Thought Catalog

12 Signs You Accomplished More Than You Think You Did This Year

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 02:00 PM PST


1. Your daily routine is different than it was this time last year.

If your life is measured by what you do with your days, then the best way to determine how far you've come is how much your routine has changed (or, at least, how differently you feel while doing it).

2. You had to learn to think differently.

Whether how to calculate your income taxes for a freelance project, or how to stop feeling jealous, or how to love after loss, or why you take the political stance you do, you were challenged to change your inner narrative this year, and you did.

3. You bought yourself food for an entire year.

You worked and supported yourself for an entire year. You paid your electric bills for an entire year. You made your life happen – despite everything that made you feel as though you could not go on – for twelve months, 365 days, 8,760 hours. Your life kept moving, and you kept moving with it.

4. You stayed close with the same few people you truly love.

More than finding love or making friends, a more powerful measure of companionship is how many years you've been with those you already have. It is with each tallied year that you build your lifelong relationships.

5. You had to let go of dreams you were fighting for.

You learned that believing something does not necessarily mean that it's true – and that often times, "giving up" is the most noble thing you can do. You had to surrender to your life. You had to learn to trust the unknown, and trust that you could respond to whatever comes.

6. You have a difficult time trying to remember who you were a year ago – you've evolved that much.

You can vaguely remember what you were doing at this time last year, but it's nearly impossible to remember the person you were – you think and feel and perceive your life so differently that you can't go back to where you were even if you tried.

6. You lost love.

You never actually lose love in your life, but it's common to lose a person who you assume will bring you the feeling of love. This serves an incredible purpose – to show you that love is never gone, you had just misplaced its source. It always and only comes from you and what you think about the people and circumstances you experience. To "lose love" is just to dissolve yet another idea that it would come from anywhere but within.

7. You ran into roadblocks.

While it's likely that the ways you think you "failed" this year stick out more drastically than the ways you hope you didn't, the roadblocks you assume you ran into are just as important as the successes. They defined what you didn't want so you'd know what you did. They showed you what doesn't work for you so you can discover what does. Every "failure" inches you ever-closer to the life you really want to live.

8. You learned how to respond to your life in ways you never knew before.

The word "responsibility" breaks down to "able to respond," if you think about it, and there's a very important reason why we associate adulthood with it. The reality is that to live a happy and healthy and fulfilling life, you must be able to respond to it, and take action where need-be. It's in our inaction that we suffer (even if "taking action" is just learning to let go!) In a truly successful year, you learned how to respond in ways you never had to before, and built your confidence and self-trust in seeing that you could, in fact, take care of yourself. TC mark

What The Holidays Really Feel Like For Children Of Divorce

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 01:00 PM PST


While some families were making up perfect Christmas traditions, you were planning split holidays. There's no room to build traditions when you're bouncing from house-to-house. Traditions only work if you keep them up year after year. But every year you were somewhere different.

Thanksgiving with one parent, Christmas with the other. Split nights of Hanukkah. Guilt over not spending New Year's with your family. Being the kid in class who needed ten minutes to explain their holiday plans to the teacher. This is what holidays were like in middle school, when everyone else was talking about their moms baking cookies and their dads making egg nog.

Some kids left for break talking about their ski trip. Their family took a ski trip every year with some other equally-functional family. You had a schedule to stick to instead. You had Christmas Eve with one parent, and Christmas morning with the other. When you're a child of divorce you learn to schedule things meticulously. Don't spend an extra day with one parent, the other one will be upset. When you need to go to the other parent's house at noon on Christmas Day, don't get into the car at two o'clock. That's how the fighting starts. Children of divorce know better than to deviate from the plan. Just stick to the schedule, and everything will be fine. No one will get upset. That's what you're taught.

The stress that comes with splitting your life between two parents is in full-force around the holidays. When you're a kid, your parents' divorce is most exposed from November to January. The planning is so detailed you worry that one slip-up will expose all the cracks in your family that your parents try to cover with presents and a tree that's even brighter than last year's.

It only takes one thing going wrong for the system to unravel. During Thanksgiving dinner with one parent, you sneak off to call the other. When Christmas comes around, you worry about the parent who will be left spending the holiday alone. It's all-consuming when you're a child because these are your biggest concerns. What is your mom going to do while you're at your dad's house for Christmas?

You think it will get easier as you go off to college, as you grow up. It doesn't. In fact, choosing between your two parents (instead of having them tell you where to go) is almost worse. You're the only freshman that isn't looking forward to winter break. How do you divide those five weeks? Who do you go see first? Who do you spend Christmas with? Are you going out on New Year's, or do you need to appease one of your parents and stay in?

New Year's is always a guilt trip when you have a single parent. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah: these are all holidays you spend with family. But New Year's is the friend holiday. It's the holiday where you kiss someone at midnight, and laugh with your friends while drinking straight from the champagne bottle. But when you have a single parent, all you can worry about is leaving them at home alone on New Year's. All you can think about is the fact that they gave up everything for you and you can't even give up one night for them.

When you start dating someone seriously, you don't know how to share holidays with them. You already split your holidays two ways, where can you fit a third rotation? You get older, and still you worry about those split holidays. You feel guilty about the parent who's left alone while you're with the other. Or while you're with your significant other's family. You're in your 20s, or 30s, and are still wondering what you can do to keep everyone satisfied during the holidays. Just once, you'd like to see everyone you love in one room, perfectly content, the way people are supposed to be during the holidays.

Maybe you'll start your own traditions. TC mark

What Your Favorite ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Character Says About You

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 12:00 PM PST

1. Han Solo

Youtube / Star Wars
Youtube / Star Wars

You don’t tolerate nonsense or drama in your life. You are resilient toward other’s opinions of you, and you pride yourself on being fiercely determined.

Your haters think of you as arrogant, but really you just want to do your own thing without being annoyed. You can be a minimalist sometimes, only buying the newest gadget or technology when the benefit is clear (i.e. you might have been the last person in your friend group to get a smartphone or other gizmo).

While you have an extremely caring heart, you aren’t always the best at showing your emotions. Emotions usually just get in the way of a job you have to do, and you aren’t really into the “touchy-feely” stuff.

You might not have a huge friend group, but the friends you have are for life, and you would all stick together through thick and thin!

2. Kylo Ren

Youtube / Clevver Movies
Youtube / Clevver Movies

You are a moody and angsty preteen at heart, and most definitely have a long history of shopping at Hot Topic. You have a wide array of hair products, and you can’t say you’ve never owned a studded belt. You probably drink a lot of coffee.

You have always had a turbulent relationship with authority because it always kinda feels like everyone is out to get you. People assume you are mean based on your angry exterior, but you actually care very deeply for your friends and have a tender side that doesn’t always show through.

Somehow you always end up falling for the “bad boys,” because this time you will definitely be able to “fix” them.

You are always trying to prove yourself, and you are extremely dedicated to your career. You are always willing to do what it takes.

You’re probably also #TeamSnape.

3. Rey

Youtube / Star Wars
Youtube / Star Wars

From an outsider’s perspective you keep your head down and go with the flow, but you actually have a very firm morality, and you are never afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

You would probably consider yourself a feminist, but you are more concerned with getting a job done than dealing with labels. You are willing to give anyone a chance, but once you are double-crossed, you are a force to be reckoned with.

Your clothing choices are usually low-maintenance because you can’t be bothered to drop money on clothing you’ll probably never wear. You love thrifting and garage sales.

You aren’t super interested in politics and are kind of jaded when it comes to institutions. You truly tend to believe the best in individual people, and are overall and optimistic person.

4. Finn

Youtube / Star Wars
Youtube / Star Wars

You have a little bit of a history as a lone wolf, and aren’t immediately associated with any specific groups. While you have a deeply embedded sense of right and wrong, you also have an instinctive need for self-preservation.

You are an extremely talented improvisor. You can convince almost anyone of almost anything, and can pick up new talents on the fly. You have a long history of getting out of some REALLY tough spots.

You are pretty much immune to manipulation, but can connect with others’ experiences and emotions. You have a hilarious sense of humor, even in inappropriate situations. Chipotle is the only chain restaurant you’ll eat at.

5. Poe Dameron

Youtube / Star Wars
Youtube / Star Wars

You are the funny one in your group, and you totally embrace it. You are constantly pitching jokes, and your off-color humor and pranks have gotten you in trouble more than once.

People are usually surprised to find out you are as talented as you are. Beneath the jokes there exists a truly talented person who is great at the stuff you put your mind to. That said, you tend to get extremely bored with work you aren’t interested in, and can also get distracted when working on more time-consuming projects.

You have a large circle of friends, but only a trusted few are your “best friends.” For them, however, you would do absolutely anything.

You are also known for being pretty damn stylish. You are consistently sporting the recent trends and get a ton of compliments for your clothing choices.

6. Maz Kanata

Twitter / NickiNairobian
Twitter / NickiNairobian

First off, you don’t take shit.

Second off, you really don’t take shit.

You are probably one of the most loyal people in your friend circle, but that loyalty has to be earned. You expect people to have your back when you have theirs, and if not, you will totally #NOPE out of people’s lives because you don’t give a fly.

You are a huge sassbasket, and your best friends are willing to take it and also dish it back.

You aren’t crazy about change, because aren’t things working fine as they are? You will always be there for your friends who mess up and need help, but you have zero tolerance for fake people who pretend to have it all together. You also are just really good at reading people and understanding what makes them tick.

7. BB-8

Youtube / Star Wars
Youtube / Star Wars

You enjoy life’s simple pleasures, and don’t intentionally get caught up in stuff that doesn’t directly concern you. You aren’t very interested in politics or current events, and really just go to work to get a job done and receive a paycheck.

You are the friend who just swipes through your phone when people are having huge freak-outs about “Obama” or “Donald Trump” or whatever folks are angry about on that given day. Despite this, people frequently bug you to give your opinion or help their “side.”

That’s not to say you’re apathetic about life in general! You absolutely adore your friends and would do almost anything for them! You are immune to drama and are that friend that almost everyone comes to when they experience a breakup, a job loss, or just need to talk. Your heart is large almost to the point of breaking, and your friends and family are the most important part of your life.

8. Leia Organa

Youtube / wellybellycrazygirl
Youtube / wellybellycrazygirl

You are totally kicking butt and taking names.

You are basically the BeyoncĂ© of your friend group. You dress for success, you are intelligent, you are confident, and you are basically a legend. You do most of your shopping online, because your day job keeps you very busy. You are extremely committed to your career and have seen a ton of upward advancement in a short amount of time.

Despite this, life feels lonely every once and a while. You always put work first, so you’ve had some trouble nailing down a long term partner. You have a small group of close friends, but it takes a while for you to trust people. You drink exactly two cups of coffee a day and are constantly trying to keep up a journal. TC mark

Stockings Can Save You From Prostitution And 15 Other Facts About The Origins Of Christmas

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 11:00 AM PST

via Flickr - happy_serendipity
via Flickr – happy_serendipity

1. The Real Reason Everyone Gorges On Christmas

While Christmas is mostly celebrated in U.S. popular culture as a consumerist holiday, its origins are actually in self denial. Christmas itself is what is known as a ‘feast day’ which means it’s traditionally preceded by fasting, sometimes as long as 40 days of it, with Christmas being the beginning of three days of celebration and, you guessed it, feasting. There are people all over the world fasting right now.

2. What Santa’s Actual Workload Would Be Like

By popular tradition, Santa Claus makes and delivers every gift kids receive that isn’t explicitly marked otherwise on Christmas Eve. What’s that workload like? It’s insane. That’s 526,000,000 kids or 22 million deliveries per hour. 365,000 kids a minute, 6,100 a second. [Source]

3. Santa Is Both Different, And The Same, In Every Language

Koreans refer to Santa Claus as Santa Haraboji or ‘Santa Grandfather’ and it’s traditional public holiday there just as it is in the U.S.

4. Where Christmas Trees Come From

Christmas trees are a huge part of season’s tradition and have been since circa the 15th century when Germans first started doing it. However, the practice was preceded by tales of Saint Boniface cutting down the holy trees of pagans (yes, like in Game of Thrones) which they had worshipped for centuries prior at some time in the early 700s. Boniface is said to have cut down a pagan holy tree known as Donar’s Oak and erected an evergreen tree in its stead, stating that it’s triangular shape reminded him of the Holy Trinity and extolling that it’s top seemed to point to heaven. The wood from Donar’s Oak was then said to have been used to build a church.

Evergreen trees (fake ones, at least) are used for Christmas everywhere now, even in Indonesia.

A Christmas Tree in Jakarta, Indonesia via Wiki Commons
A Christmas Tree in Jakarta, Indonesia via Wiki Commons

5. Where Christmas Cards Come From

The first commercially sold Christmas card was designed and created by English civil servant Sir Henry Cole and artist John Horsley in 1843 and sold for one shilling per card. The card pictured, among other things, a little boy drinking wine. The practice became extremely popular and not sending them is grounds for shaming by parents and grandparents nationwide (no source required). Now over two billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. every year. [Source]

The first Christmas card - via Wiki Commons
The first Christmas card – via Wiki Commons

6. Men Don’t Buy Christmas Cards

Guess who buys these cards? Not men. Only 15% of men partake in the Christmas card tradition by actually buying them. The rest are purchased by women. [Source]

7. Canadians Claim Santa Claus As Their Own

Canadian children are taught that Santa Claus actually lives at the North Pole in Canada, a clearly jingoistic falsehood propagated, no doubt, by maple syrup loving moose riders. [Source]

8. Where Christmas Stockings Come From

The tradition of Christmas stockings comes from a legend about St. Nicholas giving a poor man money so his daughters wouldn’t have to become prostitutes to support themselves. Getting married costs money one father with three beautiful daughters had none. St. Nicholas learned of this and one night he threw three bags of gold into three stockings that had been hung to dry by the fireplace. The daughters were then able to marry and not become prostitutes.

Demand gold this Christmas, it’s tradition! [Source]

9. Where The First Candy Canes Were Made

According to legend, the first candy canes were made by a German priest in 1670 to give to the children so they wouldn’t act up while reenacting the Nativity. The crook in the cane is meant to symbolize the canes that the shepherds had when they came to see Jesus and the white part of the cane is meant to symbolize innocence. [Source]

10. Candy Canes Were High Technology

On a commercial level, it wasn’t until 1957 that a machine was finally invented that could bend the crook in a candy cane. Everyone had been doing it by hand up until then. [Source]

11. Knitted With Care And Enormous

The largest Christmas stocking ever made was 168 feet long and 70 feet wide in Tuscany, Italy in 2011. It was created to raise money for charity and contained balloons with candy inside. [Source]

12. America’s First Christmas Tree

The first National Christmas tree was lit by then President Calvin Coolidge in 1923. [Source]


13. Christmas Cards Do A Lot Of Good In The World

Britain raises around $80 million for charity every year from the sale of Christmas cards. [Source]

14. The World’s Largest Christmas Tree

The world’s largest Christmas tree used to be in Dortmund, Germany in 2012 at 145 feet. This year, the world’s largest Christmas tree is a big more abstract and consists of lights strung in a ‘tree shape’ on the side of a mountain in Italy. The Pope himself threw the switch to turn it on on the 8th. The thing is 2,460 feet high and 1,476 feet wide. That’s nearly a half a mile wide and over a quarter mile wide. [Source]

15. Other Countries Have Completely Bizarre Seeming Christmas Characters

While much of the rest of the world has Santa Claus, Iceland has ‘The Yule Lads’. Originally portrayed as mischevous (or, alternately, as downright murderous monsters), The Yule Lads have been mostly rehabilitated in the popular culture in modern times but they used to be depicted as the sons of trolls who traveled around scaring children into behaving. There are thirteen of them and they’re accompanied by a Yule Cat who “eats children who don’t receive new clothes for Christmas” which hardly seems fair. Here’s a list of all the Yule Lads, what they do, and when.

Screenshot via Wikipedia
Screenshot via Wikipedia

They’re all kind of jerks.

16. And Many Older Legends Have Been Retconned To Fit Christmas

No list about Christmas traditions and legends would be complete without the inclusion of the Tomte, a creature of pre-Christian lore who’s since been adapted.

via Flickr - Elsa Kurppa
via Flickr – Elsa Kurppa

Originally, in Scandinavian folklore, a Tomte was the spirit of the person who had cleared land for a farm and while it was a benevolent spirit, it was considered the spirit of an actual person but didn’t take physical form.

However, after Christianity arrived, the Tomte changed into a physical creature who guards the farm. They are small, no more than three feet tall, only four fingers, eyes that glow like a cat’s at night, and they look like little old men with beards and pointed red hats. They’re also immensely strong. In the U.S., the Tomte became what we know as gnomes. The garden gnomes you’ve seen are all based on the Tomte.

Despite being a benevolent spirit, Tomte’s get mad if you don’t give them food. They also hate swearing, farmers peeing in the barn, and bad treatment of animals. [Source] TC mark

17 People On Whether It’s ‘Unladylike’ For Girls To Swear

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 10:00 AM PST

Patrick Humphries
Patrick Humphries

As a woman with the slight mouth of a sailor, I've been asked by boyfriends to cease with the blasphemy. And I asked myself, "Why?" I have never personally felt like it makes me sound less intelligent, less feminine, or less of a person. And I really just can't seem to wrap my finger around it. So. I decided to take this one to the masses, and asked 17 20-somethings this:

“How do you feel about women cursing? Do you find it attractive or unattractive in reference to being classy or ladylike, and why?”


1. "Cool! I feel like it’s acceptable in social settings, like with your girlfriends and in private with your boyfriends. But like everywhere else? Not acceptable. And even then, I don’t think they should do it that often (say like every other word). It's the concept of remaining classy & also I’ve always viewed it as a sign of intelligence, like you know all kinds of words that you can use to describe or emphasize the way you feel without being vulgar."

-Noelle, 21


2. "I think a person has a right to speak how they want regardless of gender. That being said I think too much cursing can be a terrible thing. Like if there’s more curse words in the sentence than normal words, then there’s a problem. I do prefer a woman to have a little bit of a sailors tongue though. I don’t think it’s bad at all."

-Randy, 22


3. “AND MY POINT IS, I really like to say the world Fuck. Fuck is the perfect word that applies the exact amount of enthusiasm. Like I love you more, or I fucking love you more? I mean I believe that your vocabulary and the way you speak does in fact have an impact on your overall image, but I do not think the amount that you curse does. Like, protesters use it. If you are using it correctly, with proper English…It's fine."

-Jessica, 21


4. "I honestly feel like it obviously all depends on the person who is judging the girl cussing to begin with. If that person grew up in a type of environment where that was acceptable for men and even women, then it will be looked at completely differently. Secondly, I PERSONALLY think that if anyone overly cusses or uses it tooooo much it makes them look stupid. Even guys. I feel that the strength in cussing is not to overuse it, but to do it at a good time to get your goddamn point across, you feel me you stupid-ass fucker? Ha, had to do it. But I don’t think it’s unattractive when a girl overuses it, I really just think she looks stupid."

-Nick, 22


5. "I don’t think it takes away from their attractiveness but, I do find immaturity unattractive. Unless a girl is like waking up in the morning dropping bombs 24/7, its like, "Damn girl chill." Like I swear when I joke, or around friends all of the time. Like a sailor. Or emotionally. Besides that I don’t mind, I won’t even think twice about it. You would have to really be cursing to have me be like, "Damn girl". Even not cursing though…I despise immaturity like before summer I started talking to this girl and she said I talked white and acted white because I read…. complete turn off. That's worse than cursing."

-Brodrick, 21


6. "I don’t like women cursing. I think it takes away from our femininity so it makes us unattractive and makes us look trashy because we don’t have enough manners to not curse. I think women should be more level headed than to curse in public out of anger. "

-Samantha, 21


7. “In public situations or professional situations it would come off as tasteless but in a private manner it doesn’t bother me though moderation is everything. And it's attractive in moderation because it can show a relative level of passion on the topic being discussed."

-Gabe, 21


8. "Ladylikeness is such a tired concept. Feminists hate the idea of being perceived a certain way by people for how they talk or how perverse their language may be. You can attribute the idea of ladylikeness to the oppression of the feminist community. As for attractiveness, I don’t see why cursing should impact how someone perceives a woman, as she is a free spirit and can do whatever the hell she pleases."

-Brandon (David), 21


9. "Well its not lady like but I feel if you are comfortable with someone then its okay to curse unless like if they don’t curse, then I hold back. Or if you’re at work or church. It depends on the situation. But if women can’t curse, then neither can men. I think its unfair how they say its okay for them to curse."

-Alicia, 21


10. "Nothing is a appealing about both sexes cursing like sailors. I'm still trying to correct myself, words are used to express what you feel, and thus curse words were created to emphasize how strong your emotions are. Now when you repeatedly use it, it looses its value. Did I go off subject? In other words I don't see the reasoning behind cursing all the time, its unattractive for both sexes. Its not lady like for a female nor is it gentlemen like."

-Cristal, 25


11. "I mean I’m one for the classy girls. So yea if I were to date you and you cursed, as much as you do I would be like, Bitch stop it."

-Mike, 21


12. "I find it attractive.”

-Luis, 23


13. "Okay well I don’t think cursing should determine whether you are lady like or not, but I know it does. It's seen as vulgar and unladylike because of gender rules that say a woman can’t curse without being seen as classless, unladylike, ignorant, etc. Gender roles aren’t fair but they’re real in our society and I’m going to do whatever I want because I believe a woman can do or act however she wants just like a man gets to do whatever he or she wants. I’ve been reading a lot about gender roles in our society, people are less forward about it but the lines are still very clear about what is expected of you as a woman and a man."

-Crystal, 21


14. "I feel you should act the way you want to act gender is not restricted. If a girl decided to dress like a pop tart and curse in front of small children that’s her expression. You choose the morals you live by and feel are right in your heart. And within the parameters of the law no cop, gods, or bosses can extinguish your spark or whatever it is that makes you an outcast by 'social norms'."

-Jake, 21


15. "I don’t think women should curse because I hold women to a higher standard versus men. Men are lazy; it’s not often to find a single dad compared to single mothers. And I don’t think men should curse in the presence of a woman, because that is someone’s mother or wife and I would want men to respect the women in my family even if they don’t know them. I don’t find it unattractive. It’s just a way of showing you have poor vocabulary and if we are close then our vocabulary skills shouldn’t matter to one another in private. I don't know."

-Saul, 21


16. "Yes I find it attractive when a woman of sophistication swears or cusses about as often as I do. Not saying I’m all that sophisticated but I don’t necessarily cuss unless the situation calls for it or if it will enhance the sincerity or comedy of my topic. Do I find it attractive if a woman is cussing after every word or sentence? Nope, I don’t even think that’s a quality men should have. So to fully answer your question, “do I find it attractive when women curse?” The answer is…. you're damn right I do…as long as it’s called for, ha."

-Daniel, 22


17. "I really don’t give a fuck. No I don’t mind if girls swear. It's in not an issue for me. But if a girl can’t tolerate me swearing…they are sentence boosters."

-Scott, 25

TC mark

16 People You Need To Be In 2016

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 09:00 AM PST


A new year means hope. It means possibilities. It means new experiences and ways of viewing the world. It means another chance to find whatever it is that we've been looking for.

We've all heard the phrase "New Year, New Me" a million times before. And to be honest, I don't really believe that the second the clock hits midnight we can become a completely new human being. I think that trying to be this one perfect person is actually what leads us to so many disappointments.

So I propose a change this year. In 2016, you don’t get to be just one individual. You get to be the sum of the many parts that make up a pretty kick-ass person. You get to experience, see, and feel what it’s like to be multiple characters in your own story.

365 days is a long time. Take advantage of it. Explore, test, and become every person you ever wanted to be.

The Doer

Go at everything in full speed. Work Hard. Play Hard. Love Hard. Give everything 100%. There's no sense of achievement in always doing the bare minimum just to get by. You won't believe the satisfaction you’ll get by earning every single thing you have. So go above and beyond – not just with work or school but with every aspect of your life.

The Friend

Do you ever realize the amount of negative things we tell ourselves? We are our own worst enemies – constantly sabotaging our own chance at a happy life. Think about the one person who has always been there for you, who has experienced most of the key moments in your life by your side. Maybe it's a best friend or significant other; maybe it's a brother or sister. Would you tell them even half of the things you tell yourself? It’s time to start being a little nicer to ourselves – we matter just as much as everyone else.

The Listener

Be the kind of person you'd want to have around in your times of need. Lend a hand to others and make yourself available for those who need it the most. We need to make the people we care about a priority. Be there for those who are always there for you.

The Thinker

Make 2016 the year in which you find a balance – a balance between being clueless and overthinking to the point of an anxiety attack. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to not have all the answers. Life won't ever be perfect, but if we dwell on that for too long, we will miss out on the pretty great world we live in.

The Adventurer

If going bungee jumping isn't your thing, then that's okay. The beautiful thing is that we each get to choose the meaning of the word "adventure." What types of experiences will give us an adrenaline rush? A thrill for more? Whatever that is for you – go do it. Don't let anything or anyone slow you down.

The Optimist

Find a way to see the beauty in the world. We live in a crazy society with a lot of hatred and violence. But we also live in a phenomenal place filled with things that bring us joy. Don't take those things for granted. Go camping, volunteer somewhere, go to your favorite city, or dance in the rain. Whatever makes you feel more appreciative of the great abundance we have around, find it. Do it. And don't let it go.

The Screw-Up

We learn the most by making mistakes. Messing up with jobs, with people, with relationships. It's something you will never be able to avoid, and it's something that will get you to where you want to be in life. So allow yourself to mess up. Screw up. You'll always have yourself to help you jump back up when you fall.

The Visionary

Just because you become an "adult," it doesn't mean you stop going after your goals. Age is nothing but a number, especially when it comes to fulfilling your dreams. You don't need anyone's approval but your own. Go chase what you've been looking for.

The Human

Think about others. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Lend an extra hand. It's not hard to be a good person. There's kindness inside each and every one of us – it's up to us whether or not we use it. Remember that Karma is a beautiful thing.

The Risk-Taker

To discover the greatest things in life, we must do the things that scare us. Staying within our comfort zone will hinder our ability to grow and learn – and there’s just too much to learn. Do everything in your power to conquer or at least face some of your fears. It will empower you. It will free you.

The Loner

Be the one who stays in once in a while on a Saturday night. Be the one who goes on a walk alone to clear your head. Be the one who enjoys a dinner with close friends instead of hitting the clubs with 1,000 random and sweaty strangers. Learn to be happy and comfortable when you’re alone.

The Trainwreck

Stop being so ashamed to feel and to break and to get back up only to do it all over again. Ask for help when you need it. Say no to things and people that hurt you. Break down the walls you've created from your pain. Be vulnerable. Allow yourself to trust again.

The Leader

I used to think that the concept of leaders and followers was something our parents taught us to get us through middle school. But leaders and followers are all around us. At work. In politics. In our own families. I challenge you to use 2016 as the beginning of your own journey. Stop following the crowds if what they do doesn't make you happy. Be your own person. Your own best friend. The only one you need to follow is yourself.

The Wanderer

2016 is a year to welcome new ideas, new thoughts, and new beliefs. So many people believe that traveling means hopping on a plane to Europe, or visiting every country in the world. And while that's always a great dream, keep in mind that you don't have to travel the universe to learn and explore. Visit areas within your city. Drive to the state next to yours. Take a class. Step out of your daily routine and really see what's out there. It will make you rich in ways that money never will.

The Artist

What's your hidden passion? Do you love writing? Singing? Painting? How do you express yourself? Whatever outlet works for you, embrace it. Do more of it. Be proud of it. You don't have to be a professional actor or dancer to be an artist. You get to create your own art. Your passions are what keep you alive. Don't neglect them.

The Fighter

A new year brings a lot of new opportunities and wonderful memories. But it also comes with unpleasant experiences like painful breakups, mean bosses, and the never-ending fear of failure. No matter what obstacles come your way, remember that you got through everything in 2015 – and every year before that. You will overcome this year’s challenges just as well.

Remember your strength. Remember your ability to keep going even when times get hard. Remember your ambition to always seek more. You may not be in charge of your destiny, but you are in charge of your journey while you get there. Keep pursuing. Keep going. Keep fighting.

The world might have taught us that labels make us who we are. That we can either be extroverts or introverts. Thinkers or feelers. Dreamers or doers. I say to hell with the labels. Be whomever youwant, little by little or all at once. Explore. Discover. Live your life.

You get to write the next 12 chapters of your story. Make sure they’re worth reading.TC mark

10 Things That Happen When You Appear Tough To Others But Are Actually A Huge Softie

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 08:00 AM PST


As an older sibling I grew up hearing stories about how tough I was on my little brother, earning me the nickname of "Scar" (from the Lion King for those of you who are too old to remember).

After my parents divorce – when I was only seven – I decided that I had to grow up and see life for what it really was. It was that time period that really shaped my tough-cookie exterior – that hid a soft inside that not many people got to see from that point onward.

Those of us who can identify with the tough-exterior/soft-interior personality know how hard it is to find people who will give us a second chance and not immediately write us off as "mean" or a straight up bitch. Here are ten things that happen to everyone who appears tough but is actually mushy inside.

1. If you died, "sweet" and "caring" would never be words people would use to describe you.
Alright this is a little morbid, but hear me out. You are more likely to be described as "loyal", "persistent", "trustworthy" and even "sincere" and there's nothing wrong with that.

2. People are often surprised by your random acts of kindness. I've had a handful of friends act shocked if I go out of my way to help someone. Just because you don't go around reposting gofundme links on Facebook, doesn't mean you don't donate to your favorite cause, help an old person out with their groceries or ask a stranger if you can help if they look lost around the city.

3. Others often think of you as a pessimist. I can never walk out of a movie with my friends and say things like " that would never happen". You choose to take the more realistic approach in life because of your need to protect your mushy side. You know how much you would actually suffer if you dove head first without thinking things through.

4. Your friends ask for your opinion because you don't sugar-coat. Because of your tough exterior, people look up to how resilient you can be in complicated situations. They want to know how you would deal with their problems, because they know you would take the more rational approach in order to avoid getting your feelings hurt. You love them for trusting you and are always willing to give them advice.

5. First impressions are not always positive, but you've made life-long friends who would take a bullet for you. Those who stuck around long enough know that you are one of kind and someone they can rely on for whatever they might be going through. From 3 am phone calls, to being the DD on the day you took a hard exam and wanted to celebrate, they know you are never too busy for them.

6. You can't handle PDA, but can be a huge sap when it's just the two of you. If you're dating someone like me and you've reached this stage, congratulations! You're one of the very few who'll get to see this side of us.

7. You may not talk about feelings out loud, but you keep a journal/ write music lyrics/ make art. We express our mushy side in different ways a lot of people may not even know about.

8. People who are worth keeping in your life will work for it. You only truly open yourself up to people who put in the effort to get to know you as much as you do to them. You want that deep connection with people, but only those who are willing to build it with you.

9. You probably don't give off the baby/puppy –obsessed person vibe, but you secretly love watching funny vines that often include those two (and probably spend too much time doing so)

10. You've come to terms to how you deal with life because in the long run it has protected you. Looking back you know you've talked yourself out of many toxic relationships, and you don't think you could have done that without the armour you proudly wear.TC mark

18 Psychics And Tarot Readers Say What They Really Think About Horoscopes, Prophecy, And Palm Reading

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 07:00 AM PST

via Flickr - Rachel Glaves
via Flickr – Rachel Glaves


I read tarot, both in the past for profit and now just for fun.

Thing is, they were just a psychological tool that essentially forces you to consider an “outside” opinion to your current life issue. It wasn’t magic; it was a tool for critical thinking about your life.

2. The Part Timer

I used to do palm reading at parties to make some extra cash. I don’t believe in it, and I always told everyone it was for “entertainment purposes only.” Eventually, though, I had to stop, because people ignored my disclaimer and took it seriously. I didn’t want anyone making major life decisions based on the b.s. I made up.

It’s a shame, though. It was such easy money. Stupid parents raising me with stupid morals.

3. The Girl Who Made It Happen

Well, let’s see here…

I’ll call this gal, Anika. About 5 or 6 years ago, Anika went to see a psychic. During the reading, Anika was told she’d fall in love with a tall, dark, handsome man, and have a birth control slip-up. My guess is the psychic did a bit of cold reading to determine tall, dark, handsome men were Anika’s thing.

Anika took these words to heart. She got a summer job working for the city. There, she met a tall, dark, and handsome man I’ll call Philip. Now, Philip had a thing for read heads, which Anika most certainly was. Unfortunately, Philip was married to another woman. This didn’t deter Anika in the least; after all, the psychic told her she’d fall for a man who fit a certain description.

They began a torrid affair. At some point, they opted not to use condoms. As far as I know, Anika was on the pill, but, there’s a possibility she “accidentally” forgot to take it for a bit. From her version of the story, there were enough holes to surmise this was deliberate, but, as many know, the pill isn’t 100% effective.

After one of Anika and Philip’s sexcapades, Anika discovered she was pregnant. She put Philip in a position where he had to leave his wife and propose to Anika. Philip did propose, but there was a lot of resentment, because Philip felt Anika had gotten pregnant on purpose.

There are enough people who know both Anika and Philip to attest to the possibility Anika did in fact get knocked up to steal Philip from his wife.

Anika told me herself this all happened because the psychic had predicted it, and psychics are real, because everything she said would happen, actually happened.

This is why I maintain she fulfilled the prophecy herself.

If I left out any details, let me know.

4. The Tarot Reader

Read Tarot but not for profit and generally only for myself. Thing about it is, that each card is representative of an “archetype” in the Jungian sense. Whether its the Major Arcana (major life event/influence/person-personality of influence) or the Minor Arcana ( more everyday events/people of influence) each card has a specific situational ‘meaning’. I’ve always wondered if there was an influence from the subconscious/collective unconscious in the SHUFFLING of the cards.

I’m 15 years in, and still skeptical. But there is a definite value of MEANING to the way the person who is being read for/individual doing his own reading in assigning values to the cards that come up. In short, it allows the individual to ‘dream’ while awake, and allows the conscious mind access to a the unconscious to come up with a solution or deeper understanding of the situation.

When you’re dealing with that much of a bigger and more depthfully knowledgeable part of yourself (the unconscious mind) then sometimes that translates as ‘fortune telling’. When in fact, you are actually consciously processing something that the unconscious mind already knows/ is already aware of with all of its intuitive power.

Wouldn’t ever package and sell it as psychic abilities to other people. Seems like there would be something profane about that. But I have had some pretty strange and precise results, that led me to get the truth out of people who were doing bad by me. My humble two cents.

5. The Skeptic

I read tarot cards too. I’m extremely skeptical, but I can’t help but be baffled at how relevant the cards are to certain questions I ask. For example, if I ask about a new relationship, I’ll get a bunch of “cup” cards (i.e emotional ones), and usually the “lovers” card, too. I’m pretty logical and began reading them because a friend of mine was doing the same and I wanted to find out whether or not it was all bull for myself.

6. The Gypsy Daughter

I come from a long line of gypsies. My mom is the first fully Americanized one, and growing up, she always taught me that that stuff was 100% real. My great grandma would teach her the craft as a kid, and my mom’s always been really into being “mystical” and “spiritual”, so I think she took it as fact. As much as I love her, she is sort of one of those “enlightened” special snowflake mommies with LIVE LAUGH LOVE stuff all over her house and total confidence that ghosts and spirits and magic exist. I don’t think my great grandma intended it that way though. It’s a gypsy con.

Once I got old enough to think for myself, I started realizing that while the con has practical value, there is nothing in it really. I remember teenage girls who would call themselves pagans “calling on the cards” and creating self fulfilling prophecies with them and stuff. Tarot and palm readers are most valuable in terms of being advice givers to gullible people. If they can lead you to expressing yourself in the right ways, they can point you in what will hopefully be a better life direction.

It’s been a long time since i’ve messed with any of that stuff, but in my prime as a teenager, I would be that girl telling other girls to break up with their shitty boyfriends and get their acts together. It does have it’s place, bullshit or not.

7. It’s A Conversation Starter

I read tarot. I don’t, at all, believe in any inherent spiritual or mystical value held within them. They’re cards with pretty pictures on them. Those pretty pictures inspire thoughts, and those inspirations I grab from the cards dealt, I weave into a narrative. If it applies to the person who I am reading, they feel a really profound effect, and we talk it out. I give them advice, and we just chat about what’s going on in the person’s life. If the reading doesn’t apply to them, I’ll turn it around to them and ask them how they interpret the images, and try to read what they’re subconsciously steering the conversation toward, and have a similar conversation.

8. The Paranormal Researcher

In college I started a club dedicated to the research of paranormal activity. I have always been a skeptic and always wanted to find my “proof.” This is how we went into most situations and investigations. Many times, more often than not, things could easily be explained away. If there was an explanation for anything – even if it was a one in a million chance – then we would not label it as paranormal. With that being said, I’ve seen my fair share of unexplained things and with that said I’ve seen my share of downright horrifying things too.

I’ve had my experiences with psychics too. There are A LOT who will feed you bullshit, but I met two who’s abilities I couldn’t ignore. I even tested them myself by having them tell me the exact same information about a client without either of them knowing about the test OR EACH OTHER’S EXISTENCE. The information wasn’t vague either. Names, body descriptions, facial features, road names, etc… It was information I couldn’t ignore.

Currently, I do not research anything with the paranormal. I know what I know and believe what I believe. I respect everyone else’s opinion. In my opinion, I believe that the paranormal is something that we should not mess with it. It is part of the reason why I am not in the field anymore…I still do some consulting, but rarely do field work. I wish I could tell everyone that the whole thing is bullshit…I would be able to sleep better at night.

9. Like Her Ancestors Before Her

I read tarot cards; have for almost twenty years. My grandmother taught me, her grandmother taught her, and her grandmother taught her. Not sure how many generations this goes back beyond these.

I absolutely believe in them as far as being a tool, and how they help tap into your intuition and subconscious. Using them with book definitions will give vague results that can be easily applied to the eager participant.

10. The Hobbyist

I read tarot and do astrology, but as a hobby. I’m less interested in taking people’s money and telling them how to live and more interested to see how accurate I can be.

I had one experience reading a chart for a friend’s mother, whom I knew nothing about. The chart indicated that she had become a lesbian later in life (Lilith in Cancer in a progressed chart, scandals with women), which I didn’t say during the reading out of fear…and that she’d faced a miraculous medical recovery in early childhood, with some connection to the father, which I did say. She started crying and told me that when she was seven, her father beat her so badly that the doctors didn’t think she’d walk. I found out later that she was, in fact, gay. I don’t believe to have any powers; I’m strictly a translator of symbols. I learned my ‘trade’ by reading lots of books and practicing.

11. The Believer

It’s not something I can easily ‘control’, so I can’t make a living out of it, but I get impressions with some people, either about the past or the future, or just overwhelming feelings of dread, sadness, excitement, etc that often correlate to what a person is experiencing or some hidden problem. As a child I also had a ‘friend’, that was really a voice, that would sometimes speak to me (though I couldn’t call him on my own, he turned up whenever) and often told me things that did ultimately happen.

I call myself psychic because that’s what it seems to be. If I could control what I have I would, but I don’t know if I could ever make money out of it. It just seems wrong. However, I suppose I have a ‘trade’ in that a few people know about it and sometimes I try to help them with things if I can. I’ve always wanted a teacher who could help me to learn to control and use what I have (if it’s even ‘mine’) but never found anyone genuine.

12. The Grandmother

My grandmother told fortunes in the cards. Not Tarots, that is so gypsy, a regular deck of cards. She had many regular (as in every week) people come in for a reading. She always read for me and was very accurate even though I wouldn’t see the connection until after most of predictions had happened. She lived with me for the last eight years of her life and I listened to many stories and sometimes amazing things she had been through. I am writing some of the better stories of how she learned to read and who taught her. She was born in 1906 in Toombs County, Georgia and her family sold the land the Vidalia onions were first grown. They moved to Picolata, Florida and great-grand father ran a Turpentine farm which had Jamaicans as workers. My grand-mother was 16 and she befriended a woman who was married to the leader of the workers and was a Priestess in their religion (which was a mixture of Catholic and Obeah). She learned from her the skills which she had until the day she died.

13. The Horoscope Writer

I write the horoscopes for the school newspaper under the name Madame Zelda, cliche right? They are completely made up, I just think of things that are vague probable to happen. I just throw in buzz words and phrases like “your root chakra is malfunctioning” and “your moon is currently residing in ___ house”. I do a lot of research about the zodiac personalities, too. I assume no one believes it, I sure don’t. However, I have heard people say things like “Dude, my horoscope came true! How weird is that?”

14. Collective Consciousness

First of all, I don’t make money doing this and I don’t try to say I KNOW anything. That being said, what I do believe in is collective consciousness and the ability for some people to receive information/impressions/etc nonverbally and not through direct communication channels with another person. Here is a study (link) this is actually a subject with more and more research being done. Mostly, when I do card or runework, I just tell the person what I’m “seeing” (they’re really more thoughts and impressions) throughout, then we talk about it. It’s more talk therapy than anything. I’m not an “advisor” nor do I think I really have talents . I do believe that we have SOOO much more to discover about the brain and how it works, as well as how our brains effect our surroundings (ie: the whole, “the act of observation of a thing or an event serves to change it” aspect of theoretical physics). Our brain is a powerful and mysterious machine.

15. Turning Tables

A great aunt could turn tables.

When I was about 8, we went to her house (she lived far away and I saw her once a year at most) and decided one evening to have a table turning session “for fun”.

Can’t remember how she got the thing going, what they all talked about, but I do remember distinctly my Dad challenging the table to give the combination of the safe of the store he managed. The table did give the right numbers.

Then he asked how much staff he had in this or that department. The table had it right.

Then we got the table to waltz. No kidding. We pushed our chairs and had to trot along while that heavy oak table turned at a good clip.

My Dad told me that when he was kid, he remembers seeing the table walk down the stone steps of her farmhouse.

Never read up on it. Not a clue as to what this all about. But I did see a table “waltz” and I know for a fact it cannot have been people manipulating it (I’ve been doing a lot of sculpture and I have good notions of what it takes to budge what kind of material and weight).

16. It’s All Mind Games

Palm reader/cold reader. It’s all mind games. I picked it up from reading a book on cold reading and learning what the different lines on the hand “mean.” I’ll do it at parties for fun and never try to lie about having powers. I’ve had people tell me professionals have told them the same exact thing. All I do is make general positive statements that could be true for anyone. Or assume common instances (There’s a break early on in their love line I’ll say I see something about a past break up. If it sticks I’ll follow up with it looks like it was a rough one and if that hits I’ll say it was for the best or something.) In between each affirmation from the person they usually will divulge some more info to go with and you make you’re next reading on that issue based off what they’ve given you.

17. The Online Psychic

I used to be an online psychic where some hipsters would pay me up to $5.00 a minute to read their dreams for them. When I went through the websites orientation the scary German woman in charge told me that my analysis was wrong but “because it was cute and sounded legitimate” she gave me the job. Easy money but i felt a little bad about it. Anyway, moral of the story: don’t trust it. It was mostly just luck and logic for me.

18. For Me It’s Real

I’m a tarot card reader. For me it’s real. I’ve had too many experiences to say otherwise. I recall one reading where I told the guy about a old rusty truck. I had the mental picture in my mind of a rusting truck but then, this is where it gets freaky. The picture changed more from sight to smell and hearing. I could smell the truck and hear the things in it.

It was like having a dog’s senses. Come to find out that he did have a dog that stayed out in that same truck.

I believe in psychic power and the ability to read Tarot Cards. I also believe in ghosts because some of the experiences that I’ve had.

I’m not always right but it’s real, coming from a real source of power. Yet there is always that little skeptic that is inside me that is saying “This isn’t real. This is made up.”

It’s like when I do a reading like the one above, it gives me faith in myself and an understanding that we don’t know everything. There is more out there if we are willing to look for it and see it for what it is.

There are a lot of con artist out there just as there our preachers that are fake. TC mark

Read This When It’s Not A Bad Day, But A Bad Life

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 06:00 AM PST


I think I need to stop reducing myself to a victim of circumstance. Yes I get it. I gave it my all. I set my mind to it. I put in my hundred percent, non-withstanding. I didn’t hold back, I just kept giving and giving, kept trying and trying, like a river that never runs dry.

But it did eventually, didn’t it? Somewhere midway, somehow, I realized with a jolt that my river had caved in, dried up, barren and empty. I found myself rooted to the ground, motionless, in a stagnant stasis I imposed upon myself.

And just a few days ago, I relished in it. It’s so easy to blame your unforgiving circumstances, to vent your frustration about your grades hurtling downsouth despite your efforts, to let loose all your pent up disappointment towards the people you least expect to hurt you but hurt you still anyway, to moan and groan at the mundanity and monotony of the daily grind. It’s so damn easy to relish in the thought that hey, it’s not my fault! Life threw shade at me and well, surely that gives me the excuse to reciprocate as given. I mean it does make some sort of sense right? When served up a tantalizing platter of “go screw yourself,” how self-satisfying, how smug it would be for you to serve one right back to the very person or the very entity that screwed you over in the first place, with extra toppings of screw-you’s on the sides of course.

Because humans are so passive aggressive sometimes. It’s like a defense mechanism built into us, an instinctive recoil, an intuitive ” eye for an eye” treatment. It’s like a fine, since you treat me like crap, since you strip me of any hope of a minute’s success, since you keep hurling bullshit after bullshit at my face, despite how much effort I’m putting in, despite how badly I want it to work, I’ll give it back to you as you duly deserve.

When provoked, we tend to lash out, spewing nonsense in every possible direction, then curl up into a corner, desperately convincing ourselves with frilly phrases like “once bitten twice shy” and numb ourselves to the point that we choose to trundle along the safe side of the path, never again straying into the mysterious wilderness of the woods.

We stop trying, stop giving, stop putting ourselves out there. And because we delude ourselves into thinking we’re jaded, that we have been through hell and back, that we KNOW best, we seal ourselves into our own protective bubble and turn our head from a challenge. To not get hurt again. To not have to go through all that pain. To hide, far far away from the shoreline, so we avoid the turbulent tide, so we avoid the plunge.

But honestly, I’m so so tired of stasis, so sick of the heartline on the cardiogram stammering itself into a tight straight line. Because what does this make me? Nothing but a coward who gave up, a timid child who chose to bury herself in her own misery and discontent. So what if the world rains poison on your head? So what if people hurt you? So what if you fall time and time again? Circumstance should never be an excuse to wall yourself up and raise a white flag.

For if you choose passivity, if you choose cold indifference, if you choose to tell yourself okay that’s it I’m not doing this anymore, if you choose to back off, it doesn’t make you all the wiser, all the more mature. Nor does it make you a more tolerant, enduring person, even less does it place you above everyone else. That’s merely glorifying it. What it makes you is someone who doesn’t have the balls (or *insert female reproductive organ* because gender equality) to stand your ground.

Honestly, nobody cares. The world couldn’t be bothered enough to give five shits about you being such a drama queen or a sobbing hot mess.

So stop it. We determine our experience. We determine how fulfilling, and how meaningful our lives turn out to be. It’s a choice we consciously have to make. We need to stop telling ourselves that we’re the broken ones, the victims, the maligned ones who got caught up in the crossfire of life’s epic battle. For we are already IN the battle. And what is a battle if we don’t go down fighting?

To put it plainly, making the active choice to keep fighting your battles, to give unconditionally, to try hard for whatever you set your mind to, is as bad-ass, and as liberating as holding up a middle finger to the universe, like fuck me up all you want as long as I don’t allow myself to be fucked up in turn.

But understand that not all battles can be won. Some battles are worth fighting for, more so than others. Some battles leave you tired and world-weary. Pick your battles. And pick them well.

So to every onslaught of tsunami wave coming my way: Continue knocking me down, continue soaking me, continue leaving me cold, wet and unfulfilled, because instead of biting my lip and helplessly standing there, I’ll be hitting back again and again, throwing my punches again and again.

Who cares if I don’t end up victorious? Your experiences, your actions, the very choices you make, are what moulds you and grows you as a person. It’s what defines you.

To anyone who is as wary as I am, I challenge you, keep pushing your boundaries. After all, what happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. Never restrict yourself. Never settle.

Stay, unabashedly, foolish. TC mark

Mountain Madness: 10 Horrifying Skiing And Snowboarding Accidents That Shouldn’t Have Happened

Posted: 24 Dec 2015 05:00 AM PST

Skiing has a long tradition in Europe and the U.S. as a kind of fancy pastime that elicits visions of warm lodges, hot chocolate, and warm fires. Snowboarding and it’s “extreme” sports association has done a bit to modernize the image of the slopes but one thing is still true today despite the changes in how skiing and snowboarding are perceived. It be can be very dangerous even when you’re skiing normally. Below are ten times that beautiful day on the slopes ended in death and grave injury.

1. The Death Of Natasha Richardson

via Wiki Commons

Even though Richardson was a Tony award-winning actress in her own right, you may not have heard of her but you’ve definitely heard of her husband, world famous actor Liam Neeson. Sadly, Richardson’s death wasn’t caused by some death defying attempt at landing an insane trick, it was because she suffered an injury during a beginner skier’s course in Quebec, in 2009.

Richardson fell and hit her head. This was followed by a period in which she was lucid and seemed perfectly fine. As a result, paramedics who’d been called all left. However, Richardson was not perfectly fine. Declining to receive any medical attention, three hours later she complained of a headache. Unbeknowst to everyone, her brain was bleeding and the buildup of blood inside her skull was killing her, compressing both her brain and spinal column. After being transferred to a New York hospital two days later, she died.

Richardson had not been wearing a helmet when she fell.

2. Sonny Bono

via Wiki Commons
via Wiki Commons

Initially reaching the public consciousness as one part of the Sonny and Cher duo, Bono went on to a career in politics as the Mayor of Palm Springs and was a State Senator. In 1998, while skiing in Nevada, Bono struck a tree and was killed instantly. The official cause of death being “blunt force trauma.” His now widow Mary Bono immediately claimed that Sonny was addicted to prescription meds and heavily implied that him being high caused his death. The examining coroner, however, found no evidence of any drugs in his bloodstream. Literally everyone else in Sonny’s life then stated that Mary was, essentially, making it all up.

3. Michael Kennedy

via Wiki Commons

The son of American politician and “Camelot” member Bobby Kennedy, Michael Kennedy died in Colorado in 1997 while playing football on skis when he hit a tree. At the time of his death, Kennedy was being investigated for having an affair with his children’s babysitter which some have alleged began when she was only fourteen years old.

Kennedy was not wearing a helmet when the injury occurred.

4. The Prince Of Denmark

H G Cladder derivative work
H G Cladder derivative work via Wiki Commons

The Prince of Denmark, Johan Friso, managed to not hit anything during his final time skiing but fell victim to something much worse. While skiing off-trail in Austria he was struck by a thundering avalanche which buried the Royal and rendered him unconscious. Twenty minute later, a rescue team managed to pull him from the snow and transport him quickly to a hospital however the damage done to his brain was terminal and while the Prince lingered in a coma for a year and a half after the accident, Friso eventually died.

5. Cincinnati Studen Natalie Altieri

via Facebook
via Facebook

Just last month, 21-year-old Natalie Altieri, a University of Cincinnati student, died while skiing Bear Mountain in Southern California. She had apparently skied on ahead of the people she was with and once they reached the bottom of the run they found that she had collided with a metal railing.

No word on whether Altieri had been wearing a helmet at the time.

6. Colorado Student Robert Miles

Twenty-two-year-old student Robert Miles became the unfortunate first fatality of last year’s ski season when he died while snowboarding in Colorado. Miles had been skiing alone and people only began searching for him after friends noted that he’d gone missing. Rescuers later found him in the snow just to the side of one of the runs.

In addition, two other skiers died in Colorado around this same time also both students.

7. Formula One World Champion Dies

In 2013, Formula One racing World Champion, Michael Schumacher was gravely injured while skiing with his son at the Meribel resort in the French Alps. Known to be a cautious skier, Schumacher fell and hit his head on some rocks and then had to be placed in a medically induced coma in the hopes that his brain would heal. Sadly, Schumacher hasn’t been able to fully recover. While conscious, he remains confined to a wheelchair and has consistent memory problems.

8. Teenager Louis Ross

A British teenager, Ross died while skiing at the Meribel resort where Michael Schumacher had been hurt just two years before. The 17-year-old was on vacation with his family when he too fell and hit his head on a rock. Sadly, Ross died on the spot where he suffered his injury when responders were unable to revive him.

9. Mountaineer Liz Daley

via Instagram
via Instagram

Twenty-nine-year-old Liz Daley was a mountaineer and extreme sports star. Last year she was skiing in Patagonia, Argentina when she stopped to take a photo of the route she had just run. Not long afterward, an avalanche struck and she was struck by tons of snow and ice which then carried her off a cliff where she died.

Some publications have speculated that Daley’s skiing may have ultimately caused the avalanche that killed her but those that know her contend that she was a very careful person very familiar with mountain conditions that could be dangerous and that it is therefore unlikely that she was the cause of the avalanche.

10. Death Of A Ski Instructor

via Google+
via Google+

As you’ve probably noticed, the trend in skiing deaths tends towards the accidental which is why these deaths and injuries are so stunning. Even experienced skiers fall victim to simple accidents that seem totally avoidable.

Such was the case for Rafal "Rafi" Uzieblo last April. While skiing, for whatever reason, Uzeiblo ended up crashing into a ski lift tower which killed him instantly. To make matters worse, this occurred on the last day of the season for the Utah resort where he was working as an instructor. TC mark