Thought Catalog


You Do Not Owe The World An Explanation For Who You Are

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 08:00 PM PST

pradaxastari
pradaxastari

You don’t come barreling into this world wearing a warning sign. There is no shiny label people can run their fingers over, double-checking that everything about you will agree with them. No manual. No owner’s guide. You simply come into the world.

But damn, wouldn’t it be easier if we could hand people study sheets? Here’s a comprehensive list of who I am! The quirks! The flaws! The things I’m terribly insecure about! If only someone could read a chapter and suddenly know you completely.

We want people to know us and understand everything, even though that’s not something anyone can guarantee. It’s a pretty loft order when we often struggle to even know ourselves. So, we start to explain. We defend actions with whatever logic we can pull out. We tell stories of our childhood, pinpoint moments that must have made us this way. We can’t shake this need to make sure others know there is a rhyme and reason to why we do the things we do. That it isn’t all just a frivolous mess. You want to explain yourself.

But you don’t owe this world an explanation for who you are. You don’t owe an explanation for how you got here. And you damn sure don’t owe an explanation for who you are becoming. Your purpose in life isn’t to get someone you barely know to understand your eccentricities. Your purpose is to find internal love, give external love, to be hurt, rise above it. Your purpose in life, frankly, is to find your way through it. Sometimes, the journey is beautiful. And sometimes, it is about just getting through this part.

This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for your behavior, or that you should run around like an asshole shouting, “I’M NOT OBLIGATED TO TELL YOU WHY I’M TERRIBLE! LALALA!” (Also, why would you do that?) You aren’t immune from consequences. And aiming to be a kind, generous human being is obviously very important.

But you don’t owe people explanations for who you are. You could spend a lifetime trying to describe all the pieces that make you up. Why you smile at that certain song. Or how you always laugh at that one lame commercial. You can like what you like. You can do the things you enjoy. Why feel the need to throw in “guilty pleasure” disclaimers? Why are we so consumed with how others perceive us? Why aren’t we as concerned with how often we are honoring our authentic selves?

We aren’t solitary creatures. We live in a society, it’s built into the word — others are there too. But they don’t have the blueprint to your success, your happiness, your sadness, your anything else. Sometimes, it’s okay to just take a breath and say, “This is who I am. That’s okay. And I don’t have to explain it.” TC mark

7 Everyday Struggles Of “Looking” Like An Unapproachable Woman But Actually Being Really Friendly

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 07:59 PM PST

Twenty20 / thompsonlxs_
Twenty20 / thompsonlxs_

Recently, while minding my own business at a social event, a guy who I did not know approached me to inform me that I had a "bitch face." This is not the first time this has happened. Actually, it tends to happen frequently enough for it to be a joke among my social circle, and especially when I'm not actively smiling. (A “condition” known to many as resting bitchface syndrome or chronic bitch face.)

Depending on context, tone, and probably how tolerant of a stranger's random comments I want to be on the day, I respond to such accusation of having a bitch face with a nonchalant, "Well, that's just my face." Sometimes I smile (sarcastically) and ask, "Happy now?" Sometimes I smile genuinely and say, "It's to scare away superficial people." This time, I humorously told the guy, "Clearly, it wasn't bitchy enough because you still came up to talk to me." He laughed, and before long, we were in a deep conversation about the dynamics of demeanor and presentation of self.

Today, there are more than enough think pieces on the Internet explaining in particular to men, why they should refrain from telling women to smile, "be approachable," and whatever other adjectives are the antithesis to bitchy and unapproachable. There has even been a social art project, "Stop Telling Women To Smile" which addresses street harassment of women.

To some, such conversations are minor and are of little significance in a world with many big problems. But it all feeds into a much larger systemic problem of sexism and the unrelenting patriarchal nature of many societies. Think of it as an everyday side effect of gendered perceptions and social inequalities that are sometimes passive and merely annoying, and sometimes active and potentially dangerous.

Thus, as a woman who according to some people (especially but not exclusively men), has this supposedly unapproachable demeanor, but then later is often deemed quite friendly or warm or affectionate after-the-fact, I'd like to share some of the everyday struggles faced:

1. People automatically assume that you're a hostile or cold person and because of that assumption, might treat you in a hostile manner. Which of course might have the outcome of you responding in the manner in which you were treated, and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When in reality you would otherwise not have treated them in such a manner, had they not approached you in a combative way to start. Talk about inception.

2. Your “minor” public/street harassment can go from 0 to 60 really fast. Because you already have an unapproachable demeanor, you will likely be told to cheer up (a lot). Not wanting to escalate the situation (and likely wanting to not give any inviting impression whatsoever in this situation), you will ignore it. The combination of seemingly actively ignoring harassment, as well as already having an uninviting demeanor, can lead to an especially negative, hostile reaction.

3. If you like someone in a platonic or romantic manner, you will have to go out of your way to make that known. People are often surprised that you liked them at all in the first place, because their initial impression of you is of someone who did not remotely want to engage with them at all. Or they overlook(ed) you entirely because of your deceptively unfriendly demeanor.

4. It takes a while for people to grasp your sense of humor. People initially can't tell the difference between your jokes and your candid observations. So you might often be hesitant to showcase your sense of humor around people when you first meet them. This of course has the effect of making you seem even more intimidating to people.

5. You have to go out of your way when it comes to people who work in any sort of customer service. You've learned the hard way that unless you give off extremely positive vibes to people in service professions, you're not going to get very far with them. And without going the extra mile, you know you're going to be seen as the disgruntled customer even if you're not in any way shape or form being uncooperative.

6. People can be callous about how they treat you because they view you as emotionally distant or incapable of being hurt. While your close friends know this to be untrue, other people can sort of see you as someone whose temperament and feelings are unimportant. Even when you are an emotionally strong person, you don't appreciate the lack of respect directed at you under the guise of "being able to take it."

7. You hate to admit it but you worry if you demeanor may be holding you back in any and all areas of your life. More than anything, you wish people knew that having a stoic appearance doesn't preclude you from the same fears and desires everyone else has as they go about their life from day-to-day – it just precludes you from looking like it. TC mark

5 Things I Learned After You Left Me

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 07:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / alexamundell
Twenty20 / alexamundell

1. I’m stronger than I think I am.

After you left I thought I had to piece myself back together, but eventually I realized you never broke me, you were merely a scratch to my surface. Because I’m not as fragile as I was when you left, in fact I was never that fragile, you just saw me that way. Sure, the scars you left will still be visible, but looking at them doesn’t cause me pain.

2. My happiness shouldn’t depend on someone else.

After you left I felt my happiness leave with you. I now know that I control the way it ebbs and flows, not you or anyone else. You can make me happy when I’m with you, but when you leave I have to be happy on my own.

3. Often times it’s the idea of someone you love, and not the actual person.

The idea you have of someone doesn’t always correspond to who the person turns out to be. I saw who I wanted to see, and not who you actually were. I saw how I wanted you to fit into my life, but I didn’t see that the fit wasn’t right.

4. I’m not disposable.

And someone who loves me will confirm that it’s true. It takes courage to trust someone else with your feelings, and when those feelings are taken for granted, your first instinct is to blame yourself. You left me because that was your decision, not because my love is expendable. No love is expendable, so when you leave unexpectedly, I’ll know it wasn’t real, and I’ll use that to let go and move forward.

5. It’s better to speak my mind, even if one of us is hurt by it.

Communication is the antidote of hurt, and honesty won’t kill you, but it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. If there’s something on your mind I’d want the honest truth, that way if either of us chooses to leave we both will know the reason why. TC mark

5 Ways The Women Of “Jessica Jones” Are Changing Women’s Representation On Television

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 06:15 PM PST

 Netflix / Jessica Jones
Netflix / Jessica Jones

Netflix's latest series, Jessica Jones, based on a female superhero from the Marvel Comics universe, has been quickly branded as the darkest, most intense comic show ever made. The first season is winning points with critics and viewers for its roster of talented actors and its deft handling of complicated subjects such as female sexuality and rape. Chock full of multi-faceted female characters without the aftertaste of stereotypes, the best thing about Jessica Jones may be the fact that women rule the show.

The female audience is strong and growing for comics. Female action roles, even leads, are not new. (I am still waiting on Zena and a Seven of 9 mashup series). Film and television based on comics and fantasy material, nonetheless, historically pander to young, male audiences. This often means would be she-roes are forced to kick butt in tight, skimpy outfits and/or serve as help-mates comfortably in the shadow of the male protagonist. Feminists and other gender empowerment conscious types usually have to overlook a great number of sins to find media that barely skims the Bechdel Test.

The Bechdel Test, originally applied to films, has also been used to evaluate female presence in narrative television programs. The criteria are simple: 1) There must be at least two women who 2) Talk to each other 3) About anything except men. Passing the Bechdel Test does not imply the material has a feminist slant. Nor does passing guarantee that there will be substantial or positive depictions of women. Results can provide, however, a good indication of whether at least two of the female characters weren't merely contrived to revolve around the needs of the male characters in the show.

Jessica Jones's narrative blows the test away. With her leather jacket and posse of formidable women pals, we have proof that depictions of women in fictional media do not have to be sprinkled with tired gender tropes in order to appeal broad audiences. Here are 5 Ways the Women of Jessica Jones Slay the Superhero Genre:

1. The major roles are played by women—except for one—and all of these are gender blind. Jessica's lawyer, for example, with her marriage and ethical conflicts, could have easily been a man. None of the women are defined by traits or quirks we see too often linked exclusively to women, such as subservience, helplessness, self-sacrificing nurturing, or the commonly depicted obsession with making oneself attractive to the opposite sex.

2. The women have interesting relationships with each other that are integral to the plot (and, again thankfully don't revolve around shopping and makeup conversations). The most intense relationship in the series is between two women, Jessica and Trish. Sparks fly and meaningful tension mounts on-screen between several different combinations of the female characters. Yes, there are men in the show but the women dominate the screen.

3. The women are sexual and sexy but not sexualized. Jennifer Pozner (Media Critic, Author of Reality Bites Back, and Founding Director of Women in Media and News) says the main character is "darkly nuanced and real in a way that we don't see too often…and attractive on her own terms". Indeed, no one is forced into a cat suit, either.

4. In this show, the women rescue male characters and go against male villains. They achieve this with other women and, if necessary, without men. Jessica Jones, a victim herself, is cognizant that her mission to save the world is going to cost her greatly. But, she manages to proceed anyway. According to Jennifer Pozner, Jessica " is a survivor…she doesn't want to see other women go through the abuse that she suffered…". In this way, the narrative obliterates the cliché of the female victim as a helpless and pathetic figure.

5. The characters are strong, smart, capable and likable without having to be perfect. This scenario can be refreshing. Jessica Jones, as Jennifer Pozner notes, "allows a female heroine character to be extremely flawed… as well as being somewhat superhuman (she does have these powers) and yet, still incredibly relatable in a way that is not the traditional way that female characters are presented as relatable". The characters don't appear obliged to compensate for their rough edges with humor or flirting.

So, no femme fatales, no angels, or any idealized do-gooders in this show. Another female viewer remarked on social media that Jessica's "somewhat inchoate superpowers also has the (unintended?) effect of not making women feel inadequate in comparison to a fictional character…who clearly has her own struggles and feelings of inadequacy." Yes, that, exactly.

Things that would be terrific to see next season:

    • More female characters of color. All the major female roles on this show are white. The story takes place in New York City, so double up on the diversity please. In fact, if Bones and Sleepy Hollow can pull off a crossover, why can't Watson (played by Lucy Liu) from Elementary swoop in for an episode to help Jessica track a new villain?
    • Speaking of crossovers: Sneaking in Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) from DareDevil? Well-played, Netflix! The chemistry was electrifying. Please bring Claire back. Often.
    • Lose the unhinged stubborn woman as a plot device. Too many shows and films depend on the clueless, unreasonable woman who just won't listen to provide an 11th hour obstacle for the protagonist. This happens twice in Jessica Jones. Next season, please let the man be responsible for screwing things up badly. TC mark

Note: Jennifer Pozner (Media Critic, Author of Reality Bites Back, and Founding Director of Women in Media and News) had only completed a viewing of the pilot at the time of the interview. 


30 Women Spell Out Exactly How They Feel About Sex With A Condom: ‘It’s Just Not Even Close To Being As Good’

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 06:00 PM PST

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

1.

They seem to dry my vagina out, which is pretty annoying. I also hate the smell. So chemical – it reminds me of hospitals. Not a sexy smell.

2.

Hell yeah. I don’t have sex with condoms because it’s just not even close to being as good.

Physically, it’s better without because condoms dry my vagina out, feel rubbery and weird, and taste horrible. They also look really, really weird.

Mentally it’s better because without the condom there isn’t a physical barrier between my fiance’s cock and my vagina, and that’s important to me. It also allows for more spontaneity.

3.

I can just feel a rubbery texture rather than skin, which isn’t so nice.

Also, I LOVE the feel (and thought) of him coming inside me, which I miss out on with a condom.

And finally, I love a lot of things that involve his penis near my parts but not necessarily in them – like when he comes on my ass and lets it drip down to my clit, or general foreplay rubbing. These things don’t really work with a condom – partially because of the aforementioned rubber texture, and partially the fluids are what make it so great (jesus that sounds terrible when you actually put it in words)..

4.

I second that whole ‘coming in you.’ Condoms just aren’t the same. Also, that whole feeling of having some drop out after he removes his junk.

Condoms are always just one more thing to worry about.

5.

It absolutely feels better because if my bf uses latex condoms with me, my throat closes and I will die.

6.

It’s more of a mental difference from what I remember. I couldn’t really tell physically, but when I knew he didn’t have one on and was inside me, I was a lot more turned on and the emotional connection was better.

7.

I cannot tell the difference. At all.

8.

Honestly the only reason I’d ever want to have sex with out a condom is so we don’t have to fumble with one.. And that I want to feel “close” physically with out a barrier there. Otherwise, it doesn’t feel any different to me.

9.

The only disadvantage for me is that you also need lube, and sometimes lots of it, because it can dry you out a lot faster. But beyond that, I actually would go as far as saying I PREFER sex with condoms, its just easier and less messy. Both of which are turn ons for me. I don’t notice any psychological difference about feeling ‘closer’, I mean his penis is inside you either way, and the inside of my vagina isn’t sensitive enough to be able to feel the texture of skin vs latex.

10.

Yes.

Condoms require pulling out immediately, which isn’t as fun as just basking in the moment.

11.

Of course it does. It’s skin to skin contact and warm and wet and feels so much better.

12.

I enjoy it the most because of the spontaneity and because I know he’s enjoying it more. And it does feel better to not have squishy, cold plastic in the way.

13.

For me, yes. I can feel more of the texture of the skin/veins/shape and especially the coronal ridge (he’s cut). And just mentally knowing you’re doing it is a turn on as well.

14.

Put on latex gloves and rub lotion on your arms or feet or whatever. That’s what sex with a condom feels like. Nice. But something is missing.

15.

If, as the saying goes, sex with a condom feels to a man much like how petting a cat with a glove on ur hand feels, then to a woman it feels like petting a cat that’s wearing a latex suit.

16.

Bareback feels downright velvety to me, it’s wonderful. I can feel so much more in terms of sensations going bareback. I also feel a lot more intimate with my partner.

Condoms kind of dull the experience for me sensation-wise. It still feels good, but not as much as without. I dry out a lot easier with them. They smell artificial and leave a lingering smell and taste on skin. One thing condoms do give me though is less anxiety toward the obvious pregnancy risks which makes it much easier for me to mentally relax.

17.

No. Condoms feel better to me for some reason.I guess it’s because I like the smoothness. I tried bare once and didn’t care for it.

18.

There is a huge difference in feeling! To the point I would rather not have sex than have sex with a condom.

There’s a huge amount of difference in friction, you can feel the different pressures and the way the skin texturizes at different points, you can feel changes in heat and body fluids.. its much more intimate with skin to skin closeness and there is no break in foreplay like oh wait a sec I just gotta put this on (admittedly this can be a sexy shared moment if you make it so).

And when a guy cums inside you you can just enjoy that moment for a while while you both catch your breath and pulsate. Such a magic feeling!

It is so individual though, some ladies notice no difference which is very lucky!

19.

It’s not so much that i can feel that great of a difference, but condoms dry me out quicker and it bums me out transitioning from the guy finishing to him dancing around trying to walk to a trashcan without spilling jizz everywhere. Also sometimes condoms are noisy.

20.

I really like ribbed condoms. Extra sensation and no clean up! They’re awesome for quickies.

21.

I hate the lube of condoms and they’re uncomfortable for me. I don’t know what it is but they’re almost painful. Went on the shot and don’t use them anymore. My sex life is infinitely better, despite the annoying “clean up” that follows.

22.

The thing that really physically feels better is the coming-inside part, which I really like. They also feel kind of rubbery and awkward.

Honestly, I have used condoms very rarely (in the past because I was a stupid teenager on birth control who wasn’t careful enough, and now because I get my partners tested) because they ruin spontaneity and I think they’re icky. Obviously if I’m having a one-night stand or a new relationship I’ll use them, but otherwise my BCP has never failed me.

23.

Ok, so I have a confession:

my boyfriend is extremely endowed.

This means that yes, sex without a condom is more pleasurable for both of us, but only with a large amount of lube on my part because I’m quite small. It’s a good problem to have, but the friction was causing pretty bad pain. We went a while without using condoms, which was only nice when I wasn’t already sore.

Basically: I’m small, boyfriend’s hella not, so yes it feels better but with lots of KY jelly. Friction is nice but only on the inside, not the opening of your puss where it gets sore.

24.

I used a condom once- hated everything about it. The smell, the gooey lube feeling, the coldness, everything. Felt more like a medical exam than a sexy moment. But like I said, I only used one once. Since then I got on nexaplon and that was that.

25.

Oh yeah, its not comfortable for me at all. In fact they even caused me to have infections, gross. Like BV and Yeast…

I can feel the rubbery texture, which does not compare to skin on skin. As well as I lose sensitivity over it. And it dries me out…

Thank goodness my boyfriend and I are safe enough to go bareback.

26.

Yes. Especially if he’s uncircumcised.

Everything glides so smoothly, it’s heavenly.

27.

To me. Is there a difference? Yes. Is one better or worse in feeling, no not really. It doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of sex. It is nice to not have to deal with the condom before or after use, and to be able to stay inside a little longer. But, does that really affect overall enjoyment, for me no.

28.

I guess I’ll be one of the few that says that I like condoms better. First of all, I can’t really tell much of a difference personally. But more importantly, me and my bf don’t have to have this constant worry of pregnancy, even though I’m on the pill (we’re paranoid people, and as college freshman we like to be as close to 100% risk-free as possible). It just allows for an extra layer of protection, and the mental comfort from that significantly overrules spontaneity.

Also, sometimes I still have problems getting wet, no matter how turned on I am, so prelubricated condoms make sex much more comfortable and let my bf last longer.

29.

Absolutely. The type of lube on most condoms gives me a UTI. Other than that though its just clammy and uncomfortable.

30.

There is a noticeable difference in texture, warmth, smell (condoms smell like hospitals) upon insertion but once the thrusts and the passion get going I really stop caring either way. However, when it comes to multiple sessions in one day, normally after the first or second go I’m feeling a bit sore in my vagina and if my lover were to cum inside of me, his semen could kind sting!! I always want him to use a condom after the 1st round to spare me the discomfort at the end. TC mark

Read This: 33 Men Compare Sex With A Condom To Sex Without One: 'Like Showering In A Plastic Jumpsuit'

Why We’ll Always Be Closest To The People Who Knew Us When We Were Young And Reckless

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 05:00 PM PST

02
Paolo Raeli

In our youth, friendships are much more like love affairs.

They come on passionately, intensely, strong. We meet someone whose mind matches ours and get lost in a world of our own making. We speak a different language with our friends when we are young – made up of our histories, our stories, our inside jokes and our greatest hopes. We get swept away in friendships in a way that is rivaled only by our greatest loves.

And yet something changes as we get older. It's not that we can't still confide in one another – we can and we frequently do. It's just that our youth has worn off: all its melodrama, all its pain, all its ecstasy. We don't need our friends like the air in our lungs anymore. We are able to take care of ourselves, suddenly and unexpectedly. We are no longer co-dependent and obsessed.

It's a healthy, productive transition. And yet there's a certain intimacy that gets lost.

Adult friendships are a calmer affair. They're simpler and cleaner and much more straight-forward. They're relationships of mutual support but no longer relationships of mutual chaos. And no matter how brilliant and strong they can be, there's something about the frantic, desperate friendships we form when we're young that can simply never be reconstructed.

The people you meet as adults meet you at your best. They know the polished you, the grown-up you, the you who is capable and put-together and strong.

They know the you that you have spent years perfecting, but they don't know the you who came first.

They don't know who you were before you knew any better. They don't know the you who was still figuring it out. They weren't there for every night you spent wasted or foolish or crying on the bathroom floor. They don't know the times when you needed real help – when you were too out of control of yourself or too at the mercy of others. They weren't there to pick you up when everything fell apart. They weren't there to catch your first real falls.

No matter who we meet and fall platonically in love with as adults, there will always be a special place in our hearts for the people who knew us at our most vulnerable. For the people who helped us grow, who coached us into ourselves, who caught all our mistakes and misgivings. Those people know us in a way that nobody else ever truly can again. They know the raw parts of us, the messy parts. They know the intimacies that we spent years learning to cover up afterwards. They know all of the parts we later learned to push down.

There is a rawness to the friendships we form when we are young that can never be rivalled.

There's an honesty that comes from knowing someone when they had not yet constructed the persona of who they'd like to be and how they want the world to see them. The friends that we acquire in our youth see us with x-ray goggles no matter how successful and respectful we become. To them, we aren't the award-winning professional or the responsible mother of three.

To them, we will forever be that teenage girl who had her heartbroken. We're the lost and reeling college dropout, struggling to find their direction. We're the person they helped put back together when we were in a thousand pieces and in many ways, that is a relief.

It's a relief to know that no matter where we go in life or who we find ourselves holding onto, there are people out there who we will forever be unable to fool.

There are people who can meet us decades down the road and instantly know the parts of us that we've learned to keep hidden for so long.

Because the truth is, other people may know our history, but those people know our core.

And no matter how much changes, no matter how much time passes, and no matter how much even we ourselves forget it – you can't replace the core.

It lives on inside of every person we’ve loved and trusted fully – back when we were just young and reckless enough to let ourselves. TC mark

Surprise, Surprise: Self-Doubt Is Not Your Enemy

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 03:00 PM PST

_BK_7772
via Thought.is

I am forever fighting against perfection. There exists within me a legitimate desire to be very, very good at things — even the best at some things — coupled with an intense desire to discount all my efforts by forever banishing them to the Not Good Enough Pile. I am always hanging in that balance of am I being unreasonable or am I challenging myself?

For a while, I began to soothe myself with platitudes about perfection.Nobody can be perfect. You're already good enough. You don't have to prove anything. While as a recovering perfectionist, this was all quite necessary to tell my crazy brain to calm it the fuck down with the ridiculous pressure, it also, how do I put this nicely? Well, it also made my work suck balls.

I like the idea that inadequacy is a construct I've created in my mind. It feels squishy and comforting to be like, hey, this thing you're doing to yourself, this whole being unreasonably hard on yourself thing? Yeah, cut that shit out because it's exhausting and getting you nowhere. I like that idea in theory.

In theory.

In practice, it kind of makes you stop challenging yourself. That pressure, that being hard on yourself? It pushes you. It keeps the carrot of self-acceptance dangling just out of reach enough to keep you moving, to keep you showing up. Perhaps all along self-doubt was a complex part of your motivation — meaning that your motivation was to eradicate the bastard.

See, here's what we all know: perfection, as a construct in our own minds, does not exist. Furthermore, most of us know that whatever our own personal concoction of perfection is also markedly different than another person's concoction of perfection. Perfection, even as a construct, cannot be quantified or identified. It is simply not the same for everyone. Your idea of perfection is quite different than mine. So, honestly, perfection is just some sense in our own minds of where we'd like to get to. It's our ultimate vision and desire. Sometimes it's not, though. Sometimes the image of perfection in your mind is just cruel and serves only to taunt you. Most times it's showing you where you want to be.

When that self-doubt rears its ugly head, instead of slathering yourself with squishy platitudes that soothe you, why don't you check in with yourself? Perfection doesn't exist, but your own standard for your life does. Usually the little perfectionist monster comes peeping out of the closet when you damn well know you're not showing the fuck up to your life. It's telling you,hey, you have potential, you have shit you want to do, so why aren't you doing it?

If you keep punching that monster down, you miss the lessons, the opportunities. You miss the chance to rise to the level of where you see yourself. It's certainly easy enough to placate yourself and god knows the internet especially is full of placating people who think the answer to your life can be given to you in a quote on top of a picture of some generic sunset. But fuck, stop placating yourself. Stop giving yourself an out from the life you want. Stop letting people soothe your desire when all you want to do is stand up and shine the fuck out.

Rise to meet that bastard self-doubt in the pit of your stomach. Listen in. Stop shooing it away. Stop thinking that it's not a message sent to you fromyou because it most definitely is. You have it in you and you know it. If you keep placating yourself with these tired quotes, then you'll stay spinning. You won't show up. You have to be the ultimate decider of whether or not you're doing your best work, living out the life you have desired. It's all on you. Listen up. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is trying to tell you something. TC mark

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12 Christmas Gifts To Give The Bachelor Who Doesn’t Know How To Take Care Of Himself

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 02:00 PM PST

Flickr /// Banalities
Flickr /// Banalities

He may be your boyfriend. He may be your brother. He may be your best friend. The problem is that he’s a hot mess—or actually a lukewarm mess, because there’s nothing hot about him at the moment.

It could be that he's a slacker or he's spoiled or he's just a slob. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he’s the type of guy who never grew up and doesn’t know how to take care of himself. He’s made quite a mess of the hamster cage where he lives, which in many (if not most) cases is his mother’s basement.

But he doesn’t need any more toys, and if that’s what he wants for Christmas this year, let him ask Santa Claus. You’re here to help him, not to enable his perpetual adolescence. These aren’t “fun” gifts, but maybe part of the problem is that he’s been having just a little too much fun.

And if he complains that you’re giving him the equivalent of a bag of coal, it also shows is that he's also an ingrate as well as a baby. He’s an ungrateful baby.

But since he obviously won’t bother to take care of himself, this is where you pick up the slack. All these gifts are BASIC NECESSITIES. Beyond water, air, and shelter, the necessities don't really get any more basic than these do. These are especially handy if he's getting out of prison right before Christmas and making a new start in life. Enjoy, and spend your money wisely!

(Prices are estimated using sample products from walmart.com)

beetlejuice

1. LONG-OVERDUE PERSONAL HYGIENE KIT

During this season of joy, no one wants to be told that they have foul breath and sharp body odor. In order to protect him from being so acutely offensive to the senses, purchase him what is often called a personal hygiene “Blessing Bag”—toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, razors, shaving cream, Q-tips, hairbrush or comb, and nail clippers. Within an hour or two, he’ll be halfway back toward being a human rather than a caveman. Estimated total cost: $30-40.

beetlejuice

2. EXTREEEEEEMELY BASIC PERSONAL WARDROBE

Imagine he’s been robbed of every last stitch of clothing he owns and is wandering naked in the snow. This is the personal ensemble you’d buy him just so he can get dressed and become a functioning member of civilization again: a 6-pack of underwear, a 6-pack of socks, 3 T-shirts, 2 sweatshirts, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of sweatpants, and cheap sneakers. And a beanie, I guess. Total cost: around $85 and no one ever has to see him naked again.

beetlejuice

3. LOUNGEWEAR FOR THE 23 HOURS A DAY HE RELAXES AT HOME

Since he’s currently unemployed only ventures outside of his studio apartment an average of one hour per day, a considerate gift-giver might choose to focus on his need to feel comfortable and relaxed while he pretends he’s looking for a job rather than playing more video games. His super-plush loungewear ensemble would include one men’s bathrobe 12, one pair of pajamas 14 , one pair of slippers 7, exactly one white T-shirt 4, and exactly one pair of matching tighty-whiteys. Total cost: around $40.

beetlejuice

4. ONE-MONTH ANTI-STARVATION FOOD SURVIVAL PACK

True, he may have “stocked up for the winter” already by packing on dozens of extra pounds of body fat as a result of never exercising and watching far too much TV all summer, but still, it’s the holiday season, so don’t be a Scrooge and let him go hungry! First, buy him a bottle of multivitamins. Then a case of Ramen. Four boxes of pasta. A dozen cans of beans. A giant bag of rice. A massive jar of peanut butter. A dozen cans or pouches of tuna. A box of protein bars. A giant burlap sack of peanuts. Maybe even a small box of raisins. If you really want to be a dick about it, buy him some Army-styled K-rations from some online survivalist store. It’ll run you around $100 or even a little more, but at least you won’t have your friend’s starvation death on your conscience during the dark and cold month of January.

beetlejuice

5. BASIC TOOLKIT THAT DOUBLES AS A PERSONAL DEFENSE ARSENAL

Since he cannot afford to pay plumbers or electricians or even day laborers to fix things should they go wrong—hell, he can hardly afford this toolkit I’m about to describe—you need to take a large hammer, a large Phillips-head screwdriver, a small flathead screwdriver, and a pair of scissors, then wrap them up tightly in bright-colored gift paper with a sensible bow or ribbon atop it all. He can use these items either to fix small household problems or to kill potential household intruders. Total cost: Around $25 including gift wrap.

beetlejuice

6. BASIC KITCHEN SET THAT CAN ALSO DOUBLE AS A PERSONAL DEFENSE ARSENAL

Everyone is getting really tired of watching him eat with his hands. So assume he doesn’t always eat alone and buy him two plates, two bowls, two cups, two sets of knives, forks, and spoons, one sharp and sturdy knife capable of stabbing a burglar to death, one frying pan, and one pot. A blender if he asks nice. If you’re absolutely overcome with the spirit of the holiday season, you can even throw in a microwave oven. Just show him how to use it the first time so he doesn’t accidentally hurt himself. Total cost: around $40 without the blender and microwave. It’d be around $100 for the entire deluxe kit. Is he worth it? That’s your call, not mine. He’s your friend, not mine. I’m just trying to help, but otherwise I do not want to get involved.

beetlejuice

7. STANDARD PRISON-QUALITY BED

It might teach him a moral lesson to sleep on his hardwood floor for a few weeks. On the other hand, it might turn him into a serial killer. So provide him with just the basics so he doesn’t go postal: One air mattress, one sleeping bag, and exactly one small and rather unforgiving pillow. If he complains, remind him that there are quite possibly five billion people on Earth right now that don’t sleep that well. Then tell him to shut up and go to sleep. Total cost: Around $33.

beetlejuice

8. ONE MEDIUM-SIZED TREE’S WORTH OF PAPER PRODUCTS

Are you sick of going over to his place, only to find there are no paper towels, napkins, or—gasp!—toilet paper? Deluge him in a shit-ton of paper products. You said he masturbates a lot, right? Then he’ll need them. Total cost for one big-ass package each of paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper—around $35-40. Also buy him some baby wipes, if only to subliminally insult him.

beetlejuice

9. PERSONAL ORGANIZATION CENTER

One of his main problems—both in finding employment and in snagging a mating partner—is that his living quarters look like they were ransacked by a dozen masked men in the midst of both a hurricane and an 8.0 earthquake. The mess in his apartment reflects the mess in his mind. So to start fixing both messes, purchase him some sort of general system for de-clutterizing his crib. You can buy him milk crates. Or stacked plastic drawers. Or an elaborate shelving system. Or large plastic storage boxes to temporarily toss many items that he never uses and probably won’t miss anyway. But you must never forget that personal organization will be his first step in that long, long road to personal recovery. Total cost: Anywhere from $50 to $50,000 depending on how messy he is.

beetlejuice

10. JANITORIAL STARTER KIT

You don’t have to come right out and say that he’s a slob. You can just passive-aggressively suggest it by purchasing the proper tools to help making that hamster cage he calls his living quarters somewhat inhabitable without spreading infectious diseases such as whooping cough and the bubonic plague. Buy that filthy ingrate a mop or Swiffer, a bucket, laundry and dish detergent, an empty spray bottle, a bottle of bleach, disinfectant, and maybe even some roach trap if his living situation is truly that dire. Total cost could range anywhere from $40 to $70 depending on how soiled his pigpen is.

beetlejuice

11. A COFFEE MAKER, A MUG, AND A POUND OF COFFEE TO MOTIVATE HIM

You don’t have to say a word. Merely giving him these two presents is a way of silently telling him, “You really need to get off your ass and make something of your life. Here, guzzle a pound of coffee and start writing down your goals.” Add a notebook and a pen, and your total cost is around $27.

beetlejuice

12. LET THERE BE LIGHT

This is for that monthly event when his electricity goes out again because he’s failed to pay his bills again. Buy him one Boy Scout-quality flashlight with an extra set of batteries. Also buy him a large candle and a cigarette lighter. Plus one full pack of light bulbs, because you know he’ll never think to buy those anyway until it’s too late. Total cost: around $25. Then get out of his way and let him wander into the darkness alone. TC mark

To The Guy Who Never Told Me We Were Over

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 01:00 PM PST

Flickr/Kevin Cortopassi
Flickr/Kevin Cortopassi

To The Guy Who Never Told Me We Were Over,

I remember driving to meet you for the very first time and I distinctly recall having the powerful feeling that you were going to dramatically affect my life. I knew it then as surely as I know it now. Looking back, I know I was just another girl to you, and you meant so much more to me. But I learned about myself – and what I think about love and life – from casually dating you. Thank you, firstly, for that.

By the time I met you that you had already completely charmed me through your flirty texts and quick wit. Our banter flew back and forth like wildfire. But even then, I knew you weren't like the other nice guys I had dated before. I will be the first to admit there were a million signs that I didn't mean much to you – and never would – even from the very beginning. Those little things should have stopped me from falling for you. But of course, they didn't. I would have been the first to say you just weren't that into me, but in classic douche form, you always gave me just enough to keep holding on.

You were careless with me; you were selfish, cavalier, and indifferent. You disappeared for weeks at a time and put in so little effort, but then there were stretches when you would text me every day and make plans to see me. What hurts the most is that when you were with me, I know you really liked me. When you were with me, you mentioned things I said in passing, or held out your arm to me so I could hold the crook of your elbow just the way I liked. You talked to me like you'd been bursting to tell me things about your life for the whole time that we were apart (I mean, during those weeks you ignored me). You took pictures of us together, and pulled me in for the sweetest, most innocent kisses on the street corner and in the booth at the back of the bar. Every time I was with you I couldn't help but fall harder. You were everything I adored: boyish, yet trying to be manly; incredibly smart; driven; and overtly masculine. Those times we were together were magic for me. But when we were apart, I almost lost my mind because of your indifference, and how loudly your silence screamed that you just didn't care.

So here I am, two months after that first date, and I am not the same because of you. And I know, oh I know, I deserve to be treated better. I know I deserve to be with someone who treats me as a priority instead of an option. I know I deserve someone who is clear about where I stand with him. I know I deserve someone who doesn't blow me off on a Saturday night, but then texts me at 1 AM to ask me where I am. I know because I've been lucky in love before you, my Michigan douche. I've never been treated this way before, even by the guys I have dated casually. I've never had a fling with a jerk, so thank you for being the first. Thank you giving me a new appreciation for the exceptional men I have dated before you.

Thank you for helping me realize how much more I am worth and that I cannot let my singular experience with you make me insecure. Thank you for prompting me to recognize how truly optimistic I am. Even after dating you, I will not be cynical about men and love, and I still refuse to believe that you are a purposefully manipulative and misleading person at your core. No, I think you have been hurt and have built iron-clad walls that guard your heart from all emotion, especially love (or, maybe I am still romanticizing you and you actually are shallow and cold. But I don't like to think of people that way).

Thank you for helping me realize what I truly want in love. I want a guy to look at me like Leonardo DiCaprio's Gatsby looks at Carey Mulligan's Daisy Buchanan; like Brad still looks at Angelina; like my papa looks at my mom. I need devotion and adoration, love and affection. But I think you love yourself too much to ever look at anyone that way, let alone me.

Thank you for compelling me to explore the depth and complexity of my humanity. I still want you – and I know I could still love you – regardless of how you have treated me, and regardless of the fact that I know a prolonged relationship with you would have ultimately left me unhappy and unfulfilled. Ask me how this can be, and I will tell you I have asked myself the same perplexing questions a million times. I have reflected and looked deep into myself because of you.

And even though I willingly indulged and enabled your douche behavior, thank you for encouraging me to just accept that I am human, and that I cannot always protect or prevent myself from falling for people who are bad for me. Thank you for helping me forgive myself for letting you have my heart, against every rational thought in my being.

Thank you for being the ultimate test of how much I truly live up to the standards of decency and gentility that I claim to uphold. Thanks to you, I have found so much inner strength by always being mannerly and kind to you, and showing you that I care – not only because I fell for you, but because you were a human being in my life. And I still have it in me to wish you all the happiness in the world, even though you couldn't even give me the time of day to tell me it was over.

I thank you for helping me realize that I cannot really be angry at you because I think above all, you should be pitied. Pitied because you've been hurt and now, you're incredibly guarded. Pitied because you didn't recognize a great girl like me waiting to love you. Pitied because you will never truly be able to love someone the way I can. In one of your few vulnerable moments, you told me you had been cheated on multiple times. I know now that girls who thrive on drama and betrayal are the only kind of girls who will settle for the way you treat them, and those are the only girls you will ever know.

So I feel sorry for you because here I stood. I would have loved you to the ends of the earth and back. I would have protected your heart, and offered you mine. I would have been the girl who didn't break you into a million little pieces, the girl who cared about every mundane detail of your ordinary life. I would have been your girl. And I pity you for letting me slip away.

As I walk away from you, I will just keep reminding myself that douches like you are the ones who are truly losing out. I know I never "officially" had you, but you should have been begging for me to be yours all along. Despite all of the uncertainty I associate with you, one thing I am sure of is this: one day, you will realize that you made a huge mistake by letting a girl like me get away.

And you'll be back. Or at least, that is what I've heard about guys like you.

Unofficially Yours,
The Girl Who Would Have Loved You TC mark

2015 Is The Year Of The Fuckboy

Posted: 07 Dec 2015 12:00 PM PST

Shutterstock / Stock-Asso
Shutterstock / Stock-Asso

2012 was the year of "GIFs."

2013 was the year of the "selfie."

2014 was the year of "vape."

And as 2015 is dwindling down I assume that Oxford American Dictionaries will publish something along the lines of:

"2015, the year of the 'fuckboy.'"

Admit it, you've thrown the word around. You've probably called someone it, known someone who is, or had an experience with a fuckboy, and if you haven't, don't worry 2016 is right around the corner.

Lets face it, they are everywhere but you may not realize how many fuckboys you actually come into contact with on a daily basis.

They are in your sports medicine class, scrolling through an Instagram profile of some booty-tit pictures because they are SO bored trying to get an education for $55,000.

They are on their lunch break, sitting in their cubicle at their nine-to-five job on Wall Street trying to find something to keep them occupied for 20 minutes when they arrive home.

They are in their dorm rooms, fucking your roommate. But you thought she was in the library right… gullible much?

Fuckboys may be hard to spot. They camouflage fairly well in the male population. But do not be mistaken, a 2 AM text isn't a "I can't sleep because I can't stop thinking about you."

If you believe that, I presume the idea that you think Santa Clause still climbs down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

A 2 AM text is a booty call:

"Do you wanna hangout" is not asking if you want to "hang." It's an encrypted message of "hey, lets fuck. But after we do I am busy and will have to leave."

If you receive one of these, you were most likely on the lower end of the totem pole. He has gone down his list of people to hit-up and no one has either a. Responded, b. Told him to go fuck himself yet or c. They already are busy, with another fuckboy of course. (I told you they are everywhere.)

Now, don't take this the wrong way if you have responded. We have all fallen victim to the crime. You and me both have had our fair share of dealing with fuckboys.

It has come to the point now where I have to sadly address that there are "fuckgirls."

To the male population a fuckgirl is someone who "wants to bang, no commitment, says shit, but backs out."

But behind every fuckgirl is a fuckboy who made her that way.

Technology has made it so easy for people's heads to grow larger than their private parts. People spend hours upon hours scrolling, favorite-ing, liking, texting, sexting (still? come on).

It is more enjoyable in today's society to have to fight, play games and dance around for what we want rather than actually taking the time to be honest and up front.

The chase is more enjoyable than the catch.

If you are questioning if you are dealing with a fuckboy in your life, he is most definitely a fuckboy.

Trust your intuition, if he is getting texts from "Mike" with heart emojis, saying "I can't wait to see you later…. We should repeat last night." Don't be frazzled, he isn't gay. He is stupid though; girls know the trick of changing your contact name in your phonebook to shade away their real identity.

We are girls. We aren't stupid. We are hopeful.

College is prime time for fuckboys- because not everyone is ready to settle down for a relationship, which is fine. No one is knocking on your dorm-room door handing you out their resume for you to be their girlfriend or boyfriend. But someone will eventually will catch feelings down the road and end up being hurt, thinking "it" was going to go somewhere.

"But I didn't think we were hooking up with other people." Classic.

"We weren't exclusive, I thought we were just having fun." Are you kidding me.

But the best is, "we can still have fun if you want to."

solidLine

From a girl's perspective fuckboys are like periods. Extremely happy you got it but ultimately it sucks.

I asked some women what their definition of a fuckboy is, what their experiences have been with fuckboys and I got this:

"They take advantage of girls and make them trust them, then fuck them over in the end. They ruin those poor girls who end up having trust issues and ruin their chances of letting someone in when they are actually the right guy for them."

"Fuckboys are obsessed with their manhood."

"I'm not like the other guys"-fuckboys everywhere."

"You're the only one I am hooking up with."

"No emotion, no feelings, just a whole bunch of lies. They just get you really drunk."

"Fuckboys just make me drink/smoke too much." Slick.

"I don't even try to get with kids from school cause they're all idiots."

"Fuckboys, they just use people for what they want, and when they get bored they move onto their next victim. It's a vicious cycle and has convinced me to have no faith in male population."

Well, if there is one-thing girls can agree on its fuckboys, and they fucking suck.

Don't shoot the messenger- or that is the writer, which is then me, for laying down what no one wants to admit but ultimately knows is true. Don't get your panties in a bunch because it is becoming more acceptable to call you a fuckboy.

If you are a fuckboy, cut the shit. You are a trend of 2015 and I hope you end soon because your games aren't fun, you aren't hot shit, and your mom still probably does you laundry- embarrassing. You aren't a mastermind like you may think; you just failed your geography quiz. You are no better than the fuckgirls, the lonely boys, the psychotic girls, and everything in-between.

Stop fucking around. TC mark