Photo by Gia Yetikyel / North by Northwestern

Dear Ilana-twenty-five:  

Take no prisoners, take yourself shopping, take songs as souvenirs, take just the right amount of shit, take nothing stronger than maybe cocaine, take it back when you know you’ve gone too far, take everything for granted until it stops scaring you, take two Advil once a month, take honey in your tea, take the ones you love far away from this place, take pictures of yourself in smoky silver eyeliner, take her hand in yours when you run out of words, take your friends to the beach at midnight, take your mother’s advice, take your stuffed animals with you when you get your first apartment, take leftovers home and feed them to the pigeons, take careful aim if you’re shooting for the heart, take your daughter to the river and teach her how to swim, take yourself home after you fall asleep watching the stars, take forty napkins from Starbucks like both your grandmothers did every single time, take breaks for effect when you read your poems, take your legacy with you when you find it’s time to run, take greedy breaths in the dead of night and grateful breaths at sunrise,

take your time.

Take it from me.