Lessons I've Learned in 18 Years

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Contributor: Mae Santillo

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0 : you are a concept of an idea & still you have more love than your father or mother or father’s father or mother’s mother have ever felt in their lifetime. you will never know how important this is, but you’ll figure it out someday.

1 : sleep a normal amount of time for once in your life, there’s more to life than laying in bed.

2 : your aversion to normal people clothes & lack of embarrassment is admirable. try to laugh at yourself when you get older.

3 : you get called beautiful everywhere you go. you will always be beautiful, try not to forget it someday. I know it’ll be harder than it sounds.

4 : he’ll kiss you on the cheek after your cat scratches you. keep friends like this around. you’ll miss them too much, otherwise.

5 : you take a picture wearing your father’s shoes, this is a metaphor that you used in the wrong poem.

6 : one time you got into a fight with your teacher because she told you that you weren’t drawing a zebra correctly — you’re still bitter about this. how the fuck are you supposed to draw a zebra in kindergarten?

7 : you won’t remember this in a while. try really hard to remember it, even if it doesn’t work.

8 : learn. learn everything. don’t share what you learn. it’s alright to be quiet. don’t let them tell you that you’re wrong.

9 : you’ve always been a ray of sunshine, even when you’re not. keep this desire to see the world a better place, hold on to the good things in life. be so selfish you don’t let anyone else see it. keep it to yourself. as long as you’re happy.

10 : you’re still so pure & no one will ever imagine you broken. you never will be. even when you feel like it. you never will be.

11 : I’m sorry for the next six years. I will always be sorry for them.

12 : it’s okay to be lost but stop allowing others to define your morals. stop doing things impulsively, stop hating yourself. I love myself. I want to live.

13 : be careful who you trust. there are secret friends, and there are gossip friends, determine accordingly. at this point in your life — TRUST NO ONE.

14 : you are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. throw away every apology you have ever written. it will be worth it. I promise. start to trust people again, please, I know it’s hard but you’ll need them.

15 : the feeling in your chest that the world is trying to squeeze the life out of you will go away eventually. someday, you will be able to breathe again & it will be glorious.

16 : it’s okay to not to tell anyone about yourself at first, never make yourself feel bad for being distant. learn to accept it. find people willing to love you for it. people will begin to love you for it. it’s okay if you let them, you’ll know what I mean by the time you’re

17 : allow yourself to fail. allow yourself to try again, allow yourself to be second best at everything. allow yourself to start living. people want to see you living & god those people will piss you off but they will miss you more than anyone if you are not living. do it for them, if nothing else.

18 : keep living.

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Mae Santillo is a seventeen year old senior at Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic Connecticut.


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