Thought Catalog


6 Things You Shouldn’t Feel So Bad About Post-Grad Life (Because We’re All Experiencing Them)

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 11:35 AM PDT

Twenty20 / kevism
Twenty20 / kevism

Go to college, they said. Get a degree. Make new friends. Find a career that you'll be forced to stick with for the rest of your life. Your college years are given so much hype from family, friends, TV and movies that, of course, you can't wait to go. Whether you attend a college down the street, an hour away, or across country, you can't help but look forward to the best years of your life. But what happens when those best years are over?

1. Your chosen career may not be hiring

You spend at least four years in classes becoming a professional in your chosen field, whether it be marketing, accounting, education, medicine, theatre, you name it. You spend hours listening to lectures, reading textbooks, and staying up until the next morning studying. Long story short, you invested a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into your profession.

Shortly after graduation, or even before, you start searching the newspapers and various online hiring sites to look for your ideal post college job. You spend days searching company websites related to your certification, but there either aren't any postings or there are postings you're not qualified for. But continue looking, I'm sure something will open soon.

2. Your social circle slowly diminishes

They say college is a place where you go to find your bridesmaids, or at least your lifelong friends. At school you see your friends almost everyday, whether it be in classes, living with them, getting meals at the dining hall, or going out on those Tuesdays you pretended were Fridays. You vow to be friends forever and promise to keep in touch after graduation. Unfortunately if you go to a big school, most of your friends live in different parts of the state, or out of state, or possibly a different country.

It's not that you don't want to stay in touch after college, sometimes it's physically impossible. After you accept the idea your best friends don't live down the hall from you anymore, you have to plan ahead when you want to see them. It becomes an issue of finding a day and time when everyone actually has free time, which could take days of planning. Don't get me wrong, I still talk to and see a lot of my college best friends, but there are some friends that have turned into complete strangers, not because we weren't close but we got busy with life.

3. Moving back home? Good luck, you'll need it

After four years of independent living (not including those winter and summer breaks), you're not going to be used to your parents telling you what to do again. When you were living on your own, you had your own schedule and did things on your own time; laundry, cleaning your room, cooking meals, curfews (or lack thereof). Now that you're back home with your family, your daily schedule is already predetermined. Oh you'll be the only one home tomorrow? Can you mop the kitchen floor, dust the cabinets, go grocery shopping, wash the dog, vacuum the bathroom?

All you really want to do is lay on the couch and watch reruns of Friends or cooking shows on The Food Network; after all, you did just spend four long, hard years studying your ass off, don't you get a vacation? Not when you're a 22 or 23 year old living under mommy and daddy's roof. Speaking of mommy and daddy's roof, I don't think they'd appreciate you coming home at three or four in the morning like you used to when you were living on your own, so say goodbye to life after midnight.

4. Where are you going to put all that stuff?

For the past four years, you've had two bedrooms – your actual room at home and all the furniture you lug back and forth every school year. Now that you're moving back home, you're faced with the impossible task of combining both bedrooms into one. You've got more storage space than things to actually store. Suddenly your drawers and closet aren't big enough (you don't remember owning these many clothes). You seem to have two of everything. For the next couple of months, you're going to be arranging, then rearranging, to combine your two bedrooms into one.

5. Sorry, we're looking for someone with experience

Back to the excruciating task that is job hunting, which after a while it seems that college did NOT prepare you for, you will have interviews. There will be some aspect of your resume that impressed or sparked the interest of the employer. So you get dressed in your business suit, shave, do your hair and make yourself presentable to hide the fact you've been wearing sweatpants all week. You get to the interview, answer the questions in a timely manner and have a great connection with the interviewer. You gave them all the answers they wanted to hear and presented your case that you are the perfect fit for this position. After leaving that interview feeling positive that you nailed it, the employer contacts you and says "We regret to inform you we have chosen another candidate for this position who has experience in the field" (I have so many of these letters, I can make my own book). I don't understand how any college graduate is going to get a job if every employer is looking for experience. Someone needs to take one for the team and give us that experience!

6. Six-month grace period, my ass

It's no secret anymore that going to college is going to cost you a crazy amount of money, and you can save up all you want but it just won't be enough so you're forced to take out student loans. With tuition increasing everywhere, student loan debt becomes unimaginable after four years. If you're like me who went into college with no money to my name, not only did you have to take out financial aid from your college, but you also had to take out private loans from the state, pretty much doubling your student loan debt for the next ten to fifteen years.

Most loan companies give you a six-month grace period after you graduate, which sounds promising. What most loan companies don't tell you is during that six-month grace period, they still expect you to pay the interest. After that grace period is over, WHAM! You get slammed with a huge bill and you were not prepared for it at all. Six months is definitely not enough time to save up enough money to cover the interest and principle. Also, what do they expect you to do if you don't land a job in those six months? No big paychecks = no big payments. Student loans attribute to probably 75% of my anxiety so I'll still be trying to figure this one out with you guys.

I don't regret going to college whatsoever. I learned so much about myself and really became the person I am today, which is someone I'm extremely proud of. I studied a subject I'm extremely passionate about, even if it did take me a year and a half to find a full time job. No one can predict the future, but enough people have graduated college to know the struggles that come with post grad life, so it would be nice if someone could warn you ahead of time so you can prepare for it. TC mark

6 Types Of Men Your Best Friend Will Date That Definitely Test Your Friendship

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 12:08 PM PDT

Twenty20 / stefiakti
Twenty20 / stefiakti

Perhaps nothing defines the friendship between two women so much as the relationships they have with other people. For better or for worse, the men your best friend dates will test the waters of your friendship.

1. The First Love

They will be young, and a little naive. She will imagine their wedding in vivid detail and you will plan color schemes. He will be the standard to which she compares her future loves. This heartbreak will be the hardest, the most visceral. You will listen to her cry, pretend to believe her when she says she has moved on. Years later, when he announces his engagement to someone else, you and your best friend will do shots of tequila and you will tell her she dodged a bullet as she wonders if he was the one who got away.

2. The Player

The quintessential bad boy. He will probably be a rebound. He'll be into skydiving or ride a motorcycle. Your best friend will throw caution to the wind, going along with his rock and roll lifestyle for a while but all the time thinking that she will be the one to tame him. She won't, because men like this cannot be tamed. By the time she realizes this, he will have moved on to the next girl, another broken heart waiting to happen. She'll get over him quickly, and you'll never breathe an "I told you so," but will be secretly grateful that she got out of the relationship nearly unscathed.

3. The Young Professional

He's a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Possibly an accountant. He's either a mama's boy or constantly talks about how he distanced himself from his family and is a "self-made man". His car is flashy and he promises a bright future but the truth is that his wallet will always be closer to his heart than she is. After the breakup, you'll take her to a pawn shop, sell all the jewelry he gave her, then use the cash to fund a spa weekend.

4. The Trust Fund Baby

Similar to "The Young Professional". He doesn't have the same chip on his shoulder, though, because he's had everything given to him on a silver platter since the day he was born. He's either got a great job (scored through his family, naturally) or he's living off his parents' money. He's got money and he flaunts it, along with his playboy charm.Your best friend will consider marrying him for his fabulous vacation home, but she'll soon grow tired of his slick moves and dump him. While she's not too upset about this breakup, by the time your best friend leaves this guy you'll have your breakup routine refined to an art so you'll dutifully down shots of tequila at a bar where the trust fund baby has a running tab and charge them to his account.

5. The Holy Grail

He dresses well, doesn't swear, and goes to church every Sunday. Your best friend will experience a religious reawakening with this guy. You'll suspend your disbelief and be happy that she's happy, but after she starts texting you daily Bible verses and begging you to come on church retreats with her, you'll stage an intervention. A couple years after the breakup, this guy will either be a priest or an avowed atheist.

6. The Package

He's smart and successful and treats your best friend like a queen. You're thrilled she's finally found a great guy, but secretly terrified he will be the one to take her away from you. You begin contemplating a future in which you are not the most important person in your best friend's life. She reassures you that you'll always be her best friend, but still that hesitation lingers. Gradually, you will see little changes in her. Good ones. She smiles more, laughs more, becomes more confident. After a while, you hope that this is really the right man, but even if he's not, you and your best friend will always have each other. TC mark

Why America Needs To Stop Asking Black People To Forgive Racism

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 02:56 PM PDT

YouTube / CNN
YouTube / CNN

Forgiveness is an important virtue in many religious theologies. And not just religious theologies, but cultures, communities, and individuals across time and space, have long-prized this virtue we call “forgiveness.” In the lay sense, I would define forgiveness as absolving a wrongdoer from offenses committed.

I grew up and am a practicing Catholic; an African Catholic no less, whose parents instilled not just the values of faith, but the intellectual understanding and reasoning behind a lot of theology. That is to say, faith is not something I approach without "reason," and the two were never considered oppositional values in my upbringing. They often worked alongside each other, and in my life, they still do.

Indeed, my understanding of forgiveness largely centers on a Christian-Catholic context – seeking the sacrament of reconciliation. Or what many simply know as, "confessing sins to a priest." I will refrain from explaining too many theological lessons. But do understand that the priest is not the person to whom we confess, but rather the person through whom we confess; confessions are for us, but they are always to God.

beetlejuice

Reconciliation is something I imagine as different from lay forgiveness. It allows the Christian, the Catholic, to be closer to God. Because when the confession is true and honest and meaningful, reconciliation is not just asking for forgiveness for one's offenses, it is a commitment to change for the better. Forgiveness, in the lay sense, doesn't always seem to require expectations of change.

Consider how often and how quickly in the face of heightened awareness of racism and discrimination in interactions with institutions in the United States – most notably the police institution – Black American communities across the country are expected to simply and always forgive. I cannot think of a recent case where family members of the deceased who had endured racial individual and/or institutional violence, were not asked within mere days of the incident, if they would forgive the perpetrator(s).

The preferred response to Black pain, is silence, meekness, and of course, forgiveness.

And when Black people don't forgive immediately or outrightly – as was the case with Michael Brown's mother who called officer Darren Wilson who killed her son, the devil, or the mother of Sandra Bland who says she is ready for war – it raises the old, White American fear that Black people will one day seek revenge for transgressions past. Indeed, is there anything scarier to Whiteness in the American imagination than an angry Black person (seeking retribution and/or justice)?

The preferred response to Black pain, is silence, meekness, and of course, forgiveness. We saw this as a nation when the families of those who were massacred by Dylann Roof expressed their forgiveness within days. But this event of forgiveness made me entirely uncomfortable. I will never be in the position to tell others how to go about their faith. And as a Christian, I understand the impetus to forgive.

But within the racial contexts of the United States, within the framework and culture this massacre took place, and in consideration of the variables – a young, White man with twisted views on race and reality, the assault on the Black church, Black victims of a crime of racial hatred, etc., I cannot say that I was part of the (often White) observers who lauded the community's immediate forgiveness. I say this, with my Catholic-Christian values not too far away from my heart and my reasoning.

But even forgiveness, for all its importance as a virtue, seems to be inadequate. It seems to free White fears from Black rage but demands nothing of it.

Black people are expected to forgive, and not just to forgive, but to forget. Forgive and forget slavery. Forgive and forget Jim Crow laws. Forgive and forget the institutional racism that was created and still persists. Forgive and forget the assault on Black bodies throughout history and in the present. Aside from Native Americans, who are oftentimes entirely ignored, there is no other group, I think, of which America demands forgiveness of societal crimes gone unpunished.

Forgetting to me, is entirely out of the question. Forgetting is why many in this culture and throughout the world, live in a(n) (a)historical amnesia in viewing cultural events, and trying to understand why things are the way they are. But even lay forgiveness, for all its importance as a virtue, seems inadequate. It seems to free White fears from Black rage, but demands no changes to the causes of Black rage.

That is to say, there is no reconciliation; there is no commitment to change. Sometimes, there is even no admittance of the need to change. Or there is deliberate ignorance entirely to the wrongdoings committed.

beetlejuice

In Catholic practice, to make a good confession, it requires an examination of conscience of the individual. It requires that the individual meditate and reflect on one's sins. It is absolutely pivotal that before one enters the confessional, they feel true sorrow for their transgressions.

Were a Catholic to go into the confessional, and ask for forgiveness from God, via the priest, knowingly omitting a mortal (grave) sin committed, it would be sacrilege; it would be a bad confession. Were a Catholic to go into confession with no intention to change from one's ways, it would be a bad confession. While I cannot speak to God's forgiveness of any human's soul, the Church would see such a confession as invalid.

Oftentimes White Americans' confessions – a rare event anyway – of its sordid racial past and persistent institutionalized racist treatment of Black Americans – has been sacrilegious; it has been invalid. And under these conditions, reconciliation cannot be experienced.

beetlejuice

In the wake of news that the prosecutors in the Dylann Roof case will be seeking the death penalty, the realities of theological and social virtues such as forgiveness and mercy, are considered and discussed within the context of the American judicial system. A system that is arguably often seen as prizing retribution over justice, much less mercy. Different bodies of course, also matter here.

But does believing that Dylann Roof should not face the death penalty because one does not believe in the justice of the death penalty constitute admission that his crimes are forgiven in the all too familiar American way, where crimes against Black Americans are concerned? I certainly hope not. Because I do believe Roof should face punishment. I just do not believe that punishment should be with his life.

This is not to ask the society or particular communities for forgiveness of Roof’s crimes or the crimes of American racism. I neither have the power nor the desire to do such a thing. It is rather to advocate for the possibility of societal reconciliation, a reconciliation which brings about a manifestation in institutions and individuals the evidence that Black lives, do in fact, matter.

For this to happen, America needs to go into the confessional, and it needs to make a good confession. TC mark

When You Love Your Dog More Than You Love Them: 15 People Talk About Breaking Up When You Share A Pet

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 02:20 PM PDT

via Flickr - Helena Price
via Flickr – Helena Price

1. “I feel like getting a pet is something you shouldn’t do until you get married like having a kid or something. Ex and I got a dog about a year after she moved in with me and when we broke up she insisted on keeping the dog even though she’d never walked or fed it. Basically she cried and called me over and over until I relented. Surprise, surprise, she wasn’t responsible enough for a pet even at age 27 and lost the dog within a week of having her by walking her off leash. She literally ran away.”

—Jaques, 28

beetlejuice

2. “Having an ex-dog is the worst. My boyfriend already had a dog when we moved in together and I spent two years with that pooch learning all the spots she loved scratched and washing her and feeding and walking her. When we broke up I felt like I was losing two people I loved instead of just one and only one of those had loved me unconditionally. I still keep a photo of me and Maggie as my phone’s background. Sweetest dog ever.”

—Jaimie, 25

beetlejuice

3. “My ex-girlfriend and I bought a dog when we decided to move in together. Neither of us really knew what we were doing though and six months later we were going our separate ways. We both wanted to keep the dog, a super sweet little Beagle. We ended up flipping a coin (it was the only way we could decide) for who would keep him full time and she won. I really do come over and walk him and take him to the park on weekends though. My friends think I’m weird but it’s like having a kid.”

—Marcus, 24

beetlejuice

4. “I wouldn’t have imagined it when we moved in together but my ex-boyfriend got extremely attached to my cat and he’d never been a cat guy before. I mean, he was a big strong dude and he actually cried when he hugged her goodbye. Seeing how sweet he was, I almost wanted us to get back together.”

—Cindy, 26

beetlejuice

5. “When my ex-boyfriend and I broke up he held my dog hostage for a week saying I could have him back ‘when we talked about the breakup.’ I just wanted to break up and get him out of my life but since he had this bargaining chip I met him, took the dog, and got the hell out of there. The man was a psychopath.”

—Molly, 23

beetlejuice

6. “We didn’t live together but my ex-boyfriend and I picked up the cutest little mutt from the pound after watching one of those rescue videos on YouTube where the dog gets nursed back to health. When we broke up it was amicable and since we live in the same town he still comes over to see her and she remembers him. He also watches her when I’m out of town. It’s pretty great to tell you the truth.”

—Gabrielle, 24

beetlejuice

7. “When my wife and I divorced she told the judge that I used to beat our (my) 14-year-old Golden Lab to try to get sympathy since her cheating on me was why we were divorcing in the first place. She said it caused her ’emotional trauma.’ Luckily, he didn’t believe her and I didn’t get stuck with a bunch of alimony payments to the woman who broke my heart. I can’t imagine what she’d have said if we’d had kids.”

—Greg, 30

beetlejuice

8. “This is a tough story for me. My girlfriend and I broke up two years ago and she gave me what had been her dog before we even started dating since she had to move into a super small apartment. Well, I loved that dog but he just wasn’t crazy about me and got really depressed after just a couple of months being away from her. I wanted to keep him but he just wasn’t happy and I ended up calling my ex and telling her it wasn’t going well. He’s back with her now and is a lot happier even though her place is small. Heartbreaking for me though!”

—Michael, 25

beetlejuice

via Flickr - Soggydan
via Flickr – Soggydan

9. “My ex-boyfriend literally called me at work to tell me he was moving out and taking our Labradoodle with him. I was glad to see him go but I would have wanted to keep Hank. I did try to see him a couple of times but the ex always had some excuse. I’m sure he knew doing that would hurt me. It was like the final insult.”

—Catherine, 29

beetlejuice

10. “I lived with a girl my senior year of college and we had a couple of cats. When we graduated we decided not to stay together and neither of us knew if we’d be able to have cats where we were going. A professor of ours ended up taking them but breaking up and losing your pets and graduating was traumatic. Waaaay too much change. I felt like I was abandoning and being abandoned all at once.”

—Zachary, 22

beetlejuice

11. “My boyfriend from years ago took our dog with him when we broke up. I was mostly fine with it except the dude was pretty flakey and I worried that he’d ignore vet visits and things like that. Well, flash forward five years and I hear that our lovely Springer Spaniel died because he had heart worms which is something dogs only get when they’re being neglected. It’s ridiculously easy to prevent. I’m sure he thought ‘it’ll all turn out fine’ but it made me so mad. It still makes me mad thinking about that idiot.”

—Tiffany, 28

beetlejuice

12. “First of all, I love dogs but I just don’t like the responsibility that comes with owning one so I just date guys with dogs instead. I have to say,  it’s really awesome. All of the fun, and little responsibility. That said, most of the time, I miss the dogs more than I miss the guys. But I suppose it would be weird to have your ex-girlfriend come over and play with your dogs after you break up. Maybe it’s not that weird. Maybe I should ask?”

—Katy, 25

beetlejuice

via Flickr - Niek Braam
via Flickr – Niek Braam

13. “When I was younger and 1000x more of a pushover my boyfriend at the time and I got a dog together. I quickly discovered that he was manipulative and a liar and that I’d been a fool for moving in with him. I moved out without telling him and took our dog with me. I’d been the one to take care of him and I didn’t feel like my ex had any right to him. But that didn’t stop the dude from calling me every few days and threatening to come get him from me because ‘I didn’t deserve him.’ It took months of worrying if he was going to steal my dog to tell him to leave me alone or I’d be calling the police. He got the message then.”

—Mandy, 28

beetlejuice

14. “My cat that I’d had for seventeen years died the same week that my girlfriend and I started talking about breaking up. We’d been dating for three of those years and my ex really did love my cat. It was the weirdest thing but we didn’t break up for another month because we were both sort of grieving together about it and when we did break up it wasn’t as nasty as I think it would have been otherwise. It was sort of like any anger we’d had towards each other just got sucked out of us during that period.”

—Chris, 32

beetlejuice

15. “Pets really do end up being like kids in a lot of ways but if you have two pets it’s a whole other crazy mess. My ex and I had a cat and a dog and when we broke up we decided to split them up and then it was a whole guilty mess trying to decide who would go where and asking yourself insane questions like ‘will this cat think I’m rejecting her if I take the dog and vice versa.’ I do miss the cat but I think my dog misses her more. It’s amazing how much more difficult another living creature can make breaking off a relationship.”

—Arthur, 28 TC mark

This Inexplicable Twitter Account About Porterhouse Steak Is The Funniest Thing You’ll See Today

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 11:04 AM PDT

12 Wild International Parties That Are Totally Worth The Plane Ticket

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 02:17 PM PDT

It's been estimated that as many as 42% of Americans don't use all of their vacation time. While people have all sorts of reasons for not taking time off, sometimes it comes down to the simple fact that it's hard to decide where to go. This year, why not make the decisions easy by planning your vacation around an epic international party? In partnership with Perrier–the perfect, bubbly refreshment for any spontaneous celebration—we've brought you a 12-month calendar of amazing things happening all over the world. Just choose one during whichever month you want to take off most!

January

Cape Minstrel Carnival – Cape Town, South Africa

tsn92 / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/guillaumeducros/5313770970/
tsn92 / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/guillaumeducros/5313770970/

Dating back over 100 years, this musical street parade is one of the largest carnivals in the world. On January 2nd each year, thousands of people decked out in bright, festive clothing take to the streets to celebrate. The music ranges from traditional favorites to marching band covers of modern pop songs. Other names for the holiday include Kaapse Klopse or Tweede Nuwe jaar.

February

Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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While Carnival is celebrated throughout the world, Rio de Janeiro's is by far the largest. The main attraction is the Samba Parade—an elaborate, highly orchestrated show in which the best samba schools in the country compete with lavish costumes, floats, and songs created just for the occasion. The 2016 celebration begins Friday, Feb. 5th and ends on Feb. 9th.

March

Holi Festival – India

Steven Gerner / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/sgerner/8629550062/
Steven Gerner / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/sgerner/8629550062/

Holi may be the most photogenic holiday in the world. Also known as the festival of colors, it is an ancient Hindu holiday signifying the victory of good over evil. The festivities begin with an evening bonfire and are followed by a morning filled with bright powder tossed on anyone and everyone present. The next Holi is March 23, 2016.

April

King's Day – Amsterdam, Kingdom

Sergey Galyonkin / CC BY http://2.0 / flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/8697416368/
Sergey Galyonkin / CC BY http://2.0 / flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/8697416368/

When the king of the Netherlands has a birthday, everyone gets to party. King's Day (or "Koningsdag") is known for several traditions, including a nationwide flea market and giant outdoor concert in Amsterdam. Just be sure to wear the national color–orange. This year's holiday is April 27.

May

Lightning in a Bottle – Bradley, California, U.S.

Sharlene Stephens / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/sharlenes/508966130/
Sharlene Stephens / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/sharlenes/508966130/

Often compared to Burning Man, but smaller and in a greener environment, "Lightning in a Bottle" began as a private birthday party and grew into a four-day retreat of yoga, art, music, and eco-friendly ethos. The expected dates for next year are May 21 – 25.

June

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – Manchester, Tennessee, U.S.

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While Bonnaroo is most well known as a premiere music festival, its attractions extend into many art forms. A seated theater shows brand-new independent films, "art cars" cruise around the site, and dozens of non-profit organizations gather to teach people about sustainability. This year's festival is June 9 – 12.

July

Boryeong Mud Festival – Boryeong, South Korea

Hypnotica Studios Infinite / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/stinkiepinkie_infinity/2660200837/
Hypnotica Studios Infinite / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/stinkiepinkie_infinity/2660200837/

For most of the year, Boryeong is a quiet, coastal city known for its abundance of beach mud, which is used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. But during the Mud Festival, it's a rowdy party attended by millions of tourists. After playing in the mud pools, partiers can relax at one of the city's many beauty and massage clinics.

August

La Tomatina – August

flickr.com/photos/124075341@N03/14468038381/
flickr.com/photos/124075341@N03/14468038381/

Who hasn't dreamed of being in a giant food fight like the one you were never allowed to have in school? Each year, on the last Wednesday of August, the small Spanish town of Bunol becomes that food fight—with over one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes. Next year's will be August 31.

September

The Great Reno Balloon Race – Reno, Nevada, U.S.

Alisha Vargas / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/alishav/6133369717/
Alisha Vargas / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/alishav/6133369717/

Few things are as whimsical as a flock of hot air balloons drifting into a clear blue sky. September is prime time for balloon festivals across the U.S., and The Great Reno Balloon Race is among the best. The three-day event is free to the public, and sure to give you a sense of childlike wonder no matter what your age. This year's is Sept 11-13.

October

Masskara Festival – Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Jundy Tiu / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/joshua_santino/6301015627/
Jundy Tiu / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/joshua_santino/6301015627/

Bacolod is nicknamed "The City of Smiles," and Masskara shows why. Beginning in the early 80s from a place of hardship (the city had just experienced two major crises), it has since evolved into a joyous, annual masked ball. It officially marks the anniversary of the city's charter, and occurs on the weekend closest to October 19th.

November

Festival of Lights – Chiang Mai, Thailand

John Shedrick / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/cm_john/8515747780/
John Shedrick / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/cm_john/8515747780/

The only sight to rival a night sky filled with stars is one lit up by delicate, floating lanterns. The Festival of Lights, called Yi Peng, is a religious ceremony paying homage to the Buddha, while a second lantern release occurring a week later caters specially to tourists. Occurs near the end of November.

December

Art Basel – Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.

Bob B. Brown / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/beleaveme/5235777781/
Bob B. Brown / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/beleaveme/5235777781/

Art Basel in Miami Beach (along with its counterparts in Basel and Hong Kong) is one of the most talked about art events in existence, showcasing the world's premiere Modern and contemporary art fairs. While not technically a party, it brings in thousands of artists and art fans–and an energy that spills into the night. This year's falls on December 3-6. TC mark

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26 Doctors Talk About The Saddest, Most Bizarre, And Most Hilarious Cases Of Self Diagnosis They’ve Ever Seen

Posted: 05 Sep 2015 10:54 AM PDT

via Flickr - Dennis Skley
via Flickr – Dennis Skley

1. A MAGICAL FIRST

We had a 16 year old female and her boyfriend come into the Emergency Room. The girl thought she had had some sort of seizure. Our head medical resident went in to talk to her privately. He came out later barely able to contain his laughter as he came around the curtain. He took the team to a more private area and burst out laughing. In taking her history he realized she had simply had her first orgasm.

2. STOP TOUCHING THAT

Anal cysts. Nope, he just touched his anal cavity too much and left it irritated.

3. 20 Heart Attacks

This happened in med school. I was taking the history of a guy in clinic and I asked about his past medical problems, including if he had had any heart attacks.
He responded, “oh yeah, I’ve had about 20 of those.”

“…you’ve had 20 heart attacks??”

“Yup.”

“Which doctor(s) did you see about them? Do you have a cardiologist?”

“Nah, I never went to a doctor. My wife is a massage therapist, and whenever a heart attack hits, she starts to massage some pressure points and it stops.”

“……Uhhhhh, ok……What does it feel like when you have a heart attack?”

“I don’t ever remember them. My wife tells me that I fall onto the floor and my arms and legs start jerking. She says it takes about a minute of her massaging before it stops. I then get really confused and tired afterwards, and I can’t remember much of anything that happens to me until I take a nice long nap.”

The dude was having seizures, and thought that they were heart attacks. They normally stop on their own after a few minutes (at the most), and his wife thought that her massages were curing him.

4. THE STRAINED LEG MUSCLE THAT WASN’T

Someone thought they had “a strained muscle in their leg” because it locked up and they couldn’t bend their knee, then an abscess formed at the top of their leg right at the pelvic bone, and blood/pus started literally pouring out, non-stop, for days.

Eventually he came to the doctor’s office, then straight to the ER, and had an abscess in his Psoas muscle (a muscle near the spine and intestines) caused by a perforation in his small intestine. Yep. Pretty far off on that guess there, but apparently it happened right after some heavy lifting.

To be clear for all you gym rats, no, it was not in any way associated with him lifting, it was a result of undiagnosed Crohn’s disease destroying his intestines.

5. AT 19 YOU’RE NEVER WRONG

Had a 19yo girl come in asking for antifungal medication because she was convinced she had oral thrush. Her and her boyfriend had Googled her symptoms, and at 19 you’re never wrong. When I suggested that perhaps we check an EBV antibody to rule out mono, she looked at me like I was actively drooling on myself and refused, because there was, “No way I can have mono.” Eventually I convinced her to have some diagnostic testing done, and sure enough she had mono. I tried to explain that having oral thrush as a 19 year old could possibly be much more concerning than mononucleosis, but she didn’t seem to get it.

I will give the caveat that if a patient volunteers that they were looking up their symptoms online, I’ll always ask them what they think they have and why. This can sometimes give insight to symptoms or concerns they may not have let on about that help me to make a correct diagnosis. Besides, taking an active role in your health is certainly not a bad thing. As long as you’re not being a douche and acting as if I’m some moron, I welcome that kind of discussion.

6. HE WAS DYING OF BREAST CANCER

I had a male patient come in to the Emergency Department complaining of “breast lump.” He anxiously stated that the mass was very painful to touch and was convinced that he was going to die of breast cancer.

After a battery of questions I asked him to take off his shirt so I can examine and palpate (read: touch) the mass. After a couple of seconds, I turned to him and said, “Sir, that lump is your rib.”

He called me a “dumb kid” and asked to see my attending (I was a student at the time). The pt asked the attending why, if it is a rib, that it would hurt so much. The doc replied, “Sir, you’ve been rubbing and irritating the area for days now, you’ve been hurting yourself.”

I’ve never seen a man leave the hospital that fast.

7. THE STAPLE

While working as a nurse, had a patient who insisted that her abdominal pain was from a surgery she’d had done on her arm. She thought that a staple that had been used to close the wound on her arm had somehow traveled to her abdomen.

8. THERE’S NO WAY THESE THINGS ARE CONNECTED

Had a guy come in for migraines and confidently proclaimed that the severe head trauma he had suffered 1 month prior had nothing to do with it.

9. WOW, JUST WOW

Patient was dizzy. Patient thought she had a brain tumor. Went to the medical general practitioner. General practitioner thought she had a chronic middle ear infection. Went to the ear, nose and throat physician. ENT diagnosis: pregnancy.

10. THE HYPOCHONDRIAC

Not a Doctor, but a pharmacist. The patient had a cold, convinced it was “severe sinusitis” (a bit of a known hypochondriac). Saw Dr, got script for antibiotic. Was convinced she was allergic to every antibiotic tried until all that was left was antibiotics which aren’t usually used in URTIs at a sub-therapeutic dose (because she’s “very sensitive to medications”). The infection wasn’t going away so she took antibiotics for longer and longer.

She somehow got her hands on a blood glucose machine and must have had a reading that was slightly low one day because all of a sudden she started buying bags and bags of jelly beans because “the infection is making my blood sugar go dangerously low” (fasting ~4mmol/L, so normal). So she is taking more and more glucose (moved onto the straight glucose powder now) to control the “dumping syndrome” (I don’t think she even read the Wiki on that one…) that the infection caused. Symptom of her “dumping syndrome”: blood glucose dropping rapidly (because she is on a diet consisting of pretty much solely pure glucose) to “dangerous levels” (~4mmol/L). She is testing her blood glucose on average 20 times a day and taking about 250gm of pure glucose at least (from us) plus supplementing with lollipops from the supermarket for some variety.

We’ve consulted with her Doctor. Nobody can convince her otherwise, we’ve all tried. She’s put on ~15kg in the last month or so and will definitely end up with diabetes soon.

The Doctor also made a mistake the other day. In exasperation she said to her (in her 3rd appointment that month) “You should count yourself lucky, there are people far worse than you that can’t even get out of bed.” And guess what, she now gets deliveries because she is so sick she can’t get out of bed…

Tl;dr – Lady had a cold is now giving herself diabetes by living on pretty much just simple sugars.

11. “BLOODY” STOOL

Had a friend come to me claiming she was surely dying and had colon cancer. She had dark stool, among some other things, the bloody stool being, “the smoking gun.” I asked her what she had been taking to help with her stomach pains. She said Pepto-Bismol of course. I told her to stop taking the Pepto-Bismol, and told her to go see her primary physician about it. Sure enough it was just the Pepto-Bismol.

12. THE WISDOM TOOTH

As a self-diagnosing patient myself…one day I noticed a white, hard, jagged object protruding from my back gum. I couldn’t believe a tooth was coming in especially at 23 and I’d had my wisdom teeth taken out years ago. Go to the dentist to get some X-rays annnnd it turns out to be a piece of a tortilla chip.

13. THE DIABETIC

Here’s my favorite correct patient self-diagnosis.

A female doctor I know at my school likes to tell this story as an example of why one must always ask for patient attribution (i.e. “What do you think is causing your problem?”)

A really old guy came in complaining of foot pain. He was diabetic. Lady doctor already has a diagnosis in mind, but goes through the whole shebang. At the end asks “And what do you think is causing the problem?” He goes: “I think I have a tack in my shoe.”

He had a tack in his shoe and couldn’t bend over to get it out. She helped him remove it and he went on his way.

14. THE WORST PARENTS TO EVER EXIST

So I’m a therapist and I work with kids. Worst self-misdiagnosis was a family with a two week old who was convinced the baby had 1) Anxiety- because he cries. 2) Autism- little eye contact 3) Bipolar disorder- because baby would seem content then angry.

I spent HOURS explaining child development, what these diagnosis mean, how they would present in kids. I provided them with books, hand outs, etc. They insisted on going to see my co-worker and a psychiatrist as I was surely lying to them. Even after meeting with the other two professionals, they still weren’t convinced. They requested psych meds from the doctor.

15. ALLERGIES

This is less self-diagnosing and more self-treatment.

My wife is a nurse at an allergy clinic. She had a patient come in saying that she was having issues managing her allergies… even with self-administered injections of liquid Benadryl.

Suffice to say, the doctor had to have some VERY strong words with her.

She’s actually had a number of… unique patients come in. Like the lady who worked at a greenhouse and was convinced that she was allergic to the birds that hung out there… and brought in some of their feces for my wife to perform a scratch test with. That did not happen.

This one’s just really sad. One of the things my wife’s doctor recommends to his patients is eliminating food items they think they might be allergic to from their diet if they’re only getting mild symptoms, as it usually takes months to get in to an allergy specialist.

Some people don’t catch on (and I’m sure he goes into MUCH more explicit instructions than I am here) that you’re supposed to REINTRODUCE those food items if the symptoms aren’t going away – if you think you’re allergic to peanuts, but are still getting allergic reactions even if you don’t eat peanuts, it’s a good chance you’re not allergic to peanuts but rather something else.

Anyways, there was a lady that had come in and was eliminating food item after food item from her young child’s diet to the point where for months all she would prepare for him was rice. Sorry, not rice, rice that had been strained… and not the rice itself, but rather the broth that she strained off the rice. This had been going on for weeks. I don’t think the kid was still having reactions but he was definitely not doing well. I assume Child Protective Services was called.

16. BLESS

Not a doctor but a Physiotherapist. I had an elderly female patient ask if she should go and have her prostate checked because her father died of prostate cancer at her age. Bless.

17. THE END IS NIGH

Man came into the ER in a panic thinking he had incurable skin cancer.

Turns out he had a wart on his foot…

18. HOW DO YOU “FORGET” THIS?

I’m an orthopedic surgeon, so patients are really often unable to diagnose themselves because they don’t have the power of MRI or scoping. The most incorrect self diagnosis I’ve encountered was a patient who believed they broke their hip after a fall when they actually had a 2 inch piece of skateboard lodged into their side they forgot about…yeah.

19. THE MELON

My boyfriend was born in a teaching hospital. Because of the size of his head, a bunch of doctors informed his parents that they believed it to be a brain tumor just days after he was born.

It ended up being that he just has a huge head.

20. HERPES

A girl I know works in ER and not too long ago a college age kid came in around midnight to get tested for herpes. They figured it must have been pretty bad for him to go into the ER, after further investigation the small red dot turned out to be an ingrown hair.

21. IMPURE THOUGHTS

I had a patient who was convinced he had contracted syphilis from “immoral conduct.” After a long conversation it turned out it was just salt sores from a long period where he had been washing his clothes in seawater and it was irritating his skin. He was convinced he’d contracted an STD from masturbation and impure thoughts.

22. THE BABY JESUS

Real story as a third year medical student — I was rotating through a south side Chicago hospital (aka the hood), and had a female patient in her 50s. She was sexually active with one partner, thought she was pregnant, and asked for a pregnancy test since she was not menstruating for the last couple months. Her pregnancy test came back negative. In the meantime, we work up her medical history and realize she’s experiencing all the classic symptoms of menopause.

Anyways, when we tried to explain to her that it was menopause, a natural physiological response to aging in females, she got extremely upset. She requested for a repeat pregnancy test which we obliged to. Once again, results came back negative. Tried explaining to the patient once more what menopause was, however she told us we were making ‘crap’ up to put it pleasantly. When asked what she thought was wrong, her explanation, in her words were as follows:

  1. I am pregnant with baby Jesus
  2. I need to get a new boyfriend, this current one cant even get me wet in bed.

We tried one last time to explain the situation, however she stormed out and never came back.

23. THE GINGER CAT

I’m a veterinarian, not an doctor but… a young couple brought me their young ginger cat, requesting euthanasia because he had cancer. I asked why they thought so. They cited A) the tumors on the margins of his eyelids (which were actually normal pigmentation, or ginger cat “freckles”) and B) that there were drops of blood when he jumped into the empty bathtub (which were actually re-hydrated flea dirt falling off the cat onto the wet tub). I talked them out of euthanizing their perfectly healthy cat.

24. BLUE HANDS

I was an ER tech for a few years after college in a very ritzy suburb. We’d get a lot of self diagnosis, and just general hypochondriacs. One time a woman came in via ambulance yelling about how her hands were turning blue, and she was worried about her circulation. A nurse, being the smart ass she was, took an alcohol wipe to her hands and her hands magically weren’t blue anymore. Turns out she had bought new jeans and didn't wash them before wearing them. I’ve never seen someone so embarrassed, she practically ran out of the ER.

25. KOOL-AID AND BACON

A lady came to the clinic with her eight-month-old baby and she was pretty pretty freaked out. Her baby had had diarrhea for the last few weeks and it wasn’t going away. She initially wasn’t concerned but then her friend told her that diarrhea is the first sign of AIDS and now she was convinced her baby contracted AIDS.

We quickly ruled that out through their med records and assured her that her baby didn’t contract AIDS randomly. As we finished examining the baby it started to cry so we handed it to her mother. Lo and behold she pulls out a baby bottle to get the baby to stop crying….only this baby bottle is red and is filled with Kool-Aid.

We had to explain to her that babies can’t handle sugar at that age and that was the cause of the diarrhea. She refused to believe what we said. “I was raised on Kool-Aid and look at me I’m fine.”

Man the south side of Chicago is a completely different world.

Another story from that clinic. A lady came in and after she got off the scale she asked what her weight was at. She ~10 pounds heavier than the previous visit and seemed upset. So I asked her what about her weight was bothering her.

She said she was trying to lose weight but it didn’t seem like her diet was working. I casually asked what her diet was thinking she was trying some of the new diets. Her answer was “Bacon”. Her friend told her that if she added bacon to all her meals she’d lose weight so she had been eating Bacon 4-5x/day for the last month. She was shocked when she learned that she was doing the exact opposite of what she was supposed to do.

The reason these two cases come to mind is because I was shocked by the lack of common knowledge. These people aren’t dumb they just didn’t know what they were doing was wrong. It’s a symptom of poverty and a lack of education. Both patients took the proper steps to correcting their misunderstandings and were admittedly embarrassed.

I now work in a rural, majority White, part of the midwestern U.S with similar levels of poverty/education as the South Side of Chicago and these patients have the same issues. They just don’t know.

26. A FAMILY OF HYPOCHONDRIACS

I’m not a doctor, but I am part of an entire family of hypochondriacs. The best I’ve heard was from my grandpa who was 110% sure he had ovarian cancer after watching The Doctors. TC mark

Dear Nicole Arbour: I’d Rather Be Fat Than Be You

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 12:32 PM PDT

Facebook
Facebook

Dear Nicole Arbour,

I’m one of the hundreds of thousands of people who saw your YouTube video addressing your incredibly awful opinions about the individuals you so bluntly call fat people. I saw it on your Facebook, saw you oh-so-endearingly wink about the controversy that followed on your Twitter, and saw it online before YouTube ended up censoring your channel.

In a way, I think a form of congratulations is in order. You absolutely got exactly what you wanted from that video. You wanted attention, you wanted subscribers, you wanted Twitter followers. You wanted your Google search history to blow the fuck up and for yourself to become a name that was instantly recognizable. And you got it! Other more prominent YouTubers like Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley came out speaking against you, which may seem like a bad thing but realistically follows the age old saying that, “Any press is good press.” You used controversy and being offensive as a way to leverage a conversation to center solely around you, and to get attention, and it worked. So congrats, you nailed it.

Don’t worry; I’ll get to your wildly angering and incorrect statements in a minute. But what I still feel the need to address is the type of video you “claimed” you were making. The thing that bothers me the most, Nicole, is how cruel you came across. You called your video “satire” when addressing that YouTube chose to censor you, but I don’t think you really understand what satire is. Satire is rooted in sarcasm and exaggeration; it’s irony. Satire isn’t a girl making a poor attempt to mimic Jenna Marbles and direct incredibly specific cracks at a family she encountered in an airport. Furthermore, satire isn’t about being completely mean-spirited and isolating to one specific percentage of the population.

What you did, Nicole, wasn’t comedy. It was simply hateful.

You opened your video by stating that anyone with a medical condition was excluded from your thoughts and opinions. Well, Nicole, binge eating is considered an eating disorder and has been labeled so in the DSM-5 since 2013. And that doesn’t take into account conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Hyperthyroidism, mental illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder which can be linked to inexplicable weight gain, and even certain types of cancer. You have no idea what could be causing someone’s body to be the way that it is, regardless of whether or not it is aesthetically pleasing to you. How dare you assume that just because someone’s body is different than yours, it must simply be due to “not exercising or eating right.”

You made a point to say, “Big boned isn’t a thing, how stupid do I look?” I’ll get the stupid part, hold please. While you may be correct that a skeletal system is generally the same from person to person, you ARE stupid if you cannot acknowledge that all bodies and body types are different. Is being big boobed something that doesn’t exist either, Nicole? Is that something you made up to excuse spilling out of your tank top in every video while my cleavage is more subtle since I’m the treasurer of the IBTC? OBVIOUSLY your boobs are something you had control over and not something that was genetically predetermined or due to something like a type of birth control you might be taking. (PS: That’s how you do satire.) I am clearly in the right to make a rash and uninformed opinion about your body by simply because I didn’t really care to see those sweater puppies bounce around in your Victoria’s Secret Body Bra, right?

The thing is, Nicole, as stupid as I think your video was, I don’t think you’re stupid. I think you made a calculated decision to say something that would get you a ton of clicks and attention. I think you are obviously a very witty, funny girl with comedic timing, who saw a “get rich quick” kind of ploy and took it. And I also think you’re entitled to your opinion – even if I disagree with it. What I don’t think you’re entitled to is making crass, judgmental, hateful jokes at the expense of other people, simply because you don’t “get” them.

When you do things like this, you set all comedians back. If you’re going to make a light of something that could be touchy, maybe make it about yourself. Examples: when Amy Schumer makes jokes centered around promiscuity, she bases it around her own sexual experiences. When Chelsea Peretti cracks off about women not being respected in the workforce, it’s rooted in honesty of her experiences writing for TV. When Thought Catalog alumni and all around gem, Ryan O'Connell makes light of disabilities, it's rooted from his own life because he has CP. If you really can’t find a place of relatability with your comedy, it has to be placed in a way where people are able to laugh WITH you. If you find you’re the only one laughing, it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t have said it in the first place.

If you genuinely wanted to help people and assist them in getting themselves to a healthier place, there was a different way to go about it. You don’t get to post, “You go girl” tweets in regard to weight loss online because if that was really your goal, you never made that the point. You could have made it a discussion about how to make healthier choices, the things you do to keep yourself in shape, but you didn’t. You turned the conversation completely off, making your personal opinions all that mattered, all that had a voice. So really, this wasn’t about that. This wasn’t really about keeping people “around on this planet longer.”

It was only about you.

You disabled the comments on your own goddamn video, which is not only an INFURIATING move, but proves that you couldn't back up your words. I GET that comments suck. But you don't get to turn them off because you're scared. You don't get to make controversial comments for the sake of making them, if you aren't going to have the spine to deal with the aftermath.

Nicole, I think I speak for myself and a great number of other women who consider themselves a part of the internet and the comedy world when I say, I am very disappointed in you. We all make jokes that might turn someone into the awkward, straight-across-teeth-emoji every now and then. But we all also make statements after the fact to say, “I didn’t deliver that very well.” I sincerely hope you take a day where you log out of Twitter, stop claiming you broke the internet, (You ain’t Kim K-W, sister) and you reflect on the power that your words actually hold.

Nobody is perfect, but you have the opportunity to own up to what you did and speak plainly either clarifying something that may have been poorly edited (Seriously quit it with the comparing a body type that's unlike your own to being a smoker. It's not only rude, it's a bad joke. Do better.) or poorly executed, or you can just apologize for how you came across.

Let's take a step back and dive into the ridiculously triggering way your voice and opinions came across, even though it’s been covered. You made people, like myself, who are relatively fit human beings, look at themselves and unfortunately uncover years worth of body image issues they had worked so hard at moving past.

You made me think about my best-friend who was so convinced in high-school that her little stomach roll when she sat down was so undesirable that she starved herself down to a human skeleton. She may not have been big boned, Nicole, and we are 100% sure of that because we were able to count her ribs and the divots along her spinal column.

You made a video aimed at being controversial towards one group, and along the way triggered absolutely everyone. You are the type of person every girl who hears the word “fat” and cringes, is scared of encountering.

You are the person who has made “fat” the worst thing someone can be. Not cruel, uncouth, unintelligent, ignorant, impolite. Just fat. That, according to you, is the bottom of the barrel.

But me, Nicole? I don’t think being fat is a bad thing. I think being an attention and controversy-seeking fame junkie is a bad thing. I also think being mean for the sake of being mean is a bad thing. I think not owning my words and allowing people to question them is a bad thing. I think not apologizing when I need to because I've messed up is a bad thing. So I will take all of those things, I will make a mental note to never apply them to myself, and then I will go eat a fucking cookie without worrying about the calories.

And guess what? That cookie is going to taste better than your bitter attempt at comedy ever will.

Love,

Kendra TC mark

30 Amazing Memories Only Sisters Get To Make

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 11:03 AM PDT

lexilimphotography
Twenty20, lexilimphotography

1. Convincing your mom and dad that one of you deserves to get her ears pierced already.

2. Deciding that it's time for one or both of you to start shaving her legs, and figuring out the hard way how to do it without drawing blood.

3. Doing each other's nails and makeup because impromptu makeovers are a surefire way to stave off boredom at any age.

4. Crushing on the same male characters from all the TV shows and movies you watch together.

5. Laughing at the exact same moments during any movie or TV program, knowing on some level that your shared sense of humor is a result of your parallel experiences as females in this world.

6. Discussing each other's real life crushes and swearing each other to secrecy about any related fantasies.

7. Having so many inside jokes that you practically speak your own language.

8. Insulting each other with the lowest of low blows because you know each other inside and out, weaknesses included.

9. Learning to forgive and forget through being total mean girls to each other but getting over it quickly, no matter how serious the crime.

10. Understanding early on that being copied is the sincerest form of flattery because there's no better feeling than being mimicked by your sister. Catching her dress like you and/or talk like you makes you feel beyond proud.

11. Fantasizing together about what life would be like as identical twins, a la Sweet Valley High or Mary-Kate and Ashley.

12. Discussing what it will be like to have boobs and to wear a bra one day.

13. Reminiscing, eventually, about how you used to stuff bunches of tissues down your shirts and parade in front of the bathroom mirror while wondering what actual boobs might feel like.

14. Answering each other’s questions about menstruation. Namely, how much period blood there will be, exactly, and whether or not sticking a tampon up your vagina will hurt at all.

15. Nodding and smiling throughout whatever sex talk your parents give, knowing that you'll get way more useful answers by consulting each other.

16. The specific joy that comes with being able to share clothes and to essentially have two wardrobes.

17. The special brand of hate that brews when your sister borrows something without asking you first.

18. Plotting your sister’s downfall after she ruins one of your favorite tops but forgiving her before you have the chance to pursue whatever vengeful plan you conjure.

19. Telling your parents to chill as they worry because your sister's running late from a date.

20. Taking your sister's side as your parents scold her for breaking curfew or for failing to check in like she promised while out with friends or some guy she wants to boyfriend.

21. Ganging up on your parents to change a longstanding household rule about dating, or to get something you both desperately want, like a dog, or a new computer.

22. Defending your sister's honor if anyone dares to say anything rude about her because you’re the only one who's allowed to make fun of her.

23. Being known by every teacher and most people in school as your sister’s sister.

24. Love-hating the assumptions people make about you as a result of associating you automatically with her.

25. Comparing yourself to your sister in literally everything you do (because everyone else seems to) so that life feels like an ongoing, borderline friendly competition.

26. Failing to relate to the fear of being single because you have your sister to love and lean on at all times.

27. Feeling relieved because you don’t have to choose a friend to be your maid of honor since you have a sister to fill that role.

28. Toasting each other’s awesomeness at your respective weddings.

29. Discussing exactly how you'll do things differently from the way your mother did.

30. Laughing over all the evidence that you’re both clearly turning into your mom in spite of all your efforts not to. TC mark

10 Things You Learn From Living With Parents That Should Have Separated

Posted: 08 Sep 2015 09:01 AM PDT

Flickr / seth capitulo
Flickr / seth capitulo

1. Love isn't always enough.

I don't doubt that somewhere in the last 25 years my parents loved each other but I did learn that it wasn't enough to keep them happy with one another. Even now, I find glimpses of their love when they talk BUT their inability to trust or effectively communicate about things ended up being their downfall. Love is vital to any great relationship but without the other two, it's just not enough.

2. Your children will likely learn more about self-respect if you separate/divorce.

Too often couples find themselves well aware that their relationship is irreparable but tell one another to fake it for the kids. Your children aren't stupid and they know what's up. In the long run, trying to make it work for them shows them that being unhappy in a relationship is acceptable. This is particularly reflective of parents who have trouble keeping their issues behind closed doors (like mine). Though it may hurt to separate and have your family split between two homes, it makes for a much healthier conversation & home. I would rather have been split between two happy homes than stuck at an unhappy one.

3. Your partner isn't going to change so stop thinking you can "fix" them.

I think my parents wasted far too much energy hoping that they would wake up one day after a late night argument and the other person would suddenly be exactly who the other wanted. The truth is, my dad is always going to be exactly who he is and my mom is going to be exactly who she is and sadly they're just not compatible. Had my parents recognized this earlier, they'd save themselves the misery of having to deal with one another and us as kids, the misery of having to witness their misery. I learned to accept that you can't redefine a person.

4. You can't control everything.

I have to admit this one makes me sad. I wish we could have control over our relationships but the only relationship you are in control of is the one you have with yourself. My main takeaway from learning this watching my parents relationship unfold is that when you do take the time to focus on you, your hobbies and just things that make you happy, you are benefitting the relationship 10x more than you would trying to control it.

5. Learn to be open with your feelings.

Sure there were plenty of things that my parents felt bothered by but because they never spoke about them clearly and quickly, simple conversations became fired-up arguments. This taught me that even the most serious conversations can be held calmly if you're conscious of your tone and address the concern in-person as soon as possible.

6. Apologies are powerful.

When said sincerely, "I'm sorry" holds A LOT of value. If you're willing to recognize that you are wrong you send two messages: 1. You have self-awareness (side note: far too many people lack this) 2. You understand what your significant other is trying to communicate and your significant other will appreciate it!

7. Follow your gut.

If you feel something is wrong, it likely is. If deep down you want out of something, why spend a lot of energy convincing yourself why you don't? Though I'm guilty of needing a concrete answer before getting anxious about something, seeing my parents go through whatever they were going through showed me that though sometimes the answers aren't clear as day, the feeling you get at the pit of your stomach is there for a reason.

8. Learn to keep conversations personal.

Growing up, I saw my parents involve other adults or even us as children, at the wrong time in a conversation or in a conversation we had no business being a part of in general. Note that there are some things you will only be able to resolve between the two of you. Adding additional opinions from other "adults" can drag the situation and ultimately cloud what your actual thoughts are. Uhm, hello, follow YOUR gut.

9. Appreciate the little things.

I'd like to think this one is self-explanatory but considering my parents failed at this part here's a little more detail: hug each other, kiss, cook for one another, bring home flowers randomly, etc. and say thank you!

10. You can teach your children to love both of you regardless of the problems you faced in your unsuccessful relationship.

My mom did an incredible job at this. There's no doubt my parents were both jerks to each other in different ways and I do hold a bit of anger about being involved in it sometimes but more importantly, I don't let their issues or my issues with their relationship affect how I much I care for them. When I was old enough to understand the depth of my parents arguments, to have a reasonable opinion or old enough to pick a side, my mom constantly made it a point that regardless of my thoughts on the matter, my parents were my parents (parents who loved me no matter how much they hated each other) and that was something I could never change. TC mark