Before leaving.

  1. Run every morning as the sun is coming up over the city. Feel the air bite your skin and notice how you breathe in rhythm with your feet. Let the cold wake you up when you can’t do it yourself.
  2. Write lists of all the things you need to do, all the things you are afraid of, all of the good things you’re hoping will happen. Look for shooting stars.
  3. Collect addresses. Intend to write letters.
  4. Walk around the city, fold it into your bones. Know that it will stay with you even when you are miles away.
  5. Memorise the sound of your dad opening the door in the evening, and the face your little brother pulls when you call him that nickname he hates, all the things about home you’ve taken for granted until now.
  6. Let people give you advice, even if it doesn’t make you feel any better. 
  7. Pack your life into boxes, and squeeze all the books you can in between. Realise how tiny your life has been.
  8. Cry sometimes, but only when nobody can see. Don’t tell anyone that you’re unravelling at the seams.

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