Buy Dinner for Your Parents.
Your parents may have been funding your life for years, so now you can experience the joy of repaying their kindness, love, and responsibility, and of developing an adult relationship with them. Taking them out for dinner, and picking up the bill, is one of the ways of doing this.
Travel to another Continent
Travelling, with the exposure to different climes, cultures, and peoples, broadens the mind, helps develop life skills, and makes for more open attitudes and tolerance. However open-minded you are, there’s nothing like experiencing a different way of life firsthand. It also furnishes you with some great dinner party stories!
Try an Adrenaline Sport.
You could try sky diving, white water rafting or bungee jumping. Pushing your comfort zone and trying something like this may terrify you, but you’ll feel immensely proud of overcoming your fear.
Spend the Whole Weekend Partying.
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Once a girl of nine stumbled in onto wooden floors, scrapped knees before this. Two women ran to her, noting small cuts, noting she smelled of smoke, ‘from running,’ one woman assumed to the other. When the girl put wet cloth to wounds and filled herself with a meal, she told them the fire’s name. The dark-haired woman stuck her fork into the beef, eyed the sweat beading from the drinking glass, and remembered all her own father burned down. ‘You’re safe now, here,’ she said. ‘You’ll always be safe here.’
Twenty years old, to the brim with promise, head full of destiny, loses faith at the sight of blood draining down her leg, loses god with a hand around her throat, with betrayal thrusting in and out of her despite her pleas, despite the clawing. Found by the outskirts of the praying ground. A broken bird walks for miles before passing out. Blood hers and not hers under her fingernails. Pain all hers between her legs, constraining the chest, the heart. An old woman finds her and brings her to the gardens. Eyes flutter open, lip trembles, first words ‘I loved him.’ The old woman takes her hands and puts them to the ground. ‘Love yourself even more. You need yourself,’ then digs her hands into the ground, the beginning of prayer. Her hands tremble above the earth, face buried in Queen Anne’s Lace. ‘I’ve never really believed.’ The old woman smiles, hands in the earth. ‘You just have to believe in yourself. Believe you’ll grow from this. Believe that blood can turn to water.’ Twenty years old, hands find destiny and promise buried, pulls it out. She’s twenty years old and she finds her worth. ‘I want to stay.’ The old woman smiles, hands in the earth.
A miracle of a girl from a tiny village in the middle east, abandoned as a child found rescue at eight, now nineteen, has breakfast with the woman who for the longest time she’s called her mother and with the girls she’s called her sisters, drinking milk, making teeth out of orange slices, laughing, throwing raisins. The girl puts bread between teeth, and with her mind always wondering, she asks what exactly the praying ground is. Mother, looking out at all the girls saved over the years, tears a pomegranate apart. ‘It’s love. It’s finding love in everything, in anything you can. It’s recovery. It’s finding religion. Not religion in the sense of some sort of god, but it’s finding something to believe in when you think there’s nothing left. It’s not a destination but a lifelong journey, and along that journey you find others like you. You make a home, a support system. It’s about running from a fire, then when you feel like you’re stronger, running back into it, putting it out and rebuilding the ruins the way you see fit. It’s digging your hands into the earth and feeling the hope, the strength of everyone before you who’s ever done the same. It’s a sense of unity. It’s unity scattered like stardust.’
Once a girl of nine, now a girl of thirty, smiles more, has discovered a passion for teaching. She teaches about stumbling and about getting up again. She teaches about running headfirst into the fire. She’s wiser now, braver, louder. By nature a quiet voice but by nurture it resounds. Every now and again she’ll look up into the distance, see the smoke still rising from the forest. She’ll smile to herself, look down at her feet covered in dirt, the feet that ran her back.
Seventy years old, a life lived, promises fulfilled. Three children, all beautiful, all taught to be gentle and true with loved ones. She taught them all that she was taught, mostly about forgiveness, ‘not for them, but for yourself.’ Years after washing her hands and years after blood drying, she visits her abuser. She takes her name back. She fills her books with Queen Anne’s Lace now. She feels her wings mended. Looks back on life now, closes her eyes, in the end can say ‘I loved myself.’ Seventy years old, destiny, a story told, in the end can say ‘I loved myself.’
- Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
Date a boy who travels. Date a boy who treasures experience over toys, a hand-woven bracelet over a Rolex. Date the boy who scoffs when he hears the words, “vacation,” “all-inclusive” or “resort.” Date a boy who travels because he’s not blinded by a single goal but enlivened by many.
You might find him in a bus stop or an airport store browsing the travel guides — although he “only uses them for reference.”
You’ll know it’s him because when you peek at his computer screen his background will be a scenic splendor of rolling hills, mountains or prayer flags. His Facebook friend count will be over-the-roof and his wall will be plastered with the broken English ‘miss-you’ of friends he met along the way. When he travels he makes lifelong friends in an hour. And although contact with these friends is sporadic and may be far-between his bonds are unmessable and…
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“It’s hot!” I said and instantly knew that I had made a mistake.
Shuntoo didn’t respond, not even a change of expression. But I knew he had heard me. It was just that, for Shuntoo such a statement was probably stupid; stating the obvious and what-not. After a while, I just couldn’t resist.
“What’s so silly about saying it’s hot?”
Shuntoo looked up from the book he was staring at, and slightly smiled. “I didn’t say there was anything stupid about it.”
“I know but that’s what you were thinking.” I insisted.
“O bacchay!” he laughed now annoying me further. “I guess you realized it yourself that it was a useless thing to say, you don’t have to blame it on me. It’s good that you realized it yourself. Self-awareness is the sign of a working mind.”
“Yes yes whatever,” I said. “But what is so stupid about it?”
“I never said it was stupid. It was useless.”
Finally he closed the book with a finger inside it on the page he was looking at and said “To me, there are only three kinds of things one can say. Those that raise questions, those that answer questions, and those that are useless.”
“No need to pressure your mind so much bacchay, all of us spend our whole lives saying useless things, no need to worry, it’s just what an average human does.”
“But….” I started but he was back at his book again and I thought best to stop.