Thought Catalog


“Cerise” & 32 Other Secret Colors That Capture Your Most Intimate Moments

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 08:15 PM PST

SecretColor
Jeff Issy

Calamine

CALAMINE

Calamine is the color of the trail your lover laced along your skin the night you told them you loved them for the first time.

Amaranth

AMARANTH

Amaranth is the color of the five cent bubblegum you were always caught chewing in middle school.

Thistle

THISTLE

Thistle is the color that sank beneath your skin when your bruises surfaced to tell stories of the experiences you adventured through as a young and fearless child.

Flint

FLINT

Flint is the color of the graphite words you patched along a piece of porcelain journaling paper when you were younger and trying to make sense of your feelings.

Heliotrope

HELIOTROPE

Heliotrope is the color of the voracious laughter that fills the air between two best friends who haven't seen each other in months.

Cerise

CERISE

Cerise is the color your heart beats when you look at someone in the middle of a conversation and truly internalize just how deeply you care for them.

Tyrian

TYRIAN

Tyrian is the color of intimate anticipation, the hue that hangs in the air on first dates, the shade that lingers between desire and longing.

Azure

AZURE

Azure is the color of the kind of uncertainty that leaves you feeling both hopeful and uplifted.

Cerulean

CERULEAN

Cerulean is the color of the feeling that washes over you when you go for a walk and notice that the streets are empty, and that everything is still.

Aegean

AEGEAN

Aegean is the color that was stamped along your bedroom walls when you stared at them late at night, wondering if someone was waiting for you.

Catalina

CATALINA

Catalina is the color that calmly bleeds into the night sky minutes before the twilight breaks.

Chartreuse

CHARTREUSE

Chartreuse is the color of every spontaneous decision you have ever made, the color of questionable, yet invigorating, memories.

Viridian

VIRIDIAN

Viridian is the color of the wanderlust that thrives within your bones, the color of the vibrations that surge within you whenever you think about all that still needs to be discovered.

Birch

BIRCHBirch is the color of the bark that acted as a canvas for your adolescent love, the color of the initials of you and your first crush that still adorns the trunks of trees in your hometown.

Bisque

BISQUE
Bisque is the color of the warm and balmy sheets you wrap around yourself whenever you fold fresh laundry.

Laurel

LAUREL

Laurel is the color of your favorite freckles in the eyes of the person you love.

Alabaster

ALABASTER

Alabaster is the color of the sugar your father would scoop into his bitter coffee right before he would pick you up in his arms to kiss you goodbye in the morning.

Sable

SABLE

Sable is the color of the sand you pressed your feet into the first day you saw the Ocean.

Fallow

FALLOW

Fallow is the color of the dryness in your mouth that soaks your words with nervousness before you open yourself up to vulnerability.

Maize

MAIZE

Maize is the color that floods into your apartment at 7am, blanketing every corner of your room in a new beginning.

Aureolin

AUREOLIN Aureolin is the color of the Sun's promise, the bright and radiant reminder of warmth even in the middle of December.

Citrine

CITRINE

Citrine is the color of the traffic signs and flashing lights you always find yourself counting on long, winding car rides.

Amber

AMBER

Amber is the color of the honey you tasted on the soft lips of the first person you ever kissed.

Sandstone

SANDSTONE

Sandstone is the color of your mother's unconditional, and eternal, love on the days you have done something disappointing or silly.

Persimmon

PERSIMMON

Persimmon is the color of the fires that ignite within you whenever you reconnect with your hunger and thirst for life.

Coquelicot

COQUELICOT

Coquelicot is the color you see whenever you think about that summer abroad, it is the color of foreign cars, and foreign love.

Vermilion

VERMILION

Vermilion is the color that seeps into your cheeks whenever you have had too much to drink, whenever you catch someone admiring you from across the room.

Argent

ARGENT

Argent is the color you see reflected in the glaze that dances within someone's eyes moments after they have wiped their tears.

Pewter

PEWTER

Pewter is the color of overcast skies, the smell of a wet sidewalk after a sun storm in the middle of Spring.

Sepia

SEPIA

Sepia is the color of the present becoming memory.

Garnet

GARNET

Garnet is the color of the dirt that Summer braided within your hair, settled along your feet, and placed beneath your fingernails.

Hickory

HICKORY

Hickory is the color of the beauty marks that are embroidered along your limbs like intimately personal constellations.

Obsidian

ALABASTER

Obsidian is the color that is imprinted behind your eyelids, the color that primes every blink, and every dream; the color of your very thoughts. TC mark

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

Pasted image at 2016_02_26 03_41 PM

This Is How You Will Heal

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 08:00 PM PST

Jesse Herzog
Jesse Herzog

I know these past few months have been pretty rough for you. But if you're reading this then, it means that you've finally made it through everything. So, congratulations. Heartbreaks are never easy anyway, especially when he walked out just when you unraveled before his eyes. Distance was supposed to make it easy, but he has touched your mind so much, and opened up so much of yourself that it became harder than ever. You became vulnerable, and maybe that was your worst nightmare.

You have been filled with self-loathing and constant rage, but believe it or not, you don't deserve to be treated that way. So I am begging you please, please, be nice to yourself. Love yourself. Even though you feel like you have nothing and no one else to hold on, you are still going to survive. Someday, someone is going to look at you like he's never seen stars in any eyes before. He's going to love you hard, and when he says he does, please believe him. Someone is going to describe you as if he's describing the vast horizon of the Grand Canyon, or the sunset, or the northern lights. He's going to miss you everyday, and he's going to do the best he can do to make you happy.

See, girl? You deserve to be loved.

But in order to get there, I beg you—I am really begging you—to stop being mean to yourself. Please, please, please find a way to love yourself. Be gentle to your body, as it spends every second providing you life and shelter. Appreciate what your system has done for you and your well-being. Stop starving yourself. Stop using alcohol as an escape. It's not fair for you and your body. Please, stop breaking yourself. Instead, start eating healthy. Starving yourself won't get you anywhere. Think healthy. Start being positive about yourself and people around you. Live healthy.

Another one is, start being nice to other people too. Please wear the "smile" thing. I swear you look good in it. I know you claim to be fiercely independent, but being nice won't give away your independency, right? This also applies on friendships. Please, stop pushing your friends away. Stop leaving. Stop drifting away. Sometimes, they miss you a lot. You might not know this then, but now I do. Stop treating your friends like they are disposable. I understand that you just wanted to keep your distance from people, you try to make yourself seem unapproachable so that they won't hurt you. Stop thinking so badly about people, honey. You've hurt more people than they've hurt you.

I repeat then, someone is going to love you so much that you will finally find the beauty in it. You're going to stop relating vulnerability with weakness. It is the strongest quality that one can ever earn. Not everyone is brave enough to come fully naked and bare, and not everyone is strong enough for the outcome. So, go ahead. Jump in. Be vulnerable. If that someone really loves you, he will never take advantage of it.

Until then, please be happy with yourself. Smile. Take care of your skin. Eat that cheeseburger, then go on a jog. Take selfies. Remind yourself how beautiful you actually are. Your body needs you, and you need your body. Please take care of it well.

Most importantly, love. Hard. Love fiercely. Love joyfully. Love someone so much, because you deserve the same if not greater amount of love. You deserve to be loved. Always be patient. Be kind. Be happy. People care about you.

You might be scared to jump again after this, but this is how you will heal. I know there's still a tiny piece of you that's reluctant about the idea of love, but you are strong, and you love fiercely. It may take some time to heal, dear. It is okay. Take all the time you need.

Remember, if you truly love him, set him free. If he comes back, then he is yours.

Meanwhile you're getting at that, please, please, please, love yourself. This is the only way you will heal. TC mark

8 Stupid Simple Ways To Guarantee An Epic Orgasm

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 07:30 PM PST

Photo by OnaArtist.com
Photo by OnaArtist.com

1. Focus.

It may sound kinda dumb, but I told you these tricks would be stupid! ;) If your goal is to have an epic orgasm, you’ve gotta want it. Tell yourself you’re giving your parter the best damn luvin’ s/he’s every received, contract those pelvic muscles, and voilĂ ! You’ll be climaxing like never before.

2. Make lube your best friend.

TRUST: Lube will be the key to your sexual success. In order to enjoy sex, being properly lubricated for the act is a MUST. Do yourself a major solid and add a fat tub of coconut oil—nature’s (incredible) lube—to your next Amazon shipment. It smells delicious, it melts on contact with your skin, and it’ll change your sex life, guaranteed.

3. Take. Your. Tiiiime.

One of the best ways to enhance your sexual pleasure is to ease your way into sex. Don’t rush it—spend at least a half an hour touchin’ and teasin’ before you get to bangin’. A hot, occasional quickie is always fun, but generally, the slower the burn, the bigger the O.

4. Cuddle!

For real. Cuddling (and other intimate love-gestures) prompts your body to release oxytocin—the “love hormone”—which, in turn, delivers a far grander finale.

5. Make sure you’re getting ample practice.

If you don’t know how to pleasure yourself, your partner never will. Do the both of you a favor and get to know your body and what makes it tingle—alone—on a regular basis.

6. Go toy shopping.

It’s 2016, y’all. If the human body and all its accoutrements aren’t enough to give you the pleasure you need, stop by your friendly neighborhood sex shop, and pick up some reinforcements.

7. Show your clit serious love!

YOUR CLITORIS IS VERY NEEDY, I repeat, YOUR CLITORIS IS VERY NEEDY! If you’re not showing her the love and attention she deserves, you’re cheating yourself out of the best sex you can have. Get her involved. Always!

8. And, finally, do your damn kegels!

Life hack for women everywhere tryna climax: Once a day, when you go pee, hold your urine flow for 10 seconds. It’s low-key hard af, but it’s a great way to strengthen your pelvic muscles, and strong pelvic muscles = FIRE orgasms! TC mark

How To Not Cry When He Dies

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST

Epicurean
Epicurean

Don’t cry when he dies.

Get a phone call that the inevitable has finally happened and forget how to breathe. Wonder if your lungs will ever be the same, if deflating feels like this. Cough and choke on air like it’s somehow gone down the wrong way, an incorrect pipe. Notice your entire body shaking, slightly. Barely visible at first, then harder. More violently. Dig your fingernails straight into your chest, like you have to free your heart from its cage or it will break beyond repair.

Like if you don’t rip out all your organs before they see, you will be just one more thing flatlining.

But don’t cry.

Tell Mom you don’t want to go inside the house yet. If you don’t go inside, you won’t see him. You won’t see the finality. The body. The team of people lifting him into a bag. Strangers you’ve never met touching him.

Isabelle is barking in the master bedroom because she knows he is being taken away. She has not left his side since he came home from the hospital and bites whenever people come too close. All 8 pounds of her, ready to draw blood if they even try. You can hear her going nuts, begging someone to let her out so she can save him.

Everyone is touching him and Isabelle is locked away, and he can’t tell them to stop. You imagine opening the door and Isabelle leaping into his arms, the jolt he needs to open his eyes again.

That’s my girl, that’s my girl.

And then, it’s done. The bed sits empty with fresh indents still waiting for someone to return. You rush to your room. Mom hangs in the doorway, an apparition barely tethered to the ground. Avoid looking her directly in the eyes, they are swollen and burgundy from her physical grief. If you don’t look at things, they aren’t really there. This is a statement you’ve tricked yourself into believing. Walk around with eyes looking down and it won’t be so bad.

Just don’t look at that stuff. That’s how you’ll keep from crying. Just don’t look. Don’t accept. Don’t admit.

Refuse to let yourself feel a thing. TC mark

Why Searching For ‘The One’ Will Ruin You

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 06:30 PM PST

Franca Gimenez
Franca Gimenez


The one
isn’t real.

There is not a single person out there that is perfect for you in every way, a person who will give you chills every second of the day, a person who will make you feel like your heart is about to explode every moment that you are with them. There is not a person out there who will never annoy you, a person with whom you can guarantee it will last forever, a person who you will love at a million miles an hour, always, without faltering, without having peaks and valleys. There is not a person out there for you who will never screw up, a person who will stare at you adoringly without ever getting angry, a person who will be able to solve every problem, whether internal or external, that you’ve ever had. There is no person out there who is the secret solution to your depression, or your self-loathing, or your issues with your mom, or your deep-rooted insecurity, or your inability to get that promotion, or your problems with your own body.

There may be someone out there who can make things better. Someone to lift you up, to help you bandage your wounds, to make you laugh and to make you feel loved. There might be a person out there who will give you chills, who will make your heart feel fuller than it’s ever been, who will, at times, make you feel like your feelings for them are moving at a million miles an hour.

But they are still human.

If you are lucky enough to find them, you will also find that sometimes, they annoy you so much that you want to throw a book at the wall. Sometimes, your heart feels perfectly comfortable the way it is around them – at its regular, relaxed size. Sometimes, you will find that your love for them is moving at ten miles an hour, or – if they’ve really screwed up – is frozen for a tense second or two.

The idea that there is someone out there so perfect for us that we scoff at the idea of divorce – because how could you ever get a divorce, when loving them is so easy? It’s tempting to think about this idea, to bask in it, to practically drown inside of it without even realizing what’s happening. It’s tempting because it’s an escape from everyday life – from the stories we hear, both about celebrities and about people we personally know, about scandal, infidelity, abuse, mistreatment, divorce. We’re sympathetic and empathetic creatures, so we feel deeply for the people who have lost a chance at love. But we’re also thinking about ourselves, about how we never, ever want to feel that way, how we never, ever want to go through that.

So we turn back to the one. And convince ourselves that we won’t deal with struggle, doubt, or conflict, as long as we find them.

Those types of people don’t exist, the ones who are free of sin, mistakes, poor choices, annoying quirks, difficult pasts.

The one isn’t real. But what is real is a relationship that you fight for. One that becomes all the more special, and all the more strong, because you decide that it is worth it. When you find someone you love that truly loves you back, someone that doesn’t fix your problems but makes you at least feel like you could tackle said problems with them by your side, you make a choice. A choice to fight together through the debt, or the loss of parents, or the mortgage, or the stagnation that come your way. A choice together to fight through even the more mundane problems – arguments over who will take care of the dishes, your irritation when they forget to turn out the light, your frustration when they whine about going to a dinner party with you.

You make a choice, to work through those things, every day. Because the one isn’t real. The one is boring and unremarkable. But the person who can simultaneously make your heart explode and frustrate you so much that you want to scream – that’s extraordinary. Because it’s the realist thing there is. TC mark

This Is How I Promise To Love You

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 06:00 PM PST

Yuri Arcurs
Yuri Arcurs

When I love you, my love will be bigger than all of the love you should have received all combined together. My love will make up for all the times people forgot to make you feel loved and worth it. I will love you like how the darkness swallows the city and how the sun engulfs and warms your soul.

I will take you to art galleries and museums where we can argue on what each artwork really depicts only to agree in the end that it's all about perspective. Everything is all about perspective… just like how I would always see you as the most beautiful person on earth even when other people don't think so. We will go on road trips until we reach the very end and we'll stay there counting the stars in the sky as if we could collect them in our hands.

I will love you like how I love my books. I will read between the lines, asking you questions no one bothered to. I will explore your every depth until I can say that I know you like the back of my hand.

I will write about you daily and endlessly. I will immortalize you with my words. I will write about you in a way that makes anyone who reads it fall in love with you too, but I will also make sure that I will keep a piece of you hidden – a piece of you only for me. I will read you poetry for when you are down, stressed, happy, or even when you don't know what you are feeling. I will never force you to understand your feelings. Rather, I will help you slowly fathom your emotions and we can experience them all together.

I will always remember the difference between the color of your eyes under the light and in the darkness. I will memorize every resemblance you have with the galaxy and everything in it, like how your eyes are as olive as the lakes in spring, or how your collarbones remind me of a fallen bamboo tree, or how your freckles put the stars to shame.

I will take photos of you when you are not aware of it, because what better way to capture your beauty other than when you are being nothing else but you. Besides, I don't take photos of the sunset and ask it to do something else other than to simply exist. You will be surprised at how beautiful you are even when you are asleep, dreaming or not. And even when you don't think you are, I will never get tired of insisting that you are simply because you are, darling. You are.

Every night, I will take you in my arms, and we will drift away to sleep slowly and never wake up apart. I will run my fingers through your hair and trace my fingertips across your skin as if I you are a map and I am a traveler eager to explore your every city. I will sing to your ear to help you sleep and I will kiss your forehead when your dreams are not as nice as our reality.

I will need you like how the snow needs the sun to melt or how the night sky needs the stars to illuminate. I will desire you with every gaze, every touch, and every kiss. I will memorize your morning routine, and how many teaspoons of sugar you put in your coffee. I will hold your hand when we're walking down the street, driving into the sunset, and even when you're on your way to achieve your dreams. We will lay out all our plans and dreams on a table and we will be with each other every step of the way.

When I love you, I will never be afraid to let the whole world know. There will be no reservations and no shame, simply because we will be living proofs that love exists even in the most indifferent of places, also proving that two people can ignite a fire to give light to those who are in doubt or lost. I will be willing to sacrifice. I will be willing to undergo days of storm because I have no doubt that in the end you will be both my rainbow and light. I will exhaust all love in my heart and pour them onto yours and I will trust you to do the same.

When things get difficult or if we get lost along the way, I will hold your hand a little tighter, I will sing to you a little louder, I will kiss you a little longer because when a love like ours arrives, I will definitely want it to stay, so I will fight hard even when I have not won a battle before. We will never let go; we will never give up. Because when I love you, it means that you are every reason, every hope, every guarantee, and every answer, and I will do everything to not be in doubt again. TC mark

This Is How I Will Love You

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 05:30 PM PST

Silvia Sala
Silvia Sala

When I first meet you, it will be exciting and it will be passionate. I will think of you all the time, and I will smile on my way to work. I will want to see you all the time and we will text each other all day every day. I have the hormones in my brain to blame for all the butterflies and sunshine.

I want to love you, not for a few thrilling weeks or months, but for a lifetime.

As time goes on, the passion will slowly fade and it will start to feel a little mundane. I will start to question if I made the right choice and if you are the right guy for me. I will freak out wondering if I am doing the right thing and it will show in my words and behavior. I will start to find faults and notice the flaws. This is when I will remind myself that I chose to invest in you, and you come with a combination of perfection and imperfections.

You will see my weaknesses and you will find more blemishes. No one has only one side. We all have a part inside of us that is hurt, broken, and abused.

I will not run at the first sign of conflict. I will fight with you, but I will fight fair. I will not let my ego get in the way, and I will apologize when I am wrong. I will never belittle you to make myself feel better, because I know that would only make us both feel worse. 

I will not let the passion die, but what will grow is my compassion for you. I will grow to like you more, I will start to accept you for the good and the bad, because you are human and so am I. I may not like it, but I will learn to compromise and I will learn to make sacrifices, I will practice being less selfish.  

I will never treat you like an option; you will be my only choice. I will give you a real chance so you can bring out the best in me, and I will bring out the best in you. I will not wonder what else could be out there (because there will always be something out there), because I made a choice to choose you and I will stick with it.

I won't be scared to be attached to you because I want to be with you. I want to frolic with you in our beautiful days and hold your hand during your difficult times.

We have to wait for all good things in life, and you will never be an instant gratification. I will never rush into anything. You will always be a long term emotional investment that will not always be smooth, but it will be worth the journey. People are made of beautiful qualities, and often we do not notice it until they are no longer in our lives. I have overlooked those beautiful qualities in the past, and realized it much too late. But I will never take you for granted.

I will support your dreams and stand by your side. I will always encourage you and be so proud of you. I will also tell you when you are being an idiot or mean.

I will have to make some difficult choices, and I will doubt myself and I will doubt us. I will never forget that relationships aren’t easy, that I did not choose to be with you for convenience, and I will handle whatever comes my way with maturity, patience, and a chilled glass or two of white wine.

There will be times when I will not like you and I will not want to be around you. You will frustrate me and annoy me, and I will want to leave but I won't. I will make you feel the same, but no matter what hurdles come our way, I will not give up on you, I will not give up on us.  I will not let us fall apart. I will not forget to love you and I will not forget what love is, even when it gets rough.

I will not go cry on another man's shoulder for the attention, after we have a fight. I will not say bad things about you to my friends when we have an argument. I will never wander. I will always remember you have a heart that feels for me. I will never cheat on you, because I could never hurt you.

I will love you unconditionally, with the possibility that you could break my heart in an instant, but knowing you never will. I will treat you like the most amazing thing in the world; I will treat you better than you have ever been treated. I promise that and I will always be kind.

I will let the whole world know of us, but never the details about us.

The only thing that matters is that you love me and you make me happy, what else is there to think about? 

This is how I will love you, because I chose to invest in you, and I will keep my word. And I will expect the same from you. TC mark

14 Women Reveal The Most Surprising Trait That Gets Them To Swipe Right Every Single Time

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 05:00 PM PST

via lookcatalog
via lookcatalog

1. “If he’s wearing a suit in a candid pic out with friends. This does it for me every time. It’s kind of my kryptonite.”

—Janice, 23

beetlejuice

2. “A good variety of photos is soooo important. The main thing though is to subtly include a shirtless pick but for the love of God not in front of a mirror or something. Include a shirtless pic in a location that makes sense like the beach. It shows they have class and brains and, hopefully, a six pack.”

—Amber, 22

beetlejuice

3. “Corny lines and things like that work if I even find them mildly attractive. I tend to talk to those people quicker and longer than people who just start with ‘what’s up’. I guess it’s because it shows they’re at least trying to be funny. Effort counts for a lot.”

—Denise, 25

beetlejuice

4. “I know it’s a scam but I usually will swipe right on a guy with a puppy pic even if it’s just because I hope to one day play with that puppy.”

—Melissa, 25

beetlejuice

5. “Aside from physical attraction, a positive and happy bio is a must for me. If your bio is brooding or seems like you didn’t really care when you wrote it up then I’m 100% likely to swipe left. Broody bios are enough to make a really attractive guy seem unapproachable.”

—Kate, 27

beetlejuice

6. “Have money. Just saying. I’m more likely to give it a shot.”

—Farah, 26

beetlejuice

7. “What I actually really love is pictures of a dude doing something he’s really good at. It almost doesn’t matter what it is because what it really tells me is that he’s able to spend time concentrating and getting good at something. People can be so lazy in their own lives so this really does it for me.”

—Catherine, 24

beetlejuice

8. “Anything that sets you apart from the pack. There are so many bearded hipstery microbrew guys on tinder that they all become a blur. If you look like you just sort of do your own thing and enjoy it then I’m much more likely to want to get to know you. I like independent thinkers who aren’t trying to be anything but themselves.”

—Natalie, 28

beetlejuice

9. “Guys that smile with their eyes. Those guys have heart!”

—Helen, 21

beetlejuice

10. “Guys that are just on Tinder for hookups, if you’re clear about that then I’m far more likely to hook up with you. There still seems to be this myth out there that girls don’t want to just hookup and that it’s all scam to get your babies. It’s not, be up front about what you want and you might just be my hookup.”

—Bea, 26

beetlejuice

11. “Don’t be afraid to post a flirty pic and by flirty I mean a mischievous smile or something like that. I like when I feel like a guy is communicating with his picture.

Don’t post a mug shot. This isn’t prison.”

—Lisa, 27

beetlejuice

12. “Dudes, check your grammar. There’s no silver bullet to making me swipe right but I will swipe left so fast my finger gets a friction burn if you misspell ‘hello’.”

—Jackie, 25

beetlejuice

13. “I want to know a guy has a life. Rather than just posting a bunch of pics of yourself, post things that show you doing things with other people. That way I at least know that someone likes you and that you like to get out be social.”

—Cynthia, 27

beetlejuice

14. “Photos of your body without your head tell me you’re married. If you’re not married then you’re telling people that you’re a cheater.

I’ve dated all different kinds of guys so there’s no one way I’ll swipe right. Usually it’s something random that I notice but I’ve also had guy friends who just posted pics of their body because either they were embarrassed to be on Tinder or because they thought their body was better looking that their face. They had no idea they were selling themselves as skeezy cheaters.”

—Tabitha, 26 TC mark

8 Things We Often Forget To Thank Our Exes For After A Break Up

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 04:30 PM PST

Chiara Cremaschi
Chiara Cremaschi

1. Showing us what we want.

Regardless of the outcome of the relationship, or how big of a jerk a former flame may have been each ex teaches us a little something about what it is we want. Whether it was your instant attraction to their confidence or the way they always ordered for you at dinner, it may be as simple as the way they held your hand. None the less even from the worst relationship we walk away a little bit clearer on what it is we are looking for in our next.

2. Showing us what we don't want.

Just like the worst of relationships can teach us what we do want, even the best of relationships can show us what we don't want. Granted we will never find perfection, but past relationships shows us where out tolerance ends, which pesky habits we can shrug off and what traits are clear deal breakers.

3. The things we keep, like socks.

Trust me on this one. While I am a firm believer in the post break up purge (ridding your draws of all items that belongs to the enemy), there is one thing I can never find myself able to part with. Socks. Men's dress socks blow any women's "boot sock" out of the water, they are light and tight they stay up and don't itch and their every day socks are typically those cool dry fit ones that you would never find yourself buying but over all improve your day. And please do not forget about the one pair of over sized knee high wool knitted socks that you stole the one time it was just a bit too chilly, they are warm feet hugs. Be grateful.

4. Opportunity on both ends of the spectrum.

While in the moment it may be hard to comprehend, each break up is a blessing that propels us into a sea of opportunity. As happy as you may have been, relationships are constricting. We second guess taking chances wondering how it may impact our lover, we lack the motivation to seek new ventures and we close our doors to all prospects that are batting their eyes and waiting patiently on the sideline. He may not of been right for you, but thank him are walking away and giving the one an opportunity to walk in. On the flip side we must also look back and appreciate the opportunity we were given. More and more we hear of the pain and agony behind the "almost break up" you know the one that follows the "almost relationship" with that one guy you still can't close the book on because the opportunity was never there.

5. The clarity to see things for what they actually are.

Relationships are like allergies, they put us in this fog, this false sense of security where we find it a little too easy to avoid problems and pretend we are happy. Break ups are like seeing clearly now that the rain is gone, we find ourselves snapping back into a sense of reality, realizing that you are not ok with those 20 pounds you put on and living pay check to pay check just for the sake of living with a significant other is not smart. We realize the status quo is not how we want to live.

6. Giving us our lives back.

We all lose ourselves in relationships, some more than other and all in different ways. We are all guilty of pushing off that yoga class week after week just because Wednesday nights is always date night. We don't think twice about that awesome job opportunity in California because they thought of move cross country without Boo would make you miserable. We skip on that Friday night out with the girls, because what is the point, right? Break ups bitch slap us with motivation, it gives us that extra energy to try out kick boxing and helps us muster up the courage to approach that cute guy at the mall. There is something liberating about having no one else to live for but ourselves, our lives become ours again without another individual to take in account, no one to answer to but ourselves.

7. Time we otherwise wouldn’t get back.

More time than not, the initial break up reaction is "I can't believe he wasted x amount of years" we sob over the fact that we have been robbed of valuable time that could have been spent with Mr. Right. We forget that this person gave us their time, they have given us x amount of years of their own lives and will never get that time back. We forget to put things in perspective, while 2 years of our lives might have been wasted, by making the decision to walk away they are saving our time. They are saving us the death bed regrets and mid life crisis of a divorced single mom because some jack ass didn't have the balls to walk away at 23 when he really knew it would never work out.

8. All of the memories.

At first, memories will be that salt in your wound and the knife in your back; but years down the road you will look back and laugh at the night you drank way too much and shared a dominos pizza in bed. You will drive past that old street sign, the one where your middle school love leaned in and gave you your first kiss. As much as we would like to forget these haunting moments we can't because they have shaped us, each memory regardless of how minuscule has lead us to where we are today. Look back and smile. TC mark

In The Age Of Disillusionment, Never Stop Crying

Posted: 28 Feb 2016 04:00 PM PST

via Flickr - HollyEma
via Flickr – HollyEma

This is a note for all those who've cried, "That's it. I've lost faith in humanity," or wept, "I give up. There's nothing I can do to help."

It's a note for those of us who've tried to save the world, but slunk home with our heads down in shame. It's for us millennials who are mocked for our idealism in the face today's harsh realities.

I myself have hung my head low, traveling through each stage of disillusionment and their corresponding tears.

When I came back from India in 2006, I burst into tears in my high school photoshop class. My teacher Mr. Millet pulled up a chair besides me, hugged me, and listened through my sobs—"I can't believe people live like that. They are just so poor. Dirt everywhere. Nothing is clean, no water, no nothing! We are so blessed in America." Sweet tears, teenage tears, tears of shock and pity. Later as a grad student, I would look down on those tears: "Privileged private high schooler crying white man's burden tears about poor people in the third world. Degrading pity."

On the Turkey-Syria border in 2014, I listened to a Syrian activist tell his story. Assad imprisoned him for months—burning, beating, starvation filled his hours. Merely telling the story brought tears to his eyes. But not to mine. This was my job. Listening to these stories and problem solving with development and policy was my job. I had to be professional. All the graduate students in the room remained frozen in professionalism.

Then in Liberia in 2014, I cried angry tears: Men are disgusting pigs. Every single one of them. Liberian women stopped the decade-long civil war through nonviolent protests in 2000-2003, but now male teachers refuse female students good grades unless sexual favors are given. I screamed in blind rage because we're such nasty creatures.

And then last month in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, I wept my resignation tears. I resigned myself to the knowledge that our world is built to perpetuate violence. We're essentially cannibals, consuming the less privileged community beneath us. Where does your lifestyle comes from? That iPhone came from a human rights abuses production line. One slave laborer wrote you some poems before he jumped himself out of a window.

I asked my boss with teary eyes: "How do you escape the global-self harm?"

"You can't. And I wish that still touched me, but it doesn't anymore."

"I'm sure it does. You just know how to cope," I tried to reassure her.

"Cope so well that I no longer feel."

"You feel it. You're just being professional, which is highly needed in these emotionally tense situations."

"No, I don't. You could sit a starving child on my lap, and I wouldn't blink."

"Well…why do you say that?"

"I see you cry, and I don't. I've seen too much. I wish I still cried, but I can't. Trust me, you're the sane one not me."

"When did it stop? Or how did it stop?"

"When I heard a UN peacekeeper raping a child in the hotel room next door to mine, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it to make it stop."

"Oh my god…"

"I wept the whole plane ride home. And after that I could never cry again."

"I mean…"

"But promise me one thing."

"Sure. What?"

"Never ever stop crying. Because once you've stopped crying that means you've become just like the bastards who start these conflicts."

And so then you can cry those last tears upon realizing humanity is no longer worth crying over. You can weep uncontrollably until you stop. Just completely stop forever.

Or you can choose a brave heart, a sensitive heart that defies harsh realities. You cry again, allowing others to touch you. Your tears will stand defying the destruction and violence that seek to be the norm. Life is worth, in my forever idealistic mind, the defiance tears. Those are the tears that transform your heart and thereby transform the world. TC mark