have to have to convince others that we deserve to be alive. 
15. to be a bad feminist, hate your body, want to kill your wokest friends, preach something you don’t truly believe yet but want to, not know the answer, not like breaking bad.
16. to have hurt feelings without rationalizing or analyzing the other person’s behavior to understand why, and telling them so, and deserving an apology. 
17.  to know that call out culture is a fucking joke, that we hide behind our screens and use fancy inclusive invitational language to disguise our fear and resentment and broken hearts and let our ego take our humanity away from us. 
18. to be quiet, introverted, shy. to take so much space, escape the loud, hear your own skin shed. to call extroverts extra and have them sit down in the fucking corner and take a time out.
19. to unmask, untangle, reveal the raw. let go of the label, the language, the trends.
20. to unlearn the linear, make life a zigzag of healing, unburden yourself from the future you think you want, to simplify, to be a soul in a body that carries a lifetime of your story. exhausting and exhilarating. sometimes with purpose and sometimes without, but always with a beating heart and lungs to fill. that can be it, for today. that can be okay.