Thought Catalog


Why I’m So Excited To Spend 2016 With You

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 07:30 PM PST

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Bonn Studio

I look forward to the simple moments this year will gift us. The moments where I get to admire you when you are unguarded, or unaware. I look forward to the morning coffees we will share in bed, to the space that will exist between our heads when the sun wakes up our tired skin and I get to kiss the sleep from your eyes.

I look forward to getting to know you on a deeper level, for there will always be more to discover within your bones. I look forward to thinking that you're the sexiest human in the world at one moment, and then thinking that you're the grossest person ever at the drop of a hat. I'm looking forward to almost expecting you to eat something off of the floor before yelling "five second rule," and to having you convince me to make sure that weird mark on your back isn't something serious. In return, I look forward to all of the nights you will kill a spider for me at 2am, I look forward to the fact that you will get accustomed to seeing your favourite oversized t-shirts turn into my pajamas for the night.

I look forward to our firsts, to our seconds. I look forward to the traditions we will create, like eating at the same place whenever we celebrate our first date, or visiting your grandparents every Sunday. I look forward to saving money with you so we can start investing in our future together. Until then, I look forward to driving by our favourite houses and fantasizing about all of the memories we will make in them. I look forward to all of the dreams we will inspire.

I look forward to making things work. I look forward to our fights, and our apologies, because it will mean that we are building our foundations, that we are figuring it all out. I look forward to our rough days, to knowing that I can always find refuge in those arms of yours no matter what. On the other hand, I also look forward to all of our highs. I look forward to the days you will come to me brimming with excitement, to the days where I will get to support you and stand by you. I look forward to being there for you the whole way, to encouraging you, not only for what you are in that moment, but for what I know you can be.

See, I look forward to blocking out the world with you, to discovering a new show on Netflix and marathoning it for a shameful amount of time, to eating pints of ice cream in bed and using the same spoon, or texting you from the couch to bring me more popcorn. I look forward to falling asleep halfway through our favourite movies, to all of the moments you're going to grab my hand in the middle of the night, to all of the adjustments we will make before finding the perfect position to doze off in when we're both exhausted.

I look forward to laughing with you, to never taking ourselves too seriously. I look forward to the moments you're going to walk into my room in one of my dresses just to make me chuckle; to taking hilarious photos of you when you fall asleep in the car with your mouth wide open. I look forward to having our play fights turn into beautifully quiet moments, to always connecting with those breaks and thinking about how much I care for you.

Most of all, I look forward to hanging out with my best friend for another twelve months, to creating memories I will remember for the rest of my life. We may not do everything we hope to do this year, but I do know that we will get stronger, we will grow, and that excites me, for it means I will get to fall even more in love with someone I care deeply for, it means I will get to experience the magic of who you are for another perfect year. TC mark

Read more of Bianca Sparacino’s writing in her new book Seeds Planted in Concrete here.

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I Like Your Face When I Can Tell You Are Trying To Decide Where To Kiss Me Next

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 06:08 PM PST

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You came over in the late afternoon and did things like
pull my body into yours
by using your teeth as a lasso around my lower lip.

By night my pillows still smelled like you. How did you make soap smell so good?

All night I was rolling over and smelling you.
All night I was rolling over and thinking about how you make me forget
which way all my limbs are supposed to go.

You send me a picture on Snapchat when you can’t sleep
and I think I am supposed to think something about the way you look
but all I can see is that mouth.

And all I can think is how
I want to bury my face in the painful velcro of your neck
and rub myself raw. TC mark

Your Year Will Be Bigger Than Your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 06:00 PM PST

MLHLND
MLHLND

Ah, New Years Eve. The evening of little miracles. Take away the dazzling fireworks, the celebrations, the drinking and the countdowns and what you are left with is hope. Small human hope. The hope of better days, of fresh starts, and perhaps, if you are very lucky, a kiss. But it also has an ugly side. For some of us, it is the time of the year when all of our fears and doubts converge with the enormous weight of the world and all of the pressure becomes too much. It is the time of the year we can begin to feel obliged to make big dramatic resolutions and implement significant change in our lives.

But why? Why should we mark a single day in our calendars to commit ourselves to ventures that promise to make us happier or healthier? Shouldn't these be goals we pursue all year round? And furthermore, are these kinds of once-off commitments genuinely helpful?

No, I don't believe any of us should stress so much about making up our minds and settling on a path or direction for 2016. The division of time into years is a human invention, and fact is, every minute of every day is a brand new opportunity for resolution and growth. Real, genuine change or accomplishment can rarely trace its origins back to a single decision, rather, it comes about organically and over time, slowly gathering strength through a sustained and conscious effort, and by remaining motivated and true to your cause. There is no need to cheapen your hopes and dreams by reducing them to half-hearted, one line slogans you will quickly forget. Instead, understand that there is nothing to be frightened of. That this coming year, like any other, will arrive a single day at a time, and any challenges you may face can be overcome in small manageable chunks. That you may fail, time and time again, but there will always be another opportunity in tomorrow to make amends, to get back up on your feet and try again. Recognise that it's not the resolutions you make once a year that matter, but the ones you make with every single breath.

So, when the clock strikes twelve, the glasses are clinked, and the fireworks fly to mark the close of 2015, relax—think back on all you have achieved over the course of the past year, and take a moment to enjoy the company of your loved ones. Take it easy, and celebrate for a moment, the rest will come to you. TC mark

Please Do Not Love Me

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 05:00 PM PST

Olga Yakovleva
Olga Yakovleva

Don’t love me. Don’t. Just don’t.

For I may not remember the year you were born, or the exact address of that place we first met, or your phone number, or what color was your shirt yesterday, or how many friends you have, or their names, or how long you and your ex had been together, or even her name. I may not remember those details, maybe it’s because I didn’t care much and I am really sorry for that.

But I will surely remember how you made me feel the first time I ever saw you.

I will indeed remember how my stomach twirled and turned the first moment you talked to me. I will remember how our first small talk, first chat, first phone call went. I will definitely remember all those signs that bestow glimpses of hope, all those words that gripped me together and further my wishes and expectations for us.

I will remember every curve in your body. I will remember every line in your face. I will remember how your eyes beams with your lips. I will remember every scar and every bruise you acquired doing whatever it is you considered your "thing" back then. I will remember that intriguing flaw just beneath your arm. I will remember that fascinating mark on your rib cage. I will gladly remember all these tiny but significant details that made up this beautiful man in front of me.

Please please please, don’t.

I will remember all your theories and chaotic thoughts. I will remember that one moment you wept so hard because you felt like life was too cruel to you. I will remember that terrible fight you had with your parents and how heartbroken you were when you walked out of their door. I will remember that one person who sustained you, carried you out of that dark phase in your life and somehow led you to a different, brighter light. I will remember those tedious nights you cred yourself to sleep while being devoured by the idea that life will never get any better (but it did, anyways). I will remember how you pushed, how you fought, how you overcame all those torturous shits you’ve been through. I will always remember how resilient you have been and how those wounds and remnants of agony have shaped you and evolved you into an even more exquisite soul.

I will absolutely remember the exact way you loved me and made me feel worthy.

I will remember how you memorized the way I like my coffee and what breakfast I like during Tuesdays. I will remember how you recall every important detail in my life. I will remember how you glanced at me then smiled so beautifully then told me that when you look at me, all you see is the rest of your life right before your very eyes. I will remember that time you confide your burning desire to live the rest of your life with me – to marry me and build a life with me. I will remember that moment you conceded that you don’t know how you would recover your life if ever you’d lose me.

I will remember how you genuinely loved me.

Yes. LOVED. As in past tense, as in with d.

With that, however, I will also remember how you left me that Thursday night at exactly 10:05 PM. I will remember how every constituent of my body vibrated and echoed that excruciating pain. I will utterly remember how broken I am (still), along with all your broken promises.

I will remember perfectly how it ravaged every beautiful element inside me; how you destroyed me.

So please. Do not love me. Please.

Because I will always remember those, like burns engraved in my chest, in my mind, and right through my bare soul. TC mark

That Time I Tried Writing Erotica But It Turned Into A Love Poem

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 01:57 PM PST

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We stand a slightly awkward distance from one another at the bar. Like lovers who haven’t become lovers quite yet, we don’t know how close we can get with it still being proper. With it being kosher. We’re testing boundaries with even the smallest touches.

He places a hand on my knee and lets it linger. I don’t remove it. My smile cracks into a full moon.

I’m softly saying, yes, keep doing this. And I know he’s listening. His body is an instrument I’ve never played, but I’m secretly hoping I get a chance. Tonight. Tomorrow. One day. I’m not sure. I’ve never been good at detecting when things are off-key, but I imagine we’d sound like a full string symphony. I can hear the faintest hint of violins whenever he speaks.

He asks what I’d like to drink and without hesitation I say, “Rum and Coke.” I don’t mention the only reason this is my drink of choice is because R. Kelly says it in Ignition (Remix), and I’ve never taken the time to learn any other cocktail names.

He makes a joke about his hometown and I want to push him down on the bar counter. I have no idea what it even really is – maybe his thick blond locks, the way his eyes widen with every stupid word I say, the speed and passion with which he talks.

He is, in all senses, a stranger to me.

I’ve never been one to feel this kind of magnetism right away. I have a very short list of men I’ve kissed because attraction is not something that blossoms very easily in my life. I’m always waiting. Wanting to want. Not wanting. Aching to figure out why no one satisfies. Why I’m stuck with all this empty resting in my body.

There have been haunting moments when I’ve wondered if I’m secretly just a shell; this thing hiding my hollow bones. I wear the human disguise well, but I know the truth. A carved pumpkin, I have nothing to show for inside. Knowing they will eventually dig up my remains and expose me for what I am. A sham. A trick. Something that didn’t feel much of what she claimed.

But he is touching my knee again and the tiniest hummingbird is rattling in my chest. So humming under my breath, break it free, Darling. Take it all.

He asks if I’d like to come over and I instinctually blurt out, “But my clothes will all stay on!” Lie. Lie. Lie. We’ve already been fucking each other the whole night. We both know our bodies have been patiently waiting to get horizontal with every anecdote. Not enough liquor in my body to explain why I’m so warm when he whispers in my ear. I want you, I want you.

We sit on the couch and nervously banter. He readjusts his glasses and I stereotypically play with my hair. Kids. Kids who are trying to fool the world that they’re not still kids down deep. Mouths moving with any words we can fit inside them. Until they aren’t. Until our mouths are done talking. Until they’ve found other body parts to discover.

His tongue is a winter day in Los Angeles,

I still wonder if I can survive such heat during a storm. TC mark

This Is How I’ll Miss You On New Year’s

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 01:56 PM PST

Emily Moy
Emily Moy

The clock ticks closer and closer to mark the beginning of the New Year. It's only 11:37 at night and there is alcohol streaming up and down the veins of my body. I'm trying to have a good time, and there is no reason why I shouldn't be having a good time. We just finished the year of 2015. We all worked hard, we didn't die or contract some scathing disease. Everyone around me is having a blast; the last games of beer pong and flip cup are ending as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight.

I am trying my hardest to live in the present moment, to maybe try and make out with the girl that's been hanging around me all night or maybe go get another drink or go to the dance floor.

At 11:59 is when I realize that I miss you, and that I miss you very dearly.

At 11:59 my mind races and flashes back to New Year's Eve of 2014. At 11:59 your sweet words that you painted on me just 12 months ago haunt me and make it completely impossible to lay my lips on some other girl.

I never wanted to picture a reality where I don't start 2016 without you but in one minute that reality will become entirely true.

Last year on New Year's Eve you told me that we were perfect for each other. That you didn't like me at first but that you could see us together for a very long time. Last year on New Year's Eve you told me that you and I were compatible, mentally, and sexually. You told me that no one makes you feel the way I made you feel. Last year on New Year's Eve you told me that I make you trip, and that you wanted me all for yourself.

And this New Year's Eve I can only imagine who it is that you are going to kiss at midnight.

I can only imagine what it would be like to still be with you, especially on a night like this.

It’s 11:59 and I am thinking about how fast I would need to drive to get to you in time so I can be the one you share that kiss with to kick off the New Year.

But even that thought is useless. The girl who told me all those things last year literally doesn't exist anymore, and I miss her every day. It's 11:59 and it dawns on me that I am just some guy who it didn't work out with; nothing less nothing more.

I am feeling so much, but so little at the same time. It’s 11:59 and I've never felt so powerless in my entire life. I've never wanted to share in the presence of another human being so badly that it literally hurts. And that's the awkward part, knowing that you and I are breathing the same air. We both look at the same night sky, but we are both so far away. At 11:59 I begin to miss the Snapchats I used to receive from you. I begin to miss your little hands, and your brown hair. At 11:59 I suddenly remember what the perfume you used to put on smells like. I compare the scent of your perfume to the girl standing in front of me looking into my eyes because she wants me to be her new year’s kiss, and it doesn't suffice.

It’s 11:59 and I am trying to think of the reason why things are so unfathomably different from a time just 12 months ago.

I am trying to figure out why lightning has a better chance of striking my left thumb twice than our stars aligning ever again. I am trying to figure out how I still have this fire inside of my heart that burns eternally bright at a temperature hot enough to melt the strongest of steel metals. Even though you left me behind many months ago I am going to bring you into 2016 with me.

So even though I wish that you still thought about me, even though I wish you still looked at our old texts, even though I wish a picture of you and I together existed in your eyes when that clock turns to midnight I will again realize that nothing has changed. I am going to keep that memory of you, the old you. I'll hold on to it tight, and kiss that girl who's been hanging around me all night at this party, and I'll just pretend that it was you. TC mark

Ten Ways I Learned to be Happy

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 01:55 PM PST

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To be happy is the goal that most people in this world strive for, but very rarely achieve. How can you possibly be happy every day, every second, every moment? Truth is, you can’t. You can’t because you are human and you are subject to experiencing a myriad of emotions – every feeling you could possibly imagine and more.

The feeling of complete happiness is as elusive as the elixir of eternal youth. But feeling a little happier everyday? Now that is entirely possible. Being a positive person? That is entirely possible too. As life passes, we all learn lessons in how to make ourselves happier. Here are ten important life lessons I have learned to bring happiness into my life everyday.

1.

Empty your heart of hate every single night and try, try, try with all your might to fill it with love for the next morning. (If you don't, you let it fester, and the only person you truly hurt is yourself.)

2.

No matter what happens to you, never ever lash out at someone who is trying to love you and make it better. (If they didn't love you, they wouldn't be there.)

3.

Learn from everyone, and keep an open mind. You are an ever evolving, ever growing soul and so is every person around you. (Everyone you meet knows something you don't.)

4.

Some days are going to be heartbreaking, hard and exceptionally challenging. And this is going to be so hard, but you need to find something to be thankful for especially on those days. (There is always something to be thankful for, even if sometimes it is really really hard to see.)

5.

Remember all the things that could have gone wrong, but haven’t. (It is so important to remember how often things could have been so much worse.)

6.

Forgive those who are cruel to you. (Some people have such dark demons, that they do not know how to control them. So instead, they unleash them on the world with their harsh words and unkind actions trying to relieve their tortured souls.)

7.

Tell the people that love you how much you appreciate them. (The people you love are not infinite sources of unconditional love. They need to be loved in return.)

8.

Do something kind for someone else everyday. (The world is full of people who need help. You will be amazed at how wonderful it feels to make someone else smile.)

9.

The moment you stop putting expectations on people and let them be who they are, is the moment that you become the person people are glad to know and call a friend. (Be patient. Just be patient.)

10.

You do not meet people by accident. Be kind to everyone. (Because everyone is carrying within them a great sadness that you only see in their eyes.) TC mark

This Is Why I Love The Snow

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 01:54 PM PST

Twenty20, LinaVeresk
Twenty20, LinaVeresk

I love the white that glints off the patio steps in my backyard, the stark contrast between earth and sky.

I love the red cardinal, feathers like blood, who perches on a snow-kissed tree root.

I love the sweet smell of pine in the winter, the way the branches bend and twist towards the sun.

I love the stillness of the ground, the quiet after a dusting, the way the world seems holy, untouched.

I love the snow because it reminds me of childhood. Of flushed cheeks and pink noses, of wet gloves and skin damp with cold and sweat. Of the hill down the block, of sleds made from garbage can lids, of pulling my sister in a circular sled up and down the iced-over street, of the first boy I ever loved, silent, sitting next to me on the edge of our man-made snow ramp.

The snow reminds me of nights past curfew, watching my breath fog the windows of my car and grow into small clouds that disappeared into the air. It reminds me of warm winter boots and fuzzy socks pulled over pale legs. It reminds me of the drive to college, and the thousands of miniature snowflakes that evaporated onto the windshield of my mother's car, wiped away. And wondering, then, if each snowflake really was different, and if anyone could possibly know.

Snow is the cold under my bare feet the one time I was angry and started running. It is the whimpers of my dog whose tiny padded soles burn with the salt. It is the muscles of my father's back as he shovels. It is the memory of my grandfather who died the winter of 1971. It is my car tires sliding into a snow bank. It is my sister, bundled like a marshmallow, building a snowman in the yard. It is the smells of my mother's Christmas dinner, filtering through the walls of the home I grew up in. It is the mark of the city I where I was raised. The white, melting, ever-changing foundation of the person I am. TC mark

Life Is An Adventure: Why You Should Give It Your All This New Year

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 12:17 PM PST

emorehs
emorehs

The end of the year, for all the admittedly overrated and sometimes superficial fanfare that surround it, provide the perception and feeling of closing out something, and getting that sense of finality because of it. Some people call this “closure.”

As I get older, as life doesn’t seem to have the same sense of beginnings and endings, checkpoints and marks to complete, I have also realized that I appreciate any sense of closure I get at all. I think at a certain point in your young adult years, you realize that closure is more of a privilege than a right. And oftentimes you have to “move on” from one thing to the next without the certainty of an ending.

I’ve been thinking about endings a lot lately. Well, to be honest, I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. I’ve had to in the last two years. I was thinking specifically about all the losses that my family and close friends and I, have experienced. It seemed greater in the last two years than in any other time of my life. Maybe that just comes with getting older.

From my last living grandparent – my maternal grandmother – to a friend I met in college, and then there are aunts and uncles who I knew of better in my younger years than now, but who all the same were my family; it was a period of loss. I did a headcount: Six. Six people who were near and dear to me and my loved ones passed away during this period of time.

I never really got to say a final goodbye to any of them – there was no closure. At least not in the way we popularly define the word and the concept. But in thinking about these deaths with a good friend who is much older than me, she said something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Being a religious and spiritual person, as it is important to note, she told me that, “There is no need for goodbye because now there exists no physical or spacial distance between you and your loved ones. They are with you always.”

There are many versions of the idea of a person’s spirit after they die, living with their loved ones. But there was something particularly brilliant in how my friend chose her words. This idea that prior to their death, there existed a physical distance between myself and some loved ones, but after death, there is no spacial distance, was a nuanced way to marry death and grief. I found a sort of closure in this knowledge too, but I also found something else: vigor.

beetlejuice

From the elderly to the middle-aged, when you’re young and in your twenties, all people ever insist on is that these are the best years of your life. They insist that, “youth is wasted on the young.” These years seem to contain the right amounts of responsibilities and freedom for many of us who are maybe unmarried, without children, and with the world supposedly at our feet.

I don’t deny that objectively, the twenties are a decade to love. Although I would argue so is every other decade one is alive. But I would argue too that the twenties, for me and many people I know, have been filled with uncertainty, anxiety, and the difficult work of growing up. And growing up, is hard. It is beautiful and inspiring and invigorating to learn and decide who you want to become, but it is also hard. This, mind you, comes from a person who is objective and confident enough to say that in general, I like who I am and who I am becoming. Not all of that person, but most of that person, most of the time.

Still, it can feel like one struggle after the next in your twenties. Apart from the ongoing struggle that is forming the person you are, there are the worries surrounding your choice(s) of education, employment, vocation, city to live in, whether to travel, who to love and how to love them, and the ways to build a family and support system outside of the one you know. And if you’re not intentional, you’ll soon find that you ended up with a bunch of things and people and places you didn’t plan to choose, and that maybe you don’t even want at all.

I suppose I’ve been very lucky in that respect. I’ve got a great family – both the one I was born into and the one I choose, I’m on the career path(s) that I enjoy, and I’ve got education – both formally and informally – that I truly believe is invaluable. But even as someone who fully admits to thinking a bit too much about everything and often, I sometimes still find myself feeling like I’m going through the motions. Which more than anything else, when I realize it, is something I cannot stand. I firmly believe that life should be active and deliberate, not passive and reactive.

beetlejuice

In contemplating all the losses that have been faced, and all the people whose spirits are now close to me, I’ve been thinking about how their lives are the very reason I have to go out and live mine as fully and as best as possible. Because though it’s been said a million times before and it’ll be said a million times more, life is short, and always ends too soon.

So even as I slightly scoff at myself for looking forward to a new year – which is mostly a man-made design for simplicity and structure, I am all the same grateful for the closure. I am grateful for the many lives who enrich mine by their presence, but especially for those whose presence is no longer limited by physics. Their lives are a reminder to me that this life is an adventure, and the only way to honor them, as well as those around me physically, is to always do the best I can in my life, knowing that “the best” is something that changes.

But all the same, what does this life look like? To me, it looks like the willingness to take risks and chances, to bet on yourself, to have the courage to keep faith and hope in the midst of trials; to love and be loved, to create and be formed, and to find the adventure in the extraordinary as well as the ordinary. That’s what I’m going to try to do more of this year anyway. I hope you’ll do the same. TC mark

This Is How To Finally Be Happy

Posted: 31 Dec 2015 11:36 AM PST

hannah.sommer
hannah.sommer

If there is a question in this world that I have always dreaded to ask myself, it's this:

Am I happy?

I wish I could say that I ask myself that as rarely as every monumental day during the year, but the truth is I find myself thinking it—or even saying it out loud—every other week. A tiny part of my heart can't help but feel like I'm missing something, and most of my brain agree with it. And since this sort of occasion is as extraordinary as the big bang, I'd have to take it as a pressing matter.

More often than not I curse myself from feeling such a horrid hollowness in my guts. I have so much to be thankful for, and to be honest; I could not find any crack in my life that I am discontented with. I can't. So why do I have this constant feeling that it is not enough? Why do I feel like there are greater things for me that I somehow cannot see? In the recesses of my heart there is a missing puzzle piece, and the thought that I might never discover it frightens me to my bones.

I've always had a perfect image in my mind of how I want my life to look like someday:

Racing through the busy traffic looking as kickass as Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, with a career as vibrant as Olivia Munn in The Newsroom, and an accomplishment as impressive as Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. Okay, yes, I realize that it is a long shot but really, how do I bring myself to settle for anything less? I have the blueprint of that dream in my head, but what if they're only lines and never concrete? What if I'll always be pleased but never happy?

Every particle in my being is telling me that there is something I need to look for, a clue that leads to the treasure. But like Nicolas Cage, all I keep finding are clues leading to other clues.

We all have those feelings we just can't brush off no matter how many distractions we provide ourselves, and for me, this is one of those feelings. This quest comes with a desire to find something new: a new place, new people, or perhaps, a fresh start. It feels like that missing piece is not here, it's not with anyone I know right now, and, God forbid, maybe not in this lifetime. How do you find something when you're not even sure what you're looking for? My search for that piece to fill the void is desperate, up to the point where it is becoming more and more disheartening.

I was never the kind of person who waits around for something to happen, or for someone to come along. So why does it feel like I suddenly am? Sure, I'm on a continuing journey of finding that missing piece, but I'm always looking at all the distant places. Down the road, round the corner, you name it. It suddenly dawned on me that I'm waiting. I'm waiting. Waiting to find that missing piece, waiting to be finally complete, waiting to be happy. When I thought I was taking charge of my future, I let myself forget how dynamic and uncertain the future is. I let myself forget that we only go to new places, meet new people, and experience a well-deserved fresh start when we are ready for them. But most of all, I let myself forget that this void only makes me human, not incomplete.

Am I happy?

I have been denying myself the privilege to say yes to that question. This quest I'm on have not been in vain, for I know now that I've been looking in all the wrong places. I know now that I have been looking out and tip-toeing around for something certainly uncertain, something that I will only find when I learn to embrace this hollowness and still be happy. Happy, perhaps, is not down the road. It's not around the corner. It's not in someone else's hands, nor it is in a distant place I've never visited. It's every single day.

It's every meal I have and every hand I shake, it's every book I read and every smile I see. It's within the void, not outside of it. Happiness, as I've come to realize, is right here. Happiness is right here, right now, or not at all.

So. Am I happy?

Yes I am. TC mark