Thought Catalog

12 Ways To Know He Hasn’t Completely Moved On

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 07:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / maximontesde
Twenty20 / maximontesde

1. He still has photos of her in his apartment.

When you sleep at his place and every time you turn around you see a picture of his ex's smiling face, it's not exactly comforting. If you try to replace one with a photo of you and him, and he expresses any type of reluctance, he hasn't let go; he's very much still hanging on.

2. She is on his phone's home or lock screen.

Think about how many times a day you look at your phone. That's how many times a day he is seeing his ex.

3. He brings her up in casual conversation.

When he brings up meaningful memories, that's totally fine. She was apart of his life once, and you can't change that, but when you're talking about what to eat for lunch and he says something like, "my ex used to eat turkey sandwiches," he is clearly still thinking about her. A lot of people eat turkey sandwiches.

4. He hasn't deleted texts from her.

If he still has their text conversation you can sure as hell bet he reads through it every once in a while, if not more. Why would he keep it if he didn't want to read it?

5. He accidentally says her name while having sex with you.

This is not only awkward, but just a tad insulting. You’re trying to be intimate with him, and his mind is clearly elsewhere, on her.

6. He is hanging on to her possessions.

If he still has her shirt, her jeans, her bra, her toothbrush, and hasn't either given them back to her or thrown them in the trash, he probably hasn't even told her he has them…because he wants to keep them.

7. He is hanging on to her meaningless possessions

It's really bad when you open his fridge and he has one bottle of Corona that has been sitting in the back shelf alone for as long as you've been with him. It's because she brought that Corona over and he can't bare to drink the last one. If he can't get rid of meaningless belongings, especially if they're food or drinks, he has clearly not moved on.

8. He uses her gifts more than yours.

His ex bought him clothes, appliances, watches, everything he needs, and he still uses most of them, which is fine. But when the battery in the watch that she gave him breaks, and you buy him an entirely new watch, if he chooses to simply replace the battery instead of wearing yours, it might have more to do with the meaning behind the watch than the actual tool he uses to tell time.

9. His family talks about her.

They most likely talk about her because he talks about her. They think it's completely normal because for him it is, but if his family can't move on from her, he most likely can’t either.

10. His friends talk about her.

See above, but replace with friends.

11. He mistakes other people for his ex while you're out.

"Oh my god, I thought that was my ex." *Staring at blonde girl across the bar* "I thought your ex was brunette?" He is paranoid that she's everywhere because he is still thinking she’s everywhere.

12. He refuses to go to certain places because it reminds him of his ex.

If your dining venue depends on the places he and his ex never went to, you have more important things to worry about than dinner. It's just a restaurant, and memories can't prevent him from living his life. If he can't accept the fact that certain things are going to remind him of her, he can't move on from the reality that she is no longer around. TC mark

10 Reasons Why The Token ‘Crazy’ Girl Is The Best Kind Of Girl To Date

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 06:00 PM PDT


Being crazy is part of my identity. I'm not talking about the kind of crazy that parties six nights a week and gets blacked out every chance she gets. I'm talking about Blank Space, Taylor Swift, I-will-write-a-song-about-you crazy. Instead of being offended by this term that everyone so gladly describes me as, I have decided to embrace my role as the Token Crazy Girl, because it's time to shine some light on the reasons why being a crazy girl is worth admiring. Here are ten reasons why being the Token Crazy Girl is actually a good thing:

1. We’re loyal.

Crazy girls are extremely loyal. We will fight for you no matter what (sometimes literally, mostly figuratively). You want to go stalk your ex-boyfriend at 2 am on a Wednesday? I'm in. You need me to "accidentally" throw my drink on that girl who hooked up with your crush? You don't even need to ask. When we love someone, we love them whole heartedly. Whether it’s my family, friends, or a boy, I am one hundred percent invested in you and will literally do anything for you.

2. We’re stubborn, in a good way.

I don't believe in being told no. When someone tells me no, I just see it as an opportunity to prove them wrong. This goes for my life ambitions as well as when a guy says he's not interested in me. My perseverance is outstanding and I think it’s something to be admired. I have never met someone and thought "he's way too out of my league"or decided I wanted to do something and thought "that dream is too unrealistic." I put all my efforts into something and whether it ends up working out or not, I live with the full confidence that I've given it my all.

3. We never lack passion. 

I'm naturally a creative and passionate person. I am extremely empathetic and sometimes overemotional. Some people see this as a bad thing, and I have scared away numerous guys with my tears, but I am also someone who thrives on helping others. Because of this overemotional and sensitive side, I’ve actually become a better person. I enjoy doing community service and feeling like I'm changing the world in any way possible. I am also there to sit and cry with you when you're upset. The Token Crazy Girl feels everything, so that means when she says she's in love with you, she is. Or when she says she's got your back, she does. This makes dating the crazy girl a good experience because there are typically no games being played. The raw passion and expression of a crazy girl is something to embrace, not shy away from.

4. We’re always unique.

You will not find anyone else like us. That is a fact. And I'm not just saying that because my mother says so, I really do mean it. The Token Crazy Girl has this unpredictable, exhilarating, unknowing presence about her. Things will never be boring around a girl like this and you can always trust in having a good time with her. And if you happen to be dating the Token Crazy Girl, your relationship will always have that mystery and fire that some relationships lose with time. The Token Crazy Girl is usually found dancing to the beat of her own drum and not afraid to be different. There aren't that many of us, so hold on tight to yours!

5. We truly value honesty.

The Token Crazy Girl has no need to lie about anything and isn't afraid to say something because it "might sound crazy." This is actually a super good thing to have in a friend or a girlfriend because she'll always be up front with you. If she's mad at you, she'll tell you. If she feels a certain way about something you said or did, she won't be passive aggressive about it. She tells everything like it is.

6. We’re unpredictable. 

This reason sounds like it might be negative, but here's why it's not. Some people will get bored in a relationship after they've been dating awhile. Couples will go into this comfort mode where there's no surprises or spark anymore. This will not happen if you have the lucky chance of dating a crazy girl. Her next move is always unexpected and she'll always keep you guessing, which is something any fun couple needs a bit of.

7. We’re not concerned with the hot/crazy scale. 

Enough said about this one, check out Barney Stinson's explanation on How I Met Your Mother if you’re confused.

8. We’re confident. 

All those openly Token Crazy Girl's are rocking their crazy and that's what makes them so attractive and refreshing to be around. We’re confident about who we are, no matter what anyone says about us.

9. We lead a very full life. 

The Token Crazy Girl is running around having cool adventures with her friends, engaging in life to the fullest and taking risks that 'normal' people wouldn't take. We lead big lives to match our big personalities.

10. We’re successful.

So many artists, musicians and people that we admire greatly have been considered crazy at one time or another. Crazy girls are the ones that you find as CEO's of companies, headlining sold out world tours (shout out to Taylor Swift), or changing the world. There's something about us that makes people want more, and we are determined to prove to everyone that we aren't crazy, we're just ahead of the game. TC mark

27 Dwight Schrute Quotes That Will Teach You All You Need To Know About Life

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 05:00 PM PDT

The Office
The Office

1. “There are 3 things you never turn your back on: bears, men you have wronged, and a dominant male turkey during mating season.”

2. "Before I do anything I ask myself, 'Would an idiot do that?' and if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing."

3. "Powerpoints are the peacocks of the business world; all show, no meat."

4. “In an ideal world I would have all ten fingers on my left hand and the right one would just be left for punching.”

5. “Those who can’t farm, farm celery.”

6. “A real man swallows his vomit when a lady is present.”

7. "No, don't call me a hero. Do you know who the real heroes are? The guys who wake up every morning and go into their normal jobs, and get a distress call from the Commissioner and take off their glasses and change into capes and fly around fighting crime. Those are the real heroes."

8. "I love catching people in the act. That's why I always whip open doors."

The Office
The Office

9. "Reject a woman, and she will never let it go. One of the many defects of their kind. Also, weak arms."

10. “Learn your rules. You better learn your rules. If you don’t, you’ll be eaten in your sleep. *crunch*”

11. “Dolphins get a lot of good publicity for the drowning swimmers they push back to shore, but what you don't hear about is the many people they push farther out to sea! Dolphins aren't smart. They just like pushing things.”

12. "The principle is sound. To avoid illness, expose yourself to germs, enabling your immune system to develop antibodies. I don't know why everyone doesn't do this… Maybe they have something against living forever."

13. "I never smile if I can help it, Showing one's teeth is a submission signal in primates. Someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for it's life."

14. “‘R’ is the most menacing sound in the English language. That's why it's called ‘murder’ and not ‘mukduk.’"

The Office
The Office

15. “The hand that reaches from the grave to grip your throat is the strong hand you want on the wheel.”

16. "Why tip someone for a job I'm capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did however, tip my urologist, because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones."

17. “Women are like wolves. If you want one you must trap it. Snare it. Tame it. Feed it.”

18. "People say, 'oh it's dangerous to keep weapons in the home, or the workplace.' Well I say, it's better to be hurt by someone you know, accidentally, than by a stranger, on purpose."

19. "There are a huge number of yeast infections in this county. Probably because we're downriver from that old bread factory."

20. “I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for "Grizzly Man" and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Cause that's the thing about bear attacks… they come when you least expect it.”

21. “Nostalgia is truly one of the great human weaknesses. Second only to the neck.”

22. "I wish I could menstruate. If I could menstruate, I wouldn't have to deal with idiotic calendars anymore. I'd just be able to count down from my previous cycle. Plus I'd be more in tune with the moon and the tides."

The Office
The Office

23. "The eyes are the groin of the head."

24. "Bread is the paper of the food industry. You write your sandwich on it."

25. “When I die, I want to be frozen. And if they have to freeze me in pieces, so be it. I will wake up stronger than ever, because I will have used that time, to figure out exactly why I died. And what moves I could have used to defend myself better now that I know what hold he had me in.”

26. "Why are all these people here? There are too many people on this earth. We need a new plague."

27. “D.W.I.G.H.T – Determined, Worker, Intense, Good worker, Hard worker, Terrific.” TC mark

My iPhone Contacted My Ex All On Its Own Because It’s Actually Possessed

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 03:00 PM PDT

. Entrer dans le rêve
. Entrer dans le rêve

My iPhone recently started doing some strange stuff. It began with minor glitches, easily curable with a shutdown and reboot. This resolved things like my browser getting stuck, the volume on my FaceTime not working and my email refusing to refresh. A couple days later, it went on a bender.

I woke up to a constant dinging next to my head where my phone was charging on my nightstand. It was adding appointments to the shared calendar with my husband – one after the other. It sent us a slew of reminders about an upcoming date night at a restaurant, frantically copying our restaurant reservation we had for three weeks away and urgently requesting us to acknowledge it at 4 AM. Was it worried about us? Like, "Hey, you two. You might have a toddler but unless you go on a date soon, you'll definitely drift apart. Get that babysitter. Marriage is a work in progress. Reminder. Get on it. Reminder. Your relationship is going to fall apart if you don't acknowledge this date night coming up."

The reminders glitch was followed by an all-out laser light show when I attempted to take a 6 AM shower before work a couple days later. I had plugged it back into the wall to charge while I headed for the bathroom. The light feature on my phone went off intermittently. It flashed into our darkened, early morning bedroom ceiling, sending our dog into a barking frenzy and waking up my husband and our sleeping baby.

I immediately updated the software on the phone. Switched the whole thing off, then on again.

This must have really pissed it off.

My newly charged, rebooted iPhone was on a mission. First, it started taking flash photography of my very messy bedroom, judging my slobbish tendencies and giving me a literal view of my own failures to maintain an orderly Feng Shui master bedroom where anything romantic could take place. This is a photo it took at 2:30 AM on a Sunday night:

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.33.07 AM

My phone was mocking me. It might as well have said, "Really? You're too busy to put your bra away? Why is there a purse on the floor? And can you really not take the extra 2 seconds to close your dresser drawers?"

A couple uneventful weeks went by and my phone issues seemed to be resolved. They weren't

I thought that I was having a dream about speaking to one of my ex-boyfriends. I rarely dream about ex boyfriends anymore, except in a regretful, "Why did I waste time for so long?" kind of way.

I heard this voice saying, "Hello? Stacey? Are you there?"

My eyes popped open and saw a dim light next to my head. I turned over to examine it more closely and saw that it was my phone screen, lit up, with an active FaceTime conversation taking place with my ex-boyfriend.

It was just before 6 AM on a Monday.

I did the mature thing and hung up immediately. What had just happened? Had I dialed him in my sleep? I don't remember Facebook stalking him recently, so couldn't have accidentally contacted him. Do I call back? Email? Apologize via text? Blame it on my toddler?

I shut the phone off and went to shower. When I turned the phone back on, there were no messages from my ex. I wondered if my phone had sent him a video of me waking up, seeing that he was on my phone screen and freaking out. I hadn't seen him in several years, so the fact that I had FaceTimed was probably a tad surprising.

I woke up my husband to tell him what happened. He laughed and went back to bed.

You may wonder why I have an ex-boyfriend's contact information plugged into my phone. We are old exes (like virtually from our pre-teen years), old friends and he's happily married with kids (as am I). My husband is friendly with him too and we see him in large groups, every five years or so.

I've since taken the damn phone into the Apple genius bar doctors. What other inanimate objects require appointments with geniuses? The genius we met doesn't believe me that the phone is willingly doing these things on its own, but I know better. Maybe I've been hacked. Maybe someone is playing a joke on me. I'm probably not cyber-stalking / contacting exes subconsciously. All of my software is updated. The battery looks fine. The genius suggests upgrading to a new phone. And cutting off all contact with my exes.

The morning after my FaceTiming snafu with the ex, I decided to come clean and got an immediate response:

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.33.48 AM

I'm hoping that by texting an apology to my ex on my iPhone, it will stop attempting to sabotage my marriage. Maybe it'll refrain from contacting my ex boyfriends if I acknowledge date night with my husband. Or if I clean up my side of the bedroom. Until then, I’m keeping an eye on it during the day and shutting it down completely at night. Siri can't be trusted to be near her other Apple friends, so her new curfew is whenever my bedtime is. If she acts up again, I'll take the genius advice of upgrading. TC mark

The Advantages Of Being An Introvert In A Professional Setting

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 02:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / Laboo
Twenty20 / Laboo

Producer's note: Someone on Quora asked: Introverts and Introversion: What professional advantages do introverts have? Here is one of the best answers that's been pulled from the thread.


First, let’s define the term so we’re all on the same page: an introvert is a person who re-energizes by being alone.

It’s not that we don’t like social interaction or that we “don’t like people”: it’s that people deplete us. Even people we love.

Here is a list of some professional advantages that we get just for being who we are:

  • Introverts are at their best when they’re doing things that don’t involve being in the midst of others. Luckily, many professions require solitude to get done. A few examples: Writing. Research. Science. I’m sure you can think of many more.
  • Social media has become essential. Social networking tools are, in my opinion, tailor-made for introverts. We build extensive, meaningful connections via Facebook, Twitter, Quora, to name a few. We communicate, modulate our conversations, select what we want to engage in, all without ever being forced to interact with people in person. This might very well be my definition of heaven.
  • Introverts are thoughtful. We read and do research and ponder before ever venturing an opinion out loud, which means that when we speak up we tend to know what we are talking about. (This does not in any way imply extroverts aren’t thoughtful. But it’s true extroverts tend to think out loud. By the time an introvert speaks we’ve done quite a bit of thinking.)
  • We are good listeners. It’s not just that we’d rather listen than talk. It’s that we operate in a world that accommodates extroverts so we have learned to pay attention to our surroundings in order to make it through the day. We notice things others don’t.
  • Introverts have an aversion to small talk. This means that our conversations tend to have direction and purpose. They are oriented towards getting an assignment done, since talking for the sake of talking is not the best way to manage our limited ability to interact. (I bet you that Cinderella turning into a pumpkin was a metaphor for her just needing to go home and take off her shoe.)

Here are some ways we can adapt to the requirements not originally intended for introverts:  

  • We are really, really good networkers. It’s true that we don’t “work a room”, jump at the chance to attend networking events, madly distribute business cards or go to parties. But we network in our own way: We talk to people one on one and get to know them well and understand what motivates them. We remain in touch with those we genuinely like. And many of us are powerful connectors, making critical, relevant introductions. (Probably in part because this gives us a chance to escape and go home early.)
  • Introverts can be smashingly creative during a brainstorm, just not one that is taking place in the presence of others. We can sit and listen, then go back to our office, think about things, do some research and send in our contributions, complete with an insightful analysis, a bit later.
  • I tell people that my observations on a document will be so much better if they relinquish the document to me. No, I don’t want “to be walked through it”. Just leave it here and I will soon return it with my input.

I concede there is one thing I’m unlikely to do: attend the office party. Why on Earth should we all have drinks if we just spent the entire week together? TC mark

This answer originally appeared at Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge.

8 Things You Learn In College That You Don’t Earn A Degree For

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 01:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / jdcalvelli
Twenty20 / jdcalvelli

Your time is valuable

When I first entered university, the thought of skipping class was unthinkable. I would sit through boring lectures that were just regurgitations of our readings or dictations of PowerPoint slides that would be posted online anyways. Half the time I wouldn't even be paying attention or I'd be trying to beat 2048, and I'd walk out of class feeling like I'd just wasted 50–120 minutes of my time. The decision to start skipping (boring) classes was one of the best choices I've ever made. That suddenly freed up more time for me to do things I wanted to do (and I'm not talking about watching more Netflix). I realized that if classes were unhelpful, there were better ways of spending my time, like reviewing the material on my own, working on assignments for my other classes, or making progress on other school-related or personal projects.

Now, I'm not advocating for skipping classes. But I think that there should be an evaluation of everything that you commit time to — the classes you take, the friends you make, the jobs you have, the clubs you join, the activities you participate in, etc. In college, it often feels like there are never enough hours in the day for all that you have to do. There are always things you could be doing. The older you get, the more responsibilities you will have. If you have a lot of meetings for student organizations or projects, ensure that they run efficiently. Make sure that the people in your life are the ones who make the effort to be there.

To avoid being stretched too thin, it's worth taking a step back and assessing whether or not your commitments are actually meaningful, important, and enjoyable. If they aren't at least one of the three, chances are you can either cut down on your time spent doing that activity or cut it out of your life altogether.

Reframe "success"

I went to an academically intense high school where every time we got back a quiz or test, people would whip out their TI-84’s to recalculate their GPA. I was one of those kids. To me, an A- was an Asian Fail. My incredibly chill Asian parents told me I should try getting a few B's (how I should have taken their advice). When I took a college-level math class my freshman year, I got a 68 on the first midterm. I freaked out. I'm an English major! What am I doing thinking that I could declare a computer science major? But after a sobering phone call with my sister and understanding the beautiful concept of curves (the academic kind), I realized how dramatic I was being and stuck with the class. And three years later, I've stuck with a computer science major.

To avoid being stretched too thin, it's worth taking a step back and assessing whether or not your commitments are actually meaningful, important, and enjoyable.

Striving for perfection in everything all the time is setting yourself up for failure. Easy things may not be fulfilling and fulfilling things may not be easy. Some things will have to give. The launch of a personal project will probably be more important than an assignment. A lower-than-average grade on a test might be worth it because you spent more time preparing for a job interview or getting some desperately needed sleep. Reframing "success" to be on your own terms will ultimately help you keep the important things in perspective.

Never prioritize anything above your health

College may seem like an okay time to kill your liver, never exercise, run on caffeine and Five Hour Energy, eat wings and pizza at two in the morning, then procrastinate and post a self-deprecating status on Facebook as you cram last-minute in the library. Everyone does it, you tell yourself. But you're a goddamn adult, not a lemming. Just because everyone else is testing their body's limits doesn't mean you have to. All those things can really end up taking a toll, both physically and mentally. Exercise regularly. Don't be embarrassed if you're used to getting 6+ hours of sleep. Eat vegetables even if it means routinely buying a bag of salad and eating it with your hands (this is what I do). Make time to self-soothe and reflect. Seek help if you need it. Nothing —and I really mean nothing — is worth your health.

Striving for perfection in everything all the time is setting yourself up for failure.

Say no to things

I've always been a "yes" person. Yes to schoolwork, yes to extracurricular activities, yes to helping somebody on an assignment, yes to going to that frat party even though I'm exhausted and not looking to drink cheap beer while inching my way through a sweaty crowd. Learning to say no is a great thing. It may seem scary at first, but you'll be surprised at how understanding people are (so long as you don't have a history of being a flake). You don't necessarily have to make it to every single class or every single meeting. Group projects can survive without you picking up the extra slack even though no one asked you to. Whole assing one thing is better than half-assing a lot of things.

Finding your niche is not the same as picking a major

Picking a major and choosing classes is stressful. But your course of study will not necessarily be your career. Take a wide range of classes — one of my favorite classes of all time was a history class (even though I study English and Computer Science) — because you might be surprised. Find opportunities to do interesting things outside of school, like joining a research lab or working on a side project. If those opportunities don't exist, make them for yourself. I've realized I don't have to compromise the different things I love. Chances are you can find a way to combine your interests, and often times those are the most unique and fulfilling ways of finding your niche.

Spend time building professional relationships

I used to think that so long as I was qualified for an internship or job, I would get it. That's how it should work, right? I was staunchly against networking, partly because I thought it was uncomfortable and awkward, partly because I thought it felt like cutting corners. But I realize now that that's a pretty naive way of thinking about it. It's more important to make use of the opportunities you can get, and in the real world, someone putting in a good word for you is going to matter way more than a cover letter lost in a (metaphorical) stack of papers.

Form your own opinions. Challenge existing ones. Don't just click on the shit that Facebook Trending feeds you.

There are certainly various degrees of efficient networking. For example, speed dating alumni events and editing your LinkedIn profile may not yield the best results. But working on relevant projects, writing about your work, and just contacting people who you admire or are interested in working with can go a long way. I learned to send emails to professors I've never met asking to get in their class or do research with them — or better yet, I went and talked to them in-person during office hours. One email led me to a great two-year research opportunity with an incredibly supportive professor, and another meeting led to a part-time job that has expanded my horizons about the field of journalism and technology.

But making these kinds of connections with professors and professionals are a mixture of luck, timing, and effort. I've found that just by joining groups and getting involved in activities relevant to your interests can introduce you to your equally amazing peers and opportunities.

Belonging and contributing to a community is really valuable. Remember that building professional relationships also means building relationships.

Read about the real world

It's really easy to get complacent in the college bubble, especially if you live in a nice insulated college town. University is not always representative of real life, so read widely about the world. Cobble together your own educational intake system from a variety of sources — books, essays, blogs, news sites, newsletters. Follow writers of color, female writers, and LGBT writers. Get different points of view on issues that aren't covered in classrooms. Form your own opinions. Challenge existing ones. Don't just click on the shit that Facebook Trending feeds you.

Read about race, technology, culture, business, gender, and politics. And if you don't know where to look, ask your friends (I'm sure they'd love to talk about all of these things over a bottle of Charles Shaw). It's so easy to think that going to college means you're being educated, but in reality, a lot of the learning is left up to you.

There is no right way to do college

You do you. Take risks, but make sure you're doing them for the right reasons. TC mark

Unearthing The Mysterious Forces Behind The Lemp Mansion Hauntings

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 12:00 PM PDT

Flickr / Chris Yunker
Flickr / Chris Yunker

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I feel so much pressure to get this information out to the public, in hopes that it might set a plan in motion how to best help the spirits of the Lemp family members’ suffering…and I do mean suffering as they hang in the balance between the living and the afterworld.

Yes, I said the Lemp family.

If you follow haunted locations at all, you will have heard of this family and the famously haunted mansion that still resides in St. Louis, Missouri to this day. If you follow history, you  will have heard about the The Lemp Family and all of their beermaking glory starting back in the 1800s.

I became involved in this piece of haunted history through a series of events. A wonderfully talented writer named M.J. Pack contacted me to ask me if I could read a live blog she wrote from a night that she stayed in the haunted Lemp Mansion. She asked specifically if I picked anything up from her night there. I tuned in and yes, I did see and feel a lot of different things about her stay in the mansion. It was then that M.J. asked if I would be willing to take part in a live session at the Lemp Mansion and I didn’t even hesitate to say yes to that invitation.

In case this is your first time reading my posts, I do a lot of things in life. One of those things is talk to the dead. I am a medium and have been since childhood. I mostly volunteer my time to missing person’s cases and working with the families of those missing. A majority of my gift is donated. So when I began to tune into the Lemp family and feel them and their pain, I had to take part in M.J.’s live blog. I have never done anything of that nature before this…meaning connecting with a live person from a remote distance, as they stay in a haunted room. I just figured, if I can connect with a spirit when I call them forward…why wouldn’t I be able to connect with them this way?

It was exhausting. Absolutely exhausting from the get-go. The night before the scheduled live event, I received a visit from many of the Lemp family members while attempting to sleep. Here is what came to me.

The first was a woman’s hand and wrist that had several bracelets on it. Not sure who that belongs to, although the next night when M.J. was at the mansion, she sent me a picture of a chunky gold bracelet they was on display that belonged to William “Billy” Lemp, JR.’s wife, Eleanor.

The second thing I saw was a mirror — a very vintage mirror with gold framing. Parts of the mirror were smoked and distorted and other parts were dotted with dark speckles — where the mirror had aged. I wasn’t sure if this mirror was hanging in the house or if it was in the house (such as the attic) and not used. Either way, the spirits use this mirror to communicate…big time. They use this mirror all the time to be seen. When M.J. spent the night the next night, she found the mirror in what is now the dining area…which is where William “Billy” Lemp, JR. “took his life.”

What I saw third was the house — I was inside it. I was in a room made up of mostly mauve colors. Mauve walls…wallpaper maybe…floral patterns in the room too. The room M.J. stayed in was mauve.

Next, I saw a young man in his 20s. He was tall (I was looking up at him) and lanky, and had a set of golden dark blonde hair to light brown hair. It was crazy because he said hello to me as he passed me and I said, “Wait…you can see me?” and he said. “Why, yes. Of course I can.” and I said back to him, “Usually they can’t see me when I do this.” H said, “…well, I can.” The young man poked me to show me he could feel me and I felt his poke. What I remember next was he went over to the corner of the room, took what looked to be thick phone like cord, like ones you would plug into a wall and there was this contraption dolly-like thing he had made with the window, and he proceeded to hang himself. I was distraught at the sight and all of a sudden, a woman came forward from nowhere and explained me that he does this every night. “What do you mean he does this every night?” I asked. The woman replied, “He relives his death every night.”  She went on to tell me he “comes down” at dawn. Creepy.

The fifth person I saw was Charles Lemp. I looked into the mirror from my second vision when he came forth. He was serious faced and stern, but did not say a word to me. He just wanted me to know that he knows what I am doing with this.

And finally, I saw a fireplace and there were family heirlooms such as small paintings, letters, papers, and pictures all burning in this fireplace. It has significant energy around it. It has been said that many of the paintings and family documents were destroyed in fire, at the request of the last male descendent left of the Lemp Family.

  • I was nervous for most of the day for two reasons:
  • These spirits are intense.

I have never done something like this before and wanted to be at my best for the spirits and for M.J. too.

As soon as M.J. and I tried to start our live session, we were plagued with technical malfunctions left and right. We, after over an hour of trying, finally got Periscope to work. You can read and view the entire night and all of its findings here.

Here’s What Happens When You Talk About ‘Black Lives Matter’ At A Synagogue

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 11:08 AM PDT

Producer’s Note: Adam Ciminello gave a D’var Torah, loosely translated as “political speech” at his parents synagogue on Black Lives Matter earlier this month. Below is a video recording of the event followed by the full text of the speech provided exclusively to Thought Catalog.



Good Evening, Shabbat Shalom. Members of the Congregation, Members of our larger local community, Binei Mitzvah Betty Gibbs and Family, and Rabbi Berkowitz. Thank you for sharing your Friday evening with me. It is truly a pleasure to be standing before you in a place where so many of my childhood memories were forged.

Before I begin discussing my involvement with Black Lives Matter – a movement which has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to march with – I would like to make it known now and totally of my own fruition that this sermon is NOT one of political urging. NO endorsements of any candidates will be made. I am here to discuss a moral crisis, one which America and its white communities have consistently deflected away from but can no longer outrun; one which involves the continued prejudice and pain of an American race whose history in this country I would wager predates everybody in this room tonight.

Basic humanity, oppression, and institutionalized racism cannot, and should not, be quantified on a political spectrum.

There is nothing political about this issue that any single candidate could cure. There are solutions on how to move forward as a people which we will discuss, some of which necessarily will be implemented through political means, but this not a 'blue state' or 'red state' issue. Basic humanity, oppression, and institutionalized racism cannot, and should not, be quantified on a political spectrum. This is America's issue. On a micro-level – in a community blessed with such proud diversity and multi-culturalism – this is Poughkeepsie's issue. This is Vassar Temple's issue. So I hope this alleviates any initial concerns.

To begin, I'd like to read a few statistics that highlight racial biases in our criminal justice system and in the larger context of America's institutions. Know that these data points are a window into a larger systemic issue, but I am pressed for time. In each larger statistical category, hundreds of additional examples can be found. Please see me afterwards if you'd like the citations/sources.

• When charged with the same crime, a black male is six times more likely to go to jail than a white male. In spite of being only 12% of the population, black people make up 38% of arrests for violent crimes. They are twice as likely to be victims of the threat of, or actual use of force by the police (

• In specific localities, the unequal enforcement of our laws is even starker. Black people make up 15% of drivers, 42% of stops, and 73% of arrests on the NJ turnpike, although they violate traffic laws at almost identical rates. In spite of white people being more likely to be caught carrying guns, drugs, and other contraband, 52% of those stopped by NYC's Stop and Frisk policy were black (

• Studies show that only 13 % of drug users in this country are black – in line with their share of the overall population – yet they account for nearly 36% of those arrested and 46% of those convicted for drug-related offenses (

• Institutional racism does not stop at the arrest. There is also racial bias in jury selection, which leads to illegally turning away qualified black jurors at rates as often as 80% of the time (

• Black people are sentenced to 20% longer prison terms than white people for similar crimes (

• A black man convicted of a drug offense spends as much time in prison as a white man convicted of a violent offense (NAACP)

• Even black children are treated as second-class citizens. Black children are 18 times more likely to be sentenced as adults than white children and make up 58% of children admitted in prisons (

• In the workplace, black college graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed as college graduates overall. People with 'black sounding names' need to send 50% more job applications than people with 'white sounding names' to get a call back (

• A white applicant with a criminal record is ( is more likely to get an interview than a black man with a clean record


I've chosen to highlight three different sectors – policing, the court room, and the work place – to hopefully offer a small window into the blatant discrimination that black communities survive and endure on a daily basis. Given these unequal opportunities, and combined with the disastrously shameful effects of larger policy initiatives like redlining, gerrymandering, and predatory practices from the private sector, it should come as no surprise that black communities continue to feel marginalized, oppressed, and as though their lives do not matter.

Yes, white supremacy, the centuries old elephant in the room.

We are not removing personal accountability from black communities or black citizens by acknowledging that this systemic condition is the primary reason white supremacy continues to persist in this country. Yes, white supremacy, the centuries old elephant in the room. Often this term sociologically is prescribed to the Bull Connors, the George Wallace's, and more recently the Dylan Roof's of the world, but I'd like you to challenge yourselves here and now to see this term as being applicable to anybody who finds themselves content in the face of such undeniable inequality, where white communities enjoy a higher quality of life than their black counterparts.

By extension, friends, that implies that this term is applicable to many of us in this room tonight at one point or another in our lives. White supremacy isn't merely a deranged man with a Rhodesian badge shooting up a black church in Charleston; it's also the guy who calls Black Lives Matter a 'Hate Group' because he feels threatened at the idea of a movement seeking true equality for black communities or worse, pretends that our black brothers and sisters already know true equality under the law and its institutions – that racism is a thing of the past.

By reading the news yet doing nothing, by throwing our hands up in the air as if to say "What more can we do", by constantly telling black communities in the words of Martin Luther King Jr "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action," by arguing on social media and Thanksgiving talks alike with our families 'It's time for them get over it,' when we know very well that 'It' is still going on, we too are white supremacists, because we too are content to see the system remain intact.

Not too long ago, the media and government once used these tactics to justify Emmett Till's murder – 'he shouldn't have whistled at that white woman that way, what was he doing in that shop unaccompanied, he was asking for trouble' – and sadly we already know it worked there too..

We have witnessed some truly shocking displays of police brutality over the past year, and sadly they are displays that are not a new phenomenon to black communities. They are not a revelation to which naturally begs sudden admonishment or newfound sadness, or even collective outrage. They are an everyday part of black history in this country. We just simply now have the technology to fully capture its breadth and horror.

And yet, after every single fatality, we immediately see the media, local government, law enforcement, and concerned white citizens everywhere defame, dehumanize, and demonize that fallen citizen's character. As though marijuana in your blood stream is a tangible reason to take a life. As though a series of minor, non-violent arrests is a tangible reason to take a life. As though a legal switchblade is a tangible reason to take a life. As though holding a toy gun in Wal Mart is tangible reason to take a life. Not too long ago, the media and government once used these tactics to justify Emmett Till's murder – 'he shouldn't have whistled at that white woman that way, what was he doing in that shop unaccompanied, he was asking for trouble' – and sadly we already know it worked there too.

So this is why we say Black Lives Matter. This is why we march. This is why we are blocking traffic with our hands up. This is why we are filming police and yes, this is why we're getting arrested. White Supremacy – this idea of being comfortable with the work we've done while completely disregarding that which we didn't, that which we elected not to, that which we looked the other way from, or that which our silence allowed to persist – is alive and well in this country and we have a moral obligation as Jews to play an active role in its total eradication.

All Lives Matter – this we know and need little reminder of from the naysayers worried their own life somehow now matters less – but over 200 years after the American Dream was constitutionally created, as our founding fathers so boldly set out to create a better world, the oldest demographic of Americans are still fundamentally denied its most basic opportunities. It's most basic principles.

We've seen distinctly defined waves of immigration come to America and define Americanism in search of opportunity, in search of a better life. We've seen Irish peasants escape famine, Italian merchants in search of economic freedom, Eastern Europeans seeking political escape, Central Americans escaping crime and cartels, South Americans running from corrupt governments, East and Southeast Asians fleeing from classism and caste systems, all driven by the rightful and just idea that in America, your merit and your worth are measured by your drive. By your character.

And yet, we continue to restrict the opportunities to which black merit, black worth, and black character are measured amongst its everyday citizens, all while extolling and appropriating the virtues its exceptional citizens – the LeBron James', the James Brown's, the Maya Angelou's of the world – produce for this country. We cannot proudly support black celebrities while in the same breath ignoring the oppression and injustices the communities from which they were raised continue to endure in 2015.

Black Lives Matter is simply a movement attempting to change this. Attempting to change a country which still treats individual circumstances of implicit racial biases against its own citizens – from the casual, to the grotesque, to the sometimes fatal – with callous indifference.

It is NOT about black lives mattering more.

It is NOT about black lives mattering more. It is NOT about hurting police officers. It is NOT about starting a 'race war,' whatever that means. It is about urging America and by extension all of us in this room tonight to come to terms with our country's original sin, to understand that we have not done nearly enough and mostly, to understand that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THIS. If you truly value human life – the life of your neighbor no less – you will have no problem outwardly supporting our cause.

As heirs of a people biblically enslaved for 400 years, as an ethnic race of Jews who escaped political and religious persecution worldwide, as descendants and survivors of the most diabolical genocide mankind has ever known, and most importantly as community members of a progressive synagogue right here long dedicated to civil rights and social justice, I call on you now to act. I call on you now to challenge yourselves. I call on you now to make yourself uncomfortable. I call on you now to think about racial inequality every single day, as our black brothers and sisters are forced to, to understand that racism in this country is still systemic, and that our silence is the loudest form of consent we give towards its perpetuity.

As American Jews, we have been fortunate enough to never know in this great country the level of oppression that black communities have endured – the antisemitism that has plagued us globally thankfully never made its way fully onto American shores – but historically as a people we know all too well what it is like to be treated as second-class citizens, to cry out our plight while our neighbors remained silent. From Egypt, to the Inquisition, to the Pogroms, to the Nuremberg Codes, we understand the pain it feels to be judged by your race and your physical appearance.

In Midrash Devarim Rabbah, it is explained that God loves justice even more importantly than sacrifice. It is explained, "To do what is right and just is MORE desired by the Lord than sacrifice." Not as much as sacrifice, MORE than sacrifice. How we treat those who are less fortunate is forever a core foundation of what it means to be Jewish, but it is not enough to treat those less fortunate with tsedakah, as though to imply this condition will never change. We must work to change the condition itself. As the Torah in Deuteronomy Shoftim insists "Justice, justice shall you pursue." I call on you tonight to carry out this virtue for our black friends, for our black families, and for our black citizens right here in this community. I call on you now to pursue justice.


So, in a practical sense, what does this mean? We can agree that human suffering is inherently wrong, that racism is inherently bad, but what does Black Lives Matter want, and what can we do to help? First and foremost this means supporting communities of color, giving them the space to speak for themselves, and truly listening to their concerns, even if they seem to contradict yours. When you're walking home and you see a black man walking in your direction, in more cases than you might be willing to realize, he is a lot more afraid of you than you are of his presence.

He's afraid of walking home in a society where he is 15X more likely to be targeted by the police. He's afraid because his father sat him down when he was ten and said "The world will come to fear you when you're older son, you will be scary to most who aren't black, and law enforcement will assume you're up to no good." He's afraid because his mother is terrified every second when he's not home. Because of the color of his skin. Because of the demonization of his character which leads to the denial of his basic humanity. I cite this day-to-day example to illustrate a basic component that contributes to our collective racial ignorance.

Too often, conversations about race are directed and dictated by white people with little consideration for the black community.

I implore you to meaningfully interact. Reach out to communities of color and ask them the question "What does being black in America mean to you?" And then, listen. Really listen. Listen to what they are saying. Too often, conversations about race are directed and dictated by white people with little consideration for the black community. Again, so we can feel better about ourselves. Often, even the perspectives on what it is like to be black in this country will be spoken for by white people.

From Woodrow Wilson, to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to Bill Clinton, to most recently Jeb Bush claiming black communities vote democratic for the 'free stuff,' – ironically coming from a man who's experienced traditional wealth and free stuff his whole life – white politicians and social leaders have continued to speak for, and on behalf of, black communities instead of giving their leaders the support and separation to speak for themselves and call discriminatory policies for what they really are without fear of being labeled a Black Panther, or otherwise radical.

You can be an ally in this regard by reaching out to your local black leaders in Poughkeepsie. Listen to what they are saying. Do not dismiss it as conforming to an "angry black male" or "crazy black lady" stereotype if you don't automatically agree. Challenge yourself to understand fully. Do not confuse this with blind agreement or support, either. Dialogue and love are our greatest weapons against ignorance and fear.

Riding the subways to marches, I am often ostracized by all groups of people. White people think I'm crazy, Black people think I bought it for fun, and police officers think I want to kill them.

Second, recognize that white people have the luxury of being white and appreciate that this privilege is real. Recognizing that allows us to engage on a platform where social hierarchy might start to change. I proudly wear a BLM shirt today to prove this point. Riding the subways to marches, I am often ostracized by all groups of people. White people think I'm crazy, Black people think I bought it for fun, and police officers think I want to kill them.

None of those are remotely true, and it can feel deeply hurtful at times to see a movement founded on love be treated with such hate and vitriol. But when I'm feeling overwhelmed from the pain and sadness of these wildly untrue stereotypes, friends, do you know I do? I put a sweatshirt on to cover it up, and instantly I'm simply another white male in America living the American dream and appreciating the privilege that being white affords me when I choose – that being the ability to not think about race. Our black friends and family have no such luxury of escaping the toxic stereotypes placed on them solely by the color of their skin. They cannot escape the color of their skin. They cannot escape the implications it brings each day in this country.

Thirdly, support the political processes – not the candidates – engendering change. Make this one of your 'issues' when going to the polls and evaluating candidates. Pay attention to who's talking about racial justice and more importantly, pay attention to who's avoiding talking about it at all costs. Pay attention to who's risking alienating their political base to make people uncomfortable.

A radical social intervention is needed nationwide when it comes to talking about race. Urge your local leaders to allocate funding for body cams to help us understand fully what happened when violence is used, to provide additional training for de-escalation practices, to adopt methods of advanced psychoanalytical screening for incoming officers using techniques like word association to ensure that all law enforcement officers – black or white – have a better understanding of the implicit racial biases they may be bringing with them into the field. It can save lives. It can build bridges of trust in communities that need them most. Police forces should look like, and be actively involved in the communities they are sworn to protect. Blatantly discriminatory policing policies like Stop and Frisk and Broken Windows must end, or be more transparently monitored.

Finally, once we move beyond this, we are not finished. Two years ago, 5 conservative Supreme Court justices eviscerated critical parts of the Voting Rights Act, and now in local, state and federal elections we are seeing basic denials of America's most cherished liberty. Alabama recently passed a law requiring a license for voter registration, and then promptly closed DMV's in 'black belt' communities, to very little uproar. See these atrocities for what they really are and urge your local, state and federal leaders to understand that this is not a 'red state' or 'blue state' issue. This is America's issue. This Poughkeepsie's issue. This is Judaism's issue. This our issue.

And yet, despite our patriotism, despite our global standing, despite our financial security, none of us will ever know freedom until all of us know equality.

As I close tonight, ultimately, friends, I want all of you to do more. None of us in this room tonight have done enough. I want you to see yourself in the faces of black communities, to see your children in the faces of their children, to see their plight and continued oppression as your plight and continued oppression. We've all built this country together, woven a fabric that tells a mighty tale of triumph and exceptionalism. We are the greatest country in the world, and despite our imperfections the world is a better place with America leading. And yet, despite our patriotism, despite our global standing, despite our financial security, none of us will ever know freedom until all of us know equality.

We will never be truly free until all of us are truly equal. So tonight I will leave you with this: Let us join together as Jews and Local Citizens of the Hudson Valley to do what we can right now to push ourselves slightly closer to that goal, to creating a country which fully establishes in the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren "That Black Lives Matter, That Black Citizens Matter, That Black Families Matter." For if we ever get to that place – that sacred heaven of radical love, universal humanity, and colorblind equality – All Lives might actually start to matter. Thank you, Shabbat Shalom. TC mark

I will be at #RiseUpOctober tomorrow morning. If you are in New York, please join us.

Slipping Into Psychosis: What It’s Like To Be A 20-Something With Schizophrenia

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 11:01 AM PDT


I remember it vividly: twelve years old, sitting on a bench, watching the floor morph into moving pictures. First a face, slowly turning from left to right; next, a sailboat on choppy waves. I thought everyone saw the world like I did, that everyone's reality wiggled and squirmed when scrutinized for too long. To me, it was as normal as crossing my eyes.

From a very young age, I knew my mind worked differently than it was supposed to. At first, it was just a corner deep in my mind where "here there be monsters." Every so often, dark thoughts and emotions would pop into my brain and I would force them back down into the muck. I learned how to quadrant off the abnormal parts of my brain in order to function normally. It worked through middle school and most of high school before my grasp on solid ground began to slip.

During my freshman year in college, I had a sort of nervous breakdown during my first month of classes. Classified as a bipolar mixed episode, I was given a high dose of antipsychotics and returned to school the following semester. It was a struggle, but I seemed mostly fine until my junior year. I started having difficulties doing the simplest things—getting out of bed, going to class, and interacting with other people. It was just easier to be alone. I had all the outward symptoms of depression, but I wasn't depressed. I was just…blank. I couldn't trust my emotions or my thoughts, and my mind was no longer reliable. I began to blame it on Seroquel, my prescribed antipsychotic, and after four months of fighting to maintain interest in even the smallest of things, I stopped taking it. Suddenly, I had energy. I was able to get out of bed for the first time in months. I thought I had found a solution. Unfortunately, the energy faded in its entirety when my body finally recalibrated to the drug's absence. I was back to my previous state of isolation and listlessness.

It is amazing how easy it was to convince myself I was not sick, just lazy. My weight dropped drastically when I stopped cooking for myself. I could eat food, I was just feeling lazy. I told myself I was capable of leaving the apartment. I was just too lazy to do so. I hardly showed up the entire second semester of classes, and I started to feel like my school's whole community was whispering about me behind my back. I dreaded going to class and feeling people's eyes on me, and I stopped leaving the apartment altogether in order to avoid anyone I might know. When I did go to class, I stared off into the distance waiting for the clock to tick its way to the thirty-minute mark. I never heard a word the professors were saying. But, of course, I was just lazy.

I quit school the following month.

I began to hear things that nobody else could hear and see things that nobody else saw. I felt like my thoughts were trapped behind a translucent wall—I could see vague outlines of ideas and words, but I couldn't tell what they contained. It took forever to form a sentence, and even longer to complete one. I felt fuzzy, idiotic, simple-minded. I rationalized my way through each and every symptom. The church bells ringing at 2:51am: overactive imagination. The shadows on the walls: bizarre afterimages, like the ones you get from looking into the sun for too long. Inability to talk: eh, I'm just tired and forgetful. I started to compulsively write. The first dozen pages of my journal ramble on about medieval battle strategy, quantum mechanics, religion. Then, one page stands out: a list of possible symptoms with "AM I GOING CRAZY?" scrawled across the top. Flipping the page, however, brings one back to a scrambling of notes on the Feynman lectures and the effectiveness of chemical truth serums.

I began to get paranoid. I wasn't safe at home, despite the fact that I had moved back in with my parents. I began to think that my friends were attempting to kill me. I thought if I ran away, my problems would disappear. I went to stay with a friend I trusted, figuring I would go back to normal. Instead, I got worse.

The dark corner of my mind, ever-present since my preteen years, was no longer the amorphous "here there be monsters" of uncharted territory. It became an Other. It put urges in my mind—powerful urges—demanding that I kill myself in the most gruesome way possible. I didn't want to die, and so I appeased it with intense amounts of pain. I self-harmed. I was smart about it, though, and congratulated myself on my coping skills—it's impossible to die from self-flagellation. I knew it was wrong, but it was better than the alternative. By this point I knew something was wrong, but I still thought I was in control. In truth, I was drowning.

During a moment of clarity, I called my mom in tears: "Mom, I think it might be schizophrenia." I said the word, I said schizophrenia. I was on a plane flying back home the next day.

The next few months were a dark mess of doctors, hospitalizations, and therapy programs. My thoughts were pressing against the back of my eyes, and it was giving me headaches. The Other, ever-present, was putting self-destructive urges in my mind: light yourself on fire; run away; stop eating; drive off a cliff. I accepted that I was sick, but I still couldn't take the medication and I didn't know why. To me, it felt like 1984's doublethink: two contradicting ideas held simultaneously in the mind, both ideas understood as indisputably true. I was shoving myself deeper and deeper into my own psychosis, when all I wanted was to recover.

"Is this self-destructiveness coming from me?" I wrote in my notebook, as I wondered at my inability to take medication. "I'm fucking possessed. It gets inside of me and tricks me. It comes from the dark place that is growing and separating." That day, I realized that the indescribable urge to flush my medication down the toilet was all a subversive plot created by the Other to kill me. I believed I was being hunted by Death, and that the Other was the infiltration of Death itself into my mind. I truly wanted to take my medication, I realized, and was prevented from doing so by an outside force. This one singular breakthrough enabled me to place the pills in my mouth and swallow. I'm a stubborn person, and I wasn't about to let some bizarre, amorphous creature in my mind win. Death clearly wanted to feed on my extinguished life, but I wasn't going to let it. I didn't want to die. I took my meds.

Unfortunately, things didn't improve.

Finding proper medication for schizophrenia is a life-long struggle. One medication may work, but comes with awful side-effects. Another may just make things worse. The Abilify I was given made it impossible for me to sit still—imagine downing forty cups of coffee, and you'll understand—while simultaneously doing very little to help my symptoms. I fought every day to take the medication hoping it would work, but it never did. I checked myself into the hospital again, terrified that I would lose control of the Other and kill myself. I was placed on Latuda this time, which worked like a dream. When I was released, I actually managed to leave the house—an activity that had eluded me for weeks. It didn't last. I developed severe leg cramps, and was taken off the Latuda the next day. My next medication, Geodon, made me twitch and lose half my eyesight. I was given Risperdal next, but it was akin to swallowing tic tacs. I begged my psychiatrist to put me back on Latuda, with a new medication to deal with the side effects. I am still on the Latuda as I write this, and am hoping for the best.

That's all I have to go on at the moment: hope.

When I was a baby, I had a tiny shopping cart I used for balance as I toddled around the house. Every couple of minutes I would wedge myself into a corner, scream bloody murder, and bang the cart against the wall. The wall was in my way, and I wasn't going to stand for it. To hell with turning, I was going to create a baby-sized hole in the wall and continue on my merry way. My parents would run up and turn the cart around to avoid too much damage to the walls, and three seconds later I was stomping down my new path with single-minded determination.

At twenty-one, I have so many things I want to accomplish in life and I hope I can conquer even just a quarter of them. I want to travel and see the world. I want to go back to school, but perhaps pursue a degree in psychology or neuroscience this time around. I want to hike the Appalachian Trail, and see Crivelli's Annunciation with St. Emidius in person. I want to live, not just survive, and I want to help others do the same. It's hard to imagine a future when I'm never sure if tomorrow will be a good day or a bad one. It's hard to see progress when simply leaving the house is a major accomplishment. But I'm me: new directions and seemingly immoveable walls have never been too intimidating. I just need to get my cart out of the corner. TC mark

35 Killer Quotes From First-Rate Feminist Helen Gurley Brown On Love, Work, Sex And More

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 10:00 AM PDT


1. “The sexiest women are the achievers, for they are the most interesting and exciting. They challenge a man by being as desirable, sought after and respected as he is."


2. “Men are more impressed when your job equals theirs, or is at least a serious one.”


3. “This is how it works: You get to a man by dealing with him on his professional level, then stay around to charm and sexually zonk him.”


4. “There is no way to succeed and have the lovely spoils—money, recognition, deep satisfaction in your work—except to put in the hours, do the drudgery. If you give, you get. If you work hard, the hard work rewards you.”


5. “As for the act of sex, I think passion for work and passion for a man are totally related—you do everything with energy and heat. So, yes: you can love deeply and be an enormous success."


6. “So much for princesses being happy just begetting little princelings and playing palace.”


7. “F. Scott Fitzgerald said to his daughter Scottie, 'Your mother learned too late that work was dignity…the only dignity.' Never mind dignity. Nothing is as much fun as achieving."


8. “Even lovely stay-homes, with incredible homes to stay in, closets full of Adolfos, and garages full of Mercedes-Benzes get left out in the garage with the Mercedes because they don't have an identity aside from being somebody's wife and mother."


9. “Rich or poor, you have a better chance of keeping him—and keeping him interested—if you belong to something or someone besides him."


10. “To direct others you don't have to raise your voice one decibel or look less than edible.”


11. “Workaholism is different from other 'isms.' Don't let people badmouth it to you!"


12. “Drive is need, that need that is always, inexorably, connected by the anklebone to self-discipline and work!"


13. “Early-in-life problems can be the yeast that makes you rise into bread!"


14. “Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started as some kind of shlep.”


15. “If you aren't 'overbooked' or 'overcommitted,' there's a very good chance you aren’t getting half enough out of life or out of you.”


16. “People's lives change. To keep all your old friends is like keeping all your old clothes—pretty soon your closet is so jammed and everything so crushed you can't find anything to wear."


17. “Do get credit if you can—no use coming in on Saturday to straighten the files if no one ever knows you were there."


18. “Need, yearn and work—that is the kind of aggression that brings success, not acting dramatic.”


19. “Whatever you feel you look nice in is what you probably ought to be wearing, provided it isn't slashed to the navel or dripping with lace."


20. “Of the millions of naughty suggestions made by millions of male employers to their 'defenseless' female employees yearly, I'd say half cheered the girls up, half brought the girls down, but probably nothing bad has come out of most of them."


21. “You'll need all the charm you can muster to be persuasive and comfortable to be around, and charm isn't masculine or feminine.”


22. “Rapt attention between the opposite sexes does tend to have a sexual quality, however, and so, to some extent, one could accuse you of 'using sex' in business when you gaze straight into his eyes. That's okay. The sexual you is part of the whole you and doesn't snap off—God, we hope not, anyway!—between nine and six.”


23. “At any rate, you can think sex and still do business—I've done it for years!”


24. “It is idiotic not to use all the resources you have.”


25. “As for sex impeding the workload, I think sexual tension and electricity between men and women in an office help get the job done. Trying to please someone you're nutty about can be productive.”


26. “As for not sleeping with the boss, why discriminate against him? It’s like sleeping with anybody else; there are the good times, the bad times, and the affair probably won’t go on forever, but the liaison doesn’t necessarily affect the P and L—yours or the company's.”


27. “Bungling along as though you understand when you don't is insane and can get you into big trouble.”


28. “There's something to be said for not knowing too much. You don't know all the don'ts, so you dare to try where others who know more won't try at all!"


29. “Being snotty with people under you is idiocy."


30. “The most successful women in the world are still totally, crushingly vulnerable. So are most successful men.”


31. “Don't worry about vulnerability. You can and will hurt many times, but the hurt can't really hurt you. Getting behind the hurt, using it to 'power' you to your next project can even make you more successful."


32. “All love isn't romantic; you can love many people.”


33. “Love your office and your office mates. Just don't try to have office love make up for the other kinds, or expect it to survive separation.”


34. “Drive is frequently deciding not to something—not eating nine hundred calories at lunch, not mucking around wasting your day—as much as it is doing something not so pleasant that's tough on your brain or body."


35. “Go to college to get an education, to learn how to think, to grow up, but you have to work in a job to learn anything and move to a better one." TC mark