Trust your gut. Trust the voice inside your head. Only do what feels right and everything will unfold in the right way. It just will. As long as you listen to your instinct, you will be safe.

Always carry a notebook and a pen with you for when you are out of battery. Besides, writing by hand feels so much better.

Read, read, read, read. So you can write, write, write, write.

Hit send. Hit publish. Don’t be scared.

You are only as beautiful as you are content. Beauty comes from within.

Take care of yourself. You’re the only thing you’ve got. Eat well, drink plenty upon plenty of water, eat fruit; you can always eat more fruit. It takes twenty minutes to prepare a delicious minestrone soup, do it weekly. Take long showers when so inclined. Sleep in on the weekends you don’t have a flight to catch. Go for walks after work. Do weekly hair and face masks (mud masks are miraculous). And when in doubt, put coconut oil on it.

Madiba was right: Home is a place that remains unchanged so that you can find the ways in which you yourself have altered. Embrace the feeling. Learn from it.

Miss your plane. Book that flight. Get on the train. Take a bus. Go. Just go. And then walk. Walk, walk as much as you can. There’s nothing quite as freeing as being enough alone just by yourself.

Get rid of all your possessions. You don’t need any of the things anyway. The value of life is in memories, experiences, and words that are not left unsaid.

Don’t spend time with people who don’t bring any value to your life. You know the ones.

Say what you want to say. Write what you want to write. Tell them you love them. Just do it. If you don’t, the only thing you stand to gain is the heavy feeling of regret for years to follow. And that is no way to live.

Family is the most important thing in the world. Don’t allow yourself to forget that. Don’t forget who you are.

Life is too short for bad coffee. Which is to say, coffee is always a good idea.

Recognize when you are being given a second chance. And for fuck’s sake, don’t screw it up.

To my frightened twenty-one-year-old self, I offer you this: It gets better. You are okay. You are enough. As I grown older, this affirmation will become stronger together with me.

Don’t wait around. Don’t make it harder for yourself. Don’t torture yourself with the past. Let the grief in once in a while but then send it away. There’s no longer a reason for you to be grieving all the time. Feel the feelings. But don’t let them control you.

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Believe in the energy. What you give into the world, it will come back to you in one form or another. Live with a purpose. Mindfulness is not easy, but it is rewarding. Work for it and work for it hard.

There are days when all you need and want is to sleep (even when the weather outside is perfect) and that’s okay.

Do a little bit of something that will bring you closer to your dream every day. Don’t wait for it to happen on its own because that’s not how it works. You have to keep moving. Keep hustling.

Practice gratefulness. Say thank you often. Mean it. Smile at strangers. Make others feel better to make them feel better, not yourself.

Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve gone through a lot. You’re doing the best you can.

Less is more.

Call your grandparents more often.

In order to be content, you need to take the leap. Go on. Jump. Be free.

Happy birthday to me.