Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog


10 Reasons Why People Who Take A Long Time To Get Over Relationships Are The Only Kind Of People To Date

Posted: 23 Aug 2015 02:19 PM PDT

Amy Gee
Amy Gee

1. They know love is a mental-emotional connection, not just a physical one. Their feelings and loyalties don't dissolve the second the physical relationship or Facebook status does. That means they understand that love is more than just a hormonal rush – it's a bond, one that spans past just a physical continuum.

2. Everybody hangs onto their relationships for too long, but only some people are honest with themselves about it. When people can be honest and conscious of their attachments, that usually means they were healthy. If people are ashamed of their attachments, it usually means they're more to do with an idea than they are a person. What it comes down to is this: people who are aware of their lingering sentiments can actually process and get over them, people who suppress them, can't.

3. People who take a while to mourn their losses are in tune with their needs, even when all they're picking up on is how much those needs aren't being met. They can see and sense how they are beings that desire love and companionship, even if by comparison to how much they don't have it.

4. They're seeking something genuine. Nobody gets hurt, or holds on, to the love that doesn't mean something… and love that means something is love that fulfills a dream. Even if they play it cool, people who are still heartbroken were seeking something real. The degree to which they are crushed that they didn't find it with the wrong person is half of the degree to which they'll be ready to have it with the right one.

5. They're hopeful. Hidden beneath a bit of initial denial, people who can't get past relationships quickly have little more than hope. It's often a bit naive and a little misguided, especially right at the tail-end of a breakup, but ultimately, that trait isn't something that blossoms just out of their loss – it's indicative of how positive they are in general.

6. They're humble. People who have been dragged through emotional turmoil eventually learn what it takes to really let go. They know what it's like to put your everything into someone and ultimately not get anything in return. One of the most humbling experiences we have is in loving something and finding that we weren't loved in return. (It dissolves any illusions we had about how superior we were as date-able humans, and makes us grateful for every moment we do have with someone who cares.)

7. They're willing to try, even if that means making themselves vulnerable. A lot of people won't try so that they don't fail. But no mud, no lotus, as they say – and people who take a while to get over relationships are the people who actually cared about them in the first place, and who actually gave it an honest attempt.

8. The more you know loss, the more you're capable of love. It's just one of those funny paradoxical things about life and happiness and love: the darker something is by contrast, the lighter something appears. People who know loss are more acutely aware of love, not the other way around.

9. The other side of shame and abandonment is gratitude and presence. The first part of mourning a loss consists of a lot of wondering what it is about you that makes you so intolerably unlovable. But once you dig into the DNA of shame and abandonment, you find that what you were missing all along was gratitude and presence.

10. It makes them more, not less, capable of loving you, because the dreams they are holding onto do not belong to the love they lost, they belong to the love that's in their hearts.

The Kind Of Music That Makes You Fall In Love

Posted: 23 Aug 2015 07:57 PM PDT

“What is love like?”
Twenty20 / gabriellalucia
Twenty20 / gabriellalucia
“You know how when you’re listening to music playing from another room? And you’re singing along because it’s a tune that you really love? When a door closes or a train passes so you can’t hear the music anymore, but you sing along anyway… then, no matter how much time passes, when you hear the music again you’re still in exact same time with it. That’s what it’s like.” – Danny, Music From Another Room

beetlejuice

Whenever I think about the people I could have loved, I always think about a song, their song. Their song was Teenage Dreams and You and I and Next To Me, and so many more of these. I would play their songs on repeat and my heart would be free to imagine their love.

The kind of music that makes you fall in love aren’t always love songs. But love songs are the kind of music everyone wants to fall in love to.

beetlejuice

I found myself feeling that way – falling in love – when I saw Amel Lerrieux live in concert in Chicago a few weeks ago. As a matter of full disclosure, I was invited to attend her concert and received a bottle of her amazing She hair and skin moisturizer.

Her music was the kind that makes you want to fall in love, but also consisted of many love songs that made you feel like you already were – in love, that is. The kind of music that makes you realize that love and falling in love is not just something that you give to other people, specific people. It’s something that you can give to yourself.

What kind of music makes you fall in love? With others? With yourself?

beetlejuice

Perhaps what I loved most about Amel’s music – her sound, her words, the melodies, the atmosphere she created as she sung – was the strength that went alongside with the subtlety. Her music wasn’t loud but it was powerful. This is my favourite kind of love too – powerful but with no need for loudness.

In a time where love is on display for all to see, it seems almost a rare act to maintain a love that is quietly beautiful. A love that doesn’t need to be on stage, doesn’t need a performance, doesn’t need recognition. But a love that is always still consuming and filling and entire.

beetlejuice

The kind of music that makes you fall in love will always say a little bit about who you are, where you are in the moment, and what you want. But so will the love songs that you listen to. Pick your love songs wisely. But never negate what your heart chooses.

There’s room, I think, for all kinds of music that you love to love, just as there is room for all kinds of love. Maybe your love is loud. Maybe your love is soft. Maybe your love is quiet. Maybe your love is fun. Maybe your love is all of these or none of these – but maybe it’s so much more, or different, or something. Whatever it is, I hope your love is real.

beetlejuice

“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
– Duke Orsino, Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare)
TC mark

I Needed To Know What Eli Would Feel Like Inside Me

Posted: 20 Aug 2015 02:27 PM PDT

annarafanan
annarafanan

It's 82 degrees in Dana Point, California.

It's hot, but not too hot. I'm laying on my back, reveling in my solitude—my parents aren't home, and they won't be for a few days. They're visiting my sister at school up near San Francisco.

I wonder if he's watching me. He's my sister's age—20 or 21, now—a year or two younger than me. He's quiet. I don't know him, but I know he's quiet. I talked to him once—a year ago, when he and his dad moved in next door. He said his name was Eli. I told him mine was Ari. Eli and Ari haven't spoken since.

He watches me, though. Whenever I'm alone, I can feel him watching me. I've caught him a few times, peering down from his balcony to our back porch. He seems lonely. I like lonely boys.

When I catch him watching, he always holds my eyes for a moment before he looks down and pretends like he was never looking, at all. He's tallish—5'11 or so. Dark skin. I remember his eyes being greenish the time I saw him up close, but I could be wrong.

I can feel him watching me now. I've been out here for forty-five minutes, I think, and I can finally feel him watching. I don't want to open my eyes—I don't want him to disappear. I roll onto my stomach, untying my bikini top as my cheek touches the towel.

I stay there for a few minutes, till my skin needs to feel the ocean. I turn my cheek up to see if he's there. He's not. But I know he was. I walk to the water. It's cool.

The beach is silent. The closest people to me are playing with their kids five or six houses down. I haven't put my top back on yet. Relaxed and alone, I float on my back, my nipples peaking out of the water. I let my hand drift down to my vagina as I start to think about Eli between my legs.

I wonder what he's like in bed. Probably strong and soft—the way those quiet, lonely Elis usually are. His body is probably hard. And his cock is probably long.

As I float, I can feel every muscle in my body let go. I'm happy here—floating. Relaxed. Alone. I wonder what it's like to feel Eli's hand where mine is right now—to feel him touch me. To feel his palm press on me. To feel him slip his fingers into me as we roll around in the sand.

I wonder what his cock tastes like. I'd probably like it. Especially when his hands are squeezing my tits and my pussy is wet—I'd probably like the way his cock tastes when I'm turned on. When I can feel him getting tense with pleasure. And then relaxed. And then tense again, as I run my fingers down his stomach, pressing into his hips as I take all of him into my mouth.

I wonder what his hair feels like when we're sweaty and breathless. When I'm on top of him, my body completely still as he thrusts into me. Fast. Deep. I wonder what his hair feels like when I'm looking into him, and he's looking into me, and both of our heads tilt back—our mouths slightly open—as we moan.

I wonder what his hands feel like as he gets even hungrier, flipping me around so he's in control. I wonder what his hands feel like as he puts a finger into my mouth, taking it out slowly so I can get it wet. I wonder what his hands feel like as he presses that finger into my clit, rubbing me quickly and softly as he slides his cock inside.

I wonder what he sounds like as I lift my hips, pushing them into him so I can feel all of him. I bet his groans are long and deep. I bet he sounds like the ocean.

I wonder how loud I'd moan when he pins me down, one big hand clenching both my wrists. I wonder how wet I'd be when my back arches without me telling it to—when my body starts to move and feel him without thinking. I wonder how badly I'd want him back inside me when he pulls out to tease me, sucking as he kisses me from my stomach to my neck.

I wonder what it feels like to feel him grab me. My tits. My thighs. I wonder how good it feels—that sting of perfect pleasure when I tell him to slap my ass, and he does. I wonder how good it feels—that violent rush of blood when I tell him to wrap his hand around my neck and squeeze, and he does. I wonder what it feels like to feel him pause, shaking as if he's about to come, and then take a deep breath and keep coming into me. Faster. Deeper. And then slower. I wonder what it feels like to tingle with excitement over what he'll do next.

I wonder what it feels like to hear him say my name. To tell me I'm Ariana when I'm on my knees and he's pulling my braids with both hands, telling me exactly how fucking good this feels—how good it feels to fuck me from behind as his head swings back in ecstasy.

I wonder what it feels like to come before him. To feel his body smile as my vagina swells. As my thighs shake. As I sing a little, two-note song of satisfaction. And then I wonder how it feels to feel him let go completely—to release everything he's got left into me once he knows I'm satisfied. I wonder how it feels to feel him speed up, grabbing my ass as we both get ready for him to finish. I wonder what it feels like to feel him come inside me.

"Are you okay?"

I pop up from the water. I don't know how long I've been there. When I turn around, I see Eli.

"Oh my god…I'm…sorry."

I don't know what else to say.

"Don't be."

I'm embarrassed. But I can't throw this moment away.

"Do you…do you want to go inside?"

"Oh," he blushes, "Ok. It's hot out here"

I undo my braids as I get out the water, watching him watch me as I go. I take his hand.

"Come."

I wonder if he's wondered what this is about to feel like, too. TC mark

Forget A Summer Love, I Want Us All Seasons

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 05:48 PM PDT

rgags
rgags

A group of us sit on patio chairs and sip glasses of rosé while talking about how unbearable the temperature is. It’s been months of sweat and restlessness with the promise of September finally around the corner.

My friend talks about her summer romance, a fleeting relationship she knows will be coming to a close any day now. As soon as the leaves begin to change, they will kiss one another goodbye and think nothing of it. She doesn’t mind. And I wonder if she really means that.

I look around the room and think of how these nights will soon look different. Our group will switch out our glasses of wine for mugs of cider and embrace the change in the air.

“Summer flings are great, but autumn is the best time to fall in love,” another friend chimes in.

We all nod in agreement, but I can’t stop from thinking about love and timing.

I don't want a summer love. I want an all seasons kind of love. A Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday kind of love.

I'm becoming accustomed to searching for these pesky expiration dates. I’m checking labels of cans and people, preparing for the inevitable. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s making me lose my appetite.

I’m not as willing to sit down to my meals anymore. I’m looking for take-out, for drive-thru windows, anything quick so I can’t watch the things I want to eat go bad. Things seem to go bad so fast. I’m not wanting to watch anymore. It’s harder to block out the ticking clock.

I'm sick of trying to do the logical thing when it comes to love. Watching us round the same track, calculating chances that this whole thing will blow up in our faces.

I’m saying, “Fuck that.”

I want a love that could detonate. I want a love that might just leave traces of what we once were all over this town.

I don’t care anymore. The risks aren’t enough to stop me. I’ve seen the aftermath from the past and I’m still willing to put both my hands in. I’m running across hot coals barefoot and knowing it’s half idiotic, half the bravest thing I’ve ever done.

I'm saying
, I don’t want a summer love because September comes without warning and maybe I won't want to close another chapter. Maybe I'll want to keep reading. Maybe I’m just so tired of knowing books have to end. TC mark

6 Hair-Raising Letters From Actual Stalkers

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 02:01 PM PDT

Flickr Shan Sheehan
Flickr Shan Sheehan

1. “The Westfield Watcher.”

A series of letters sent this June and July to the purchasers of a $1.3-million “dream” house in Westfield, NJ terrified the new owners to the point that they never moved in. Excerpts from the letters:

[The home] was been the subject of my family for decades…I have be [sic] put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming…My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched it in the 1960s. It is now my time…Why are you here? I will find out…Now that they have to flaunt it, they pay the price…Tsk, tsk, tsk…bad move. You don't want to make 657 Boulevard unhappy.…Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?…Once I know their names I will call them and draw them too [sic] me….I asked the woods to bring me young blood.

Have they found what is in the walls yet?…In time they will…I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought to me.…It will help me to know who is in which bedroom then I can plan better….All of the windows and doors in 657 Boulevard allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house….Who am I? I am the Watcher and have been in control of 657 Boulevard for the better part of two decades now….You have changed it and made it so fancy….It cries for the past and what used to be in the time when I roamed its halls…When I ran from room to room imagining the life with the rich occupants there.…And now I watch watch and wait for the day when they [sic] young blood will be mine again.

beetlejuice

2. “IF YOU ARE A GIRL AND HAVE A PITBULL TERRIER, STOP!”

In 2014, the following printed note was found on a dog-walking trail in British Columbia. Police interviewed the woman they believe was the note’s target, but the author’s identity remains a mystery. A picture of the original note follows the text.

IF YOU ARE A GIRL AND HAVE A PITBULL TERRIER, STOP!

This message is for a certain young lady who owns multiple pitbull terriers, so if this not you, cease reading.

I see you nearly every lunch hour of mine in here. You seem to have 3-4 dogs, two black ones, and a brindle, along with a mongrel I am not as of yet familiar with. Perhaps it belongs to your friend.

Yesterday, you were in here with a friend, with a brown dog and the mongrel. Everytime that I see you coming, I want to approach you and introduce myself. Instead, I find myself overcome by shyness and jumping off the trail, and watching you from afar. But yesterday, I slipped up and almost came out to say hello, but thought better of it. I was too close and you could smell my cologne. I was close enough to hear you ask your friend if she smelt cologne, and I watched you stop and smell the air. You reminded me of a tiny fox the way you lifted your face and scented the air. I know that your dog seen [sic] me because the hair on its back stood up. I watched you grab you dog before he could bolt into the woods, thankfully for me as it is a very big dog.

I am very impressed every time I see you in the woods. You seem to realize when you are being watched, but perhaps your very large, aggressive looking dogs, plus the bear spray and the concealed knife I know that you carry, give you a sense of security. However, you obviously have sharp senses, as every time that you stop and look around yourself, I feel as if I am almost caught.

I just wanted to tell you that I think you are very beautiful and have a beautiful body. I do not intend for this message to scare you, as it shouldn't. I only hope that one day I am courageous enough to come out and say hello. I realize that other people who read this may find it "creepy," but you seem to be smart enough to know the difference, and frankly it is noone [sic] else [sic] business.

imgur
imgur

beetlejuice

3. “Philly’s Hottest Blonde” threatened by man who lives with his mommy.

In March of 2008, bikini model Kourtney Reppert—who was once named “Philly’s Hottest Blonde"—started receiving threats via Facebook and email from 47-year-old Luis Plascencia of Chicago, who lived with his mom like so many stalkers do. The ALL CAPS psycho-nuggets he sent to Reppert include the following gleaming pearls:

I HOPE YOU DIE IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT AND CRUSHES YOUR UGLY FACE THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD AND A LARGE PIECE OF GLASS CUTS YOUR THROAT

YOU JUST PISSED ME OFF/ / / / I WILL FUCKIN' KILL YOU/ / / / / DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?????????…I WARNED YOU BEFORE ABOUT DOING THIS AND WILL CONTINUE MY WRATH UNTIL YOU STEP DOWN AS A MODEL GO BACK TO COLLEGE AND MOVE BACK NEAR YOUR FAMILY IN PHILLY

beetlejuice

4. “To Miss Whitney Houston: Please, Keep Smiling.”

A 1988 FBI report details the 66 letters that a man who described himself as “sort of a loner” sent to now-deceased pop star Whitney Houston. None of the letters were answered. Here are excerpts from four of them:

To Miss Whitney Houston

Miss Whitney, you are a beautiful lady and a beautiful person. I really and truly am in love with you. Please believe in life and in love and trust in yourself, and in your friends and trust in god.

Miss Whitney, you are a special person with a wonderful gift. Please keep singing and helping people to be happy, but most of all, Miss Whitney, Please Keep Smiling.

To Miss Whitney Houston

Miss Whitney, you are just so pretty and so beautiful. I just cannot stop thinking about you. Many times when I think about you I will start to shake. Miss Whitney, what am I doing wrong. I am in love with you. I really and truly am in love with you. Whitney, Please, Please give me a chance.

Whatever you decide to do, could you do one thing at least. Please, Keep Smiling.

To Miss Whitney Houston

I try to write to you but I just do not know what to say. I think that you are the most beautiful lady that there is in the whole world. Miss Whitney, I am in love with you.

I saw a headline for an article in one of those things in the supermarket saying that you were married allready [sic]. I am sure they made it up but I allmost [sic] broke down right then and there and I have still been sick for the last several days. I cannot stop thinking about it and I just shake and feel sick in my gut….

Miss Whitney, why can't you respond to my 70 plus letters…

Miss Whitney, I really am in love with you. Please, believe me. You probably think that I am crazy. Well, meebe [sic] I am. I just can't give up. I have to keep trying. I really am in love with you. Hug your kitty cats and smile that pretty smile of yours. Please, Keep Smiling.

beetlejuice

5. Man offers to die for Mark Zuckerberg.

In 2011 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took out a restraining order against 31-year-old Pradeep Manukonda, who’d been harassing him up to 20 times daily via email, Facebook, and snail mail. Here is one of his Facebook posts:

Dear mark:

I am completely tired and exhausted …. I am extremely sorry for bothering you at early hours
Please mark … time is really running out for me .. please help me . I really need your help … please respond in time … before it get [sic] too late for us …
I owe entire my [sic] life at your service .. please help me, then I am ready to die for you … these are not just the words … these are coming from my heart …
Please understand my pain …. Once again, I am extremely sorry for everything … please understand my situation …

Please understand the urgency …time is really running out me [sic] …
Please do the need ful [sic] thing

Your [sic] truly
Pradeep

beetlejuice

John Hinckley. (Wikimedia Commons)
John Hinckley. (Wikimedia Commons)

6. Man shoots at president to prove his love for actress.

On March 30, 1981, sullen drifter John Hinckley—who’d been diligently stalking actress Jodie Foster—wrote the following letter. Later that day, he attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan by shooting him. Reagan was wounded in the attack but survived.

3/30/81
12:45 P.M.

Dear Jodie,

There is a definite possibility that I will be killed in my attempt to get Reagan. It is for this very reason that I am writing you this letter now.

As you well know by now I love you very much. Over the past seven months I’ve left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me. Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself. Besides my shyness, I honestly did not wish to bother you with my constant presence. I know the many messages left at your door and in your mailbox were a nuisance, but I felt that it was the most painless way for me to express my love for you.

I feel very good about the fact that you at least know my name and know how I feel about you. And by hanging around your dormitory, I’ve come to realize that I’m the topic of more than a little conversation, however full of ridicule it may be. At least you know that I’ll always love you.

Jodie, I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever.

I will admit to you that the reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait any longer to impress you. I’ve got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I am doing all of this for your sake! By sacrificing my freedom and possibly my life, I hope to change your mind about me.

This letter is being written only an hour before I leave for the Hilton Hotel. Jodie, I’m asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance, with this historical deed, to gain your respect and love.

I love you forever,

John Hinckley TC mark


Read Jim Goad's terrifying yet amusing ebook about fending off fans turned stalkers.

Headache-Factory-Final

This Is What It’s Like To Realize He Was Wrong For You

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 01:04 PM PDT

Twenty20 / kirillvasilevphotography
Twenty20 / kirillvasilevphotography

Your blinded by the momentary happiness. The way he makes you feel when you’re at the highest of highs is that much worse when he makes you feel the lowest of lows. It’s a constant up and down, but the peak of the up is worth it.

You feel like you’re drifting into the unknown because everyday is different and it scares you, but not enough to leave. So you let him leave first, and not willingly, but reluctantly. You feel him leave and you feel a part of yourself leave with him. So you’re left alone with what remains.

And you stay right where he left you, and you think. You think a lot and you think hard. First, you think about the future that he mentioned. Then you think about how it will never happen. And then you start to think about the good times, and it hurts because you miss them. Not the person, just the times. And when you’re finally done sulking in your sorrows, your thinking becomes questioning. And then your questioning turns into doubt, and you begin to realize he’s not right for you, that you’re not right for each other.

And it doesn’t feel like some grand epiphany because the realization is slow and gradual, not sudden.

And at first you don’t believe it, or at least you don’t accept it, the fact that someone you spent so much time and energy with, who you thought was perfect for you in every way, wasn’t. But that time and energy wasn’t wasted. Now, instead, it’s just memories. And no one likes to admit that they were wrong about anything, let alone a person, but when you do, you start to understand that this feeling might’ve been there from the beginning and the ending was just what made it come to life. TC mark

Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Answers The Question “Which Type Would You Rather Be?”

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 12:00 PM PDT

andriana56
andriana56

Jump to your type:

Idealists: ENFP INFP INFJ ENFJ
Rationals: ENTP INTP INTJ ENTJ
Guardians: ESFJ ISFJ ESTJ ISTJ
Artisans: ESTP ISTP ISFP ESFP

ENFP

ENFPs provided a wide range of responses, but predominantly wished to switch to either INFJ or a slightly different version of their own type.

  • “I love being an ENFP. I wouldn’t trade! But if I HAD to choose, I’d want to be an INFJ, it would be like I was just turned inside out, and had more structure to my life.”
  • “I'm an ENFP. I wish to be a more self actualized ENFP. Which is probably very ENFP of me.”
  • “I would love to be an ENTP. I love my extraverted intuition but would rather have it paired up with thinking instead of feeling.”
  • “#TeamENFP alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day/life long baby!! Would not want to be another type, but I would like to be a bit taller and have staff and a trust fun and maybe a pet monkey. But one of the NICE monkeys that doesn’t fling its own feces.”
  • “I wish I were an INFJ because I wish I could structure my dreams and visions in such a way as to make them a reality… And I also wish I had the wherewithal to stick to my convictions and see things through like an INFJ.”
  • “ENFP here. I wont trade it for any other type. No disrespect though, it's just that I love being crazy!”
  • “I wish i could be an ENTP, but i guess i wouldn’t have as much fun. No matter how much being an ENFP is exhausting, its still a lot fulfilling and fun.”
  • “I wish I was less turbulent and more balanced and organized. If I could choose my type it would be INFJ, for several obvious reasons. They are very inspirational and focused.”
  • “I’m an ENFP and I wouldn’t change it for a billion bucks, flaws and all! I love and appreciate all other types but I’m pretty sure I would be bored to tears living in any other’s skin. There’s a system in my chaos and I love every bit of it.”
  • “ENFP, and I wish my type was Carly Rae Jepsen’s ENFP.”

INFP

Of all the types who answered, INFPs provided the most varied responses. The majority wished to be either a thinking type or an ENFP. Others didn’t like the idea of being defined by a type at all.

  • “My type is INFP and I wish my type was INTP because I wish my decisions were more thought based. Plus I just think INTP is like the coolest type.”
  • “I’m an INFP, and I really love being my type. However, sometimes I wish I was more like an ENFP, allowing myself to be more outgoing and willing to outwardly demonstrate my inward enthusiasm.”
  • “I wish I were ESTP, they just go go with the flow.”
  • “Sometimes I wish I were an xTJ so I’d have a more consistent view of the world. Being open-minded helps me empathize with people, but it also causes me to have frequent existential crises, which make me emotional, and I hate being emotional.”
  • “I wish to be an INTJ sometimes… because I want to be even-headed at work.”
  • “I like being an INFP, but in some moments I wish I were INTP or INTJ because it’s really just exhausting dealing with all of these sensitivities and emotions ALL the time. INFP requires a lot of emotional and spiritual maintenance to feel balanced, and sometimes finding direction is difficult.”
  • “I wish I was an ENTJ. I would accomplish my business goals so much faster, and wouldn’t have to deal with introverted feeling.”
  • “INFP here, wish I was an ENFJ because I’d rather be a real extrovert and more Oprah-like. Or an ISFP so I don’t daydream so often, both types seem to get more done.”
  • “I’m INFP and wish I was ENFP because although I love all the passion and craziness that we both share, I feel a wall blocking me from acting the way that I feel. I think ENFPs have way more fun!”
  • “INFP…I wish I didn’t have a type.”

INFJ

INFJs were split almost evenly down the middle of wanting to be either an INTJ or an ENFJ.

  • “At times (when I am in my analytical mode, pissed from the world), I wish my type was an INTJ instead, because they have an easier life, and they don’t care about the world. When seeking socializing, I wish my type was an ENFJ, because they have much energy and will power to finish the goals.”
  • “I’m an INFJ and I don’t want to be anything else. If I HAD to, I’d choose INTJ, because the ones I’ve known were pretty darn great people.”
  • “INFJ, and I both love and hate it for numerous reasons. I don’t have a particularly strong preference for Feeling over Thinking, so I won’t say INTJ. I think if I had to choose, I’d pick ENFJ because being an extroverted type would make interaction so much easier and I’d feel a lesser feeling as though I’m dying after being around too much for too long.”
  • “I wish to be an INTJ. I have too many emotional bursts which puts me in a bad situation…”
  • “I wish I were more extroverted, so I’d rather be an ENFJ I guess.”
  • “I’m an INFJ and I wish I was INTJ because I appreciate their introverted intuition and extraverted thinking combination that allows them to reach what ever goal they set to themselves in this life.”
  • “I’d rather be an INTJ. I wish that I could be less emotional and think in cold hard facts. INTJs are very smart, which I wish I was. I also would like to make more sense to other people and to myself.”
  • “I’m an INFJ. I often wish I was an INTJ to be able to structure things more. Or an INTP to be able to focus on ideas and not be so distraught by all the emotions of people. Or when I’m feeling really burned out, I wish I was a go-with-the-flow ISTP.”
  • “INFJ and I love it, but if I had to choose a different type, it would be ENFJ. Being a little more extroverted could help me in a few areas of my life…”
  • “INFJ. And i love my type. BUT i can be so emotionally pedantic – fighting for justice and all that and it tires me out terribly. Think I could’ve managed better if I was ENFJ.”

ENFJ

ENFJs almost exclusively desired to stay the same or switch to INTJ.

  • “ENFJ and I am happy right where I am.”
  • “I wish I were an INTJ sometimes. I'd like to be more logical.”
  • “ENFJ I don’t wish for anything different. I like who I am.”
  • “I wish I was a TJ… I just have a lot of feelings…”
  • “I am an ENFJ and wouldn’t want to be any other type!”
  • “I’ve gradually become ok with who I am, but I wish I was INTJ on days where it feels easier to not be so reliant on connecting with others for energy and purpose – whether because I’m just too exhausted from going out the past 5 days straight, or because I’m temporarily jaded by how unreliable and, at times, undeserving people are.”
  • “ENFJ and I wouldn’t change a thing!”
  • “I am an ENFJ but I think I have a tendency to compare myself – and feel lacking in comparison to – INTJs. It's something I’m working on.”

INTP

    The INTP answers were all over the board, showing only a slight preference for xNTJ types.

  • “I wish I was more INFPish sometimes, to be more expressive of how I feel instead of getting all logical about it!”
  • “I’m an INTP. I’m actually good with that type. Sometime I wish I were more energized by being around other people.”
  • “If I had to pick another type it would be ISTP because most of my favorite film/novel/video game characters are this type.”
  • “Why would I “wish” to be anything else??? Besides, I can morph to become others when context requires it.”
  • “Love my type. No desire to be anything else.”
  • “I’m an INTP. Sometimes I wish I was an ESFJ.”
  • “I wish I were anything with an E.”
  • “I like my type, in very rare circumstances I wish to become ENTJ.”
  • “INTP and i’m already content with my type. Although if i do need to “wish”, i’d probably choose ENTJ/INTJ for their Te and keeping my NT-ness.”
  • “Well, I’m rather content with my type, or not, I’m not quite sure. What I wish for, however, is that I acquire that drive to get things done, just like the majority of ENTJs.”

INTJ

Almost every INTJ who responded would either keep their type or change it to ENTJ (but only for practical purposes, of course).

  • “INTJ ergo INTJ.”
  • “I’m happy to be an INTJ. But I often strategically masquerade as an ENTJ in situations when I think it will be useful or helpful or advantageous.”
  • “INTJ and I am proud of my type. I think it’s the best type. But that’s just like an INTJ, now isn’t it?”
  • “I like my type, I just wish others were more accepting of who I am.”
  • “I wish my type to be ANTJ. So as being an Ambivert. Though it does not mean my dominant function won’t be Ni. I love my Ni.”
  • “I’m INTJ and I wish I was ENTJ. INTJs a lot of times have amazing skills and great potential for success, but sadly they’re not extroverted enough to make the connections to get better jobs. We’re secretly jealous of ENTJs because we believe we work harder and more diligently, but they get all the glory and power.”
  • “I’ve always been glad to be an INTJ, and would not change it. Having said that, if I had to choose another? Probably ENTJ…it would be nice to implement all these fascinating strategic ideas with a much more animated spirit. Yet ENTJs have weak Fi…which can make them emotionally unstable (at times)…so that may be a dealbreaker.”
  • “I think I would prefer to be an ENTJ just because I agree that extroverts have an easier time in the world (not constantly having to answer ‘whats wrong?’ when there is nothing wrong, for instance)…but I wouldn’t trade the NTJ for anything!”
  • “I wish that I was a type that could emote a little more, or at least recognize others’ emotions more easily.”
  • “I am pretty much content with the way i am, but I tend to look up to ENTJ’s sometimes. I just hate socializing sometimes.”
  • “I have occasionally wished that I could be an ENTJ, but frankly the pros do not out weigh the cons.”

ENTJ

ENTJs basically just wanted to be be themselves on steroids.

  • “I like my type so I’m gonna stick with ENTJ.”
  • “I’m an ENTJ… cannot improve on perfection!”
  • “I'm an ENTJ and I'm very much happy with that.”
  • “ENTJ always striving to be a better ENTJ!”
  • “I love the idea of being an INTJ but ideally I’d like to just be a stronger ENTJ.”
  • “ENTJs are perfect as is… wouldn’t have it any other way!”
  • “Being an ENTJ is the best! I am en[t]joying myself!”

ENTP

ENTPs couldn't decide between ENTP and ENTJ and most simply concluded that they'd like to be both at the same time.

  • “I wish I were an ENTJ so i could get things done and actually stick to goals and have a direction of where I’m going.”
  • “I wish I were born as an ENTJ or at least a “more schedule oriented and organized” ENTP.”
  • “Let me be an ENTJ. Dat follow through tho..”
  • “I’m an ENTP – I wish I was anything or anyone more reliable than an ENTP. But I’d like to keep my ability to see all the possibilities, if that’s ok.”
  • “If I were not an ENTP, I would not be me, So I shall remain an ENTP.”
  • “Wish I was ENTJ so I’d be more focused, organized and independent. But then again I’d probably miss being a P, as it grants me a certain open mindedness and spontaneity that many ENTJs lack.”
  • “I sometimes imagine that having a better developed J tendency might make life a little more structured….but couldn’t really be arsed with it in retrospect.”
  • “As I consider being any other type, I’m reminded of how each one annoys me in their own special way. ENTPs really are the best, don’t you think?”
  • “I am an ENTP I wish I was a different Rational or a guardian. It seems that life wouldn’t be so random and exhausting and I could focus on goals and finish what really mattered in life.”
  • “ENTP! The way the world needs me!”

ISTJ

ISTJs showed no consistent trends other than disliking the ISTJ stereotype.

  • “ISTJ — sometimes wishing I was an ESFP instead!”
  • “I strive to be more like ISFJ, as I think my logical brain could use more feeling. I want to be a more loyal and generous person, and I’d like to create an orderly and harmonious environment at home and at work.”
  • “I’m an ISTJ and I’d wish to be the more daring, careless, outgoing ESTP.”
  • “We don’t do change. Though being an INTJ would come in handy sometimes.”
  • “I just wish more people were also ISTJs so I could hang out with them!”
  • “ISTJ and mostly content with it. It’s only when I read the descriptions of ISTJ that I wish I were something else that seemed a little more exciting to onlookers. From the perspective of living it, it’s fine, but when you read how other people describe ISTJ, it sounds completely boring and unimaginative, which it is NOT. If anything, I wish I didn’t get so overwhelmed by heavy social interaction because I really do like people.”

ISTP

ISTPs were sparse responders, but pretty happy with themselves on the whole.

  • “I’m an ISTP. I wish I were an INTJ so I could be super smart and confident.”
  • “ISTP and cool with it.”
  • “ISTP and liking it. If I had to switch, then maybe INTP. They seem really fun.”
  • “An occasional infusion of more J is welcome. Otherwise, wouldn’t change my Artisan life for anything!”

ESTP

ESTPs weren't particularly responsive.

  • “I fluctuate between ESTP and ISTP. I wish my type was one that isn’t so impulsive.”
  • “I’m an ESTP, and I sometimes with I had more “N.” I love the cleverness of ENTPs and wish I could navigate theories and concepts more easily.”

ESTJ

I received no ESTJ responses – presumably because they were off actually living their lives and accomplishing things.

ISFJ

The majority of ISFJs wished to be extroverts.

  • “I’m an ISFJ and most days I'm content with my type but occasionally I wish I was an ESFJ instead so I could express myself more easily.”
  • “Mostly I like being an ISFJ… social situations not being physically exhausting would be nice though.”
  • “I’d rather be anything E. Being bored and alone but convinced you’ll be miserable in a crowd is miserable.”
  • “It would be nice to be an ESTP and not have to care so much.”
  • “I’m ISFJ and I wish I were INFJ or INTJ. I want to be open to ideas and also independent of others. I'm also tired of my feelings getting in the way but I love being expressive at the same time.”

ESFJ

ESFJs across the board wished that they could take a break from their feelings!

  • “I’m pretty sure I’d like a type that can find more love and validation internally, rather than just relying on other people to validate me.”
  • “I mostly like being an ESFJ, but maybe an ESTJ? Life might be easier if there weren’t so many “feelings” going on.”
  • “I’m ESFJ and often wish I was an ISFJ or ESTJ. Leading Fe is painful sends me down a constant roller coaster of emotion. While I love my Fe (it helps me create art and relate to those around me), it can be a little much to deal with at times. I’m easily hurt, which makes me hesitant to trust others. I often want to spare myself (and others) the pain and deal with problems by myself. But that’s not how it works. I need people.”
  • “I’m an ESFJ who struggles with the ‘feels’ that go with being a type that just can’t seem to separate emotions from decision-making. It would be nice to happier without others around too.”

ISFP

ISFPs were as mysteriously sparse in the responses as they are in real life.

  • “I’m an ISFP, and generally it’s my jam, but I do get frustrated with how instinctively reserved I am. It’d be fun to try on a life-of-the-party type, like ESFP.”
  • “I’m ISFP. I feel pretty good about being my type. I think we get more crap than we deserve. I would rather be an ISFP with a more developed Te. Then I wouldn’t bellyache about my visually cluttered house. It’d be clean instead!”

ESFP

Though the occasional ESFP wished for an N or a J, they were mostly satisfied with their type.

  • “ESFP and proud, and I wish we were analyzed more for strengths other than being adventurous. The only thing I’d change is that I wish I had the ability to sit down and focus on work for a while when I need to.”
  • “I’m an ESFP and I am absolutely loving and contented with my type! Not gonna wish for anything else.”
  • “I wish I were anything NF. Emotional intelligence is so important to me and I wish I naturally had more of it.”
  • “My type is ESFP and I really wish I was a ENFJ. I really wish I was a J, because I’m late to like literally everything and usually loosing my mind because of the lack of a schedule. I want to be a ENFJ because they are confident, make people feel naturally at home where ever they go, are awesome at encouraging other and just have a natural sense of believing in others.”
  • “I’m an ESFP and I couldn’t imagine trading my upbeat, confident demeanour for anything. But I’m bothered by how common my type is.”
  • “I’m an ESFP and honestly I’m really happy being an ESFP!”
TC mark

10 Ways Your Life Will Change From A Year Of Yoga

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 11:02 AM PDT

Blanca
Blanca

I arrived at yoga partially in the same way and around the same time as I arrived at therapy: out of desperation after having hit a kind of rock bottom, and after having frenetically tried anything else to fix me – new clothes, potted houseplants, posters in frames, paintings, trips home.

I had entertained the idea of yoga (and therapy) for years, and those closest to me had told me to consider each, but I stubbornly had to come to them on my own time. I'd experienced a number of breakdowns over my teenage and college years that had left me flailing and frantic, scrambling for something to make me okay, but I simply had not hit my rock bottom yet.

To boot, exercise, for me, had always been another impossible pursuit of perfection, executed out of self-loathing and quit quickly for lack of some expected outcome. Before I found myself ready to try yoga, I treated yoga – from my very cautionary, self-protective, fear-driven distance – in the same way.

But finally, at the time of my darkest and deepest breakdown, it was time to deal with myself. To do something by myself, with myself and for myself. A year later, I consider the first day I anxiously stepped into my yoga studio one of the true quantum shifts of my life.

It may sound ridiculous to have needed to muster up courage to go to a yoga class. But for me, it wasn't so much about showing up at a studio for an hour, rolling out a mat and throwing my limbs around. It was about what it represented: a willingness to deal with my shit head on, a choice to no longer live in denial that I was "fine"; an admittance that I couldn't fix myself alone, that it was okay to need help; and above all, a belief that maybe I did indeed deserve love, that maybe I was worthy of kindness and warmth and respect from myself and others.

It's a terrible realization, once you know that you can't fix yourself outwardly, that all the work you have to do starts from the inside. It's absolutely foreboding. But if or when you find yourself ready, you may find as I did that yoga will give back to you everything and more that you sincerely put in. What yoga has taught me has changed me in ways I wouldn't have thought possible a year ago. What yoga continues to teach me every day is that there is always room to do better and be better.

Here are 10 major ways that a year of yoga has changed my life and might also change yours:

1. Love and kindness.

Kindness might be at the very core of love, because kindness works such that you have to first give yourself the amount of kindness that you want to be able to share with others.

Yoga requires a lot of kindness – a willingness to be gentle with yourself and react with compassion to your body's limitations. There will always be a deeper variation of the pose that you're in, some far-off goal to strive for, but knowing where you are today and accepting that demonstrates a kind of self-love that we don't often give ourselves.

Sometimes we're tempted to push ourselves beyond the place that we've naturally reached. We want to be further ahead on our journey, whether that be for status, affirmation of our self-worth or something else entirely. But each time we try to be something that we're not, we act out of fear and insecurity and lose a little bit of that love and kindness.

Thus, kindness – and love – might just come down to gentle, non-judging acceptance – of who we are and who we are not, and of who others are and who they are not, and allowing it all to be right and okay.

2. Getting outside of your comfort zone.

It's terrifyingly easy for us to get complacent. Sometimes we don't even realize that it's happened to us until a major milestone hits – a birthday or a holiday or the mark of a new year – and we find ourselves terrified at the prospect that perhaps we've been running in place as time has been passing.

I believe the best way to combat complacency is to work every day at pushing your edge and getting outside your comfort zone. It's only in the space where we allow ourselves the opportunity to make mistakes that learning truly happens, and learning gives us a sense of productivity, accomplishment and purpose like few other things can.

I didn't understand why people referred to yoga as a "practice" until I started doing it. It's because yoga will push you outside of your comfort zone and teach you something about yourself each time you show up at the mat. It is the daily opportunity to strengthen your understanding of yourself and the world around you while at the same time recognizing that you will never have a full understanding of either. In this way, yoga teaches you to value the journey – the process of the work – over any outcome or result. The beauty of yoga – and the beauty of life – is in the "practice," not the product.

3. Persistence and integrity.

In yoga, we talk a lot about this thing called our "edge." It is the place at which we've gone as far as we can, for today. But we often have to ask ourselves if we've truly, honestly reached that place or whether we're imposing a false limitation on ourselves.

I believe adamantly that your mind will try to give up long before your body, that your mind will talk to you and tell you that it's met its edge when in reality your body can keep going. I've seen proof of this, however extreme: one of my yoga teachers once had to hold a forearm plank for 30 minutes in her teacher training; a friend's uncle has completed 100-mile runs.

Yoga requires a lot of personal integrity. No one else is pushing you to be honest with yourself – whether you're being truthful is all on you. Have you really gone as far as you can? Have you truly met your edge?

"This is where your yoga starts," is what some of my teachers will say when we've been holding a difficult pose for so long that everything has started to shake and sweat's dripping into our eyes. "Your yoga is not the pose you find easy; it's where you meet your edge." The same is true of life. Challenges show us who we really are and whether we're willing to persist. In the face of adversity, does your mind give out long before your body must? Can you cultivate resilience through your own integrity, through your own honesty about what you can in fact handle?

4. Undoing control.

There's a lot about our life that we are in control of, but there's also a lot that we're not. Our very fast-paced society advocates autonomy and free will, pushing us all to think that if we attempt to nudge our lives into a certain direction, we'll be happy. What our society tends not to encourage is that we sit back and see how things go. We very rarely hear or give the advice, "Let's just see what happens."

We like to "do" much more than just "be." Control – the "doing" – provides us with the semblance of an idea that we just might be able to get our shit together. Control – the "doing" – provides us with a filled up feeling of safety and comfort. But often times, what control provides us is also transparent and thin, because it's a film we use to protect ourselves.

Yoga is, if nothing else, a breathing practice in which you inhale what you need and exhale what you can let go. With each conscious exhale, with everything you let slip out of you that you've been holding onto, you loosen the tightly wound coils of tension inside you and slide into a freer, clearer state. It lets you simply "be." When we stop trying so much to "do" and just allow ourselves to "be," we liberate ourselves from the constant need to be in control – and we allow others to just "be" too.

5. A powerful sense of gratitude.

If there's magic in the world, I think it's born out of gratitude. But how do we live more gratefully?

Gratitude comes entirely from choosing awareness, and we make ourselves "aware" when we intentionally and consciously slow down. Slowing down is the only way to truly stop and look and appreciate.

I've never experienced something that forces me to slow down and take note of what is happening around me and inside me like yoga. In spending an hour a day consciously paying attention to the so simple act of breathing, I allow myself to experience a sense of awe at how these bodies of ours work so effortlessly and without asking anything of us. In spending an hour a day consciously paying attention to what my body is able to tolerate, I allow myself to experience a sense of awe at how strong and resilient humans really are. And when I roll up my mat and leave for the day, I find myself more able to stop and look and appreciate in the world outside my studio as well.

6. A state of calm.

There are few things as healing and cleansing and calming to our bodies as breathing. When we breathe deeply and fully, we tell our body that everything is okay.

Our bodies are, for the most part, in a constant state of being revved up. Our "fight or flight" response is always ready to go when need be, keeping the sympathetic nervous system buzzing and alert. That's not inherently bad; it protects us. But there are also times when we need to slow down. The only thing that can truly slow us down is tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers a more relaxed and calm state and is achieved only by slow and conscious breathing.

Yoga, particularly of the restorative or yin style, nearly puts you to sleep because it does just that. By holding gentle poses for more than five minutes while you simply breathe, your body learns that it's safe and okay to slow down. When I leave these classes, I may as well be floating.

7. Staying in the present.

There's a lot of value in the here and now – when we stay present, we give ourselves and others our full attention, and when we work to focus our attention on the very thing in front of us and nothing else, we teach ourselves to be more present. But for many of us, we're often in some far off state, worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Especially in our world today, where distractions are always at our fingertips, it's genuinely difficult to be entirely in the now and give true presence to anything. It's rare that we put ourselves in a position where we have no choice but to live solely in the now.

Yoga can be something that gives you no choice but to be solely in the present moment. Before I stepped into my studio, I wrongly assumed that yoga was "easy," or at the very least "relaxing." The first time I was made to do a sequence of planks to burpees to squats (and all with free weights) in a 105 degree room, I realized I was most decidedly wrong. This shit is not relaxing; it might qualify as murder. But the thing about being challenged in this way is that your attentional resources are focused so heavily on the single task in front of you that you just can't be anywhere else but the now. Hold a forearm plank for a minute while a legitimate pool of sweat is forming on your mat beneath you and try and tell me that you're thinking about that email you need to send for work.

8. Openness and vulnerability.

Yoga can be extremely confrontational. For the longest time, I sat on my mat as everyone around me did Camel pose, a deep heart opener. When I tried it, something inside me would scream to get out of it, and as I snapped back up, my head would spin and I'd be hit with a wave of nausea.

It's hard to open ourselves up. Many of us are naturally always very guarded, or at the very least aware of how others are perceiving us and adjusting our behaviors accordingly. We tend to shy away from vulnerability rather than lean into the discomfort of it. We tend to avoid that sense of confrontation, at least until we're ready.

Yoga can help us to be ready. It challenges you every day to meet fear with love, to split yourself open just a bit more. It makes you take a hard look at the break lines scarred across your heart and gently accept that they're a part of your being rather than hiding them away. Over time, yoga quietly pushes you to be able to open your heart. And when we allow ourselves to first be open and vulnerable with ourselves, we give ourselves the space to then be open and vulnerable with others – the basis of true, meaningful connection.

9. Strength and flexibility.

I don't know that it's ideal to worship our physicality, because at the very root of this kind of worship is a fear of not being good enough, of being imperfect – and we'll always be able to find imperfections when we seek them – but it's also true that your body will start to change from doing yoga. If you're in it for the right reasons, the abs and the fact that you can now do a split will just be pleasant side effects.

The most interesting thing about the physical strength and flexibility that you'll acquire from yoga though, to me, are the ways in which these manifest mentally. Increased strength seems to generate more confidence and improved levels of self-esteem, all around contributing to a better sense of self-worth. Increased flexibility allows for a respect and acceptance of the spontaneity of life and all of the constant change, expected or otherwise, always going on around us.

10. Authenticity.

We tend to not realize it, but every day we each do something that's entirely and irrefutably authentic: breathe. After all, there are few things as truly authentic to each of us as our breathing – we do it day in and day out, without ever giving much notice to it or questioning whether we're doing it correctly.

But what about all the other parts of us? What about the kind of "authentic" that we're more conscious of wanting to be?

I think it's natural that we adjust our actions to the social situations in which we find ourselves, but when we start to wear too many masks, we lose the ability to know who we really are. It's as we let go of who we think we're supposed to be and who we'd like to be and gently accept who we are that we become closer and closer to our authentic selves. As we spend time with ourselves on the mat every day, giving ourselves love and attention and compassion in ways we generally reserve for others, we embrace and accept who we truly are. We're not perfect, nor do we want to be. Those around us are not perfect, nor do we want them to be. We're learning to embrace being honest and candid and sincere, and that feels better.TC mark

I Never Guessed That Leaving The Place I Loved Would Lead Me To Find My First Love

Posted: 20 Aug 2015 01:51 PM PDT

image1

December 19, 2014 (Eight Months Ago Today)

I wiped puddles from my eyes with cheap tissue as my flight took off—9 hours to figure out how I'd make next semester compare to the one I'd just spent in Europe. Leaving a place had never made me cry, but then, Amsterdam wasn't "a place"—it was home. It was the site of my renaissance, really. When I arrived in late August, I was jaded. Bored. I thought I was bored of school. I was. But, really, I was bored of myself. I was waiting for something to happen. To fall in love with somewhere. Something. Someone. And then I did—I fell in love all over Europe. Not with a guy—that something was still missing. But I didn't care—in four months, I'd fallen in love with at least six cities, five languages, and several hundred Dutch strangers.

It was raining as I boarded that late Thursday morning flight back to New York—Amsterdam and I were both in mourning, I think. And I was scared. Had I just lived the best moments of my life? Probably. Did I really have to leave? Yup. When would I be able to come back? Not sure. Why had I been so stupid—why didn't choose to spend the whole year abroad? No fucking clue.

I realize I'm a "feeler." Us water signs, baby…we've got some heavy emotions. But I wasn't overblowing the sadness—the puddles weren't theatrical. So I let them pool. Loudly. They were privileged puddles, that I know. I was blessed beyond reason to have those four months—to travel, to eat, to do…comfortably. With money I didn't earn. Safe. Healthy. Young. But I couldn't help it—I was devastated. If leaving hurt this bad, I couldn't imagine how I'd bear another semester at a school I'd run away from seven months before. Three more semesters, actually (I'd forgotten all about senior year).

My mom says I'm too sensitive—too romantic. That I'm an idealist. She's right. And in my warmest, most deluded moments of romantic idealism, I'd reminded myself of what They say—that good things come when you least expect it. Maybe, just maybe, I'd go back, and some magic would happen. School wouldn't be any different, but maybe I'd be so different that it would feel different to me. As I hung my head against the window, watching my love disappear into the clouds, I tickled that dream—I let myself believe there was a chance I'd fall in love this semester, too.

My first night back on campus, I got violently drunk on nerves and Tito's. Like, viiiolently drunk. I woke up at noon to some iHorror; I hadn't been back for 24 hours, but apparently, I'd already been blacklisted from this very important senior girl's apartment. _____  was famous for using her very broad social prowess to ostracize girls she didn't know for doing things she didn't like, and I was a shade proud to make the cut, but still, I thought, "Good work, Tati. Really brilliant stuff. You didn't want to make new friends this year, anyway."

I decided, then, that this would be my Wild Semester. I wanted to numb myself to the banality, you know? I'd just get drunk and fuck—fuck it. As I texted _____ an empty apology I knew she wouldn't accept, I made peace with all of it. If my life was gonna suck, at least I'd be wasted. And slutty.

I spent the next month—the interterm between my school's fall and spring semesters—begrudgingly rekindling a thing that was never really a thing, at all. I didn't like him. I didn't want to be with him. He was rude and dull and not worth my attention—but he was available, eager, and older, so I gave it to him anyway. He was also a fucking weirdo, which I forget isn't always a good thing.

I vowed I'd get my shit together come spring semester. There had to be other guys—guys that I actually wanted to hook up with. Guys that wouldn't make me hide my phone so my friends didn't give me (the bad kind of) shit when their names popped up on my screen. There had to…………right? I'm not an unattractive girl, after all. And despite what some of my internet haters seem to think, I'm actually pretty fun at parties.

Sometime towards the end of winter study, I remember him—not the weirdo, a different one—approaching me as we walked into a party.

"I hear you know how to roll joints?! That's awesome, you're the only girl I know who can."

I laughed. What funny non-compliment (you—a GIRL—do this thing that most boys I know can do??! WOW, you're COOL!)—especially since we didn't "know" each other then. We were acquaintances at best, and if I'm keeping it really real, I don't think I knew his name. He was walking into the party on his then-girlfriend-of-two-year's arm, btw.

"Hahaha, yeah I can!"

Over the next few weeks, we started to hang out. Relax—no, not by ourselves. His girlfriend was usually around, and when she wasn't, plenty of his friends (and mine) were. I wasn't hitting on him—I didn't want to "steal" him (not that I assume I could've). He was just cool and funny and weird, and it was nice to have a boy like that around. Plus, he had cool, funny, weird friends, too. Around week three or four our friendship, he broke up that two-year relationship. Relax—no, I was not a factor in the break up (or at least, if I was, I'm unaware of it). Two weeks after that, we started hooking up. But you already know about that.

It's funny how the most complicated shit in life can be so simple—how the proverbial They can be so right. I really wasn't looking for it anymore—I didn't expect to fall in love before graduation. I mean, maybe the too-sensitive, too-romantic idealist part of me hoped I would. But the hard part of me knew I wouldn't find him here, now. Maybe I don't give my emotions enough credit, though. Maybe what they hope for isn't ever too far out of reach. Maybe anything they can hope for—anything they can wish for in my warmest, most deluded moments of romantic idealism—isn't so unattainable, after all.  

Cuz here I am, eight months later, very much in love. It's not perfect. It's not always pretty or neat or even healthy. I'm not sure it's what I thought love would be. But it's mine. I can name it. I own it—I own that love, because he gave it to me. And I gave it to him. And if I hadn't come home—if hadn't boarded that flight—I never would've found it. Kinda wild, when I really think about it. TC mark

9 Signs Your Connection Is More Than Just Physical

Posted: 21 Aug 2015 09:37 AM PDT

Twenty20 / makenamedia
Twenty20 / makenamedia

1. They love seeing you do something you’re passionate about.

Even if you’re just talking about it, whatever it may be. Your mind is igniting some kind of attraction in them, and not just your body.

2. You have meaningful conversations.

The kind that keep you up all night talking to them. The pleasure you both receive from conversation is almost as great as the satisfaction you receive from being with them physically. You aren’t afraid to be deep. You could talk about the most abstract things that would seem absurd to anyone else, but you both don’t care because you feel something with them that you don’t feel physically with someone else.

3. You feel like every time you’re thinking about them, they know.

And they call or text you when you are. The middle of the day when your mind is wandering from whatever task you’re supposed to be doing, and you think about that corny joke they told you two days ago, and then suddenly your phone lights up, and it is them calling to see how your day is going. It’s not some weird telepathy that either of you have, it’s the fact that you both are thinking of each other.

4. They encourage you to be open.

You feel like you can say what’s on your mind because they’ll somehow understand. Even if you don’t necessarily understand yourself, they add something to your thoughts that helps you figure it out. You’re open with them because they help you when you are.

5. They know how to bring your guard down.

When you aren’t being open, they know. They make it extremely hard for you to keep your guard up. Whether you’re scared of being hurt or you’re scared of the connection you know is clearly there, you can’t run forever. When someone brings your guard down, generally there isn’t physical motivation behind it. They do it unintentionally. It just happens.

6. You get excited about their interests.

You don’t explore their interests to get them into bed with you. You explore their interests because you want to get a better understanding of who they are, and potentially share an experience. You want to be with them when they are embedded in excitement, whether it’s their favorite band, sports team, or art venue, a connection occurs when you see them in that element.

7. They make you think about things differently.

Sometimes they add a new perspective that you otherwise wouldn’t see from. When you’re extremely angry about the terrible day you had at work, or the ridiculous argument your mother hashed out when she called you, this person views the situation from a different angle, and they help you to view it from that angle too. Their opinions aren’t better than yours, they’re just different.

8. You’re spontaneous when you’re together.

They make you do things that you probably wouldn’t do with anyone else. They are the motivation behind your spontaneity. If you were with someone you only connected with physically, you wouldn’t walk to the park you’ve never been to at midnight just to lay in the grass and look at the sky. You do these things because the experience is better when you’re with them. Even if it’s something that wouldn’t otherwise intrigue you, the person makes it special, and your connection makes it even better.

9. They do things that aren’t just for their convenience.

When they’re only connected to you physically, they will generally only do things that are convenient for them. Every moment will be on their time, and their agenda, and you just sort of go along with it. When the connection is deeper than that, they do things for you to be with you. They will come to you, they won’t always make you come to them. If the connection is real, the effort will be real as well. TC mark