Thought Catalog


15 Hauntingly Beautiful Poetry Excerpts For When Everything Inside You Hurts

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:15 PM PDT

Milly Cope
Milly Cope

1.

“I need you to be a monster / which is to say, I am trying not to love you / which is to say, I am still dreaming of kissing your claws.”

Fortesa Latifi

2.

"I said to the sun, 'Tell me about the big bang.' The sun said, 'it hurts to become.’"

Andrea Gibson

3.

“I wonder if I will remember this as the winter where everyone died but I wasn't overcome with sadness.”

Chrissy Stockton

4.

“it is a tuesday when i love someone
who doesn't love me. no, it's not the first time,
but it's a sad time. oh, it's always a sad time
but my heart doesn't listen, doesn't understand,
soars like a child in a rocket ship,
doesn't believe in gravity. doesn't believe
in learning a lesson. wants to give
until there is nothing left but glitter.”

Yena Sharma Purmasir

5.

“To love me is to love a haunted house
– it's fun to visit once a year,
but no one wants to live there.”

Brenna Twohy

6.

“when it rains i know you are looking at the same rain. i have to believe it means something different to you than it does to me.”

Jones Howell

7.

“The truth is,
some pain just isn't worth it.
Sometimes, the hurt gets old.
Sometimes, you get tired of
being the one who has to heal.”

Caitlyn Siehl

8.

"I loved you head over handles
like my first bicycle accident —
before the mouthful of gravel and blood,
I swore we were flying."

Sierra DeMulder

9.

“It's been three years since I've spent
the night with someone who liked me
enough to get breakfast in the morning.
Still, I spread my heart thin like butter
on toast, hoping someone else will come
along and snatch it off my plate.”

Trista Mateer

10.

“You are a massive forest full of beautiful and vibrant stories and every single one of them deserves you more than those that abandoned you to hell.”

Nikita Gill

11.

“Accidents never happen when the room is empty.
Everyone understands this. Everyone needs a place.

People like to think war means something.”

Richard Siken

12.

“I care
like it is an alternative to breathing
and every available ounce of oxygen has suddenly gone missing.”

Danielle Shorr

13.

“Everything hurts and no one is telling me how to heal.
I meditate with rose quartz resting in my palms.
I eat more bananas.
I make a spell with bat’s wings and dandelion water.
something has to work,
but I am waiting, at the end of my rope,
braiding my hair into broken,
twisted cusps of thread,
in a desperate way of begging the universe
to put me somewhere safe.”

Schuyler Peck

14.

“I hated him most
for not having the courage
to ruin us grandly.
To break all the dishes
and burn down the house.
Instead he sunk quiet
into the arms of a beautiful,
weak little bird.
Denied me my spilled blood,
my great war, everything
except his confession.”

Clementine von Radics

15.

“I have developed an affinity for comfort
When I am wanting for something I can't have and at the moment
I've built a home inside of
Not having you.”

Heidi Priebe TC mark

17 Reasons People Who Love To Read Are The Happiest People To Be Around

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Twenty20, Tintim
Twenty20, Tintim

1. Thanks to years of consuming so many stories, a reader’s interior world is truly amazing—a sanctuary they can escape to whenever they please, which is a serious advantage when life gets tricky and the real world isn’t such a great place to be.

2. Readers also tend to be creative since they've been feeding their imaginations with narratives of all sorts for as long as they remember. Elasticity in thinking fosters success in many areas, professional and personal.

3. They’re extremely good at being alone, too. Or, rather, they never actually feel alone because they're always accompanied by the stories, characters, and themes floating around in their minds—a wealth of material they can ponder anywhere, at any time.

4. It's not that they don't enjoy others’ company, but that they can entertain themselves so easily just by revisiting all the other worlds they’ve come to know on the page, fictional or not.

5. In fact, they practically never get bored because during even the most dull circumstances (a school lecture, or a work meeting that runs on for too long) they can let their minds wander.

6. If a train takes fifteen more minutes to arrive than it’s supposed to, they don’t get angry about the delay. They just reach for the paperback in their back pocket or the hardcover in their handbag.

7. If there's a book to read, they have something to do with every single spare moment, so each is welcomed. A voracious reader is far less likely to grow frustrated when forced to wait at the doctor's office or in line at the grocery store. Instead, they take such things in stride, marveling at how upset others get over the prospect of wasting time.

8. Unlike most, they actually adore their daily commute to and from the office, viewing it as an opportunity to dive back into whatever title they're currently immersed in. There's something wonderful about starting and ending each day in the same peaceful way.

9. They don't even get mad when a friend or a colleague shows up late for a meeting or a dinner date because they always have words to keep them company. If, for whatever reason, they’ve forgotten to tote a book, they’ll read anything on hand—a newspaper, a magazine, or even a menu.

10. They view every second reading as a chance to learn something, always happy to absorb as much information as possible.

11. Armed with so much to say about so many different subject, they also make great guests at cocktail parties. All they have to do is draw on the vast knowledge they've acquired, accidentally or not, through reading so much.

12. They're more likely to understand other people regardless of backgrounds because reading provides them with context about all kinds of places and people, imaginary and real.

13. They can connect with literally anyone—family members, friends, colleagues, and total strangers—just by speaking about a book at length.

14. Reading is a way to exercise one’s capacity for empathy, a phenomenon that isn't lost on the typical book worm. Avid readers can't help trying to see things from another’s perspective, even when that person disagrees with them vehemently.

15. So when they do get into a heated debate, they tend to fight cleaner and to find resolution faster than others might.

16. Maybe because their vocabularies are padded with all the words and phrases they’re constantly digesting, they sincerely enjoy articulating their thoughts to anyone who will listen.

17. Late at night, they always have a book on the bedside table to rescue them from sleeplessness, so they tend to be well rested, ready to tackle each new day. TC mark

For Every College Senior: A Goodbye To The Soulmates You Found Over The Last Four Years

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 07:00 PM PDT

eddie_rios
eddie_rios

Some of you are going to be in my wedding. Some of you are going to be the godparents of my children. Some of you are going to slowly fade out of my life over the next few years, not because we want it to happen, but because life will get in the way. Some of you, I will never see again after I walk away from this place.

But all of you have left a mark on me.

I can’t have all of you, still, when all of this is over. I wish I could, but I can’t. Because never again will life be this easy, this pretty, this effortless. Never again will I be surrounded by you, my second family, my support system – your doors just a few feet or a couple blocks away from my own. We won’t get our work done at two in the morning together, sitting on couches and chugging coffee and feeling comforted as we type our papers or study for our exams because we feel each other’s warm presences just a few feet away.

We were never alone here. We couldn’t have been, even if we tried.

But soon you’ll all be taken away from me. Not in an angry, harrowing way. Just in a this is life kind of way. You’re all going to be pulled in directions different from my own, because we’re all trying to dip our toes into adulthood, real adulthood, and this separation is part of it. We’re not going to live in six-person houses anymore, where empty bottles of alcohol proudly line the walls on top of the counters and mismatched furniture sits happily together in the family room – our own little messy, hectic, chaotic, beautiful home.

Soon we’ll be residing in little studios or two-person apartments, trying to adjust to the rough smack of the quietness that hits us each time we walk in the door after work. Never before has silence seemed so horribly loud. We’ll work to meet up for happy hours or Friday night dinners, or even cross-country weekend visits if we’re separated by that many miles. And it will seem easy at first, fun even. We’ll feel grown up thanks to our steady paychecks and our busy schedules and our weekend traveling.

But, like it always does, life will get in the way. The visits will become more rare, the meet-ups more sporadic. We’ll find new friend-families, new routines, new weekend hangouts in our respective cities. We’ll tag each other in Timehops that remind us of who we were, together, when that one photo was taken in that candid moment on that one Friday night that we’ll remember forever. I’ll think of you often when I see these little reminders, with a smile on my face. But soon we’ll simply be counting on engagement parties and weddings to force us to drop what we’re doing so that we can spend a weekend together.

Even if we do remain close, even if we fight to stay in touch and see each other on a regular basis, things are going to change. But that’s okay. Because we can’t stay here forever, in this little bubble, hidden from the very things we came here to learn about. We have to move on, we have to grow up, we have to learn to live out this friendship under new circumstances, because things are always going to change.

What I will remember as I leave this place is that it will hurt because of you. It will hurt because you brought me such joy, such laughter, and such pure happiness. You taught me things you don’t even know that you taught me. You are part of the reason that I am a different person today than I was four years ago when I arrived here, petrified and exhilarated.

If we ever come back here, this place is not going to look the same. There will eventually be new buildings, new sidewalks, new restaurants. But most of all, there will be new people. A new energy that we don’t recognize. The place that we knew will exist now only in our minds, in that piece of us that came to life the minute we stepped onto this campus. But in that way, our experience is immortal. It will always be immortal, because when it exists as a memory, a connection, an energy between you and I, it is safe from upgrades, from construction, from weather damage, from other people, from anything that would ever try to change it.

These last four years will always be here, between us, no matter what happens. That’s the safest home this experience could ever have. TC mark

Politically Incorrect

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:16 PM PDT

I know I’m not supposed to say this
But the smell of tobacco on you
Does things to me
I would not want my mom —
or the Surgeon General
to know. TC mark

Here Are The Creepiest Monster Legends From Every State In The Country

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:00 PM PDT

The Northeast

1. Cassie

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 11.20.06 AM
via Wiki Commons

The first sighting of Cassie, a giant sea serpent (between 60 and 150 ft. long) living in the frigid waters of Maine’s Casco Bay was in 1777. It’s been reported to be a fast swimmer and has even been reported as having been seen up close. A Naval Ensign named Edward Preble even had a close encounter with Cassie where the monster looked him square in the face. It apparently frightening Preble so badly that he fired a cannon at it and scared it away.

All told there’ve been four well documented sightings of Cassie leading up to the 1950s as well as many other anecdotal sightings.

2. Thunderbirds

via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Thunderbird are giant black birds, sometimes described as reptilian that have been seen as far west as Arizona and, more recently, as far east as Pennsylvania. In 2014 alone there were seven sightings of the giant birds there. The legend of the Thunderbird goes all the way back to ancient Indian lore and tales from the Old West include horrifying instances of the giant winged creates grasping full grown men and carrying them off the ground before dropping them.

One witness in New Florence, PA claimed that the bird he saw had a wingspan of at least 12 feet.

3. The Jersey Devil

via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Much more than simply another legendary monster, the Jersey Devil is believed to have once been a child born to a witch named Mother Leeds and the actual Devil in 1735. Developing hooves, a goat’s head, bat wings, and a forked tail, the child who would become the Jersey Devil killed its midwife and fled into the forest. Although a minister managed to exorcise the demon for 100 years it returned in 1840.

When it was again sighted in 1909, schools were closed and workers stayed home in order to avoid being attacked by the demonic creature. Over the decades, numerous rewards have been offered for the capture of the devil but, as yet, no one has been able to claim it.

4. Kipsy

First reported in 1610, Kipsy, also known as the Hudson Valley Monster, is reputed to a large serpent like beast similar to those seen in many other parts of the world. More recently, alleged sightings began again in 2006 with one witness stating that the creatures back was as broad as an elephant’s back. Unfortunately, no images exist of this very old American monster.

5. Champ

1920px-Artistic_representation_of_Sandra_Mansi's_1977_photograph_of_-Champ-_lake_monster
Artistic representation of Sandra Mansi’s 1977 photograph of the Lake Champlain Monster.

Also known as the Lake Champlain Monster (named so because it was first seen in Lake Champlain around New York and Vermont), Champ was first sighted in 1609 and has since hundreds of tourists and locals have also claimed to have seen it. In 1819, Captain Crum described the beast as being 187 feet long with three large visible teeth and eyes the color of onion peels. The beast also had a belt of red around its neck and a white star on its forehead.

In 1977, Sandra Mansi managed a photo of what she believed was the monster swimming close by. Although the photos were analyzed by forensics experts and deemed to have been unaltered, there’s still a lot of controversy as to whether what it shows is actually Champ or something else.

6. The Mothman

Statue of the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia via Flickr - Mark Cameron
Statue of the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia via Flickr – Mark Cameron

The infamous Mothman of West Virginia wasn’t spotted until 1966 when gravediggers in the area of Clendelin reported that a man-sized creature with odd wings swooped down over their heads from the nearby treetops. Soon after, two separate couples and two volunteer fireman reported seeing the same thing with the added description that the creature had red eyes. One of the couples reported that the Mothman even flew after them as they tried to drive away in their car.

Although there hasn’t been a sighting of the Mothman since 1967, the town of Point Pleasant, WV holds an annual Mothman festival in September of each year.

7. Pukwudgie

The Pukwidgie (meaning ‘person of the wilderness’) is a two to three foot tall troll-like creature with big ears, hands, feet, a big nose and grey skin that are recorded in the legends of the Wampanoag people who populated what is now called Massachusetts. Tricksters, the Pukwidgie have magical powers that they initially used just to kind of mess with people but after they were briefly banished by a giant they came back with a vengeance, a literal vengeance, seeking to trick and kill any human that they could. The following is a list of their powers.

  • They can appear and disappear at will
  • They can transform into a walking porcupine (it looks like a porcupine from the back, and the front is half-troll, half-human and walks upright)
  • They can attack people and lure them to their deaths
  • They are able to use magic
  • They have poison arrows
  • They can create fire at will
  • Pukwudgies control Tei-Pai-Wankas which are believed to be the souls of Native Americans they have killed.

At one point they were just annoying but now they’re murderous and may do anything ranging from playing harmless tricks to stealing children.

The South

8. Knobby

Often referred to as the Bigfoot of North Carolina, Knobby was given the name because the first sighting around an area called Carpenter’s Knob near Kings Mountain. Knobby was seen by at least a dozen people in the area back in 1979. Here’s how one witness described the creature.

“I seen its eyes first. Then I seen its oval shaped head. Then I seen the hair hanging off of him about 4 or 5 inches. I seen his left arm bowed out beside of him. I could see every finger and thumb,” said Lunsford. “I never did see it no more and I never did go back looking for it.”

The biggest difference between Knobby and the Bigfoot of the West is that Knobby has blonde hair instead of brown or black.

9. The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp

via Wiki Commons
Scape Ore Swamp via Wiki Commons

First spotted in 1988 near Scape Ore Swamp in South Carolina, the Lizard Man is described as being 7 feet tall with three fingers on each of its feet and hands and highly aggressive. During its first sighting, the man who saw it while changing his tire was pursued by the creature and it even leapt onto his rooftop while he drove away.

“I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off.”

Other sightings of the creature followed and were consist, a bipedal lizard creature ranging from green to dark in color with red eyes.

10. The Pope Lick Monster

via YouTube
via YouTube

Part man, part goat, and part sheep, the Pope Lick Monster is reputed to live underneath the railway trestle above Pope Lick Creek in Louisville, Kentucky. Legend has it that the monster is either a true human and goat hybrid or a circus freak who spent its life in torment prior to escaping and now seeks revenge. Still one other legend says that the monster is a farmer who was reincarnated after sacrificing goats to Satan in exchange for power.

Regardless of its origin, the monster is said to be able to both mimic human voices or put its victims in a hypnotic state in order to lure them onto the tracks and into the path of oncoming trains.

11. The Wampus Cat

via Flickr - Eric Kilby
via Flickr – Eric Kilby

The Wampus Cat of East Tennessee likely has its origins in Cherokee legend where it is said that a young girl once disguised herself in the skin of a cougar in order to spy on the men of her tribe as they sat around the campfire telling sacred hunting stories. Once discovered, the medicine man of the tribe punished her by turning her into a creature that was half woman and half cat.

Descriptions of the Wampus Cat itself vary but the creature is often depicted with two hind legs and four front legs and of greater size than any cougar. Folk legend in East Tennessee says that if you hear the cry of the Wampus Cat then it means that someone nearby will die within the next three days.

12. Atamaha-Ha

via Wiki Commons
via Wiki Commons

Hailing from Southern Georgia, Atamaha-Ha has been reported since native tribes inhabited the area. Green and up to thirty feet long, Atamaha-Ha is said to inhabit the streams and abandoned rice fields of the mouth of the Altamaha River.

13. Skunk Apes

Alleged photo of a Skunk Ape taken by Loren Coleman
Alleged photo of a Skunk Ape

Inhabiting Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas, the Skunk Ape is a bipedal humanoid creature between six and seven feet tall. Appearing much like Bigfoot, the Skunk Ape is also said to be accompanied by an unpleasant odor.

via lorencoleman.com
via lorencoleman.com

The above photos were taken by an anonymous individual who believed what she encountered may have been an escaped Orangutan however no Orangutans were reporting as missing from any zoos.

via lorencoleman.com
via lorencoleman.com

14. The Honey Island Swamp Monster

Another variant of Bigfoot under a different name, the Honey Island Swamp Monster was sighted in Louisiana and Mississippi as early as the 1960s by those living in remote bayou communities. A man named Harlan Ford was the first to film the creature on now primitive 8mm film. Described as being near seven feet tall, the creature bears all the descriptive markings of a Bigfoot-like ape.

15. Fouke Monster

via YouTube
via YouTube

Interest in the Fouke Monster was rekindled in the 1970s as a result of a number of cattle being seemingly slaughtered and eaten in the town of Fouke, Arkansas. Described as hairy and having a distinctive stench, the beast was described as being a circa seven feet tall bipedal humanoid with eyes the size of silver dollars.

However, the 1970s weren’t the first time the creature was reported. In 1851, 1856, and 1875, a creature exactly like the Fouke Monster was described as being responsible for the disappearance of cattle in other parts of Arkansas. Since then, dozens of sightings have been reported.

16. Big Bird

via YouTube
via YouTube

“Big Bird” is a giant winged creature first sighted in Texas in 1976 first by two young girls and later by a police officer who claimed the creature was five feet tall with a twelve foot wingspan. Later on the same day a father and son who were out fishing saw a creature matching the description of the both the officer and the two girls. Here’s just one of several accounts of encountering the creature.

On January 14, 1976, Raymondville resident Armando Grimaldo claimed to have had the most harrowing encounter yet chronicled with this aerial atrocity. According to Grimaldo, he heard a loud flapping sound accompanied by a odd whistling noise while walking outside. Just as he glanced up to find the source of this strange noise a pair of large, talon-like claws grabbed onto the back of his shoulders, tearing his shirt and sending him crashing to the ground.

Many believe “Big Bird” to be one of the Thunderbirds sighted elsewhere in the U.S.

The Midwest

17. Bessie

via Flickr - melland
via Flickr – melland

Believed to be hidden in the depths of Lake Erie, Bessie, as it’s affectionally called, is a legendary sea monster first sighted in the late 1700s. Unlike some other plesiosaur looking monsters, Bessie is described explicitly as a serpent like creature from 16 to 40 feet in length and of a dark copper color. In 1817, several men, upon seeing the creature, reported firing their muskets at it in unison but that it had no visible effect.

Later sightings took place in the late 1800s with the most recent sighting being in 1993.

18. The Loveland Frogmen

via Flickr - William Andrus
via Flickr – William Andrus

Perhaps the most bizarre creature on this entire list of bizarre creatures, the Frogmen of Loveland, Ohio are described as being between three and four foot tall biped humanoids with frog heads, webbed hands and feet, and reptilian skin. The first sighting was in 1955 from a man an unnamed man who claims he saw three of the creatures by the side of the road when he was changing a tire. The entire affair would likely have ended there had a police officer not had a similar encounter seventeen years later.

In the span of seconds this crouched, frog-like creature, stood on two legs, stared back at the police man, then scrambled over the guard rail and scurried down the embankment, finally disappearing into the Little Miami River.

Not long after, another officer claimed to have seen nearly the exact same thing. A farmer also came forward with a bizarre tale of coming upon four such creatures while inspecting his fields.

19. The Beast of Busco

via Flickr - Christopher Evans
via Flickr – Christopher Evans

The common description of the Beast of Busco hailing from Churubusco, Indiana is a very simple one. The Beast is a 500 pound alligator snapping turtle. The thing is that a normal one can already get huge, like so.

via YouTube
via YouTube

They commonly tip the scale at over 300 pounds and there are even stories of a Kansas turtle that weighed 405 pounds. Of course these are the biggest ones but it would not be impossible for an alligator snapping turtle to eventually reach this size especially since it’s also possible for them live to 200 years of age.

20. Momo

‘Momo’ is short for Missouri Monster and this legendary American beast is yet another derivation of the Bigfoot ape species spotted in nearly every part of the U.S. Even better, this one’s tracks are backed up by science as being attributed to “an unknown primate species.”

Since 1971, Momo has been seen or detected seven times by over a dozen different people. It’s described as tall, 7’1″, with a roundish head and hair so thick that it even seems to cover the creature’s eyes.

21. The Ozark Howler

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.05.03 PM
via YouTube

Hidden deep in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Oklahoma hides the Ozark Howler, purported to be a giant cat as big as a bear with horns.

22. Alkali Lake Monster

via Nebraska State Historical Society
via Nebraska State Historical Society

Lurking in the deep waters of Alkali Lake, formed from the crater of giant volcano lies the Alkali Lake Monster, a beast purported to 40 feet long with a giant horn protruding from the middle of its forehead. First sighted in 1922, eyewitnesses claimed the back and shape of its body somewhat resembled that of an alligator although far more powerfully built. Seen from no further than 60 feet away, the newspaper the Omaha Herald stated, once spotted, the beast let out an enormous roar before it sank again into the inky depths of the lake.

The West

23. Shunka Warakin

via Wiki Commons
via Wiki Commons

Getting its name from a Loway Indian term meaning “carries off dogs,” the Shunka Warakin was first mentioned in Native American lore. Although it resembles a wolf it is both taller and heavier with a snout that more resembles that of a Hyena rather than an American Gray Wolf.

A rancher claims to have shot one a Shunka Warakin in 1886 and provided a photo of the animal once stuffed. While its unclear whether the rancher’s story is true, many believe that the tales of the Shunka Warakin stem from Native American cultural memory of dire wolves which once existed in great numbers across North America…and may still exist.

via cryptomundo
via cryptomundo

24. The Flathead Lake Monster

Flathead Lake is located in Montana and tells of a monster living in that lake have existed since at least the late 1800s. Most sightings occur during the Spring and Summer months and have occurred frequently, approximately once to twice every year.

The beast is reported to be similar to that of a giant sturgeon which are able to achieve weights of 1,000 pounds however the Flathead Lake Monster is reported to be much larger and up to 40 feet in length. In 1993 there was even a sighting of two of the creatures swimming together.

25. Caddy

via Wiki Commons
via Wiki Commons

‘Caddy’ is a serpent-like sea monster long cataloged among First Nation populations of what is now Washington State, Oregon, and Alaska. Its existence was so well known that the Inuit of Alaska painted a depiction of the creature on the side of their boats in the hopes that it would ward off the true ‘Caddy.’

It is between 40 and 70 feet long and undulates through the water using small flippers. There have been more than 300 sightings of ‘Caddy’ in the last 200 years and some remains has been recovered as in the above picture of a recovered skull.

26. Paddler

Located in Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille is 40 miles long and 1,100 feet in depth. Plenty of space for a monster affectionately called ‘Paddler’ by locals to hide. There have been numerous sightings of paddler since the 1940s, many of which describe a prehistoric creature of a greyish green color with a long neck that extends out of the water.

27. Bigfoot

via YouTube
The Patterson Film via YouTube

The most popular of all American monsters, Bigfoot or Sasquatch is known far and wide as being by far the most spotted beast of its kind in the country. With thousands of people claiming to have seen and even video recorded the creature and the enormous footprints it leaves behind, the creature’s legend has spawned an entire industry of monster hunters.

One thing you may not know is that the Anglicized word Sasquatch is derived from the native Halkomelem word sásq’ets meaning ‘wild man.’

Bigfoot sightings have mostly occurred in the Pacific Northwest although you can see just from this list that sightings of the creature range far and wide where other names have been given to what appears to be the same creature.

And here are 911 calls reporting Bigfoot sightings and sounds.

28. The Bear Lake Monster

via YouTube
via YouTube

Found in Bear Lake on the border of Utah and Idaho and first spotted in the late 1800s, the monster is described as something that looks very much like a giant alligator or crocodile except it possesses prehistoric dimensions. Sightings have been few and far between since that time but there was one claimed sighting in 2004.

29. The Mogollon Monster

Often called the Bigfoot of Arizona, the Mogollan Monster is similar to its more popular cousin in almost every way except it also appears to be a mimic, able to copy the calls of birds and other animals. It also appears to have a variety of fur colors ranging from white to black.

In 2006, a member of the White Mountain Apache nation of Arizona stated that there had been more sightings of the creature in recent years than ever before to the point that they could no longer be ignored.

30. Chupacabra

via Flickr - Michael Snipes
via Flickr – Michael Snipes

The Chupacabra or “goat sucker” is perhaps the second most famous of America’s legendary creatures. With a reptilian appearance, the Chupacabra has also been reported as having quills down its back and appears to move by hopping. While it’s most commonly associated with the Southwest in America, the creature has been reported as far east as Puerto Rico and as far north as Maine.

It gets its name from its legendary tendency to attack livestock, specifically goats, and drink their blood like a vampire. Many modern depictions of the creature in the contemporary media depict the Chupacabra as a dog like creature but this is a deviation from the original description. TC mark

10 Simple Ways To Heal A Broken Heart

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:15 PM PDT

Jeff Isy
Jeff Isy

"I can't do this anymore."

The words still ringing in your ears, bouncing around until they land like a punch in the gut. You're immediately transported to a new world, one you didn't know existed before this moment. A world and life without your beloved.

It doesn't feel real. You pinch yourself to wake up from this nightmare, but you're still here, still spinning from this declaration, this revocation of love.

Warm tears stream down your face until you begin to sob, that terrible uncontrollable sob that leaves you gasping for air. You want to hide away, cry yourself to sleep, and somehow magically feel better tomorrow.

We've all been here. Or some variation of it. We've all had our hearts broken and stomped on. We've all turned over every moment of our relationship in our heads and wondered, "What could I have done differently?"

But we are now transported into a world where the love we felt is snatched away from us and don't know what to do with ourselves other than grieve and mourn our loss.

I recently read a book that briefly touched upon heartbreak and it's advice basically amounted to "go out with your girlfriends as much as possible." WTF? That's it? That's how I'm going to heal my heart? Most of my girlfriends are scattered across the globe. Going out with them every night isn't even a viable option.

How on earth do you turn off those kinds of feelings? What happens to love lost? How do you mend a broken heart? I decided to investigate how to mend my own shattered heart.

In previous breakups, I've just idly fallen into my own personal patterns of love lost. For me, I cry, I stay in bed, watch bad tv, eat cookie dough, and hide away from the people who love me. I mostly don't DO anything. I sit and wait.

Because time heals all wounds, right? Or does it? If time is a construct of our minds, do we really have to wait for the passing of time, something illusory to heal ourselves? Can we speed up the process of healing our wounds? How much can we control our healing through our actions and patterns?

So, instead of blindly falling into my patterns, I started to ask myself some questions about my habits. I'm looking at my patterns with loving curiosity, playing with them a bit, seeing what is actually serving me and seeing what patterns are there strictly because of efficiency, because my mind, body, and heart are too tired for anything but pattern. And here's what I've learned…

1. Lean Into Sensation

Essentially, everything we experience as physical beings comes down to sensation that we label "good" or "bad". When I began to lean into the sensation in my body, asking what it had to tell me, things began to transform.
I asked where the pain lived in my body. I closed my eyes and imagined personifying my sensation. I described what it felt like in writing, how I had to remind myself to breathe and how interesting the absence of a thing – air and love felt so heavy.

I examined the tightening in my chest, trying not to label it good or bad, just simply as sensation. Human suffering is largely a result of labeling experience as "good" or "bad" and "right" or "wrong".

The thing about sensation is, it's always changing. It doesn't stay forever. When we shift our perspective of experience just being a temporary state of existence, it takes the charge out of it, just through the simple act of observation. In my experience, the sensation itself tends to transform faster the closer I look at it.

By noticing how heavy the absence of air felt, I began to fill my lungs with slower, deeper breaths and saw my entire being become a bit lighter.

2. Frankie Says Relax

Remember those t-shirts from the 80s from Frankie goes to Hollywood? Turns out those guys had a good idea.

While this might seem a bit contradictory to just observing sensation, this practice of relaxing your body has slightly different merits. We hold so much tension in our bodies on a daily basis, and it's even more amplified in times of high stress.

Make a practice of scanning each part of your body for tension. I like to start out lying down on my back and closing my eyes like I would for savasana. Take a couple of deep breaths, then try to contract and tense up every single muscle in your body at once. Hold this for a couple of seconds, then release the tension in your whole body. Repeat a couple of times. I find it helpful to see the contrast in how my body feels between the tension and the relaxation.

Then take it further by slowly scanning each part of your body from head to toe. Tense up an individual muscle group for a moment, then release it. Crinkle your forehead, and release. Squeeze your eyes tight, and release. Clench your jaw, and release. Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, then let it hang loose in your mouth.

You get the picture. We all know we hold so much tension and stress in our shoulders and backs, but also pay attention to the little areas. Relaxing the smaller muscle groups, particularly in my face, often make the biggest difference in how I feel afterwards.

3. Move It

Rest is important in healing a heart. But I often place too much emphasis on it. Yes, I need to take care of myself with sleep and the grace of stillness. But I now believe it is equally important to move your body too. The medium of movement isn't important. Just move.

On day one I went to a yin yoga class. While technically moving my body, the demands of yin yoga are much less than say a spin class. Yin allowed me to stretch my body while still allowing me to feel introverted and my presence internalized which was all I could handle.

On day two I went for a four mile walk in the park. I kept my headphones on and didn't talk to anyone, but stretched my legs and got plenty of oxygen into my lungs.

This movement is helping me keep some momentum and energy for other aspects of my life I don't want to put on hold while my heart heals.

4. Reach For A Better Feeling Thought

This one can feel a little tricky. For starters, the thought of joy can feel so far removed from where you are right now. So, start where you are.

If you are depressed, what next best thing can you reach for? Depression is feeling hopeless, despondent, withdrawn. There isn't even any energy around depression. Happiness and love can feel like a world away from depression.

Can you reach for something that feels slightly better than this powerless despair? Perhaps hope? Or anger or rage? Most emotions have more energy behind them than depression. While anger isn't a place you want to stay in, it can also spur some movement.

What if each day you worked towards an emotion only one step in the direction you wish to move? Take a look at the Emotional Guidance System scale I created from Ask and it is Given below. Moving up by one emotion a day will put you in a pretty good place in not so long a time.

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There is something else to watch out for here. In the midst of my profound grief, I have moments of genuine laughter when I hear something funny. The first few times it happened, I immediately felt guilty.

It was as if my feeling good in any way was a betrayal to my broken heart. My brain was telling me that if I feel good, it's as if I didn't value that relationship as much as I thought I did. Well, that is hogwash. That is my hurt ego talking. My relationship meant and still means the world to me. Let me be really clear on this point…

Feeling good in the midst of grief is NOT a betrayal to what you are grieving

If you're having a hard time reaching for a better feeling thought, try some visualizations. Stay away from thoughts about your relationship and love. They are very charged topics, so start somewhere easy.

Close your eyes, imagine the feeling of the warm sun on your face, and cool breeze on bare shoulders. Imagine the taste of your favorite meal on your tongue. Imagine your abs aching after a good belly laugh. Build on this feeling with experiences from your own life you can draw from. What in your life is full of ease and joy?

5. Surround Yourself With Reminders Of Truth, Beauty, And Love

I have a tattoo on my left arm that says "Love…" Inspired by a blog post called the Beauty of the Ellipsis, it serves as a reminder that love isn't a finished thought. It is always in motion, always evolving. Love for myself, my family, my friends, and those I've lost.

I have a maple seed necklace to remind me that in every moment I'm planting the seeds of my future. I have prisms hanging from my windows for an extra punch of color and rainbows on sunny days. I am slowly building a jungle in my house. I fill empty spaces with plants that remind me of life and vitality even on the grayest of days.

Fill your surroundings and life with little bits that remind you of what you know to be true, beautiful, and joyful. These needn't be grand or expensive, just simply things that resonate with you. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Flowers from Traders Joe's. Pinterest board filled with beauty. Follow an inspiring Instagram or Tumblr account. Make or find a mantra. Use Canva to build and print out inspiring quotes to decorate your space. Go for a walk and find the perfect rock to bring home. Find a new favorite scent and spread it around your house liberally. Buy new stationary. Treat yourself to a print from Etsy. Draw images or inspiring quotes with sidewalk chalk in your neighborhood. Find a local place to make a coffee or tea mug. Alternately, find one that strikes your fancy at Society6. Create an altar or sacred space and fill it with crystals, palo santo, and offerings. Spend time with children. Find reminders of your truth and joy.

These may seem to be trivial things that are only on the surface, but I find the more I surround myself with items that feel whimsical and magical in some small way, the more I'm able to remind myself of how I want to feel in each moment. They help me choose to feel joy and magic when I might otherwise choose grief.

6. Self-Care Saturday (Or any day. Or every day!)

We can be quite punishing to ourselves in times of conflict and stress, so take some time to really take care of yourself in some way.

We're all busy and have responsibilities, but if you don't take care of yourself first, your responsibilities can begin to suffer as a result. I'm more focused and productive when I've taken care of my needs first. I attend to my responsibilities in a bigger and better way when my cup is full, not empty.

There's a lot of room for interpretation here as to what self-care looks like for each person. While technically, all the suggestions in this article are a form of self-care, I want you to block off some time specifically for self-care, digging deeper into what that means for you.

Maybe it's taking a long, luxurious bath and spending time pampering yourself with tinctures for your skin that make you feel radiant. It might be spending a couple hours in an animal shelter cuddling with puppies and kittens. Maybe it's scheduling a hot stone massage. Maybe it's nourishing your body with vibrant healthy food you've cooked yourself. It might be taking a couple hours to read a book that's been sitting on your nightstand for months.

Tailor your self-care and turn it into a weekly or even daily ritual.

7. Invest in Yourself

I'm willing to bet everyone has something new they'd like to try if only they had the time, money, or excuse.

Here is your permission slip to try that something new.

Did you want to pick up knitting, or maybe learn to play the guitar? Maybe learn some knife skills to elevate your cooking? Rock climbing, sky diving, painting, learning another language, the possibilities are endless. You can find a class on just about anything you like online these days.

As children, we try new things all the time. It's how we learn and grow at an exceptional rate. But this slows down as we grow up and our field of vision becomes smaller as we narrow down our playing field. So expand your horizons, invest in yourself in some way, and learn something new.

The cognitive requirements of learning something new can also serve as a great form of distraction when you need a distraction. Maybe you'll end up picking up a new hobby, check off another box on your bucket list, or have a good story to tell.

8. The "F" word…Forgiveness

Ahh, a big scary one! The topic of forgiveness can be a novel in itself. Maybe you need to forgive the actions of your ex, or maybe forgive yourself for your own. Or a combination of both.

We don't always like to forgive people for actions we deem wrong or hurtful because it can feel like we are giving them a free pass. But I've learned that holding onto anger and resentment is always worse. It's a tremendous energy suck and you can't feel joyful as the same time you are feeling justified in your anger. So, I choose my own happiness over my resentment.

It's a choice to make over and over again. It's not easy to forgive in one big sweeping motion. It generally happens in increments. It's helpful to practice radical empathy, vividly imagining how it feels to be the person who did you wrong. You know most people are essentially doing the best they can with the information they have at each moment. It becomes easier to imagine why they did what they did when you put yourself in their shoes. You begin to feel more compassion for them.

You recognize that the anger you're holding serves no one. And you slowly begin to let it go, piece by piece.

Because forgiveness is not for them, it's for YOU.

9. Give what you wish to receive

I was walking around, feeling like no one loves me, which is totally and utterly false, but when you're heartbroken, your mind says all kinds of irrational things. I saw a friend of mine post about writing a letter of encouragement to a friend, and I wished to be that friend with every fiber of my being. I wanted to open up my mailbox and see letters of love, a validation of the love that exists for me.

I asked myself what could I do to feel that love? I decided to GIVE what I wished to RECEIVE. I started writing letters of encouragement and love to friends and strangers alike. All I had to do was write what I wanted to hear, for myself. It was that easy.

This did two things for me.

One, the brain doesn't distinguish between giving, receiving, or even witnessing generosity. When you perform an act of kindness, the pleasure and rewards centers light up, releasing feel good chemicals as if you were the recipient, which some psychologists have dubbed the "helper's high."

Two, it shows me that we live in a world of abundance. I don't need to hoard away love and kindness to keep it. It actually grows when I give it away. It's generative. And often, when you give love and kindness away, others are inspired to mirror your love and kindness back to you as well as pay it forward to others.

We cannot presume to understand the power of the depth of what a few kind words can do for someone and it's ripple effect on the world. Win win win!

10. Investigate Your Own Patterns

This is by no means a complete list. Merely suggestions of the beginnings of opportunities for your own healing. The biggest thing you can do for yourself is to get curious, examine your own personal patterns in the experience of heartbreak, and question each one.

Hold each one up as they appear and ask "Does this serve me?"

If the answer is truly yes, keep it. If the answer is no, try something new or the opposite of that first instinct. Play with the new reaction, see if that one serves you better, makes you feel better both in the present and the long term.

And most important, be gentle with yourself. There are times to push your boundaries, to examine, and to experiment. But there is also a time for rest and a time to surrender. Give yourself the grace to know you are where you need to be when you need to be.

Use this time to crack your heart open rather than an excuse to just be broken.

Know that you won't always feel like your heart has been ripped out of your chest. Shorten the distance between a shattered heart and a mended heart by experimenting with these alternatives to your patterns. One day you'll open your heart again and feel the rush of falling in love. You'll look into eyes that truly see you and mirror your soul back to you. And you'll be ready for big love because you've already done the work to heal your heart. TC mark

Maybe We Have A Lot Of Soulmates, But We’re Only Supposed To Choose One

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Nick Bulanovv
Nick Bulanovv

I find the word soulmate simultaneously lovely and intimidating. It often seems so final and serious and scary to me, rather than what it’s supposed to be: sweet, simple, strong. I think a soulmate can be present in all sorts of situations: the soulmate you can find in a relationship with a friend, or a sibling, or a mentor.

But it’s the idea of the romantic soulmate that shakes me. The one that seems so overwhelming, obsessed over, and held to such a high standard. It makes ‘forever’ seem daunting and heavy, like something you have to feverishly chase after, something so rare and sparse that it could slip through your fingers at any moment – rather than something that weaves into your life naturally, because you simply feel it should be that way.

It oddly reminds me of the Easter egg hunts I would participate in as a kid. The details are fuzzy now – where these events took place, what the prizes were, who I did it with. I’ve forgotten all of that. But what I remember in complete clarity was the feeling of sheer panic and anxiety that always overcame me. It was supposed to be an experience filled with joy and giddiness, but all I could do was watch the other children racing madly around the space, feeling a sick drop in my stomach each time one of them screamed excitedly and lifted up their hand, visibly announcing to all others that they had found one of the prized eggs. My own quest to find eggs became less about the happy realization that I had spotted one, and more about the crazed and frantic desire to grab it before anyone else did.

Maybe it’s not so odd, now that I think about it. Maybe it’s not so odd that I can’t help but recall that frantic energy, that I can’t help but feel it in the air amongst my peers thanks to the constant stimulation we’re subjected to that is always focused on finding one’s soulmate. There’s a switch that turns on, right around age twenty-four, in which your relationship or lack thereof just becomes part of you and your identity. People you know ask about it, people you literally just met want to know if you’re with anyone (often with no motive other than maintaining their idea of simple small talk), people announce their engagement on social media and you ‘like’ it almost reflexively. It’s just a big part of our world now. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes you think nothing of it. But what often tosses everything over the edge is the idea that you shouldn’t be just searching for or maintaining love. You should be searching for, or should already be with, your one, true, meant-for-each-other soulmate. 

This is what throws me. The idea that there’s only one person in the entire world you could make a beautiful life with. And that if you don’t find them, or you think you already did and it didn’t work out, that you’re screwed. Maybe I’m a killjoy. Maybe I suck at being romantic. But I actually think the idea of having multiple soulmates you could have met in this world, multiple lives you could have led if just one thing had gone differently on one day – makes it all the more romantic when you do find one of them. When you contemplate the idea that there could be plenty of others out there for you, plenty of people you could have made this work with – but you chose this person, on this day, because you’re willing to make the jump with them.

I think there’s a lot of eggs out there in a lot of different hiding places. And that panicked, insane energy that we feel is going to take a while to simmer down. But when it does, and we can turn and look one of our soulmates in the eyes, won’t it be so much sweeter knowing we had as big of a hand in the survival of this relationship as Fate did? That we made a choice? That we’re here, right now with this person, not because they’re our only option, but because we want them and we want to take this jump? TC mark

22 Prince Quotes All About Love, Life, And Being Unapologetically Yourself

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 04:54 PM PDT

Arsenio Hall
Arsenio Hall

1.

“I rock, therefore I am.”

2.

“No child is bad from the beginning, they just imitate their atmosphere.”

3.

“There’s always a rainbow at the end of every rain.”

4.

“A strong spirit transcends rules.”

5.

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can”

6.

“Too much freedom can lead to the soul’s decay.”

7.

“I ain’t got no money – But I’m rich on personality.”

8.

“Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.”

9.

“As human beings we suffer from an innate tendency to jump to conclusions; to judge people too quickly and to pronounce them failures or heroes without due consideration of the actual facts and ideals of the period.”

10.

“Money won’t buy you happiness, but it’ll pay for the search”

11.

“It’s a hurtful place, the world, in and of itself. We don’t need to add to it. And we’re in a place now where we all need one another, and it’s going to get rougher.”

12.

“But life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”

13.

“Success can also cause misery. The trick is not to be surprised when you discover it doesn’t bring you all the happiness and answers you thought it would.”

14.

“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.”

15.

“Cool means being able to hang with yourself. All you have to ask yourself is ‘Is there anybody I`m afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I’d get nervous?’ If not, then you’re cool.”

16.

“Love isn’t love until it’s past.”

17.

“As long as I do not take myself too seriously I should not be too badly off.”

18.

“Why party like it is 1999 when you can party like it is your birthday?”

19.

“I don’t really care so much what people say about me because it usually is a reflection of who they are. For example, if people wish I would sound like I used to sound, then it says more about them than it does me.”

20

“Don’t hate me because I’m fabulous.”

21.

“I just want your extra time and your…kiss.”

22.

“Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.” TC mark

You Loved Them, But You Let Them Get Away

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Coley Brown
Coley Brown

You got comfortable.

You stopped appreciating the small moments. You didn't roll over in bed and embrace each other anymore. You didn't hold hands in public anymore, you didn't kiss deeply. You didn't acknowledge the beauty of it anymore, you didn't take a second to step back and simply admire what you had in front of you.

You stopped choosing each other. You didn't make time alone a priority. You started working your relationship around your life, rather than striving to work your life around your relationship. You didn't set aside nights for each other, you didn't plan dates anymore. You started missing pieces of each other’s life — his award ceremony, her art show; his mother's birthday party, her graduation. You stopped making an effort, you stopped being there for one another.

You stopped embracing the little things that made you fall for them. You stopped laughing at their terrible jokes, stopped smiling whenever they would sing in the shower. You stopped appreciating their sensitivity, you stopped making an effort to learn them and understand them.

You stopped telling them every single day what they meant to you. You stopped telling him he was handsome, you stopped calling her beautiful. You stopped letting them know that you appreciated them, that you felt lucky to have them in your life. You just assumed that they knew.

Little by little, you got swallowed up in the routine of it all. You stopped growing together, and started growing a part. You stopped loving them the way they deserved to be loved; you stopped fighting for them the way they needed to be fought for.

Little by little,
you stopped trying.

Little by little,
you lost them. TC mark

Love Isn’t About Chasing Perfection, It’s About Finding Something Real

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 03:00 PM PDT

macadam13
macadam13

I'm tired of contemporary dating—quick, easy, convenient, swipe left, swipe right. We judge someone's character by a picture on a four-inch screen. We jump from person to person, never satisfied. We buy into the hookup culture, thinking that people only want us for our bodies, for what we can give. So we give and give and just end up empty.

We don't know how to love anymore. We think that love is returned text messages, romantic kisses, a little effort, and someone who doesn't try to sleep with us on the first date.

We skip past the butterflies, the nervous dinners, and the awkward should-we-kiss-or-not moments. We don't get to know people, really know them. Know the way their nose crinkles when they laugh, what gets them fired up, the way they like their eggs, or their favorite quote.

We see each other's bodies before we know each other's hearts. Then we frantically work backwards, trying to make up for all we've lost.

We don't take the time to understand the inner workings of one another's minds, the quirks, the interactions that make the relationship truly special.

We see each other's bodies before we know each other's hearts. Then we frantically work backwards, trying to make up for all we've lost.

Dating has become this terrain to navigate. And love is this glorified, semi-unrealistic thing we fall into by accident. We're supposed to weed out people that aren't compatible and not looking for the same things, and somehow in all that mess, we're supposed to find 'the one.' This lover who will complete us, melt into our lives in all the right ways.

But love isn't like that.

There isn't this magical man or woman who will complete us, whose heart will fully interweave with ours without conflict or doubt. We don't just find this person—there is no perfect person.

People are flawed and difficult. Even in the most wonderful person, there will be ways he/she doesn't measure up. Our relationships will still be challenging, frustrating, and downright hard. So we can't expect this ideal because it will pull us away, keep us wishing for something we'll never find.

We need to stop chasing this idea that there's a 'Mr/Miss Right' out there. We need to quit bringing one another's faults into the light. We need to stop seeing people as stepping stones to our 'one true love'. And we need to stop giving ourselves away to people who don't deserve us, just because we're trying to desperately to fall in love.

Love isn't found on a phone screen, or in the small-talk on a date. It isn't found bouncing from person to person, from seeing someone's naked body.

It isn't found by chasing perfection. Because perfection isn't real.

Love and perfection are two different things. Love is real. Finding someone who will drive you crazy, but still make your life wonderful—that's real. Learning someone's inner fears, discovering what makes them laugh, finally working up the courage to kiss them—that's real.

Love isn't found on a phone screen, or in the small-talk on a date. It isn't found bouncing from person to person, from seeing someone's naked body.

That's what dating and what love are supposed to be about: finding a person whose mind and heart connect with yours in strange, fun, new, and flawed ways.

Finding something real. Something beautiful, rather than perfect. TC mark