Thought Catalog


Do Not Let Me Go Gently

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Millie Clinton
Millie Clinton

When our time comes, as it so often does, do not let go of me gently. When we tuck ourselves into our separate beds, text me something cruel. Stick your firsts through the roof.

Do not let go of me gently. I am a clumsy lover and you’re the type to never look where you’re going. Do not offer to share the hurting. Do not offer your tame hands. Kick up dust when you walk away. Go and run loudly straight into another heart.

Too much about me is tender. You know this. Too much of me is soft where people say it should be hard. You know this too. It is shocking, they whisper, that a girl like me isn’t charcoal inside. It is shocking, they whisper, that a girl like me doesn’t hide behind brick walls.

So, when the time comes, do not try to be the hero. Go roughly. Crinkle up my paper crane heart.

Because if you let me go too gently, I am afraid I will follow behind like a lovesick dog. If you let me go too gently, my misguided hands will try to build us a home, will promise you we can make it work.

If you let me go too gently, I will ask that you stay.

Remember when I learned about Orpheus and Eurydice? You were eating peaches and I was reading that library book on Greek mythology, ravenous for a muse. You thought it was ridiculous, how I couldn’t stop crying. You kissed the salt right off my cheek. I’m sorry, I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. I didn’t know how to explain I knew we’d end some similar way. You, my Orpheus, would turn around. Even when everyone said not to. That love could come so close, and still vanish. You’d turn around to see the disappointment all over my face. Our fates would be sealed.

Eurydice, you were almost there.
You were almost home.

Do not let go of me gently. Do not make me Eurydice. Keep going. Let there be no second thought.

Do not look back to see how I’m crying. TC mark

Fine, I’ll Admit It — I’m A Little Lonely.

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Photo by Jacob Geers captured by Lime Green iPhone 5c (yes i know i need a new phone)
Photo by Jacob Geers captured by Lime Green iPhone 5c (yes i know i need a new phone)

All of my partnered friends have the same favorite past-time (i think), which is asking about the status of my romantic life and when, exactly, I will “find someone.”

I guess that’s what happens when literally 80% of your friends are in Very Serious Relationships that involve them considering grad schools together (?), talking about moving in together (??), and quiet whispers of marriage and the forever-type-of-together (????????). A large percentage of my oldest friends have now been dating for two, three, four years, and it’s getting a little uncomfortable.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve actually fallen out of contact with some of my oldest friends because they are too busy spending time with their S/O’s family (!!) to spend time with friends, because they are hedging their bets I guess.

And so these people, I think, are fundamentally confused about how I’ve been single for such a long time. Twenty-two straight years of singleness was only briefly punctuated by four months I spent dating a nice guy who was probably too nice for me. After that short-lived relationship I occupied my time falling for boys who treated me like shit. The worse you treat me, the more I am attracted to you. Like, really, tell me more about how I am worthless and won’t amount to anything. Or just completely ignore me. I’m seriously turned on now.

LOL I’m gonna end up in a ditch on the side of some highway, prolly.

And if, for one brief moment, I decide to crush on someone who actually treats me like a real human being, I’ll make sure it’s with someone I am totally incompatible with. Straight boys are my favorite. Or people already dating someone. Or people who live a thousand miles away.

So, I was talking to my best friend last night, updating him about my fucked up life, and hearing about his piecemeal thesis and Lab Director with unconventional beliefs about comma usage (seriously). And as I downed whiskey after whiskey, I let myself finally cough out the undeniable truth: I am making myself miserable.

See, I boast a certain superiority in my singleness (if you haven’t been able to tell). I claim to feel stronger, more independent, more confident than my friends who require the companionship of another human being. I scoff at people who are in love, and the sacrifices they make for that love. I pretend to hold it in disdain, in contempt — as something beneath me. But the reality is, I’m full of shit.

The truth is, as my best friend walked to pick up his girlfriend on the corner of Summit and 19th — and I drunkenly ranted about love, and life, and whatever bullshit my liquored up vocal chords wanted to say — I knew I was about to be alone. And as she greeted him, and they turned around to head back to my friend’s house, I knew that we were going different directions. Their direction was together, mine was with nobody.

My phone had died, so I had the long walk back to my place on 11th avenue to ponder nothing but how cold I was, and how alone I was. That my direction was with nobody, because that’s exactly the way I had designed it.

I bit back tears, because I don’t cry anymore. I pulled my hood over my head and walked home — alone. Truth be told, I don’t know how to walk home any other way.

Maybe I never will. TC mark

To The People Who Haunt Us After They Should Be Gone

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Caro
Caro

You are the type of person who leaves more questions than answers behind you.

You are the type of person who demands attention, demands a presence. You insist on being noticed even when you are the last person we want to see.

You are the type of person who can’t bear to be second best, to be replaced.

So you force your way in, you force our hand.

You claw your way in through social media, friends of friends, or even by contacting us under calculated methods to make sure that you are always a presence somewhere, some way. You refuse to be forgotten, refuse to be put on a shelf labeled “memories” and instead, whine incessantly to be put somewhere that instead reads “always”.

You are the person who is the nagging voice in our ear, the breath on our neck we’re trying to think nothing of, the person we are so arduously trying to leave behind, but who keeps popping up no matter what we do.

We know that we’re supposed to ignore you, supposed to forget about you, supposed to say nothing instead of something because silence holds more power. So why are you making it so difficult for someone to move on?

Because honestly? It’s really fucking unfair.

Why are you lingering in the shadows where we can only catch glimpses of you? Why are you still appearing in our timelines, ‘liking’ photos, demanding that we do not forget you? Why are you so carefully and craftily making sure that we can’t move on after you removed yourself from our immediate life?

You LEFT. You said goodbye. You ended things.

You are the one who chose to put a period at the end of the sentence, so you should stick to that decision. There is no delete space in life, no backspace, no edit undo. When you finish something, you need to own that decision, not hang out in the margins pretending that by being there you’re doing us some sort of favor.

Because you aren’t.

The thing about breaking up, leaving, parting ways, is that one person is ultimately okay while the other needs to learn HOW to be. And by lingering, by haunting us, you are making that journey to being okay that so much more difficult.

And again, honestly? It seems like it’s on purpose.

But you know what?

That’s not our fault.

It’s not our job anymore to make you feel comfortable, to make you happy. It’s not our job to reinforce your decision for you. It’s not our job to make you feel okay about something you so clearly feel on the fence about.

You need to own your decisions, your choices.

You need to just be gone.

When you choose to leave, when you choose to say “this is it”, you need to let the proverbial door close behind you and promise to not fiddle with the lock. Because when you do not let it close, do not let it be done, you are doing nothing but hurting someone else.

That’s right. You’re doing nothing but picking at a wound that is not yours, striking a nerve that doesn’t belong to you, and ultimately refusing to let someone else heal.

And it’s not only unfair, it’s cruel.

So turn your back, walk away, and do not turn back around. Own your choices, own your absence.

Stop relentlessly haunting people who are not reaching out, not summoning you, not looking for you in corners or in the spaces between an ellipsis where there once was a period.

End things. And for real this time.

Because you also will never heal if you keep lingering in places where you don’t belong. TC mark

33 Illuminating (And Savage) Details I Learned Reading The OJ Simpson ‘I Did It’ Book

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 05:15 PM PDT

Sarah Sphar
Sarah Sphar

If you’re like me, you remember this book vaguely as OJ Simpsons’ “hypothetical confession” called If I Did It, what you probably didn’t pay attention to amid the controversy of the book announcement is the legal battle that changed the name to I Did It. In a nutshell: Ron Goldman’s family was upset that OJ (via a thinly veiled corporation his children were CEO of) would profit from his crimes after taking extreme measures (extreme as in relocating to Florida extreme) to avoid paying the settlement he owed against them. They successfully litigated until the ghostwriting was in their possession and later sold the book themselves. The result is the original ghostwritten pseudo-confession wrapped in a lot of Goldman family feelings. (I recommend just reading the middle).

The book

[*] The Goldman family will only acknowledge OJ as ‘the beast’ or ‘the killer’ and refer to his friends as ‘thugs’. Of ‘the killer’ they say, “he lives his life believing he is above it all and rules that are enforceable for the rest of us don’t apply to him.”

[*] The ghostwriter who wrote the I Did It book with OJ was Pablo Fenjves, a former tabloid reporter who went on to write movies like Man on a Ledge.

[*] For people who are aware that the OJ Simpson trial is somehow at the center of all 2010’s celebrity life: OJ’s ghostwriter was also the ghostwriter of David Foster’s autobiography. The Kardashian-Foster dynasty continues.

[*] During his interviews, OJ confessed to Pablo that he hit Nicole “one time” and that “the press had turned him into the poster boy for wife abuse. And none of the problems were his fault. It was all her. Everything.

[*] When it came time for his interview about the night of the murders, OJ didn’t show up. He didn’t want to write the chapter where he said he did the murders. But he eventually showed up and gave the interview. And then he said he didn’t want to sign off of the draft. As the ghostwriter notes, “He didn’t say it was wrong, and he didn’t say it was bullshit. He just said he hated it, and he kept saying it.”

[*] When he finally got OJ to sit down, OJ claimed he wasn’t alone the night of the murders. He said, “You know I couldn’t have done this alone.” The ghostwriter told him to call his accomplice “Charlie”, assuming he was made up to ease OJ’s guilt.

[*] The ghostwriter seemed convinced of OJ’s guilt, noting details someone wouldn’t think to make up like OJ correcting him when he described the drive home from the murder scene, and the way Nicole’s dog wagging his tail at Ron Goldman tipped OJ off that Ron had been to Nicole’s home often.

OJ and Nicole’s Relationship

[*] OJ was married to his first wife when he met Nicole Brown at a restaurant (she was his waitress). For the next month, they saw each other every day. His wife was pregnant with their third child during this time.

[*] Years later, after two kids with Nicole, OJ claims Nicole started routinely getting physical with him, saying “Mostly I’d just try to get out of her way, but sometimes I had to hold her down till she got herself under control.” And then, “1989 had been torture. You never knew what was going to piss her off.”

[*] Of his spousal abuse conviction, OJ tells a heavy-handed tale of Mark Fuhrman’s buddies needing a ‘poster boy’ to launch an LAPD campaign. In the couple’s multiple run-ins with the police over their fights the details according to OJ are the same: Nicole was hysterical and the police were out to get him.

[*] Eerily, OJ says “Given the right circumstances, I guess anyone is capable of murder.”

[*] After their divorce, OJ describes Nicole (though not in so many words) as a clingy nutcase who won’t stop calling him at all hours, showing up uninvited, and demanding that he fire his female staff. At one point he says she basically “stalked” him.

[*] In a story in which he has no self-awareness about his creepiness, OJ talks about visiting Nicole’s home after their divorce and looking in her window to see her on the couch kissing another man. He knocked loudly to let them know they’d been seen and then left.

[*] Afterwards, Nicole went to Cabo with Caitlin Jenner and her first wife, Chrystie, where she met a new boyfriend. According to OJ their post-divorce relationship mostly consisted of Nicole asking him for guy advice and telling him how her therapy was going.

[*] OJ moved on and started dating Hawaiian Tropic model Paula Barbieri — the woman he called on the night of the murders.

[*] Nicole told OJ she fooled around with his good friend Marcus Allen — who was married to Kathryn Edwards (currently cast on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) at the time. Marcus and Kathryn had held their wedding at OJ’s house.

[*] After months of Nicole ‘throwing herself’ at OJ, the two began sleeping together again — which mean that OJ was cheating on his girlfriend Paula.

[*] The murders took place on June 12, 1994. From Mother’s Day 1993 to Mother’s Day 1994 (May 8, 1994) OJ and Nicole were in a relationship, determining whether they could reconcile for their kids. This means they were in a relationship as of just over a month before she was killed.

[*] OJ claims that on that infamous 911 tape, he isn’t yelling at Nicole. He was “venting” to Kato who was also present.

[*] At the time of the murders, OJ and Nicole were in contact because of the kids they shared, but they weren’t really speaking. OJ says, “And that right there is the reason we weren’t talking at the time of her death. Not because I’d threatened her, but because I’d had my goddamn fill of her. She was poisoning me with anger, and I needed to get away from it.”

the night of the murders

[*] Another waiter at Mezzaluna (where Ron Goldman worked), Brett Cantor, was knifed to death the year before the murders. OJ says it was drug-related. It’s notable that two waiters from the same upscale restaurant in a very safe neighborhood (Brentwood) were murdered only a year apart. Brett was a friend of Nicole and upon his death OJ told her, “You better open your eyes, Nicole. Nice people don’t go around getting themselves knifed to death.”

[*] Of his physical condition at the time of the murders, OJ says “I was getting old. I could hardly walk anymore, and I’d been told recently that I would eventually have to have both knees rebuilt. Plus the arthritis was killing me.”

[*] Just before the murders OJ was with Nicole and her family at a recital for one of their kids, Sydney. There, he ran into one of his friends who confirmed rumors OJ had heard about Nicole doing drugs and clubbing, hinting that they barely scratched the surface of what she had been up to.

[*] Later that night, “Charlie” (OJ’s imagined accomplice, according to the ghostwriter) showed up at OJ’s home. Charlie was there to tell OJ more of what Nicole had been up to: he’d heard a rumor about what happened on a Mexican vacation Nicole took with Faye Resnick while Nicole and OJ were still dating. The rumor was that Faye and Nicole did a lot of drugs, got drunk and did something “very kinky” with some of Charlie and OJ’s friends.

[*] At that point, OJ told Charlie to get in his Bronco, he intended to go to Nicole’s house to “read her the fucking riot act.”

[*] When he parked at Nicole’s house, OJ recalls reaching into his back seat for the wool hat and gloves he kept there. He also brought a knife he had in his car.

[*] After going through the back gate he knew to be broken, OJ saw there were candles burning in Nicole’s house and she had music playing. He realized she was expecting a date.

[*] At this point, OJ says he was surprised by Ron Goldman’s sudden appearance through the back gate. Ron told him he was just returning Nicole’s mother’s glasses that she left at Mezzaluna where he was a waiter. Nicole came out of the house with her dog, who OJ remembers wagging it’s tail at Goldman — as if the dog was familiar with him because he had been there before — and that set him off.

[*] OJ he and Nicole started screaming at each other, and she “came at me like a banshee” but “fell” against the stoop and hit her head on the ground, knocking her unconscious.

[*] When Goldman began doing some defensive martial arts moves, OJ remembers holding his knife… but his next memory is of “coming to” and realizing he was soaked in Ron and Nicole’s blood.

[*] While he claims to have blacked out the actual murders, he doesn’t deny committing them. Almost immediately he shifts to cover up mode, removing his blood-stained clothing and handing them off to his accomplice to dispose of, along with the murder weapon.

[*] Another detail — OJ recalls leaving his socks on as he removes the rest of his clothing because he didn’t see any blood on them. Is OJ’s imagination so great that an innocent man would make up such innocuous details to this story?

[*] After the murders, OJ was able to sneak into his house and shower before pretending he had overslept and catching his limo ride to the airport. At the airport, he recalls signing autographs.

tl;dr

I Did It seems like a likely confession by a misogynist and narcissist who believes he is the victim of wily women and a police department set on making an example out of him for (???) reasons. Besides the obvious question — why would a ‘110% not-guilty’ person write this? — his attitude toward Nicole and the men in her life and his constant victim seeking-status will convince most casual readers of his guilt. TC mark

9 Freaky Encounters With The Real ‘Men In Black’ That’ll Seriously Give You The Creeps

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 05:00 PM PDT

1. “You no longer have a coin”

Dr. Herbert Hopkins was working as a consultant on a UFO case in Maine. One evening he received a phone call from someone purporting to be an activist in the UFO community, asking him if he could visit Hopkins to discuss the case. Only minutes later, the man arrived.

The man was wearing a black suit and black tie, and had very unusual facial appearances, with no hair or eyebrows, and an extremely pale figure. Hopkins’ dog began barking erratically the minute the man entered the home. After the bizarre visitor was finished questioning him about the UFO case, the visit got even stranger:

He informed Hopkins that there were two coins in Hopkins’ pocket (which was correct) and asked him to remove one. Hopkins complied and held the coin, a shiny new penny, in the palm of his hand. The MIB told Hopkins to watch the coin closely. After a few moments the coin took on a “silvery” appearance and then appeared to be going out of focus. It then began to fade and, eventually, disappeared altogether. The MIB informed Hopkins that the coin would never be seen “on this plane” again.

He then inquired as to whether Hopkins was familiar with alleged UFO abductee Barney Hill. Hopkins replied that he had heard of Hill, but was under the impression that he had died in the not too distant past. The MIB informed Hopkins that was correct. “Barney didn’t have a heart,” said the MIB, “just like you no longer have a coin.” (It should be noted that Barney Hill actually died of a cerebral hemorrhage.) The MIB then gently suggested that Hopkins destroy any material he had related to the UFO case. (Source)

Hopkins, extremely shaken by the encounter, followed the advice of the man and burned all the files he had related to the case. While he had repeated phone troubles after (the phone company said his line had been tampered with, maybe to tap it?) he never saw the man again.

2. Dr. Bender “Scared for his Life” After MIB Encounter

Top 5
Youtube / Top 5

Dr. Albert K. Bender was a well-written and extremely intelligent researcher who founded the International Flying Saucer Bureau.

In 1955, his research was about to yield serious fruit, as he prepared to unveil a paper that would prove the US Government had — to one degree or another — covered up proof of UFOs. He planned to publish his findings in the Space Review. That was, until he was visited by the Men In Black.

Bender claims that three men, dressed in all black, visited him at his home and warned him against pursuing the topic of UFOs any further. The men left Bender scared for his life, and he immediately shut down all his research and the Flying Saucer Bureau.

Many people who knew him claim that Bender was a changed man after this encounter. His later works were rambly — almost unreadable — and he seemed to live his life in constant anxiety and terror. He purported to still receive mysterious phone calls, with nobody on the other end, until the end of his life in 2002.

3. The Maury Island incident

Youtube / Top 5
Youtube / Top 5

Harold Dahl and his son were salvaging logs on a fishing boat when they spied six donut-shaped crafts flying in the air above them. The crafts drop molten waste onto the lake, which allegedly kills Dahl’s dog and injures his son.

A few days later, after talking about the affairs with his boss and friends, he was visited by a mysterious man dressed in all black. The man urged him to not discuss the encounter. Not long after, he was also visited by several Air Force agents who were said to be on a mission to “gather information.” Dahl’s story definitely got the attention of various law enforcement agencies in the United States, leading the FBI to write a report on the matter:

Youtube / Top 5
Youtube / Top 5

Not long after the encounter with the “Man in Black,” Dahl claimed that the whole thing was a hoax, but recanted years after, having allegedly made the first confession under duress.

4. Solway Firth Spaceman

via DavidIcke
via DavidIcke

Jim Templeton was shocked to discover this figure in the background of a photo of his daughter. He figure was not in the camera’s view when he took the photo, and nobody had any idea where it came from.

The film was verified as authentic by Kodak, and Templeton’s story went public. Not long after, he was visited by two “government agents” who referred to themselves as #9 and #10. They demanded to see the site of the photo and questioned Templeton about the event.

When Templeton told them he didn’t see the figure personally, the men became angry, and stormed out of the field, never to be seen again.

Templeton was later contacted by two employees at a missile launch pad in Australia, who claimed that they saw two figures that resembled the man in his daughter’s photo on launchpad security footage. Apparently the missiles at that site in Australia had been produced only 20 miles away from the field where Templeton took the photo.

5. Guns no good against aliens

Youtube / Top5s
Youtube / Top5s

Paul Miller was returning home after a hunting trip when they saw a “luminous” disc in the sky. The disc landed in an empty field, and two humanoids emerged from the craft. Miller fired his gun at them, and believed to have injured one, when he fled down a rural road in his car.

However, in that moment, he realized he had lost time. It was almost three hours later than when he first encountered the craft. He shrugged it off, and went back to his Air Force job the next day.

However, upon entering work, he was immediately confronted by three men in black suits. They told him that they “had his file.” Despite having told nobody about the event, the men said that they “knew all about it” and mentioned that the encounter would be best forgotten.

“They seemed to know everything about me; where I worked, my name, everything else,” Miller said. They also asked questions about his experiences as if they already knew the answers. (Source)

Miller, terrified, did not come forward about his experience until years later.

6. Radio personality harassed by “Journalists” for talking about UFOs

Youtube / Top5s
Youtube / Top5s

Danny Gordon was a radio personality who became interested in a flurry of Wythe County UFO sightings. Multiple people across the county claimed to have seen bizarre objects in the sky, and Gordon decided to investigate.

Gordon became obsessed with getting photos of the objects, including one time where an entire school bus of students saw the UFOs flying over a shopping mall as Gordon took photos. Eventually, Gordon snapped a few photos at extremely close range that allegedly verified they were not of this world.

However, strange things began happening to Gordon. He received a phone call from a man who claimed to be “ex-military” and warned him that his research could “cost him everything” and urged him to stop for “his family’s sake.”

Gordon was also “interviewed” by two men in black suits who claimed to work for a magazine publication. Not long after the interview, Gordon realized all his photos were missing. He contacted the magazine for information, and they claimed to have never heard of him, much less commissioned an article about him.

Not long after, Gordon suffered a heart attack, and his doctor warned him that all the research and stress was jeopardizing his health. Gordon gave up the story, and was never bothered again.

7. UFO researchers harassed at home by MIB

Youtube / Top5s
Youtube / Top5s

UFO researcher Jack Robinson and his wife Mary began to experience extremely strange events as they pursued more alien and UFO-related research. They would come home to find their house rummaged and looked through, and their UFO files disturbed. Mary also began to notice a strange man in a black suit and hat staring up at their apartment from the doorway.

Mary mentioned this activity to a friend, who drove over and saw what she was talking about for himself. The friend, Tim Green Beckley, snapped a photo (above) of the man, which is believed to be on of the most ironclad pieces of proof of the Men in Black.

8. Professor harassed in library for reading UFO book

Youtube / Top 5s
Youtube / Top 5s

Professor Peter Rojcewicz claims that he was reading a UFO book in the library, when a strange pale man wearing all black sat down next to him. The man began talking to the Professor, and asked him about his opinion on flying saucers. The Professor replied that he wasn’t super interested, and the man became very agitated. He eventually left, leaving Professor Rojcewicz extremely uncomfortable and anxious.

He did not reveal this story until many years later, when he finally gave a lecture on the subject. He remains convinced that it was a Men in Black official who confronted him in the library, and to this day, is trying to find more people who have had similar experiences.

9. Actor Dan Aykroyd’s Show Shut down By MIB?

Dan Aykroyd has come forward with his story about how he was taping a show about the paranormal. He stepped out to take a phone call from Britney Spears, who was asking him to appear on Saturday Night Live with her, when he noticed a black ford parked across the street. A tall man stepped out of the Ford, and stared him down. Aykroyd turned away for a moment, and then turned back, to find that the man and the car had completely vanished.

After he finished his phone call, he returned to the studio to learn that his show had been cancelled and he was ordered to stop filming immediately.

Some doubt his claim, but Aykroyd says “he knew what he saw” and maintains that there was some kind of connection between these MIB and the end of his paranormal show.

6 Empowering Reasons All Women Should Have A Promiscuous Phase

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Alf Santos
Alf Santos

It's a known and accepted fact that single men sleep around. Women are typically uncertain to behave in this same fashion due to the irrational fear of acting like a "slut" or "whore." Although there are people who still maintain these outdated beliefs, thankfully we're crossing the bridge to a new era in which we acknowledge the double standard of slut shaming. With this said, I believe every woman could benefit from a promiscuous phase for these six reasons…

1. Your body = your decision.

We’re taught to view sex as immoral and that women should be shamed if they do not adhere to these standards. However, there is no protocol for the proper time to do it and you'll learn that the choice of who you want to sleep with and when you're ready is entirely yours and no one else’s.

2. Learn what you like and don’t like.

If you never experiment, you won't know what pleases you sexually. Bottom line.

3. Become skilled in bed.

The more experience you get, the more you’ll learn about what arouses your partner and especially satisfies him. When you find the person you feel passionate about, you’ll have plenty of moves to whip out of your sexual arsenal.

4. Gain confidence in your body.

We spend so much time analyzing our bodies in the mirror that we assume men will perceive us in the same manner. However, men won't mind if you're smaller on top than you'd like or if your thighs lack the desired gap between them. It's imperative that you're able to release your inhibitions naked in order to be comfortable and fully present in the moment.

5. It's all for stories.

My funniest and most entertaining stories tend to involve sex. When you go out, you'll meet an array of people with a range of personalities and interests. Nothing beats sitting around at 3AM with your girlfriends exchanging your best memories. You don’t want to look back when you’re married with kids and wish you lived it up more when you had the opportunity.

6. You're equally as entitled as men.

My mother used to tell me not to be offended if a guy didn't want anything serious because men in their early twenties are in their prime; they're having the time of their lives going out and are not looking to settle down. So essentially us women are expected to sit on the sidelines and wait as men have all of the fun? This doesn’t seem fair. Women are equally entitled to "play the field" and sleep with whomever they choose. TC mark

This Is When I Miss You The Most

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 03:01 PM PDT

umuller
umuller

I miss you when I remember how during our first kiss you thought the small mole beneath my bottom lip was a food crumb, before you realized what it actually was, yet in the moment you continued to kiss me anyway.

I miss you when I look through our old messages on Spotify and listen to all the songs we sent back and forth to each other during the very beginning, both of us so full of hope and excitement, endearingly clueless to the heart ache in years to come.

I miss you when I am laying awake at 3:41 in the morning for absolutely no reason at all except that I am feeling wildly creative, bursting with ideas and I remember how I used to tell you all about my big plans for my future and you would eagerly encourage me and truly believed in me.

I miss you when I am enjoying a beautiful, warm day outside and look up at the sun in utter appreciation, only have flashbacks of your electric golden brown eyes that I spent countless hours looking into and memorizing every tantalizing detail.

I miss you when I think about our trip to New York City that summer to visit my best friends and how they instantly loved you for me, how they loved you as much as I did, writing this right now my heart is breaking thinking about how I am still incapable of wrapping my mind around how that that was possibly 4 years ago.

I miss you when I think about my stint in the mental hospital and how desperately I wanted to see you despite everything, and how I should have been the last person you did anything for at that point yet once my dad called you, you dropped everything and you were there by my side within the hour.

I miss you when I am watching a baseball game and remember all the times we spent our days in the park and at the beach playing catch together, how we would be goofing around and you would pretend to be the ballpark announcer, using that silly animated voice that always made me burst out in uncontrollable laughter every time.

I miss you when I begin to feel like no one puts any effort into relationships these days and then I remember how you took a Greyhound bus from Chicago all the way to San Antonio only to spend 3 days with me and had to rush back to work and suddenly feel replenished with hope again for our generation and those to come.

I miss you when I read through my old journals from college that recount our entire relationship day in and day out from the beginning to end and get to momentarily relive all of the days I wish I could experience again, what I wouldn't do go back to the first moment I knew I was falling for you.

I miss you when I can't help but compare every guy to you and I immediately write them off because you set my bar of standards exceptionally high and get irrationally angry at you for a brief moment, only to thank you a few seconds later in my head.

I miss you when I see a sand dollar and remember that weekend we spent down in Baja California for my birthday camping on the beach and how when you didn't know where I was you knew exactly where to find me, walking aimlessly down the shoreline collecting those rare natural beauties and I remember feeling the richest I have ever felt holding a whole sand dollar in one hand and your hand in the other.

I miss you when I am in one of my depressions and can't help but remember how you used to do everything you could to try and cheer me up, how you would run to the store and promptly return with mangos, bundles of sunflowers, mozzarella cheese, pickles and coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz; all of my favorite things, in an attempt to make me smile.

I miss you almost everyday but I miss you the most when I remember how we always said 2017 was the year we would get married and how at this point in time that is less than a year away, yet you and I have never been further apart. TC mark

Why I Write About Things That Make You Uncomfortable

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 02:00 PM PDT

filtered photo i took from like 5.35 months ago on instagram bc i am currently in pajamas
filtered photo i took from like 5.35 months ago on instagram bc i am currently in pajamas

I’ve published a lot of things on the internet. Like, a lot. On Thought Catalog alone I have 71 pages of articles, 10 articles on each page. That’s a lot of articles. A lot of words. A lot of writing.

What do I write about? I write about viral news, which is broadly defined as anything “current eventsy” that people want to read. That’s probably about 60% of my articles. Another 20% is probably media comps, collections of funny images and pictures from across the internet that make people laugh. The other 20% is probably “personal content.”

Thought Catalog is unique in that so much of our content is farmed not from the world around us, but from our own lives as writers.

The power in writing comes from relatability between the reader and the writer. It comes from when you read one of my experiences, and can identify with it. On particularly magical moments, reading a piece of writing might actually make you feel better, because you realize that someone is struggling with the same things you are. For us writers, it is those rare magical moments that drive us to write.

That’s also why, when writing, we often focus on the more challenging memories and experiences. It isn’t necessarily because we are living terrible lives, but because we want our work to have meaning. We want our work to make a difference.

Wikimedia / Dan Kernler
Wikimedia / Dan Kernler

In all honestly, my life probably resembles a normal curve. 95% of the time I exist between two standard deviations of happiness. That is to say, I am centered around a commonality of contentment, deviating slightly from “kinda happy” to “kinda sad.”

But, of course, there are times when I am extremely happy or extremely sad — between the 2nd and 3rd deviations on either end. 2.5% of the time I am ecstatic, and 2.5% I am really bummed. I write about that -2.5% not because it is the most important or prominent, but because I think it does the most good.

I write stories that make people who know me feel uncomfortable. I write about being sad, about feeling inadequate, about feeling overpowering loneliness. I write about my worst fears, my lowest moments, and my insecurities. These things are real, and they are important, but they aren’t the only things I experience.

That doesn’t make these stories untrue, it just makes them incomplete. My boss has a Walt Whitman line she invokes often in her work, and it seems particularly apt here:

I am not one idea, I am not one emotion. These things are always in transit, because we, as people, are always in transit.

But this is such a foreign concept in an age of social media. We always put this sugar-coated face out for the world to see. We only post the most perfectly filtered pictures. We only share the happiest news. We create ourselves into a series of caricatures that we present to the world. When someone is raw, and honest, and real, there must be Something Very Very Wrong — because that’s not how we act. But I’m here to break rules.

I don’t always feel hot, I am not always in control, I am not always happy. That does not make me ugly, crazy, or depressed. It just makes me human.

I’m not sure. I think while we have done a great job destigmatizing seeking mental health services, we haven’t destigmatized having emotions. Rather, we are all looking for the perfectly filtered life to show everyone that are in control.

Here, in this little space, it’s okay to feel things. It’s okay to just be. It’s okay to use writing as outlet and just spew. And if you ever need to talk, please know I am always here for you. TC mark

If You Do This, You Should Be Banned From Email

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 01:00 PM PDT

As someone who runs my life through my inbox (as opposed to the phone), I've seen a lot of emails over the years. Most are perfectly great and decent. But over time, certain patterns of manipulation and exploitation have emerged with the rest.

I'm talking about the person who puts a fake "Re:" in the subject line of an email to a total stranger to make it seem like this is the continuation of an old conversation. The crazy subject lines designed to make you click. The auto-scheduled "just circling back to make sure you got this" email. When I was a marketing director, I would see salespeople deliberately email the wrong person inside the company, pretending they didn't know the right contact in order to trick that unsuspecting person into making an introduction to their intended target. I've even seen people send unsolicited calendar invites to force you to decline and, thus, interact with them.

These are your horrendously sketchy email tactics, aimed to trick and nudge the leads that salespeople and marketers have pulled from some spreadsheet or mailing list. If Glengarry Glen Ross was written in 2013 instead of 1983, these are the kinds of things the characters would be doing—and we'd think "Oh my god do people really do that?"

Sadly they do. Worse, this pales in comparison to the newest and most egregious trend in attention-seeking email behavior. Something that I have no compunction in saying that if you do it, you're a monster who should be banned from email from life.

It goes like this:

A stranger emails you asking for something: "Would you be interesting in [insert product they're selling?" "Will you appear on my podcast?" "Can you answer my question?" "Can I write a guest post for your blog?" "Can you read my manuscript?"

Then, if you don't respond in a timely fashion (and the definition of "timely" varies widely), they send a gif like this.

via GIPHY

Or a photo like this:

Instagram
Instagram

(Those are two actual images from two actual emails I have received. Just two of the times I have seen someone run this script.)

Do you get the joke? They're anxiously waiting because you haven't replied quickly enough.

Of course, this is intended to be light-hearted. The idea is to get a laugh, and for that laugh to inspire you to click "Reply". They don't mean anything else by it.

And I totally believe that. They also don't mean to prove to you that they are an entitled fucking asshole who was raised by wolves (read: narcissistic parents). But they did. They definitely proved that.

Imagine the mindset of someone who thinks this is a good idea: You've just made a request of someone you don't know. Your request isn't time sensitive, and you know the person you've just emailed is probably very busy, but 24 hours have passed without a response, and now you're hoping really, really bad that this person will do something for you. So, of course, you figure it only makes sense to email them again—to "ping" them, in the obnoxious, literally anti-personal language of modern entrepreneurialism. And though you may deny it, the message you compose, reads:  "Hey You! Stranger! I'm waiting over here. Give me what I want now!"

People actually do this. Even many who would pull back at sending a finger-tapping GIF, wouldn't hesitate 17 hours after their first email, to follow up. "Hey, did you get my email?" "Hey, what's going on?" "Hey, when are you going to give me an answer?"

It's unfathomable to me. When I see it, all I think is: I'm sorry, am I inconveniencing you by not promptly responding to the email I never wanted to receive in the first place? By god man, do you think the world revolves around you?

The said reality is we don't have to "imagine" someone acting this way. Because it happens every day.

There are fundamentally two types of people in this world: 1) People who think they are entitled to other people's time and 2) decent, civilized human beings. The latter are those who respect time (because they understand that time is finite). The former ask indiscriminately to chat or meet. The latter are straight and to the point and aim to conduct their business with as little imposition on other people as possible. The former are the ones who always seem to want to "hop on the phone" or make some other request without any consideration of other people or why someone might want to do that. They are the people who are always taking, taking and taking. Because the latter wouldn't conceive of stealing someone else's time, they are often the marks that the former  attempt to exploit. They are prey to the trickery (like I've discussed above) and laziness of the former. Like the folks who send audio-texts instead of bothering to write out an email or god-forbid a few sentence text.

All of these modern practices probably began with some selfish person who didn't stop to consider the person on the other end of the exchange. That's their right, just as it's the right of the person who receives their GIF-y email to shake their head and write them off as rude and ridiculous.

Thankfully, that's what 99% of the people who encounter these tactics do. The problem is that the other 1% see them and think: "Oh my god, that's brilliant! I should totally do that too." And so like a cancer, this selfish, entitled way of interacting spreads through our culture, infecting and spoiling idiots who don't understand decorum or manners or basic human decency.

And it's been this way since the beginning of civilization, since long before the invention of the telephone or email. Two thousand years ago, Seneca observed how interesting it is that if your neighbor came over and asked for a piece of your property you'd think they were insane. But if someone asks you for five minutes, you go "Sure!". "No person hands out their money to passers-by," he said, "but to how many do each of us hand out our lives! We’re tight-fisted with property and money, yet think too little of wasting time, the one thing about which we should all be the toughest misers."

To apply that to this new kind of email parasitism, it's not just that they expect a piece of your property—they expect it on their timeline. And if you don't hand it over quickly enough, what you get in return is a guilt trip. It's passive aggression at its worst. Cookie Monster, with his insatiable, unstoppable appetite for cookies is such an apt image for this. Because like him, these people are never satisfied and want more and more and more.

Since what they want is important to them, it's the most important thing in the world.

This kind of explicit selfishness is repulsive, but it's also refreshing. Like a lot of people, I feel bad if I am slow to respond to something and I feel rude when I say no. That's because I do consider the person on the other side of the exchange (for starters, I realize that there is a person on the other side of the exchange—not an ATM) and I put myself in their shoes and think about how I'd like to be treated.

When someone goes and proves that they are operating on an entirely differently level—that all they care about is themselves, that they can't even be polite when asking you to fork over minutes of your life you'll never get back—it makes responding very easy. As I told the last kid who sent me that email, I'm actually grateful.

Thanks, I said, you've made this very easy for me. No, no, no—a thousand times no. Don't email me ever again. TC mark

41 Relationship Goals Only Happy Couples Will Relate To

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 12:00 PM PDT

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TC mark