Thought Catalog


Life Is Better When It’s A Little Uncertain

Posted: 27 Feb 2016 08:15 AM PST

Andreas Rønningen
Andreas Rønningen

Life is better when it’s a little uncertain. Why? Because uncertainty leaves room for the unexpected.

The problem is that many of us have been trained to seek the sure thing. To place our bets on what looks most likely, and to rest in the conviction of assurance. This is especially true if in some shape or form, you find yourself in many comfortable positions and places in your life.

But comfort is overrated, and not only because it is often mistaken for happiness. Comfort, for all its enticement, can be a hindrance to drive, and to destiny. Comfort can be the greatest Achilles Heel.

Uncertainty however, often prompts action and innovation. From the angst of worrying about survival, the human spirit can soar to heights previously unknown. But at the very least, uncertainty reveals character. It discloses whether we are people of fortitude who persevere, and people of faith who hold onto hope. Or whether we are people who shrink into smaller versions of ourselves when the time to stand up and be counted has arrived.

But uncertainty is seldom romantic. It can be overwhelming and overpowering. It can make one anxious. It can make one an observer, rather than a participant in one’s own life. It can paralyze even the most steadfast of humans. Uncertainty, in other words, can be a figurative bastard.

But I wager that life is still better with it, than without it. Life is less mundane. Life is more of a challenge. Life is less predictable. Life is more of a chance to be savored. Life is less discernible, indeed. But life is also full of surprises, and sometimes with uncertainty, come the best surprises.

The truth, I think, is that when we pause to ponder about life in general and our own lives specifically, life does not exist without uncertainty. In fact, certainty in life looks a lot like it’s end – death.

So whatever uncertainties you face, or you suspect you might face, take heart that you are alive. And because you are, though challenges may be faced because of the tragedy of uncertainty, challenges too, might also be conquered. TC mark

Don’t Wake Up Alone On A Saturday Morning

Posted: 27 Feb 2016 08:02 AM PST

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Jesse Herzog 

Your life is changing in small, important ways every day. The structure is no longer holding, no longer able to stay glued together, so certain things are having to leave you when you’re asleep. They’re so quiet, so considerate when they abandon you, that I bet you don’t even notice.

They call this growing up, or something similar to it. You wake up on a Saturday morning and realize everything has become unrecognizable to you. The gauze has been lifted! When did this happen? Oh right, when you were sleeping. They came in at night and started to peel things away from you like an orange. They were careful not to cut the center, they were careful not to let any juice drip on the bedspread your mother bought for you. They wanted your life to look familiar to you, didn’t want to shock you completely, so they kept some things intact. Some things, not everything. Guess what’s gone? Wrong. Guess again.

You woke up on a Saturday and came to the sudden realization that you were all alone, that everything you had surrounded yourself with Monday through Friday, all the happy hours and all the business lunches and all those technological noises you drenched your earbuds in: it all added up to zero. You feel like a fool, don’t you? You played the game like everyone asked you to and still managed get to this place of complete and utter loneliness and alienation. Where did you go wrong? Do you need to send another text message to someone? Do you need to pay another credit card off or have another Great Night Out? What can you do to feel more connected to the things around you?

On Friday night, everyone was right next to you. There was Olivia and Taylor and Ethan and Josh and Michael and Sarah, and they were all here by your side laughing and drinking and taking pictures. No one left till the morning and you went to bed just as the sun was hitting your eyes. When you woke up, it was three p.m. and already dark out. You found out that, while you were sleeping, Josh married Olivia and they moved to the country somewhere. Sarah went to grad school and had a baby in New Hampshire. She’s gone. She wrote the last chapter of her book and she’ll never be relevant to you again. You wonder what happened to Michael. Well, let’s see. You loved Michael more than what was good for you and after sleeping with him for five years, it fell down like a game of cards. You don’t have the right to speak to him anymore. You lost it when you lost him. Say good-bye to that. Ethan is living in Portland and makes annoying Facebook updates about his life as a mountain climber and Taylor became a heroin addict. Just kidding! She writes books about organic farming.

How did this all happen when you were sleeping? How did you manage to sleep through all of these events? You were asleep and now you’re awake but it’s too late. Everyone else already went to bed and now you’re just alone and awake on a Saturday morning and that’s it. This is it. Never fall asleep again. TC mark

10 Things You Learn From Being Raised By A Good Man

Posted: 27 Feb 2016 04:47 AM PST

Twenty20, brittleighhhh
Twenty20, brittleighhhh

1. You learn that emotions are neither masculine nor feminine. A good man knows that feeling is natural, whether you're a boy or a girl, so he teaches his children to embrace their emotions. Tears don't make a person weak, and "girly" isn't a synonym for vulnerability. We all feel sad, angry, confused, happy, scared, tired and bored sometimes. And we're all equally entitled to express our moods however we see fit. Emoting isn't the realm of either sex.

2. You learn that men and women are equals. Your dad was always just as likely to cook or do the dishes as your mom was to mow the lawn or take out the garbage. When it comes to selecting hobbies, after school activities, courses, interests, and clothing, you’ve been trained to disregard gender altogether. You've watched your mom and dad operate as a unit and long ago internalized the concept of equality of the sexes.

3. You learn that you're beautiful. A good man adores his children and makes them feel beautiful at all times—when they’re looking somewhat grubby in their PJs on a Saturday afternoon, and when they’re dressed in their best for their first school dance. When a good man looks at you, his eyes always exude positivity, warmth, and acceptance. So you learn to accept yourself as you are, feeling self-assured in your own skin no matter what you're wearing.

4. You also learn that you are so much more than your looks. You know that you are beautiful, but that your appearance doesn't actually matter all that much—at least not compared to your personality, heart, and brain. There are so many characteristics that define you as a human being beyond the physical stuff—so many more important traits aside from facial features, height, and weight. You know this, and you're glad that's the case.

5. You learn that you really can do anything. A good man sets you up to believe that there's no limit to what you can achieve, as long as you're willing to work hard and keep trying. You’ve never felt bound by conventions or norms in carving out your ambitions. Dad never laughed at your grand plans or derailed your dreams, no matter how impossible they seemed. Instead, he always encouraged you to go for it.

6. You learn to keep going, no matter what. A good man teaches the value of failure—that every single experience is worth something as long as you take the time to extract a lesson from it. When you're down and out, he urges you to take some time to heal, then implores you to move forward. Because Life doesn't stop for anyone.

7. You learn that you deserve to be treated well. When you grow up witnessing firsthand how a good man treats people, you develop a sense of justice. You know that it's your responsibility to respect others, and that you too deserve to be treated respectfully. You don't bother with people who are rude or mean. You are kind, and you demand the kindness you deserve in exchange.

8. You learn that there's no rush to settle down. A good man never pressures his kids to date or to find a mate “before it's too late." He lets them blossom at their own speed, never enforcing the notion that finding a life partner or entering into marriage is essential to personal happiness. He imparts that there are many paths to fulfillment, and that it's your job to carve out your own, with or without a spouse.

9. You learn that you have a permanent fan. Your dad will always love you, even when you mess up royally. He understands. He forgives. He listens. He's there for you. He is your rock, even when you don't really deserve one.

10. You learn that you're lucky. As the years pass and you encounter jerk after jerk—bullies and internet trolls and frenemies and two-timing bitches—you'll you look back on your upbringing and think, "Wow, I'm lucky." There are so many assholes out there, but you were raised by one of the good ones. TC mark