Indulge all the old passions. They've been laughed off and only half-loved for too long:
Under trees, in cafes, in the kitchen, on the blue cuddly chair, in bed, on the bus, in the park. The old favourites, new ones, poetry, fiction, non fiction, Afghanistan, astronomy, physics, love stories, adventure stories, Rushdie, Micheal Ondaatje.
Wear them. Buy pots of them, place along each window sill in thick stands and stain every drab English skyline with deep crimson. Sniff every morning.
Wear with delicate pista green. With gold. With silver. With baby blue. Midnight blue. Deep red. Wear with flair, with panache. Become the antithesis of beige.
Remember the answer to the challenge: 'A PhD?? But why??' And live the answer, again. After far too long. Work. Breathe it.
Without guilt re. lost study hours, without alarm clocks jerking one out of nightmares or starlit dreams, without struggling to the last inch of tiredness before giving in. Sleep full nights, siesta when having a hard day, catnap whenever the urge strikes.
What happened to the girl who was never tired?? Get back the 45-minutes-without-getting-breathless-girl. Whip those legs back into shape, rid those lungs of the last vestiges of the damage done by all those ridiculous cigarettes (What on earth was I thinking. Yech.) By my birthday I will be able to do this, 3 times a week.
And this will sound extremely prosaic, but honestly, I have to nail this now:
Bloody drink enough water every day. Stop f.ing around with kidneys. Seriously.
No.more. days of going to bed without having drunk anything but coffee and coke. Shee. Utterly disgusting thing to do to the body. Will stop.
And in the time and space in between these passions, find new ones. Go out and explore. Try new colours in the shops. New coffees in the cafes. Whenever tempted to say 'I know what I want'', rethink and say: 'I wonder... could I try a piece of that??' Wonder. About everything. Rethink. Reknow. Re-create.
And to those who think this is an entirely selfish list, think again.
Half-baked, broken, unkempt or neglected souls cannnot world-changing magic make.