Thought Catalog


I Am Getting Better At Letting Things Die

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Aily Torres
Aily Torres

I am getting better
at letting things die.

Every 3 months I take the belongings out from under my bed
and I stuff them into garbage bags,
leave them by curbsides
leave them to decay and get carried away,
It is a ritual I do to remind myself
that you don't miss the garbage once it's gone,
that you do not have to hold onto scraps and old, shrivelled memories;
you can leave them out to get carried away and love the
blank, clean spaces they have left behind instead.

I am getting better
at letting people go

And so every 2 weeks I go through my telephone
I backspace numbers
and delete old messages,
I refuse to give my mind
a space to linger in the places where love no longer lives,
It is a ritual I do to remind myself
that there will always be new numbers to add and new messages
to pour over and keep.

I am getting better
at letting things flow

But every week or so I still pull up a blank email template,
enter your address and stare at the cursor
wondering what I could possibly have left to say,
before closing the screen out and walking away,
It is a ritual I do to remind myself
that it's okay to have let people matter
And that sometimes those memories just need to collect in the space beneath the bedsheets
for a while
before I’m ready to take them outside

And fall in love with the clean, blank spaces
that you, too, left behind. TC mark

24 Things You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty For Indulging In At 24

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 07:00 PM PDT

istockphoto.com/FotoCuisinette
istockphoto.com/FotoCuisinette

1. Drinking wine alone.

There may not be many perks to adulthood but this is indubitably one of them.

You've made it through the years of fake I.D.s, binge-drinking, nasty next-day hangovers and maybe even a period or two of sobriety.

Now that you've learned to (mostly) handle your liquor, you're clear to enjoy it responsibly – that is, alone on your couch on a Thursday night, like an adult. Because you worked hard this week. And you deserve it.

2. Dating someone you don't want to marry.

By twenty-four, your Facebook photo stream is nothing but a gallery of ring fingers with rocks nestled onto them. And while the pressure to find your soulmate is feeling realer than ever, it's important to remember that you don't have to find them tomorrow.

You still have time to date around. You still have time to get your heart broken. You still have time to go on bad Tinder dates, lament over ridiculous hookups and pursue the guy or girl who may not be the one, but who makes you pretty happy right now.

The more weight you put on finding 'the one,' the more your love life will balk under the pressure. So take the opportunity to chill out, move slowly and let whatever happens, happen. You have plenty of time left to find your future partner at twenty-four years.

3. Crying to your mom.

Just because you're a full-blown adult – who may even have things like a job and their own apartment – you haven't stopped being someone's son or daughter. And you haven't stopped needing support from the people who know you best.

It's okay to have days where the world feels like too much. It's okay to not have it together one hundred percent of the time. And it's okay to still lean on family or friends who keep you afloat. They love you and they want to be there for you – the same way you'd be there for them in an instant if they needed it.

4. Spending too much on creature comforts.

So you binged on twenty-five dollar candles. So your living room looks like a pinterest board but your wallet took a beating to support it. And as frivolous as those purchases may seem in retrospect, it's okay to make them now and then.

Because the thing about being twenty-four is that you're transitioning between life phases. And you sometimes need to indulge in a few transitional objects to make yourself feel more like the adult that you are becoming.

5. Going out and getting 21st-birthday-style drunk.

You don't have to be completely done having fun at twenty-four.

You may not hit up the dance floor as regularly as you used to, but there's no shame in going out every now and then and living it up the way you used to when you were twenty-one and twenty-two.

You have real world responsibilities now, and with that comes real-world stress. The kind you need to blow off, in whatever way works for you.

6. Missing the hell out of your ex.

Navigating life gets lonely – that's an indisputable fact, no matter how surrounded by loved ones you are. It's tough to take on new phases of your life all alone, and it's natural to miss the people who once took them on alongside us.

It's not weak or pathetic or worrisome to find yourself missing your ex at twenty-four. It's only human to miss who we've loved. And you have all the time on earth to move on.

7. Working a job just to get money.

It's okay to not be working your dream job at twenty-four.

If you're pulling in enough money to pay your own rent, make minimum payments on your student loans and keep your electricity from shutting off, you're doing a whole lot better than most.

Be patient with your dreams and aspirations. You have a long career ahead of you to pursue them, and your pragmatism will serve you in the long run.

8. Spending your money on traveling.

If you're eager and free enough to travel at twenty-four, your future self will thank you immensely for having done so. The experiences you collect will mean more to you than the dream house or car you could have purchased one year sooner had you stayed home and hoarded your paychecks.

Plus, you never know which commitments are suddenly going to pop up and keep you settled in one place. This may be the last chance you have to travel freely, for many years to come.

9. Staying home while everyone else is traveling.

Just as traveling is worthwhile and admirable if it's what you truly want from your life, the same could be said of staying home.

While your Facebook feed is flooded with photos of your ex-pat friends in Asia, take pride in your own decisiveness and direction if you'd rather be at home advancing professionally. You're old enough to make your own choices at twenty-four and you don't have to hop on whichever bandwagon looks the most glamorous.

10. Experimenting with your identity.

There's still so much time to figure out who you are at twenty-four. You aren't chained to the identity you formed in college or high school or childhood, and you shouldn't be ashamed to keep exploring yourself.

Dye your hair a strange color. Get a tattoo. Take up a new sport or new hobby. It's never too late to start something new. You could be a whole new person by the time you hit twenty-six or seven.

11. Staying the hell in on a weekend night.

You can't burn the candle at both ends and expect to somehow stay sane. You're old enough and secure enough to know when you need a night in. And the last thing you should ever feel is guilty for cashing in on your right to have one.

12. Feeling ridiculously proud of yourself for small accomplishments.

For some, a monstrous promotion and pay raise is an accomplishment. For others, simply getting out of bed and taking a shower every morning is a feat.

Whatever it is that you're proud of yourself for getting done, own that pride. You are your own best friend and advocate at twenty-four. And if you can't celebrate your accomplishments, who else is going to?

13. Comparing yourself to others your age.

Comparisons can be unhealthy and damaging at worst – but they can also be perfectly normal.

If you're occasionally measuring yourself up to the people around you and finding yourself coming up short, congratulations – you are a human being. You're going to feel inadequate sometimes. You're going to feel like everybody else is ahead. And the only thing worse than making comparisons between yourself and others is beating yourself up for doing so.

Comparisons are a natural part of life. And as long as you can accept that and take them with a grain of salt, you're probably going to be just fine.

14. Allowing your friendships to change.

It's normal to feel a tremendous amount of pressure to maintain old friendships at twenty-four. You're in a new phase of life, but you don't want to leave the people from your last phase behind.

But that doesn't mean you have to break your back to keep something together. Seeing your friends a little less doesn't mean you've stopped loving them. It just means you're ready to love them differently – in a way that works better for both of you.

15. Asking for help at work.

It's normal to feel as though you should suddenly know everything as soon as someone hands you a big-boy or big-girl job. But that's an unrealistic expectation.

Refusing to ask for help only means that you're limiting yourself and your potential. It's okay to indulge in the expertise of others at twenty-four years old. Chances are, all of your superiors once did the exact same.

16. Ignoring everyone else's advice for you.

Just as its useful to know when you need help at twenty-four, it's also useful to know when the advice you're being given isn't helpful. Just because you're at the bottom of the barrel professionally or personally doesn't mean you don't inherently know what's best for you. And you owe it to yourself to follow that intuition above all else.

17. Trying the newest fad diet.

Don't worry about being 'that' guy or girl. You're learning what works for your body and that's going to mean some trial and error along the way.

So you hop on board the kale craze or try out a new juice cleanse. Just because it's overdone in the media doesn't mean it's not going to work for you. In fact, you'd be a fool to opt out of trying something you want to try solely because it is popular.

18. Skipping the gym now and then.

Fitness and health are important – but it's no secret that you have a lot of competing priorities at twenty-four.

Sometimes you're forced to sacrifice a bit of self-care to get ahead professionally and personally. And that's okay. As long as you're able to keep yourself on a health regime that works for you long-term, the odd skipped workout won't kill you. So cut yourself some slack when you need it. You're not doing yourself any favors by over-exerting yourself.

19. Saying 'No' to professional or personal commitments.

If you said yes to every social engagement, networking event, work project and familial commitment that you were invited to, you'd physically drop dead by the age of twenty-five. Learning when to strategically say 'No' is not just a suggestion for your twenty-fourth year of life – it's a survival strategy.

20. Watching too much Netflix.

There's always something more meaningful or important you could be doing with your life than watching TV. But sometimes you really just need to escape reality for several hours at a time. And that's okay. You can't be on you're a-game 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You're only human.

21. Still missing college sometimes.

Life as a young adult is exciting and invigorating and packed with new opportunities. But it's also stressful and harried and seemingly impossible to navigate some days. And on those days, it's okay to reminisce about simpler times. Missing the past doesn't mean that you are not moving forward – it just means you're able to appreciate the good times that you've had.

22. Making some selfish decisions.

You're allowed to quit the job that is making your parents proud of you. You're allowed to break up with the person who's perfect on paper. You're allowed to choose yourself, over and over and over again when you're twenty-four years old. Because if you are not putting yourself first at this stage of life, nobody else is going to do it for you.

23. Still harboring pipe dreams about life and love and work.

You're faced with a lot of harsh realities at twenty-four years old – but that doesn't mean you have to let go of the ridiculously huge dreams that you've been harnessing since childhood.

If you're not dreaming of bigger and better and more amazing things for yourself at twenty-four years, you're probably doing something wrong. Because the only way to make those dreams come true is to keep adamantly subscribing to them.

24. Taking your damn time figuring things out.

If there's anything you still have at twenty-four, it's time. Time to try, time to fail, time to fall down and mess up and pick yourself back up, as many times as you still need to.

You don't have to have your entire life figured out at twenty-four years old. You just have to be committed to trying your damnedest at getting there. And if you're doing that, you're going to be more than okay. TC mark

Unsolved: 8 Of The Most Chilling Crimes That Remain Mysteries To This Day

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 06:00 PM PDT

The 2009 Taconic Parkway Crash

Flickr, Doug Kerr
Flickr, Doug Kerr

Shortly after 1:30 pm on July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler and her five passengers were in a head-on collision with an oncoming SUV. Schuler and four of the children were killed on impact as well as all three people in the SUV.

For some reason, Schuler had driven almost two miles in the wrong direction on the busy Taconic State Parkway at speeds of upwards of 60 mph. The reason appeared to become obvious after her autopsy; she had a BAC of 0.19 (the legal limit is 0.08) which is, for her weight and height, the equivalent of 10 drinks in her system, as well as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. So of course, she was driving erratically because she was intoxicated.

Except when she left their family campground that morning at 9:30 am she appeared to be stone sober. She was sober when stopping at a McDonald’s on the way home. She was sober when she stopped at a gas station for painkillers (which they did not have) at 11 am. She reported to her brother around 11:30 that they were being delayed by traffic. About 10 minutes later, she was seen on the roadside bent over as if vomiting.

Around 1 pm, her brother received another call from Schuler’s cell phone, but this time it was one of her nieces. She claimed “Aunt Diane” was having trouble seeing and speaking. Schuler took the phone, corroborated this claim, and said she was disoriented. Her brother told her to stay put (as they were parked on the shoulder) and he would come get her; no more calls were answered when placed to Schuler. Her cell phone was later found abandoned nearby.

After 1:30 pm, multiple witnesses reported a minivan driving erratically the wrong way down the parkway. It ended in the fatal crash described above.

Though the autopsy makes things seem cut and dry, the timeline (as well as Schuler’s family’s claims that she would never have behaved so recklessly with children in the car) seems to argue otherwise. There’s only a gap of 30 minutes between Schuler behaving normally and beginning to exhibit strange signs; she herself even claimed she couldn’t see or figure out where she was going.

Could she have really gotten that drunk that fast? If so, wouldn’t she have understood what was happening, why she was having trouble seeing? Why did Schuler get back on the road when her brother was coming to get her? Why did she get rid of her cell phone?

As the documentary “There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane” puts very plainly, no one will know what happened in that minivan that day except the sole survivor, Schuler’s son Brian. And all he can seem to remember is this: “Mommy’s head hurt, Mommy couldn’t see.”

The Unusual Deaths of the Jamison Family

Facebook
Facebook

Everything has been guessed in the case of the deaths of Bobby, Sherilyn, and Madyson Jamison — from murder to meth to even witchcraft. The family disappeared together on October 8, 2009 under mysterious circumstances. The family dog was found in their abandoned truck, almost dead from malnutrition. Inside the truck was also the parents’ IDs, cell phones, wallets, and almost $32,000 in cash.

Popular theories include that they were faking their own deaths, went into a witness protection program, committed group suicide, were killed by a cult, or were involved in drugs/drug dealing. Oddly enough, the Jamisons had previously met with their pastor on several occasions, saying that they had seen spirits in their home. After their disappearance, a “witch’s bible” was found inside the house.

Their bodies were found in 2013, more than four years after they’d gone missing. The remains were unidentifiable at first and found less than three miles from where the pickup truck had been abandoned. Upon forensic testing, it was determined the bodies belonged to all three of the Jamisons, but cause of death was undetermined.

The above photo of Madyson Jamison was the last known photo of their whereabouts and was discovered on Bobby Jamison’s cell phone that had been left in the truck. It’s been speculated the photo was taken by a possible killer, as friends of the family noted Madyson looks very distressed.

"I've Got Her."

Flickr, John Liu
Flickr, John Liu

The year was 1980. For months, Dorothy Jane Scott — a 32-year-old single mother — had been getting unsolicited, anonymous phone calls at her place of work. She couldn’t recognize the voice, which swung from telling her how much he loved her to threatening unspeakable violence. The caller told her he was following her… and described details of her day-to-day life that proved it.

Dorothy began studying karate to protect herself. She considered buying a handgun. Neither of these things would save her.

On May 28, after taking a fellow employee to the ER for treatment of a spider bite, Dorothy left the lobby to pull her car around front. Her companions waited for her to arrive but it took quite a while. When they finally spotted her car, it was traveling at a high rate of speed and promptly took a sharp right out of the parking lot.

They were left puzzling over Dorothy’s strange behavior — perhaps she needed to get her son or there was an emergency of her own. Except several hours later, Dorothy Jane Scott’s car was found about 10 miles away in an alley. It was burning and abandoned and there was no trace of Dorothy to be found.

Dorothy’s family was advised to stay quiet about her disappearance in regards to the media. A week after she went missing, her mother Vera received a phone call. “Are you related to Dorothy Scott?”

When she replied yes, the caller said, “I’ve got her,” then hung up.

This taunting behavior repeated as weeks went on. The same caller would tease her family about “having” Dorothy and confessed to a radio station “I killed her. I killed Dorothy Scott. She was my love.” He went on to describe details that hadn’t been released to the press — Dorothy’s red scarf she wore that night, her coworker’s spider bite. The calls finally stopped in 1984.

Almost four months later, a construction worker discovered both dog and human remains in some brush. With the bones were a turquoise ring and a watch that had stopped at May 29, 1980, 12:30 am.

Dorothy’s mother identified the ring as having belonged to her daughter. A week after the bones had been positively identified as Dorothy Scott and an announcement was run in the local newspaper, her family got two more phone calls from the same mysterious caller, asking only in a knowing voice:

“Is Dorothy home?”

Her killer was never identified.

The Lead Masks Case

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

On August 17, 1966, two Brazilian repairmen left Campos dos Goytacazes under the guise of buying supplies and a car — which was meant to explain why they had a large amount of cash on their persons. They were spotted by a bartender as the men, Miguel Jose Viana and Manoel Pereira da Cruz, stopped in his bar to get a drink of water. The bartender noted that Viana especially seemed to be in a hurry and kept checking his watch. It was the last time they were seen alive.

Their bodies were found three days later on Vintem Hill in Rio de Janeiro. They were dressed in suits, wearing waterproof coats. With them were lead masks (like you'd wear to protect from radiation,) an empty water bottle, a notebook, and two towels. Inside the notebook was a confusing note in Portuguese which read:

16:30 be at agreed place, 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for mask signal.

The money was gone.

Unfortunately, no autopsies could be performed, and there were no visible signs of death. All clues point to the chance they were duped out of their money, but the mystery still remains: what were they promised, and why the lead masks?

The Oakland County Child Killer

Flickr, Marufish
Flickr, Marufish

For 13 months between 1976 and 1977, an unnamed serial killer targeted and murdered at least four children — if not more. Dubbed the Oakland County Child Killer, this person was responsible for the grisly deaths of Mark Stebbins, 12; Jill Robinson, 12; Kristine Mihelich, 10; and Timothy King, 11. At least two of the murders included sexual assault.

Timothy King’s parents turned to the media. His father appeared on television to beg for his son's safe return during his disappearance. His mother wrote a letter to the Detroit News and promised to serve him his favorite meal, Kentucky Fried Chicken, when he came home.

His body was found in a shallow ditch six days later. His skateboard, which he had been using when he went missing, was placed beside him. His clothes were neatly pressed and washed, and the worst part — postmortem analysis showed that Timothy had eaten fried chicken shortly before he was murdered.

The murderer was never found.

The Sodder Family Tragedy

www.appalachianhistory.net
http://www.appalachianhistory.net

On Christmas Eve 1945, five of the Sodder Children — Maurice, 14; Martha 12; Louis, 9; Jennie, 8; and Betty, 5 — were trapped inside the family home when it caught fire at 1 am. Their father George tried valiantly to save them, but he couldn't reenter the house. His daughter Marion raced to a neighbor's place to call for the fire department, but no help arrived until 8 am. By then, the house was nothing but a pile of ash.

The remaining Sodders assumed the children were dead, but the Christmas Day search of the remains showed no bodies. It was suggested by the fire chief that the fire had been hot enough to completely cremate all five bodies.

But there was something else to consider. George Sodder, born Giorgio Soddu in Italy, was no fan of Mussolini — and he was not quiet about it. After refusing to purchase insurance from a salesman mere months prior to the fire, the salesman threatened him by saying, "Your goddamn house is going to go up in smoke and your children are going to be destroyed. You are going to be paid for the dirty remarks you have been making about Mussolini." Additionally, the older Sodder sons had noticed just before Christmas a man parked near their house, watching the children as they came home from school.

Jennie Sodder, the matriarch of the family, didn't understand how there could be five children who died in the fire and not leave anything behind. A crematorium employee told her that bones could still remain intact in a two-hour fire at 2000 degrees. Their house had burned down in 45 minutes. She also noticed that in the basement of their house, household appliances were burned and melted, but recognizable.

Many more odd occurrences turned up as the family wondered how and why this happened to them — their wiring had been cut and was not faulty as previously expected, a witness said they saw someone fiddling with George's car, a family member said they had heard something hit the roof shortly before the fire — but one of the strangest things that happened was almost 20 years later in 1968.

Jennie Sodder received a letter addressed only to her, postmarked Kentucky with no return address. There was a photo of a dark-haired man in his 20s. On the other side was a handwritten note:

Louis Sodder. I love brother Frankie. Ilil Boys. A90132 or 35.

The man bore a striking resemblance to presumed-dead Louis Sodder. The family jumped at the opportunity and sent a private investigator to Kentucky — he was never heard from again.

The last remaining Sodder, Sylvia, still doesn't believe her siblings died in that fateful fire, but no one has any further clues as to where — or why — they disappeared.

Where Is Nicholas Barclay?

Various Sources

On June 13, 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay left his home to play basketball at a neighborhood court. When he was done he called his mother to come pick him up, but she was sleeping. His older brother didn't wake her. He never came home.

At first, it was thought he may have run away (as he'd done it before) but he never stayed gone for long. He was a problem child, according to his family, and had recently stolen a pair of shoes. His juvenile hearing was set for June 14, just one day after his disappearance, so that was taken into consideration as well.

Years went by with no sign of Nicholas. In October of 1997, over three years later, a call was made to the Barclay family from Spain. A young man was identifying himself as Nicholas and asking to come home. He was claiming he'd been involved in a child sex ring. Nicholas' sister flew to Spain, agreed that it was her brother, and they both flew back to Texas together.

However, nothing quite fit with the young man's story. His hair was dark brown, which could've darkened from Nicholas' light brown color, but his eyes were brown as well — and Nicholas had blue eyes. His response? His captors had altered both his hair and eye color during his abuse. His pattern of speech was off and he had a distinctly French accent and yet, the Barclay family believed him.

In fact, they believed him so desperately that they were indifferent to DNA and fingerprint testing until it was ordered by the FBI. These tests proved it was not, in fact, their teenage son — but a 23-year-old French man posing as the missing child.

In the documentary "The Imposter," said French man — Frederic Pierre Bourdin — said that while he was aware of his deception, he thought Nicholas' family went along a little too easily with his charade. Even with his enormous lie, he felt he saw a subtle desperation in this family — as though his appearance in their lives were some sort of alibi.

Nicholas remains missing.

The Springfield Three

the-spfd-3

June 6, 1992. Springfield, Missouri. Teen friends Suzie Streeter and Stacy McCall had just graduated from Kickapoo High School. They attended several graduation parties that evening, then headed back to Suzie's mother Sherrill Levitt's house to retire for the evening. They had previously planned to stay with a friend but that friend's house proved too crowded and Levitt's house was plan B.

The next day, the women were proclaimed missing after McCall's parents contacted police in regards to their daughter. All three women left behind all their personal property — keys, wallets, purses, cars — and the family dog was found in the house, unharmed but distressed.

That's all that's known about the disappearance of the infamous Springfield Three, other than the local speculation that the bodies are buried beneath Springfield's Cox Hospital Parking Garage. Their whereabouts remain unknown. TC mark

22 Lessons I Learned About Life and Death When My Best Friend Passed Away

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Unsplash Joshua Earle
Unsplash Joshua Earle

1. Just because someone has lived more years, does not mean that they have experienced more or less then someone else.

2. Just because someone is older then you does not mean that they are smarter then you. Your parents DO NOT always know more then you. They come from an entirely different generation and do not have in common many of the same experiences that you and I have had, or will encounter.

3. When in doubt, dance it out. Trust me. The next time you ever feel upset or angry, just go ahead and dance like a complete idiot. Dance alone. Dance with your friends. Dance with your dog. Just try it. Cause crying is helpful, but at some point you need to turn the tap off for the day, and no one can keep a straight face with tears running down there face dancing to "U Can't Touch This" – MC Hammer.

4. Oh wait, am I right? You are dancing and you stopped crying. Your anger and frustration has lifted a little? Maybe you should go for a walk now, or to the gym, or throw a football around outside with your friends… they say physical activity is just as effective as anti depressants, and didn't I just prove that with the dancing method? Take good care of yourself, and keep active and moving, always. I guarantee you won't regret it once you start.

5. If it makes you happy- you will work hard at it. When you work hard, EVENTUALLY, success will come your way. Simple.

6. ^I say eventually. Because sometimes it really seems like nothing is changing. That is where persistence comes in. You can't work hard for a minute, an hour, or even a day. It needs to be CONSISTENT hard work, and you need to PERSERVERE through the times that seem slow.

7. Do not project TOO far into the future. Experiencing what it is like to be in a hospital and see people who are extremely sick, teaches you to take it day by day. Maybe even hour by hour. Or minute by minute. You will be shocked how quickly life can change in an instant.

8. No one stays forever. The only person you can count on to go through life every step of the way with you, is YOURSELF. Your mom, dad, siblings, best friends, pets, eventually all leave you. Maybe in an order you would have never expected. The only person guaranteed to stay in your life forever is you. You can rely on yourself 100% of the time, guaranteed. I really hope you like yourself. Or else damn, it's going to be hard.

9. Illness and death do not discriminate. Age, wealth, happiness, loneliness, busyness does not matter. Anyone can get sick and die at any age. You think that you will go through life with your friends, spouse, siblings by your side because they are the same or similar in age to you. You think that they will be at your wedding, that you will have your kids together, and that they will grow up together just as you did. You think that you will watch your parent's age and eventually lay them to rest. Sorry to say, none of that is a guarantee for you just because you are young. The order of events in ones life is different for every person.

10. Soul mates are not limited to intimate partners.

11. Family, friends, relationships, trips, dreams, and all the adventures you had along the way are the only things you remember when you are on your deathbed. You are not thinking about how many comments, likes, followers, and "friends" you had. You are not thinking about all the clothes, shoes, purses you bought. None of that matters for even a second at the end of it all.

12. People will eventually forget exactly what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel in that moment. They won't ever forget that. Be careful.

13. You must be your own advocate in life for EVERYTHING. Help is usually available, but just because you are in the right place, at the right time, does not mean that you will automatically receive help or attention. You need to speak up and ask for it. In school, at the doctor, in the hospital, at a job, in relationships, in love. Stand up for yourself because you deserve to be heard.

14. All that protein powder, and weight lifting are not the only things in life that will make you strong. Living a life with no regrets will do that too. Every mistake or experience, no matter how awful or painful it was, leaves you with a lesson you can learn from for the future.

15. You will always truly grieve alone. Every single person had there own special and unique relationship that has now ended. It takes time for every person and they all grieve differently and at different stages. You will still have moments where you can find comfort in others because the pain is similar. But never the same. Like I said in #8, you are ultimately on your own. Hold yourself on the most painful nights, no matter how much you want the feeling of another body next to you. You will survive this pain. You will learn that you are capable of handling anything, even the unthinkable.

16. You will learn extremely well how to fake a smile and a laugh. So good in fact, that the day you have genuinely laugh again, it literally scares you because it sounds nothing like your fake one.

17. You will learn to find humor in even the darkest situations because they are just so damn hard and uncomfortable there is absolutely nothing else to do but crack a stupid joke. It could possibly make things even more uncomfortable but that's when the fake laughing you have been practicing comes in handy!

18. Still send text messages, Facebook messages, write letters, and talk out loud to them. It's not silly. They will still see them. Just don't expect direct responses in return.

19. Do not let anyone tell you how to grieve. There is no wrong or right way.

20. Always listen to your gut. It is NEVER WRONG. Especially when it is hungry.

21. Eventually when you have experienced enough death in your life it is no longer shocking. The idea that people die is normal. It just happens and you get it. The loss of that relationship and adjusting to a new normal is the part that never gets easy, no matter how many times you've had to adjust.

22. Don't wait to celebrate life. There is no right moment or right number of moments to celebrate. Everyday should be a celebration. Everyday find new love, and embrace new relationships that come your way. Never stop doing that until your ending has come. TC mark

For All Of Us Who Don’t Feel Like Grown-Ups Quite Yet

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Greg Raines
Greg Raines

In elementary school, you learn how to count up to one hundred, and also learn that finger painting is a lot more fun than counting. You make friends with whoever talks to you and find joy in running around the playground in your favorite blue dress. Yet, you find safety and shelter when you come home at the end of the day. Back to the steady rhythm of resting your head on your mothers’ chest, and to the sound of your dad coming home from a late night at work.

In middle school, you learn basic algebra and geography. You are given history lessons on your country’s most brutal wars and study new vocabulary for your English classes. But in middle school, no one ever tells you that people are going to make fun of you for not plucking your eyebrows. In middle school, there is never going to be a class to tell you how to stand up for yourself when thirty other students look at you in disgust. There is no handout sheet available that will tell you how overcome the stress that these three years will bring you.

In high school, you learn geometry and statistics. You get taught the periodic table in chemistry and learn the difference between dominant and recessive genes in biology class. But in high school, there is no chart that will help you navigate your first real crush. There is no teacher that will give you a book to help you through your first breakup. There is no real curriculum on how to love yourself amidst all the raging hormones and anxiety that you will ultimately experience.

And then college comes and after all of this time you still don’t know who the heck you are, who you want to be, what you want to do and where you want to go. You know how to spell words, count numbers and where to place commas, but you don’t know you. And after all of this time and education, I don’t think any of us feel like grownups after all.

We are accused of being too wild, too reckless and too stubborn. We are accused of not seeking safety and instead seeking radical adventures. But maybe sometimes we are too scared to feel like a kid again and are too scared to ask for help or seek refuge. Maybe sometimes we don’t want to run free after all. Maybe we just want to run home. And that's okay.

It's okay to go home. It's okay to throw a tantrum and yell. It's okay to not feel like an adult even if society tells you that you are one. It's okay to wish you were still six, and not have a worry in sight.

We are all still kindergarteners searching for a purpose and a safe place to rest our tired heads on at the end of the day. We all still want to feel the warmth of our mother’s chest after our heart splits in two. We all still want so much to be loved, wanted, and understood. TC mark

What I Imagine ‘The Bachelor’ Is Like Having Never Seen A Single Episode

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 03:37 PM PDT

The Bachelor Facebook
The Bachelor Facebook

I have a confession to make.

I, Kendra Syrdal, being of American blood and fully in possession of a female centered identity and a television, have never watched The Bachelor.

I know, I know.

When The Bachelor premiered in 2002 I was but an impressionable preteen. It would have been all to easy for me to become enamored with the idea of a bunch of women looking for love and finding it through the help of ABC and a bunch of long stemmed, red roses. But I was more interested in reading Harry Potter fanfiction and watching whatever was on AFTER The Bachelor (probably CSI tbqh) to pay attention.

As the years have gone by I just never fell under the Bachelor or Bachelorette’s spell. I generally get that it’s about love and dating and white wine. And I always know when it’s Bachelor season because my Twitter feed blows the eff up with various gifs of girls in gowns crying and rose emojis. Also because my friends who once were down for a Monday happy hour “have to be home to watch.”

It’s the American Hunger Games! I get it. I truly, truly do.

Except…I don’t.

So here’s what I assume The Bachelor is like…even though I have never watched it and honestly, never intend to.

beetlejuice

This seems like the kind of show that umbrella moms watch with their single daughters to point out that if someone as batshit as Taylor or Ashley or whoever is making out with America’s Most Eligible on the screen can make out with that dude, they should sure as hell be able to find a man. And then said single girl goes onto Tinder and Hinge and Bumble and just wonders WTF is wrong with her because she SHOULD be able to find a man. Is it supposed to improve our self-esteem because at least we’re not THAT crazy, or drive us further into single madness until we audition and end up BEING the girl with mascara tears after getting eliminated?

The show is about dating…but it’s a reality show, and arguably, a COMPETITION reality show. So there should be some sort of challenge element to it, right? Like they have to do trivia or some sort of relay race involving bikinis and that determines who gets to go on a date with the Bachelor right?

No? They don’t compete or do anything? So…what do they do all day?

Lemme guess. They drink, wear a lot of tank tops, have those Lauren Conrad “beach waves” that I can never master, and try to get a lot of attention.

Huh.

So it’s a bunch of girls sitting around getting drunk and just hoping someone asks them out? Sounds like a typical Thursday imo.

But they all have to live together?

Seriously?

20 drunk women who are probably just eating lettuce unless a camera is on are vying for one guys attention AND they have to bunk up?!

That sounds like a bomb waiting to go off.

Really. That sounds like what Ryan Murphy was subtly trying to show with Scream Queens. That many women are simply not mean to cohabit under the same roof. ESPECIALLY when they’re all thirsty for the same guy. All that’s going to end up with is someone getting scratched. If they have phones I would really like to see the screenshots of them all talking shit about each other.

And let’s be honest. The only way it’s interesting to watch someone else’s date is if it’s a BAD date. I don’t want to watch two people get along and talk about the classes they took in college that didn’t pertain to their major but were still “totally fun.” I want to watch people realize that one of them is voting for Sanders and one is a raging Trump supporter over bottomless pasta bowls at Olive Garden. THAT is entertainment.

I think I’m still missing the point. So there’s no Survivor challenges, just lots of romantic dates, twinkle lights, and women trying to hold their liquor?

No. Come on. There’s gotta be more than that!

Has anyone ever died? Who gets arrested? Someone ALWAYS got arrested on The Real World and it was the besssssttttt. I mean girls crying and saying the typical reality show phrases like, “I’m not HERE to make friends”  or, “I gave up so MUCH for this” can only go on for so long…right?

Wait. I know.

It’s clearly all about seeing a bunch of hot people flirting and then having sex and hopefully not turning their microphones off before getting it on.

Oh…it’s NOT? They aren’t supposed to have sex, just be there “for the right reasons” whatever those may be, all WHILST keeping their size 0 jeans on? And a girl got hella shamed for boning “too early” once!?

Yeah, I’m out. TC mark

How I Fell In Love With Him

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Unsplash Dmitry Ratushny
Unsplash Dmitry Ratushny

He is not a love at first sight. As cliche as it can be, I can still remember the first time I saw him. He was wearing crisp blue long sleeves tucked in slacks. He was not that tall. His hair was actually a bit annoying at first. There was no remarkable feature in his face. But overall, he looked handsome still.

Maybe it was the way he carried himself. Maybe it was sheer confidence. Plus, I like the guy who can easily pull together a presence that predominantly draws attention. Qualities like that are so rare nowadays. People tend to exert too much or too little effort to succeed on that. I think he just knows how to strike a balance between the two.

But, I did not fall in love with him the first time I saw him. I guess I will never fall in love just by mere first, second or even third sight. Feelings work for me differently. I don’t know if it is typical, but I fell in love with the little things about him first before completely falling in love with him.

I fell in love with his eyelashes. That was the first thing that made me want to look at him for the second, third, for many times. Maybe because his eyelashes seem like a curtain of his eyes. They move perfectly whenever his eyes blink–open, close, open close. Whenever he smiles or laughs, I see his eyelashes beaming with something I can’t perfectly describe. And when he cries (yes, he does), teardrops tend to remain intact in the strands of his eyelashes. I love looking at them (and it makes me feel guilty). But more than that, I love how they cover the very thing that links us two.

I fell in love with how he wittily tells stories. I fell in love with how words cascades out from his mouth whenever he shares with me or even with others stories he really loves. A lot of people love talking but only few do the way he does.

I fell in love with how he strokes his hair. I used to envision him like the male protagonist in a movie– there is a sudden slow mo as the character enters the scene for the first time. He confidently strides across the room and does that classic stroking of hair.

I fell in love with how he calls my name in the morning with that “Hi, Hello.” Gestures like that brighten up my day if only he knew that before. I fell in love with how he differs from me. I actually see the two of us as Yin and Yang, as two opposite poles. We certainly have a myriad of differences but we find ways to compromise. I always hope that we’ll keep on discovering ways to continuously compromise.

I fell in love with his presence. I fell in love with how he becomes a constant part of my life — as I wake up, as I get through the day, as I end the night. I have no idea how to “unlove” his presence. I fell in love with the idea of him coming into my life and changing how my small world revolves.

He fills in the gaps, he rearranges things, he breaks wall, he teaches me to break my own walls. I fell in love with him in so many little ways. And even though I can’t write all of them here, I want him to know that I never run out of reasons- even the smallest ones- to fall in love with him. I guess I will just keep on falling in love with him day after day. TC mark

101 Hilariously Shitty Ideas That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Flickr Moanaipo
Flickr Moanaipo

1.

"Avoid your period by getting pregnant."

2.

"President Trump."

3.

"Ask someone to go on a double date with you, then show up with your date and ask them ‘where's yours?’"

4.

"Create a law that when someone is caught with drugs on them, they have to consume the entire amount, no matter how much it is."

5.

"Alcohol-free vodka."

6.

"Flip your condoms inside out when you're done to get twice the use."

7.

"Move to America in search of safety."

8.

"Develop a crush on someone."

9.

"Type your career resume in multicolored Comic Sans."

10.

"Conserve water by never drinking."

11.

"A game that combines the speed of baseball with the thrill of golf."

12.

"Check to see if your fire alarm works by setting your house on fire."

13.

"Superglue everything important (such as your phone, keys and wallet) to yourself so you never lose them."

14.

"Beauty hack: Light your lips on fire to make them fuller and pinker!"

15.

"Mein Kampf the musical."

16.

"Do meth instead of math."

17.

"If you do all your driving lessons and pass your test whilst drunk, you should be legally allowed to drunk drive."

18.

"Tattoo your Social Security number on your hand so you never forget it."

19.

"Begin every sentence with ‘plot twist.’"

20.

"Grab the first person you see after reading this, and punch them in the face."

21.

"Sandpaper condoms."

22.

"Put toothpaste on your breakfast so you can skip brushing your teeth."

23.

"Play charades with a group of blind friends."

24.

"Drink a whole bottle of mouthwash for minty fresh breath that lasts all day!"

25.

"Cripple yourself to use accessible parking spaces."

26.

"Cut off every limb and replace them with penises."

27.

"Pretend to be a race horse so you can get spanked by the jockeys."

28.

"Save money on interior decorating by using hundred-dollar bills instead of wallpaper."

29.

"A soup kitchen called: The Broth-ell."

30.

"Let Jesus take the wheel while going 80mph."

31.

Make all big decisions in life by flipping a coin."

32.

""Shave really quickly and use no shaving cream."

33.

"Play the piano in a marching band."

34.

"If your computer freezes, set it on fire."

35.

"Allow people to have a temporary driver's license so we can judge whether or not they're good enough to do the driving test."

36.

"Have your kids litter-trained…because nothing is more annoying than cleaning pee off the toilet seat."

37.

"Take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time."

38.

"New totally gender – and animacy-neutral pronoun she/he/it = shit."

39.

"A spelling test that listed all the words you had to spell."

40.

"Ask Donald Trump for hairstyling advice."

41.

"Tequila-flavored water for alcoholics who just can't get enough."

42.

"Individually packaged peanuts."

43.

"Jump off of a cliff to give the pick-up line "I'm falling for you" a more realistic effect."

44.

"Funeral-themed wedding."

45.

"Instead of pockets, use your butthole."

46.

"Shit your pants at a job interview, then clean it up to show off your problem solving skills."

47.

"Hand hurts? Cut it off, it'll never hurt again."

48.

"Put a teabag in your mouth, then pour in the boiling water."

49.

"Party idea: water balloons filled with wet angry bees."

50.

"Fake pockets."

51.

"A pen that makes you do all of your writing in Comic Sans."

52.

"Catch a fever to stay warm this winter."

53.

"Donald Trump Fleshlight."

54.

"Body-odor-scented deodorant."

55.

"All-You-Can-Eat delivery."

56.

"Want to ace that job interview? Turn it into a staring contest…."

57.

"A yellow pages style book with information on thieves, drug dealers, etc."

58.

"Install carpet in every bathroom (even in the shower)."

59.

"A meth lab-scented perfume."

60.

"Wear a GoPro at all times and stream the video to the Internet."

61.

"Invisible hair coloring."

62.

"All malls and stores start putting up Christmas decorations today."

63.

"Glass-toe boots. Just like steel or composite, but with glass."

64.

"Build an oven out of wood."

65.

"Go after some jailbait to see whether the government is tracking you."

66.

"A mp3 to video converter."

67.

"Start selling drugs and advertise in the classified section of your local newspaper."

68.

"Use the share button on RedTube."

69.

"Mend broken limbs with casts made of cement."

70.

"Use the the girls from ‘2 girls, 1 cup’ as spokespeople for mouthwash."

71.

"Organ rental service."

72.

"Tape where neither side is sticky."

73.

"Saran wrap condoms."

74.

"Keep all your lights on during the day and off at night."

75.

"Unsweetened sugar."

76.

"Use actual menstruating women for maxi-pad commercials."

77.

"Link your Tumblr blog on all your college apps."

78.

"Empty your waterbed then fill it with gravel."

79.

"A wildlife show where the host is a nudist that attempts to have sex with wild animals."

80.

"Grape-flavored orange juice."

81.

"Garlic-flavored gum."

82.

"A deck of playing cards printed on both sides."

83.

"Get a tattoo done in pencil so you can erase it if you change your mind."

84.

"Keep all your faucets and showers running so you don't have to keep turning them on and off."

85.

"Fill your bagpipes with water in case you get thirsty."

86.

"Sell your car for gas money."

87.

"Sue your parents for your bad genes."

88.

"Dick-flavored condoms."

89.

"Compare fork sizes by seeing which one fits the best into an electric socket."

90.

"Use frozen raw chicken chunks as ice cubes."

91.

"Get smart by hitting yourself with a dictionary."

92.

"Strip naked every time it rains for a free shower."

93.

"Use duct tape and glue to wax body hair."

94.

"Wanna be Spider-Man? Put superglue on your fingers and climb the nearest tall building structure."

95.

"Spray Febreze up your anus so that your farts smell good!"

96.

"Fuck a tree so then your children will be trees and live forever."

97.

"Have a screaming contest with a baby…."

98.

"Eat a burrito the same way you would eat corn on the cob."

99.

"Smooth and repair scratched discs by using sandpaper."

100.

"Adopt a ‘spitters are quitters’ approach when it comes to chewing gum."

101.

"Tired and thirsty from practicing trombone all day? Tip your trombone upwards for a delicious drink!" TC mark

Here Is The Best Advice For Living A Full Life From Every State

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Daniella Urdinlaz
Daniella Urdinlaz

1. Alabama:

Enjoy the historic abundance of the state. Go for walks, go to space camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Listen to the soulful music and sing 'Sweet Home Alabama.'

2. Alaska:

Take your SO stargazing and see the northern lights. Alaska is one of the best places on earth to see the northern lights – while you're there, take advantage of other winter experiences like snowmobiling and skiing.

3. Arizona:

Pick your favorite outdoor adventures or try them all. top-notch golf courses, vibrant cultures and historic landmarks are just some of the things you can swing by every day in Arizona. Take it to the next level and go do some soul-searching in the Sonoran Desert.

4. Arkansas:

Go fishing on a sunny day in Greers, or just enjoy the beauty of the lakes and the streams and rivers.

5. California:

Stalk all your favorite celebrities by dining anywhere in Beverly Hills. Not to mention take your dog or your babies and spend a day in Malibu or Laguna Beach.

6. Colorado:

Coloradans have plenty of reasons to get out there and do stuff with all the hiking, skiing and outdoor activities. Even if you're not doing a strenuous Rocky Mountain hike, getting outside every day is a way to feed your soul. Spend time in active meditation, and remember to slow down and be grateful for the little things.

7. Connecticut:

One word: PIZZA. “Pepe’s” is one of the oldest pizza joints in the country. Known for its deliciousness, you can never run out of excuses to take your friends and go there. Hug your neighbors, people in Connecticut know how to truly help each other and make each other feel like family.

8. Delaware:

Abuse your tax-free shopping. You can always take your friends and go shopping and pay exactly what was on the price tag. Or show off your golf skills at any of the Delaware state parks.

9. Florida:

The gorgeous weather is not for staying indoors. Go biking or take a run by the beach. Or drive down to Miami and enjoy the beautiful beaches and sneak in one of the yachts. Recreate your favorite childhood memories by taking a trip to Disney World!

10. Georgia:

Take the family and visit he aquarium or escape the busyness of the city by unwinding  at the beautiful pine mountains. Maybe take a day to explore The Historic Roswell, GA; this gem is home to a number of delectable eateries where families are always welcome y'all.

11. Hawaii:

Delicious seafood, pineapples, tropical drinks, lei and surfing are just some of the things you can do every day in Hawaii. Be grateful for this exotic life.

12. Idaho:

Take a walk on the wild side and experience nature close up in Idaho's zoos. Also the Cheapest groceries of all states, Idahoans pay nearly half the price for their groceries as bordering states Montana and Washington.

13. Illinois:

Unwind at the top of the Hancock Building after a long day at work. Or hang out with your buddies to talk about sports over and over again. Feeling heroic? Take your bae to The Super Museum in Metropolis.

14. Indiana:

Gather your friends and watch basketball! No one will judge you and the neighbors will never call the cops on you because they are probably screaming in front of the TV too.

15. Iowa:

Share your lovely stories with your friends by the bonfire in your backyard. It's a small town and everyone loves hearing and telling stories.

16. Kansas:

Invite your friends over for a Kansas City-style barbecue and talk about how you could change the world. Kansas has the most teenage volunteers trying to make the world a better place.

17. Kentucky:

It's Friday night every night, just go to the Bourbon Trail Passport and try the best of the best all over the state and drink and laugh the night away.

18. Louisiana:

Celebrate life and music at all these festivals going on in your neighborhood. Enjoy the music and some very generous food portions that will fill you up all day.

19. Maine:

Be grateful for the little things, like watching the sunrise and sunset in the beautiful Acadia National Park, or stuff your face with lobster. Both are things to be deeply thankful for.

20. Maryland:

Take a soulful walk in the National Harbor or just sit there and eat lots of crabs with an overdose of old bay seasoning. Later on, indulge in some fancy shopping in Chevy Chase.

21. Massachusetts:

If you are not busy worrying about the Red Sox, you should relax and wine and dine at The Massachusetts Wine and Cheese Trail with more than 29 wineries and 18 cheese sellers. Sports & wine make life so much better.

22. Michigan:

Enjoy the simpler things in life, like hot dogs, pizzas and pop tarts while talking about hockey.

23. Minnesota:

With over a thousand individual lakes, it's easy to make plans. So take a canoe out, or go skating when the water freezes. And say things 'nicely' to all the extremely 'nice' people in Minnesota.

24. Mississippi:

Learn the art of patience by going fishing and catching some amazing catfish for dinner.

25. Missouri:

Take your bike through the best trails in the country or run away from the chaos of life in one of the thousands of Missouri caves.

26. Montana:

If you want to see paradise on earth, take your friends and go the West side of the Absaroka Range in Paradise Valley, or just reflect on the amazing scenery you have all seasons long.

27. Nebraska:

Football and popcorn – all day, every day.

28. Nevada:

Go rock climbing or zip lining in the desert if you are feeling adventurous, or just camp out under a sea of stars. On the flip side, feed your sinful soul by taking a trip to Sin City.

29. New Hampshire:

Take some time to think on top of the gorgeous mountains, or listen to the sound of the waves at the Hampton Beach State Park. Either way, you win!

30. New Jersey:

Go 'down the shore' or go to the diner at 2 am to get some pancakes. Enjoy the perks of being a Jersey resident to the fullest.

31. New Mexico:

Light and breezy is a way of life. Embrace the romantic and friendly atmosphere permeating every corner of this magnetic state.

32. New York:

Get inspired by the city lights and dream big. The big apple is the perfect place to live if you plan on taking over the world someday. Go out and meet people from all over the world and learn about all the different cultures and hear all sorts of different accents.

33. North Carolina:

If you're not rooting for your favorite college basketball team, you should check the ever-growing underground music scene, or reenact your favorite scenes from One Tree Hill.

34. North Dakota:

Bike your way through the gorgeous landscapes and make sure to look good because you know you will definitely bump into someone you know at one point.

35. Ohio:

Please don't vote for trump.

36. Oklahoma:

Catch the beautiful sunset or gaze at the stars, play your favorite country jam and sing along.

37. Oregon:

You will never run of things to do. From water sports, to biking to drinking freshly brewed beer or getting lost in literature. You can find many things to do for your every mood.

38. Pennsylvania:

Take a weekend getaway at one of the plenty of wineries and don’t forget to bring some home for the rest of the family.

39. Rhode Island:

Drive by the gigantic beautiful mansions without envy because nobody actually lives in them.

40. South Carolina:

Bless the lord for the awesome food and the southern hospitality, you will never starve or feel lonely.

41. South Dakota:

Live your best life with minimal cost. Everything is so affordable and everyone is so friendly – happiness is in the air.

42. Tennessee:

When in doubt, go to a karaoke bar! Everyone sounds exceptionally good, it's like having front row tickets to the Country Music Awards.

43. Texas:

Drift down the river on a hot summer day with all your best friends for some unforgettable memories and amazing pictures.

44. Utah:

Take advantage of the "Greatest Snow on Earth" and go skiing. Scientifically proven to have the perfect blend of powder and salt for the best skiing conditions. Also perfect for having snowball fights.

45. Vermont:

Breathe some fresh air and eat some fresh food. Hit up one of the 100 vendors in each town's market for a variety of farm fresh, totally organic options. Bringing health and deliciousness to your doorstep.

46. Virginia:

Explore Mother Nature and take a drive to see the breathtaking greenery, the waterfalls and the beautiful sunsets. Beautiful in all four seasons.

47. Washington:

Take advantage of the flexible pet laws and buy a cat or a dog if you don't already have one. They will change your life.

48. Washington D.C.:

Dress to impress. You will always run into very important people (like Joe Biden) and other prominent political figures. Sight-seeing never gets old in the nation's capital, with all those monuments and museums just a few blocks away.

49. West Virginia:

Be daring and go Mountain biking or just enjoy the incomparable pepperoni rolls.

50. Wisconsin:

Rejoice because you live in a world of cheese and you can get any kind of cheese you crave. This is the life.

51. Wyoming:

Be silent. Be still. Every day is so peaceful, you'll never have to deal with honking cars and noisy people. Just you, your thoughts and ultimate serenity. TC mark

Trumpism, Or, Why White People In America Are Angry

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 12:15 PM PDT

I was talking to a German friend of mine recently about politics in America, a familiar conversation you’re used to having as an American in Europe, but what struck me about this conversation was that she told me she’d never been to the States and that now she was afraid of ever going. All she’d seen lately of the U.S. in media and news was police shootings and unbridled violence against black people, so she was convinced that she’d get shot up if she brought her negro nose and Jackson 5 nostrils over.

Let the implications of this sit with you for a second. This is what Europeans think of America. And it’s helping Donald Trump pave his way to the White House.

One of the things that confuses me in the Trump rhetoric is this doozy: “We need to take our country back. We’re going down the wrong path. We need to take our country back.”

It would all make sense if things in America were completely shit and going up in smoke, but they aren’t. So the question is “back” from what? Who is Donald Trump and his followers asking we take our country “back” from?

White people in America are angry, and this is what Donald Trump’s presidential bid is all about. Over the past few years white people have sued universities because they didn’t get in and they have stood behind police officers who have shot or otherwise killed unarmed black people. They have tried to transform a progressive BlackLivesMatter movement to an AllLivesMatter one, and they came for BeyoncĂ© because she made a video about loving her blackness, an artistic gesture that wasn’t even for white people and that still got them hot and bothered.

thierry ehrmann
thierry ehrmann

In Donald Trump they have found a candidate who is outside of the political establishment, sure — a good thing in a politically gridlocked system. But you’re fooling yourself if you think that somehow being outside of the political establishment yet deeply embedded in the business one are two different things with different results, one better than the other.

He speaks to white anger — an irrational anger and fear that brown people and minorities are winning. Donald Trump is the reverse racism candidate, the ideal spokesperson for the white people who have said something negative in the comments about race on a blog or website, for all those who think white people are somehow at a disadvantage.

Trump supporters want to give America back to “normal” people, plain and simple. Enough with the minorities already.

Under a President Trump, like climate change, racism, sexism and other types of bigotry don’t exist, even though science and the deterioration of the planet are proof enough. It’s all a figment of the liberal media’s overactive imagination, something that can’t exist because we all matter and should judge each other by the content of our character not the color of our skin.

(Note the sarcasm.)

What many white Trump supporters do want to get rid of, what they are really very angry about, is political correctness, the irony being that political correctness nearly always has to do with calling out and putting an end to bigotry.

You need look no further than Trump’s own rallies to see how the spaces are engineered for white people, with brown people and queers being immediately targeted as protesters and hurled out, usually with a fight. On Friday, March 11, Trump cancelled a rally in Chicago over security concerns. Rachel Maddow, at MSNBC, has done an excellent job of showing how Trump’s “beat ’em up” rhetoric has led to and encouraged violence against minorities at his rallies. And to think: this is the person the Republican Party is about to nominate as its top dog.

I’m not going to be alarmed or surprised if Donald Trump is elected President in 2017. If ever a civil war was coming, it would be then. TC mark