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10 things I learned since I turned 18 by Sarah Carlos

Photographs by Terry Evans

1. the world is an unending collection of infinite points and infinite sides of people whose issues are infinitely expanding. everyone wants to be saved.

2. in such a large web, your cosmic insignificance will haunt you. don’t let it. you don’t have to save everyone. save yourself first. it will be enough.

3. there is ink dancing on black paper swaying elegantly and gracefully until letters rambling in your mind, knotted up in a mess of sorts are put down in words and made sense of. read.

4. work hard and work honest. create; everything you create authentically, the world will need for its nourishment your service is important. do what makes your heart sing passionately. find your calling and love it hard.

5. as the world clenched in your palm spins around because of magic you create, remember that the sweat trickling down your back that leaves you panting, your mind tired and weary is a sign. rest. good things take time.

6. the status quo is taxing. you are witnessing it. it demands you to speak up for yourself and for the dignity of your people. it is tiring but with racing hearts that have lost battles and nestled up for the next round, we will never give up or give in.

7. kindness is all the flowers in the multitude of colours and all the spring mornings the baggage you carried seem lighter. practice kindness, the world is burning with burdens and hatred and anger that has left us bereft and famished. be kind, to yourself and to your people.

8. most importantly, let go. don’t bury yourself under the weight of the ghosts of people that walked over you or the memories of places that bring you to tears or the pictures that make you sick because things are not the same anymore. let go, immediately and willingly. make space so that new things and new places and new people can fill it. let go now.

9. laugh at yourself once in a while. you’re fumbling and falling and finding your way around. you’re young and you must laugh at yourself. the world is a dark place, smile so that the shine you bestow will enlighten another.

10. above all things, love. love hard. love when you hold miracles in your hand and see places that astonish you. love the people you will meet that ignite your light. love everything, especially things that hurt you. because in the end, without exceptions, a little love is all that will keep you going.

The writer is turning 20 soon. Follow Sarah on Instagram.


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