Thought Catalog


We Were Never Together, So Why Can’t I Stop Thinking Of You?

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Jérôme Licht
Jérôme Licht

You were never my boyfriend. Sure, we flirted, dancing together in your living room and exchanging back massages in your bedroom. Sure, we cuddled, pretending to watch television while our bodies were pressed together in an act more intimate than sex. Sure, we kissed, your lips against my mouth and neck while your hands cradled my hips. But we were never together, so why can't I stop thinking of you?

You snuck winks at me when you realized everyone else was glancing away. You kept your arm around me when you saw them staring straight on. We had a connection that was more than casual. Real friendship mixed in with our flirtations. Laughter and inside jokes tangled in with the sexual tension. But neither of us did anything about it, so why can't I stop thinking of you?

I can still hear your voice, lightly singing along in my car, hoping I couldn't hear. Can still smell your cologne, with the scent that grew thicker as we hugged for a few moments too long. Still see your eyes, flicking down to my lips, waiting for another kiss we would pretend meant nothing. But it's been months since we've actually seen each other, so why can't I stop thinking of you?

We stopped talking out of nowhere. Lost contact on every platform in a world overflowing with ways to connect. We never said goodbye, and I still can't figure out why that is. But if we ever ran into each other again, we wouldn't acknowledge the lack of closure. No, we'd act like everything was normal, like we were two platonic friends, just like we always did. But nothing ever happened and nothing ever will, so why can't I stop thinking of you?

I've been spending more time with myself, learning the ins and outs of my brain and body. Trying to find out who I am without you and what I want besides you. Realizing that enough "me" time can cure the loneliness you've infected me with. But I'm happy now, so why can't I stop thinking of you?

I've met a new man who has stolen your title as the love of my life. He holds me like you did and kisses me like you did. Except he exists in the present tense while you're just an exhausting memory floating around in the back of my brain. He's never going to ghost or say goodbye. He's nothing like you, not in the good ways or the bad. But he loves me, and he's helped me learn to love me. He's helped me learn a lot of things.

And that's why I've finally stopped thinking of you.TC mark

10 Comforting Things Every College Senior Needs To Hear Right Now

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 07:00 PM PDT

LPKPHOTO
LPKPHOTO

1. You’re supposed to be feeling conflicting emotions right now. That’s normal. Excited and terrified. Confident and completely lost. At peace with the end of your college career and totally heartbroken at the same time. You’ve had four or so years of freedom, growth, lightness, joy, and incredible education, so it’s natural that you are feeling so many difficult emotions. But the strange confidence and inexplicable peace you’re also encountering is your mind’s way of acknowledging that you have received everything you could have possibly received here, and your soul is ready to take that and move on to the next exciting chapter of your life.

2. The real world is about improvising. Nobody ever fully knows exactly what they’re doing, no matter how old or experienced they are. The longer you ‘adult,’ the better you become at it, yes. But everyone around you is battling insecurity, self doubt, worry, and fear – no matter how successful they are. Being scared or uncertain doesn’t mean you’re weak or unfit to be where you are. It’s what you do in spite of those uncomfortable and difficult feelings that matters.

3. This is not the peak of your life. You will experience happiness greater than this. It’ll just be different (but better). The thing about college is that you can only reach a certain level of happiness when everything is easy and simple. It’s when things are hard, scary, and challenging that your highs will feel higher than they’ve ever been in your life.

4. You have incredible friends that you haven’t even met yet, who are waiting for you on the other side of adulthood. You may have found some lifelong soulmates in your college friends, and that’s wonderful. Things will change, but your friendships will continue to grow if you work at them. But it’s important to remember that there are still lots of friendships that haven’t even begun for you yet, and they will be some of the important relationships you will ever have. The older you get, and the farther you go, the bigger your world gets. Don’t forget that.

5. The fact that you are so sad to leave is a testament to how much joy you’ve experienced over the last few years. It does make walking away so much harder. But once you’ve healed and come to terms with the fact that it’s over, you’ll never be able to think about your college experience without a huge smile creeping onto your face.

6. There are a lot of things about the real world that are better than college. Perhaps the most immediate is how much better you will start to feel physically, when you are no longer drinking multiple nights a week and putting bad food into your body on a consistent basis. But there are other things too – actual independence, a broader point of view, more financial stability, a wider range of the types of people you spend your time with, exciting challenges, things to care about outside of your college bubble, the knowledge that the world is so much bigger than you (in a good way).

7. It’s okay if you don’t have an exact plan for what to do the minute you drive off campus. You can’t expect to live in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life. But as long as you’re consistently thinking about and planning out different options (researching grad schools, applying to jobs, working part-time to earn some money while you figure out what’s next, helping out in any way you can at home, etc) it’s okay to take some time to put together a solid plan for what’s next.

8. In the beginning you will miss school terribly, but eventually you will get to a point where you’re satisfied and content enough in your new life that you wouldn’t go back – even if you had the option. You will grow, quickly. You will have a lot of hard days (and nights), but you’ll also discover a lot of things you love about (real) adulthood. Eventually, you really will get to a point where you would not go back even if you could, and it feels really, really good.

9. Your education does not end here. It never ends. You have books, the internet, and people who are smarter than you, right at your finger tips. You can take classes – even just for fun – in things that you enjoy. Often, companies will pay for these types of classes for you, if it works as a beneficial or creative outlet. There are always ways to keep learning, as long as you’re looking out for them.

10. Good things have endings. That’s what makes them so special. College was about growth, and finding what you love, and figuring out what kind of person you want to be, and learning who you are when you’re on your own. But you can’t put those things to good use unless you leave the safe environment that you’ve already mastered and walk into a new one. They don’t have to be the greatest four years of your life, but they can be four of the most special years. You just have to leave the nest first. TC mark

Real Love Never Dies

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 06:15 PM PDT

26217205446_0d8af884ce_b
Aaron Anderson

Love never dies or dissipates into nothing,
It exists in the air where the lovers kissed,
It exists in the paths they walked on,
The snow that evaporated stuck on their shoes,
The songs they heard on the radio at night
The air that passed through their car windows,
The clothes that were kept together
They were entangled like their lives
The half-drunken beers on the windowsills,
The poetry they wrote on cards with their personal jokes,
The nicknames of the people they both hated,
The fingerprints on each other’s skin and soul,
The candy wrappers under the car seats,
The rusty seat-belt of the passenger’s side,
The favourite shirt and dress of the other,
The funny way of tying ties
or the overworn pajamas while making burnt breakfast,
The early morning kisses,
The sunlight that never entered through the curtains,
The tears that fell on their friends’ shoulders,
The broken chip of the slammed door that creaks,
The torn posters on the living room wall,
The changed locks and new keys,
It exists in the accidental eye-contact on the street,
In the held breaths of anticipation
In the run across the jammed roads,
The I-missed-you kisses,
The No-it-was-my-fault tears.
The I’ll-never-let-you-go-for-the-rest- of-my-life hug. TC mark

Conversations With Dead People: Contacting Marilyn Monroe With A Clairvoyant

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot

Our first subject is very dear to my heart. Since about 2008 I developed a fascination with America’s blonde bombshell, Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe. I had stopped by my favorite used bookstore looking for something to read and stumbled upon “Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates. I’d never been a Marilyn fan but I liked Joyce Carol Oates a lot and thought it sounded interesting.

Once I read it, I was hooked. Now, “Blonde” is very much historical fiction, but it made me want to know more about Norma Jeane Baker. I immediately felt an odd sort of kinship with her — and not the type where I wanted to share falsified quotes of hers on Facebook or get a tattoo of her face or anything. It was a strange, deep sort of connection. So over the years I did research on her, watched her filmography, studied everything. I had a “Chardonnay and Marilyn Night” once a week for a period of time in 2012. The more I learned, the more I loved her.

So I guess that’s a pretty long-winded way of saying I had Marilyn on my mind when I threw this idea out to Amy. We’ve worked together in the past and have done many readings, but nothing quite like this. Nothing like contacting a beloved icon of the past. But Marilyn, well… she just felt right.

Amy agreed. And so one sunny Friday afternoon, we sat down together on Skype after some preparation (on both our parts) and reached out to her.

I was.

Amy: I feel her very strongly right now, so if I start acting strange just… go with it.

Me: (laughing) Okay.

Amy: I feel her really trying… it’s hard to explain it, it’s the weirdest feeling. Like my head just keeps expanding, getting bigger and bigger. And everything slows down. She starts in my back, I feel it in my back so I’m… trying to just allow her to do it.

Me: Okay.

Amy: But she’s here.

I note that we had been chatting for about 15 minutes before we got started with no issues but as soon as she opened her eyes, my screen began to jitter and jump. She agrees and tells me Marilyn was a very strong spirit. I ask if that had anything to do with the fact that she’s been “kept alive” for so long, so adored and in the forefront of people’s minds. Amy agrees and says that has a lot to do with energy — from what I’ve learned, all of this stuff does — and with so much energy devoted towards her, she has a lot of strength.

Me: In just this room, I’ve got a calendar, a vintage ad, a photo, a photo, a photo, and in the other room a photo — and in the bedroom (laughing) a photo.

Amy: She knows how much you love her. She’s telling me that right now. She’s well aware of your love and she’s happy about it.

I explain that some of my other articles about her had gone viral and that was one of the reasons Marilyn had been on my mind, specifically the one about the tragic aspects of her life. Amy says she knew little about Marilyn and definitely wasn’t aware of the tragedies she’d experienced. I begin to get into things and Amy stops me right away — she never wants me to give her information as it taints the read.

Amy: That’s something that I got yesterday, she really harped on that for a while yesterday about — how almost all of her persona, everything she said was orchestrated by someone else.

Amy goes on to say that one of the things she caught from her previous tune-in was how intelligent Marilyn was, how spiritual. Very wise. She says that she’s developed more after passing, but had that in life as well.

Amy: She’s much happier now.

Me: So I guess to start, is there anything she’s wanting to talk about?

Amy: I know she wants to talk about who she really was, who she is. She didn’t really go in with me yesterday about, um, what happened to her — except for one thing. She allowed me to feel, which I’ll go into that. So I know she’ll probably want to, since she showed me that yesterday, go into the end of her life. She also started showing me yesterday, um, which I didn’t get a full answer from so I want to go into that — about um, rape.

Me: Okay.

Amy: So I, um, I would like to find out more about that and who that was.

Me: Okay. And it’s interesting that we’re able to do this together because I do have a lot of knowledge about her life, so hopefully I’ll be able to answer some questions too. Or at least say yes, I’ve heard this or haven’t heard that.

Amy: So let’s start with you asking a question.

Me: Oh boy, me asking a question. Okay. Um. Let me think. I want it to be a good one if it’s the first one. I guess just, uh, how — did, did you ever come to peace with the fact that you weren’t able to have children?

Amy closes her eyes again.

Amy: So she’s telling me that when she first passed, that there was a lot of — and she’s using the word ‘time’ loosely — it was a process for her. Of, uh, really letting go of a lot of things, the bitterness. The unfairness. And that was one of them. She’s telling me now in a giggly, happy tone that she definitely gets her fill where she’s at. She, she has a lot of children around her there, and she works with children all the time that are in body — she visits and connects with, so she was able to deal with that. And she’s saying that it wasn’t easy at first, her process, of moving forward. And she’s showing me like, layers, of a tunnel, staying stuck in a space until she was ready to work through those things, then she goes to another layer. So her process was long, she’s saying. And she’s telling me in a lot of ways she’s still in process. And she’s telling me right now one of the reasons she hasn’t reincarnated or come back into body is because she’s still processing. Things. She’s still working on levels that she feels that she, because of who she was in that lifetime, which was not her first lifetime, and because of who she became… and the people who are connected to her today, there’s so much more on the plane of what she does is much more than what she could do if she came back into body.

Me: So I guess it’s like the acceptance stages of grief. Moving through… that.

Amy goes on to explain that time means something different on the other side — that time is irrelevant.

We move on to a new subject. I wrote a story in my debut collection “Certain Dark Things” that was inspired by Marilyn. Called “Got To Give,” it explores Marilyn entering a fortune teller’s shop with a request. Towards the end, it contains a brief scene that I dreamt one evening, just a flash of an image:

"When I was a little girl," Norma Jeane said, her tone wavering, "I saw a stray dog dragging something into an alley. I thought it was a cat, you see, so I followed it, thinking maybe I could help. But it wasn't a cat. It was one of those organ grinder monkeys. He was wearing a little hat, a little vest. He was screaming."

She let out a humorless laugh.

"I wish someone had told me Hollywood was like that."

As I begin to ask a question regarding that scene, Amy does a little motion near her ear with her finger and interrupts me.

Amy: She just said it was “superb!” Like that, very enthusiastic — “Superb!”

I’ve witnessed Amy getting the tone and inflection right of other people in the past and this was no different. I could practically hear Marilyn saying it. (Which, obviously, was a pretty big compliment.)

Me: Oh good! (laughing) I’m so glad! Was she sending me that image, is what I was wondering? Something she saw? Or is it just completely from my own head?

Amy closes her eyes.

Amy: She’s saying that is a memory. That she… she like, not implanted, but like… when you compress something to something and it makes an image? Imprinted! She basically, um, I actually see her kind of just going forward towards your third eye and just imprinting that memory into you. She’s definitely saying that’s a memory.

I found that very interesting. I go on to say that the idea for the story also came to me very quickly, all at once. Marilyn going to this fortune teller to ask for something dark and clandestine. Was this also from her? Was there any truth in the story?

Amy: Very similar. Not exact. There are… embellishments aren’t the right words, but things that aren’t factual in that story, but her emotional state was correct. The anger that she felt was correct. The, um, reaching out to people that she shouldn’t have reached out to, told things to because she was desperate… and she was angry. And she wanted to do whatever she could. She’s saying you got that 100% right.

Me: Wow.

Amy: But no one in her life could be trusted. No one. And so, there was no one that she could go to and get help from or support from or talk to about this because they were always watching.

Me: Wow. Okay.

Amy: She’s telling me at this point she didn’t even care that they were watching. That she… knew that she was being reckless. She didn’t care.

Me: Okay, so going down that thread a little farther, is she telling you who she did reach out to, or is it just the only people she could talk to were outsiders?

Amy: She’s saying that you were spot on with the type of person that she went to talk to. Uh, it was a name that was given to her. Supposed to be very discreet. And…

Amy’s eyes are closed again. She pauses for a minute or so.

Amy: A woman. But it wasn’t… for… conjuring up a spell or being read in any way. The woman took care of it, she’s saying.

Amy says this in a very sad, matter-of-fact sort of way. She knows what Marilyn is insinuating. I think I do too.

Me: Okay. Okay. So since we’ve gotten some stuff out there, is there anything she’s really wanting to talk about?

Amy: So right now she is… not saying anything. She’s just kind of letting me feel the last week or two weeks of her life. This woman was part of that. She’s telling me that she was aware that trouble was coming. She was used and dismissed and disposed of like a piece of trash. And was… treated like a whore, she’s telling me.

Amy’s speech here is very interesting. It seems like she’s truly feeling it. She’s hurt. She holds her hands together as if in prayer.

Amy: And her eyes were wide open at the end, where at the beginning of a certain relationship she believed that it was going to be more, that there would be deeper feelings and ties and she was well aware towards the end that she was viewed as… a you know, a game.

Me: A joke.

Amy: A joke. Thrown back and forth, just being tossed back and forth between people and… degraded. Some dark shit. Sexual. Um.

Amy closes her eyes and goes still again. At this point the call abruptly ends. Before I can do anything a call from Amy begins to ring, but when I answer, she still has her eyes closed and her hands together.

Me: Hello?

She opens her eyes.

Amy: Well that was interesting.

Me: I know! You got so still again and I didn’t know we’d lost connection!

Amy: A lot of emotion. That’s what caused that. I feel like there’s certain things she wants me to be careful about talking about too. I think that was her way of…

Me: Let’s take a step back?

Amy: Yeah. But she is sharing with me about “Happy Birthday.”

Me: I think that was supposed to be the first time they [Marilyn and JFK] met?

Amy shakes her head with a mischievous smile.

Me: No?

Amy: No. No. And… no. She’s shaking her head. That whole thing was orchestrated and set up. And she’s telling me that… that’s [the birthday dinner] kind of when she realized the downhill that it was going to because she said, even down to the way that she grabbed the microphone? She was TOLD what to do to make her more sexual. She keeps going back to that microphone grab, that she was specifically told, um, to grab it like… like she knew what to do with it.

I have since watched the clip again on YouTube and damn, she’s right.

Me: So it was a show for him [JFK.]

Amy: Yeah. She’s saying to me, what she realized, the play was… you know… here she is, being told what to do, encouraged to be that, and then he turns around — and she’s telling me — that he turned around and made it as if she’s just this very unwholesome sexual being. He knew exactly what he wanted her to be, and not just him, all of the people involved in it. There was a group of men she keeps showing me. About four or five men that just got their kicks off of… her being this sexual toy to them.

I’ve got my theories on this but I decide to wait it out.

Amy: The reason she has a slight with this night is she was pushed to be a certain way and then… treated like she is a whore, because she acted that way.

Me: So it was diversion, basically. Like, he ordered what he wanted, and then… had to spin it to where it was she was the one coming on to him. Or she wasn’t even just coming on to him, necessarily, she’s just LIKE that.

Amy: Right. She’s just LIKE that. She’s also saying there’s a reason the First Lady was not there.

Me: With the group of men, I do have an idea about that, and I think it has something to do with something you brought up earlier, which was the — the rape. Um. Does she want to talk about that, or do we want to do something else?

Amy closes her eyes again. My computer begins to emit a strange clicking sound.

Amy: She’s actually telling me she was sexually assaulted more than once at different times in her life. The first being before the beginning of her career, as a teenager. And then she’s telling me if you want to know how she became addicted to substances, it’s because she was given them. And passed around like… a rag doll.

Me: Okay. Like, when she was younger, or when she was in her career?

Amy In her career. Like, being invited to a party of powerful men that she first thought was going to as the guest of someone, and because he was interested in her, and because they have a thing — and it ends up that she’s given things, and is completely out of it, got unconscious, completely out of it, and she is telling me that she — (sigh) — she just wanted to please. She just — her self esteem was so beaten down to nothing. And… she… takes responsibility for going along with things. That she thought would make someone happy.

Amy is on the verge of tears explaining this. I’m close too — I get that feeling, 100%.

While this is absolutely tragic ground we’re treading, I know what she’s talking about. This is the theory I mentioned earlier. Years back, there was a little-known rumor that a sex tape existed from a party at Frank Sinatra’s place. In it, numerous men were assaulting a barely-conscious Marilyn. No evidence of the footage ever arose.

Amy: She’s also saying that the sexual attention had become like a drug to her. That it was the only way she felt like she could be loved or accepted. No one was interested in anything other than that. She — she craved it, and wanted it. It wasn’t that she didn’t want it. It was her language is what she’s telling me, the only way she knew how to receive love.

My computer has begun to click again.

We move on. I ask about Marilyn’s trip to England to film “The Prince And The Showgirl,” a notoriously rough time in her life.

Amy: She says she felt very alone. She’s trying to explain there’s so many — exciting things that would happen in life, new experiences, and she could be surrounded by all… this… and people… and feel so, utterly alone. And she’s telling me that is the saddest part of that lifetime. Is… how many experiences she had, good and bad, that she CONSTANTLY felt like another person was experiencing. She felt like… there were two people, and there was the one that was tangible and experiencing and talking and doing this, and then there was this person inside of her that… no one even acknowledged. No one knew. No one cared about. No one WANTED to know or see.

Ahh, yes. Norma Jeane VS Marilyn Monroe. “Do you want to see me be her?”

We move on.

Amy: I want to ask her if she wants to into something I started feeling yesterday, it was the end of her life when she actually passed away.

Me: Okay.

Amy closes her eyes and frowns a little.

Amy: So she was talking about to me, she was saying something I didn’t quite understand at first that was about feeling, um, feeling it move through her branches? And I said “Branches? What do you mean?” And then she let me feel it yesterday. And I just felt, um, this warmth go through my veins. Just move through. My veins. And so I asked her what that was about, and this is, you know… so she was given an injection. And she literally felt, as it moved through her, and she died.

Me: And was it something that was given to her voluntarily? Or against her will?

Amy: Against her will.

Me: Does she know who?

Amy: She knows who was responsible for it, but the person she did it, she doesn’t… male. Completely covered. There was no, um, couldn’t see the face. Hands. Everything was covered. And part of the reason that was able to happen was that, um, she’d gotten so bad towards the end — for numerous reasons, she’s telling me, she was already altered. Already out of it. Um. Lethargic, slow. She’d been crying, a lot, she’s telling me. And… so… when that happened, there was no way she could have fought that off or defended herself whatsoever. But it was 100% to… extinguish her. Because, she was a loose cannon. At that time. For some people.

Me: Um, was she going through anything at the time? Pregnancy-related, or miscarriage-related?

Amy: Unfortunately. Abortion. She is telling me that is the woman she went to see. The name she was given to take care of certain things.

Me: Wow. Oh. Okay. Discreet, that makes sense. Hm. Does she want to say why?

Amy: Why did she get an abortion? “When someone like that tells you to get an abortion, you get an abortion.”

Jesus. I mean, it all makes sense, but seriously. Just wow. I don’t have to explain that to you, right?

I go back to the theory about the sex tape and the connection it could potentially have to JFK.

Me: There’s supposedly… footage. From that party you mentioned. Is any of that true?

Amy: There was film.

Me: Okay, does she know if that exists, or —

Amy: No. She’s saying that has been destroyed, because, well, the reason being it ties her back to… the reason it was done is because, it wasn’t done as, there WAS some kink factor involved in it but also as, um, leverage. Over her opening her mouth, running her mouth, because it would’ve destroyed her career. If she stepped outside of line. Even though they wouldn’t have done it, because that would have ruined THEM as well. What she’s saying is that they thought her to be dumb enough to find that as a threat, as if they would actually go forward leaking that. With it incriminating them too.

We move on to the group of men being discussed. I was previously unaware of Kennedy and Frank Sinatra being friends but I threw in Dean Martin as an option as well. Amy said yes to Kennedy and Sinatra, no on Dean Martin. Amy attempts to look into the other two.

Here’s where it gets really freaky.

Amy: She’s showing me a face of someone I don’t recognize. A man. And she’s telling me there’s a man even more powerful than Jack. And understand that he was his own puppet as she was a puppet. That’s one way that she felt a connection with him is because he was just as controlled as she was. In her world.

So, in a strange twist of fate, I had recently been watching the Hulu original “11.22.63.” While the story itself is fiction, real people from history are involved in the storyline. As soon as Amy says she doesn’t recognize this man I’m opening my browser to do some quick googling. She begins to describe him and before she gets too far I’m almost positive I know who it is — someone who was involved in the CIA.

Amy: 50s. Maybe a little older? 50s to 60s. Broad face. Square. Dark hair. Not handsome. Beady eyes.

Holy. Shit. Get a load of this guy. Who is that you might ask? That’s George de Mohrenschildt, someone I previously had no knowledge of prior to watching “11.22.63.” It’s widely believed that he was involved with the CIA and had a big hand in orchestrating the assassination of none other than JFK. And he fits that description pretty darn well, wouldn’t you say?

Me: Does George ring a bell?

Right away Amy nods.

Amy: Yes. That’s it, she’s saying yes.

I send a picture through Skype. Amy visibly reacts.

Amy: Oh my god yes. Yes. That’s him. Who IS that? Every hair on my body is standing up! Oh boy. That is, um. Who IS this?

I begin to read from de Mohrenschildt’s Wikipedia page, describing him as a geologist and professor who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1962. Amy covers her face with her hands. I explain that according to “11.22.63,” if the popular theory is correct, that “Oswald is the bullet, de Mohrenschildt is the gun, and the CIA is who pulled the trigger.”

Amy: She’s telling me, though, he played her. Because he was a trusted confidante of Jack’s. He… infiltrated and controlled that world. He was supposed to be… a protector. And friend.

I do some more googling. Holy shit.

Me: Okay, so in September of 1976, the CIA requested the FBI locate de Mohrenschildt because he had attempted to contact the CIA director. He had written a letter to the director — who, at the time, was the first Bush — asking for assistance. “You will excuse this handwritten letter. Maybe you will be able to bring a solution to the hopeless situation I find myself in. My wife and I find ourselves surrounded by vigilantes, our phone bugged, we are being followed everywhere.” Eventually he was committed to a mental institution. Stated he saw visions, heard voices. He was asked to speak before the house about a committee on assassinations —

Amy: She’s actually telling me that he is the one that they went to, to get rid of her.

Me: To orchestrate it or carry it out himself?

Amy: To orchestrate it.

Me: So he was just that kind of guy.

Amy: Yes. He played that role for several different people who needed to be taken care of. He was a “double” is what she keeps saying to me. Meaning that he played… and it’s that “double” that drove him at the end of his life to not trust anything or anyone. He told Jack, “You need to get rid of her now while you can.”

Wow. I mean, we’ve already covered so much. How Marilyn became addicted, how she was discarded, who orchestrated her murder. And there’s so much left that I didn’t even include here.

At some point, Amy informs me that Marilyn considers herself a sort of spirit guide for women who don’t feel self love or self esteem. Who have trouble loving themselves as she once did. Well, that explains my affinity for her.

After almost an hour and a half, I bring the session to a close. Amy looks visibly tired and I don’t want to wear out my welcome in Marilyn’s world, so to speak.

Me: Well, is there anything else that you or she would like to address?

For the last time in our session, Amy closes her eyes and becomes still.

Amy: The key points that she wants expressed are, um, the specific points about her nature and the struggles that she had with everyone controlling her, and making it known and aware that she was not the person that she portrayed herself to be. And she’s well aware, she takes responsibility for that, but it’s not how she was inside. She really wants to hone in on the message towards women, men too, everyone on this planet of — the importance of being okay with who you are. And valuing that and loving that. And not to allow anyone to come along and manipulate that. Make it into something that it’s not for their benefit. Touch on self esteem, she’s saying.

Amy: And she also wants it understood that the President (as she keeps calling him) was a victim of his own circumstances. The same way she was. So was he. And I feel a great compassion in her heart for him. She was in love with him. He was a special person, despite everything he did that was NOT, he himself, his heart was special.

She takes a moment to pause, then adds this.

Amy: This is going to be up to your discretion, but she doesn’t want it to be another focus on her life struggles and everything. She knows that has to be part of it, the whole story has to be part of it. She wants to make sure the lesson is what’s hounded on, how you’re going to present it. Because that’s what she’s worked so hard to come to the end of. It has everything to do with self love and acceptance. You will find your way to express that. And she will help you.

This is a haunting echo to one of Marilyn’s last interviews, where she plead with the interviewer: “Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.”

beetlejuice

Wow. What an incredible first session in our series. It was truly an amazing thing to experience. Again, whether you believe what happened was real or not is up to you. But I came away from the session with something very valuable, and it was what Marilyn seemed most emphatic to express: love yourself. Don’t let other people define you. Be who you truly are.

I get it Marilyn. And I sure will try. TC mark

24 Sex Workers Describe Their Freakiest Clients

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 05:15 PM PDT

Daniella Urdinlaz
Daniella Urdinlaz
Found on AskReddit.

1. I get paid for toenail clippings and used socks

"Sugar baby here. I get paid for toenail clippings and used socks :/ I also get paid to be super mean to guys. This one guy took me shopping at the mall and spent like 700 dollars on me. The only thing in return he got was the chance to carry my bags. It’s easy money."

2. He loved watching me torture bugs

"A new client showed up once—he was very short (about 5ft tall), with big thick glasses, and a bald head. He was dressed professionally and had a briefcase. As we introduced ourselves, he asked me if I was comfortable killing a bug. In his briefcase were a moth and a beetle in two empty glass containers. He offered me a big tip, so I said I would give it a try. To warm up, he had me stick my feet in his face and wiggle my toes while saying, 'I'm a sexy, mean prostitute' and 'I'm going to cut that bug’s dick off.' Then he had me violently shake the glass jar the beetle was in, repeating what I had said earlier. The beetle was banged up and slow at this point, so he had me put it on a desk to kill it. Now, this is when it got freaky…he asked me to torture the bug before killing it and offered to double the tip. So I used little scissors to cut off its legs. Next, he brought out a small soldering iron and asked me to burn it. I did this for a moment but was really uncomfortable and my hands were shaking. Last, he took out a syringe with battery acid in it and asked me to inject it into the bug. I jumped when I saw the needle and told him to put it away since it scared me. He complied and asked me to smash the beetle with my shoe, which I did quickly. Then I gave him a hand job and he came almost immediately. Afterwards, I asked him what this fetish was all about. He told me that when he was going through puberty, a couple of girls in his class had caught a beetle and were shaking it in a glass jar, talking about how they were going to torture it. This coincided with his sexual awakening and ever since he’d get turned on by the thought of these girls killing a bug. That was the last client I ever saw. Being a sex worker is draining and this was the kick I needed to finally quit."

3. He wanted girls to piss in a glass

"I was a strip club DJ for a bit… Had this one odd duck that would come in and pay girls like $200.00 to piss in a glass for him… This happened several times, then once the girl took it to a bouncer and had him pee in it. She took it back to him, he took one sniff and said 'this is a man’s urine.' Left, and never came back while I worked there."

4. A toenails-and-garbage smoothie

"A client once asked me to send him my toenails and trash so he could grind them up in a blender with a smoothie and then drink it."

5. He asked me to draw a face on my pussy

"Am a cam girl….Only saw this guy once so maybe he didn’t like my art skills, who knows. He asked me to draw on crazy eyebrows, like stick straight pointed upwards ‘angry’ brows so I did. Then I needed a clown scowl. That was enough for the face so then he had me draw fangs on my nipples. Vampire tits haha. And then lastly, a face for my pussy. Complete with eyes, a nose, and mouth. We both had a lot of fun, I could see him and I don’t think he was jerking it, just laughing hysterically with me. Wish he’d come back! Recently had a different guy ask me to just fart, like continuously. He didn’t know that for fart porn vids the girls literally pump their asses with air. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen…"

6. Hold a plastic bag while he took a dump in it

"I had an escort service a few years ago. One of the clients used to come with a plastic bag and a paper bag. He would get one of the girls to hold the plastic bag while he took a dump in it. Then he’d put it in the paper bag and take it to work. He said he would then hide the bag in various spots around his law firm, waiting for someone to find it and that was his get-off."

7. Snuggle with her in a rocking chair and suck on her nipples

"Former male escort here. Had a larger, 50ish lady ask me to snuggle with her in a rocking chair. Wanted me to suck on her nipples as if I were nursing. She stroked my hair the entire time. It was really really weird and kind of sad. Lasted for about 20 minutes. When we were done, she offered to jerk me off but I told her she could do so if she wanted to. She said no, so I got dressed and went on my way."

8. He wanted me to castrate him

"I used to be a male escort, had a guy once who I had going so bad he was up in a swing and I was shocking the shit out of his balls while he begged and screamed for more. I told him to shut the fuck up and stuck a plug up his ass, and that was the breaking point. I’ve had people use a safe word before and it’s really no big deal, everyone has their limits, and I can dial the intensity back and adjust the play pretty well. This guy, however wanted to escalate. He used the safe word to take me out of the zone in order to discuss the next thing. This guy wanted me to castrate him. I had to talk him down from that, he said nobody ever got him to the point I got him, and he was certain that it would never be this great again so why bother? Let’s fulfill this last request. I refused and gave him a bit of aftercare, Sent him on his way. He came back a few times that month, never asked for that again."

9. He asked me to make a to-do list for him

"I was a cam girl for about six months in college. My weirdest customer wanted me to make him weekly grocery lists, errands lists, and just general 'honey do' lists for things he had to do around the house. He was a young guy, maybe 25, and actually really attractive. British. He claimed he was lonely after his fiancée moved to Belgium for a year for school, and now they were on a break. These were all the things she used to ask him to do, and now she was too busy. So every week, I’d have a private show with him, and we’d drink coffee and go over that week’s list, and I’d wish him luck at work that day. It was kind of sweet, kind of heartbreaking."

10. He asked me to shit on the floor

"I’m a current online sex worker/cam girl. I have been asked a lot of weird things during my time doing this, but I suppose the weirdest one coming to mind was being casually asked to shit on the floor during an otherwise vanilla sexting session. He said 'you can even do it on the tile for easier clean up' as if he was throwing me a bone haha."

11. She asked me to insult a picture of her for hours

"Not my proudest moment, but I was 'guy camming' mostly to pay rent, but also because it was fun, and I wanted to try it out. I had a lot of middle aged women who wanted vanilla, but I had this woman who wanted me to call her a fat cunt whore bitch slut etc, but she wanted me to say it to a picture of her. I basically printed off her picture and insulted it for 1-2 hours. She asked me to cum on her face… being that picture, and to be honest it was just off… she paid so much it was a little unreal….This woman paid 800 dollars for a 1.5-2 hour session. Depending on what I would do she would increase it to upwards of 1500 a session. She was a doctor and extremely lonely. I paid off my yearly rent in 2 months, rent was about 412 + utilities. I also paid off yearly college expenses in 3-4 months. I still sometimes do it we keep in touch, and honestly I don’t mind at all."

12. He asked me not to bathe for two days, then let him lick my armpit

"I used to work as an escort in 2013. It went okay other than a few really close calls from a few guys. A guy asked me to not take bath for two days (other than clean my lady parts of course) and let him lick my armpit and fuck me for three hours. Guy wasn’t ugly enough to outright reject his crazy request and he also offered $2500 so I agreed."

13. ‘Baby wants more’

"So, a while ago I used to work in a brothel. Now I lived in Sydney at the time, where prostitution is legal, so it was quite a nice place—the manager provided a fully stocked kitchen, cable TV, pool table, etc. Anyway, after about a year working there, a client comes in and we do the usual meet and greet so he can choose who to go with. One strange thing Ii noticed was a rather large briefcase with him… normally people try to avoid taking anything with them. So, while he’s talking to the manager about his selection, he asks if he can use his own sex toys. Manager gave the standard answer—sure, as long as they’re only for him and they’re clean. So far so good. I find out that I'm his choice, and do the standard pre-session stuff—set up the condoms and lube, direct him to the shower to clean up, and ask if he wants a glass of wine or anything. He politely declines the wine, and asks if he can have 10 minutes to prepare. Fuck yeah. I still get paid for that time, and it means i can relax with the other workers for a bit. 10 minutes later i come back in, and he’s wearing a diaper, bib, and has a fucking massive pacifier in his mouth. Weird, but honestly I’ve seen nastier shit in my life so whatever. The really startling bit though is his array of sex toys, the briefcase must’ve been stuffed full of them. At the end of the bed is a series of dildos, arranged by size—starting off with fairly small, all the way up to one as thick as my fucking arm. He pulls out the pacifier, and gives me the instructions for the session: 'Start with the smallest one, then move up to the next one when I say "baby wants more'."' So for an hour and a half I just sit on the end of the bed, doing as instructed. At the end he gave me a $300 tip which was pretty awesome, but the memory of an adult dressed as a baby getting an 8-inch rubber cock shoved up his ass will forever be stuck in my head. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Carthage should be destroyed."

14. Jerking him off and fisting her at the same time

"A couple of times I had a young married couple who got me to jerk the man off inside the woman. As in, the guy would put his dick in the girl’s pussy, then I would slide my hand into her pussy around his dick, so I was sort of jerking him off and fisting her at the same time. That’s literally all they wanted (in a few different positions). The guy actually had quite a large dick, just she had a very very loose pussy (the man could get both his hands inside her pussy at once). They were a very young couple, like 21 or something, so I dunno how she got to be so big (she said she hadn’t had any kids)."

15. Sitting on Skype in lingerie and playing Pokémon

"I only did a little cam work cause i am a pretty weird niche but i once got paid $150 to just sit on Skype in lingerie and play Pokémon! Easiest money I ever made :)"

16. Holding an 80-year-old naked man

"My weirdest experience wasn’t a fetish thing but it upset me so much I had to take the next few days off. So I had a booking with a man in his late 70s. There’s a 50+ year age gap but money is money and the older the client the less work for me. He had an accent, told me he was Polish. We get into it but while I’m riding him he starts saying ‘Oh Hana, Hana.’ After a few minutes he slows down and asks me to lie next to him for some cuddling (it’s not unusual for men his age to not be able to finish). I ask him why he called me Hana and he tells me it was the name of his sister and that I remind him of her and that she died when he was around 8 years old. I ask him how, then he told me the story that fucked me up for a bit. He tells me he was in the Warsaw Ghetto, you know, where the Nazis herded all the Jews before eventually sending them off to the camps. He was smuggled out at around the time the Nazis began deporting people to the camps and sent to live with a Catholic priest in some village. The rest of his family were deported and gassed. I had to spend another 2 hours with him after that. I’m used to holding naked men as they curl up against me and vent about their lives but the fact that that this man was nearly 80, and 20-year-old me was the one holding him was a bit much. And his life was tragic, man. His wife had just died from cancer, his dog had just died and he didn’t want to get another one for fear it would be all alone when he died. After he left I downed 1/3 bottle of vodka and didn’t work for a few days."

17. He wanted me to blackmail him

"Former cam girl here. There was a lot of men who want to be humiliated. I would laugh at them, tell them how small their penis was, etc. Some man wanted me to blackmail him. He would give me his information (address, phone number, wife’s name) and I would make him buy me things. The weirdest one though was the guy who wanted me to watch him take a shit in his diaper. That’s it. Just watch."

18. Blindfold him and watch him attempt to hit a piñata

"Former pro domme here. Lots of crazy stories but my favorite was when a guy paid $350/hr for a couple girls to blindfold him and watch him attempt to hit a piñata and make fun of him. Was probably the most enjoyable session I ever had there, hahaha."

19. Gargling my spit

"I work on Chaturbate as a cam girl and the first thing that popped in my head was when a guy asked me to slap my my thighs together over and say things like cum times 10, ass times 10, then gargle my spit. I honestly felt like he was fucking with me but nope. This went on for a good half hour. My knees were even bruised the next day. I also had a guy just yesterday request a show wearing a diaper, a bra, and had printed out pictures of different women laid out all over the floor. There was also Fleshlights, anal toys, vibrators scattered everywhere. Did I mention he wanted to pee on these pictures as well? What even is my life…"

20. I’m a master burper

"I was a cam girl for a short while and stuck to tame performances, nothing too wild. Anyways, I had man ask me to burp and lucky for him I am a master burper and I can burp on command at any given moment. I was a hit, he told some people in a burping fetish forum (which I didn’t know was a thing) and they are it up. They just wanted me to burp as loud and as much as I could and giggle and be cute in between. It was easy money and they loved it, so win-win."

21. Put lots and lots of saliva on my nose and fuck it with my finger

"Cam girl here. I have many weird requests I’ve gotten.
1 Put lots and lots of saliva on my nose and fuck it with my finger.
2 Give instruction as the client masturbates and tell him to cum in a spoon and eat it.
3 Blow a balloon
4 Rub my thighs and fuck it with a dildo (he didn’t want pussy or anything)
5 Write his name all over my panties with a Sharpie
6 Get sweaty and lick my toes
7 Talk dirty about watermelon
8 Watch a client as he chokes himself with a bag full of books. Got me really worried when he turned red so I stopped the show
9 Demand a client to drain his bank account as he tips
I never realized until I started camming that many men are into way younger women. Sometimes, client wants me to pretend I’m his 5-year-old daughter and cry, while we can’t get caught by my mom."

22. He liked to clean my dirty running shoes

"Two stand out in my mind from that time in my life. One was a guy that liked to clean my dirty running shoes. Would meet me in the Metro and come clean them off with a fresh towel and shoe cleaner. Then slip $100 into my sock and leave. The other wanted to, as he put it, 'piss up my ass.' In the shower he would and then let it spray on him as it came out. He was one of the reasons I stopped doing that kind of thing."

23. I just shat in his mouth and jacked off while he licked my ass

"To shit in his mouth. He had a custom-made toilet seat to put over his head. He was a very old, retired military person. Nice guy, but it was a bit weird. I didn’t really care, I just shat in his mouth and jacked off while he licked my ass. I’ll never forget that first time though, afterwards he drove me back to the subway station and he had not bothered to get the cum out of his hair and still had shit smears on his face. It was almost like he planned to wear them as a trophy for the rest of the day."

24. Eventually the tears became real tears and I had to stop

"At my lowest point, I sold myself for sex. I needed money or I’d be on the streets. Two regulars would pay me a lot to simulate rape. I’d scream, cry, and try to fight back and they’d wear masks and slap me around while they’d have sex with me. Afterwards they’d always go buy me Wendy’s. Eventually the tears became real tears and I had to stop." TC mark

To My Fellow Women, Please Don’t Settle

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Jeff Isy
Jeff Isy

Not in a job you hate, not in a town where you don't feel at home, not with friendships that aren't real, and especially, especially not with love.

You deserve someone who will smile at your silly jokes, who will kiss your forehead when you've had a long day, and who will absentmindedly reach for your hand across the center console when he's driving, just because he wants to feel your fingers twisted with his.

You deserve a guy who doesn't just spend the night, but spends the morning. Who cooks your favorite chocolate chip waffles with peanut butter and brings them on a tray to your bed when you're sick. Who hums your favorite song, off-key and awkward, just to make you laugh. Who takes you on a walk to his favorite hill in town, and kisses you as the sun sets.

You are strong and gentle, determined and loving, complicated and kind, and you deserve someone who looks past your flaws and the way you curl your hair, and sees your beautiful heart.

So please, my sister, don't settle. Don't settle for the man who texts you at three in the morning, or only when you're at a party without him, or only when you're happy with someone else.

Don't settle for the boy who plays mind games, who calls you hurtful names, who spins you around in his lies until you're so dizzy and tired you just give in.

Don't settle for the guy who sees only a face, only a body, because sweet girl, you will always be more than a body.

I know you might feel lost right now. You might be scared. You might be terrified of being lonely. And you might be thinking this is it, this is all there is. But I promise you, there's so much more.

There will be a man whose fingers will trace the freckles on your cheeks and send goosebumps down your back. Whose arms will hold you during the fireworks on the fourth of July. Whose lips will taste like your Mike’s Hard Lemonade because he won't stop kissing you. Whose smile will make your head spin like you're drunk, but even better.

There will be a man who will answer your calls, who will take you on dates, who will, despite the distance and despite the childish boys of your past, truly love you, choose you. Every. Single. Day.

So please promise me this: That you will hold out for him. That you won't settle for the cheapened version of love. That you won't kiss away the unsatisfied taste on your tongue. That you won't go to bed next to someone else, wishing for more.

There will be more. So much more.

Don't settle for anything less than excitement and jumping beans in the pit of your stomach. Nothing less than forever. Nothing less than knowing, beyond on a doubt that this is love.

Because I promise, you'll find it. And it will be more beautiful than you ever imagined. TC mark

10 Surefire Ways To Break Yourself Out Of A ‘Dry Spell’

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 04:45 PM PDT

Twenty20, nikmock
Twenty20, nikmock

Dry Spell (noun): To go for a period of time (usually longer than shorter) without something: sex, drugs, pornography, etc.

Here are 10 solid ways to break out of a dry spell, should you find yourself in one:

1. Stop using the term “dry spell”

When you assign the term “dry spell” to this situation, you make it sound like something which just happens. The problem with most guys who use the term is that it has a subtle element of self-pity attached to it. After all, we only say “dry spell” when we are describing an unsatisfactory situation to another person.

The term puts you in a position where you run the risk of making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ever notice how the more you talk about a dry spell, it gets dryer?

This translates into your interactions with women. When you’re out interacting with women, you’ve bought the “dry spell” mindset and internalized it to some degree. You need to break the dry spell, which translates into thirst (desperation). Women sense your thirst, it turns them off, and you’re back to square one.

The solution? Accept the fact that our sex lives ebb and flow. Sometimes it’s abundant, and other times, nothing happens. This is easier said than done, of course, and acceptance only truly comes when you at the very least have tried everything in your power to break out of your situation…

That being said, for the purpose of this post, I’m going to be a hypocrite and use the term “dry spell” to talk about you know…”dry spells.”

2. Take responsibility for it

Your dry spell is no one’s fault but your own. It’s not because your game sucks. Your not getting laid is the result of a wide variety of factors but can usually be resolved by making a few minor changes.

Its not because of “fate” or “karma”. God did not turn off the vagina tap because you’re 35 years old and not married yet. Neither is it because you turned down that offer for sex from Brittany at work 8 months ago because you thought you were in a relationship with Joanne. Turns out Joanne was cheating on you and now you’re single with no options. And Brittany’s sleeping with your boss, Victor.

Quit your pity party- the question isn’t WHY it’s happening, it’s WHAT you can do to get out of it.

3. Never let yourself pay for sex.

Yes, it gets hard- but never so hard that you should pay for sex in order to break your slump. Seriously. It’s only going to lead to lowered self esteem, less money, and you run the risk of making it a crutch.- which means that next time you’re in a slump- it becomes easier to just avoid taking responsibility by paying for sex.

4. Lower you standards.

So many guys have a huge false sense of entitlement. Guys who are sexually inexperienced, who have had 3 sexual partners in 30 years of their life are expecting to date top tier women who have limitless options with men. As a result, they turn down women who are already interested in them sexually because “she’s not my type”, or she’s not as attractive as your favorite Instagram models or porn stars.

5. Change your environment.

Sometimes you may have great game, be good looking, and usually never have a problem getting laid. If you find yourself experiencing a dry spell in this situation, take a close look at your environment.

Bad logistics could be holding you back.

Do you live in a small town? Move out or take trips to larger cities.

Do you work 80 hours a week? Take an evening or two off work to go out and meet women.

Do you live in a culture that finds your ethnicity polarizing? (example, a black man living in China). Consider frequenting social events that have more expats or open minded people. Worst case scenario, reevaluate your lifestyle and decide how important having a consistent sex life is to you.

6. Change your game.

I remember one of my particularly long dry streaks. It was so long that I feared I may never get laid again. My style of meeting women had been consistent for years, but for some reason, it just wasn’t working anymore. I remember picking up a copy of Rollo Tomassi’s The Rational Male and reading a few chapters.

Those chapters grounded me and took me back to some basics about masculinity.

I went out that evening with the sole purpose of internalizing some of the concepts while having conversations with women and observing social interactions.

I promptly got laid that night.

Stay open minded to different approaches to dating and attracting women. Certain concepts – especially those you read about – are internalized by taking ACTION and actually practising what you read-regardless of whether you are skeptical about the concept or not.

Lots of guys read material and dismiss it because they think it won’t work.

No.

Go out and apply it- that’s the only true test of someones material.

A lot of marketers write books on “how to get laid” with absolutely no real life experience and bank on the fact that most of the men who buy this material will never put it into action. Worse still, most men will never even read the material.

7. Change your style.

Look in the mirror. Your dry spell could be a result of something as simple as buying into a fad. Now this fashion fad has expired and you’re still sporting a hairstyle and jacket that belongs in 2001.

Keep you masculine style classic and timeless.

Avoid fads.

8. Change your attitude.

The definition of attitude in my book is choosing how you respond to a situation rather than reacting to that situation.

So many men use a dry spell as an excuse to binge on pornography, get back into bad habits like playing video games extensively, or spending time with unproductive acquaintances.

Other reactions to a dry spell include spending a lot of time read “pick up artist” material, wasting time on forums, or binge reading self improvement websites.

An appropriate response to a dry spell is always MASSIVE ACTION.

Action is not reading. 
(Unless that reading is followed by action, of course)

Action is not preparing to take action.

Action is not chatting in forums or telling your friends how you’re going to take action.

Action is taking the shortest, prioritized, most effective, and usually, the roughest route to regaining momentum in your dating life.

Thats the attitude you need. Response in the for of massive action.

9. Embrace online dating—or the opposite.

These days, it’s so easy to depend on Tinder for ALL you dates. If you’re not getting anymore matches on Tinder or OkCupid and you call that a dry spell, you’re a joke! It’s only a dry spell if you’re tapping into every possible avenue of meeting women, and despite that, you’re not getting laid.

On the other hand, if you’ve never tried online dating or you tried and gave up, now is the time to remember those old passwords and join the part again.

10. Get a mentor.

Some of your biggest breaks in your relationships will only come to you when you commit getting help from someone who has traveled the road before you. My breakthrough success with women after the lonely years of porn, depression, low self esteem, sexual shame and anxiety came during the year I sought out men who had achieved what I wanted.

I quit spending time reading all their material, and or listening to their stories and straight up asked them for guidance.

Getting a good mentor will easily shave years off your learning curve in any field on endeavor- especially your dating and sex life.

During an extended dry spell, there’s no shame in seeking the help of someone who can guide you in the right direction. It may be the difference between getting back a consistent dating/sex life within a week or spending a few more fruitless months (or years) struggling to figure out what’s wrong. TC mark

This article originally appeared at Quit Porn, Get Girls
.

If You Are Still Fighting But Losing Hope, Read This

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Rachel Baran
Rachel Baran

This is for you, the ones who refuse to sit down when you see injustice, the ones who aren't afraid to be themselves even if it means being friendless, the ones who are told they are wrong, wrong, wrong all the time by those who think small. This is for the rebels, the ones who are unhappy with the world as it is, and are trying to show it what it can be.

This is for the lone rangers, the champions, the oddballs, the freaks, the warriors.

This is for the ones of you who refuse to fit into a box that has been made for you by the people around you, those of you who would die for your cause. The ones of you who choose rebellion even if it means gut wrenching pain because you want the world to change, and you're standing tall even if the odds are stacked against you. This is for you, who get up in the morning, knowing that your day is going to be marred by pain and heartache and a fight to breathe to exist just as you are.

This is for all of you who are still fighting even if no one believes in you anymore. Whilst everyone who cares for you is worried about why you didn't choose the easier way ('Just try harder to fit in', 'Stop being so angry about things we cannot change'), what you are doing could be the spark or a revolution, the change of an entire way of life or the birth of a brand new way of thinking.

You are ancient ideas in a mortal body, a story, a legend for years to come. You are the ones who are not afraid because the truth is by your side, despite all the naysayers who are trying so hard to make you small. Because you do not hide your scars. You carry them with pride because they are the stories that make you what you are. And I'll tell you a truth, a secret to carry with you, the stories are all we have, and stories are the most powerful things of all. In the times of old, they were fables and prophecies, and in a million years of human existence they are the only things that are left by our ancients.

They are the only things that are alive through millennia. And you, you could be one of them if you keep fighting for what you believe in. You are the bright spark in a world that has chosen to succumb to the darkness, but you refuse to die out, for all the darkness in the world. And do not let that spark die, ever. Because it didn't start with you.

It started with Joan of Arc, who still led legions to a resounding triumph at a time when the people doubted every step of her young feet, and every thought in her young mind.

It started with Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years for standing up to a government that was trying to completely destroy the rights and the dignity of black South Africans.

It started with Galileo who was deemed a heretic and arrested for standing up for the truth, for science in a world where only religion and tyranny ruled.

It started with Mahatma Gandhi who freed a nation with non violence and love from the hate and brutality of its oppressors.

It started with Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her well deserved seat on a bus after a long hard day and was arrested for it, sparking a movement that has never been forgotten.

It started with Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcom X, and Susan B. Anthony and Abraham Lincoln and the countless other heroes in history who refused to fit in, follow the norm, become one with the rules. Instead they rebuilt the rules, they broke down walls, they changed history with what they represented, with who they were.

You are not the first to fight for what is right. But you are the next to carry a torch to bring light where there is none.

You were born to hold the flames up high in a world that has comprised of darkness, giving light and life to those who are lost. You were born to be a change that no one ever thought was possible. You were born to make a difference.

The world is waiting for you to rise and change what is wrong inside it.

Don't you ever let anyone convince you otherwise. TC mark

Your_Soul_Is_A_River_Cover_Page_Mockup

Preorder Nikita Gill’s Your Soul Is A River from Thought Catalog Books here.

How Saying ‘Yes’ To Every Little Thing Healed Me

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Nirrimi Firebrace
Nirrimi Firebrace

I have always been a homebody and not much of a risk-taker, regularly isolating myself in a tiny little room and dedicating all of my time and energy to my passions and art, leaving precariously little over for my happiness or health. I figured there would be time enough for all that later on in life, that if I worked hard now and never allowed myself to become dismayed or distracted, the rewards would ultimately be much greater than the costs.

So week by week I persevered, I pushed and failed and prevailed and fell, totally unaware of the terrible damage I was doing to myself — in my career, I had achieved much more than I ever imagined I would, but my confidence, sense of spontaneity and social life were all in tatters. In the pursuit of my dreams I had lost an integral part of myself, and I lacked the insight and understanding to acknowledge that I was in desperate need of a way out. But earlier this year I had an awakening. The truth is, I had long hit the point of exhaustion, every single day was a battle and writing had become more of a commitment than a passion. I desired excitement but lacked the courage to claim it, so depended too much on others to provide it. I had become a terrible whirlwind of anxiety and doubt, endlessly umming and ahing over every decision, overly concerned with the detrimental effect it might have on my life without realising I was cheating myself out of the only one I had.

But around 2am on a Tuesday night, after another long, dull day of feeling lethargic and uninspired, I made a last minute decision to book a flight to London, to take a risk and worry about all of the details later. And what felt like complete, idiotic recklessness at the time quickly proved itself to be the single most meaningful and impactful decision of my life.

What I learned about instigating real change in one's life is, as daunting and difficult as it might seem at first approach, it only requires one small leap of faith to build a momentum all of its own. After I made the decision to book a spontaneous getaway, I began to feel my whole life outlook bend and change dramatically for the better. I stopped feeling so anxious over every little thing. I began to accept invitations and opportunities I did not necessarily feel comfortable with. And I tore down all of my walls and boundaries as I opened my heart up to new loves, connections and friendships.

Because the root of all fear is uncertainty, a deep-seated tendency to expect the worst in things, to believe it is a better to remain safely in your comfort zone than risk a horrible or embarrassing outcome. But the fact is, your comfort zone is a prison cell — one that constrains your full potential and confines you from the boundless opportunity the world outside it has to offer and the only person with the power to free you from this penitentiary of senseless insecurity is you. And that is the most wonderful part — in your hands and heart you hold the key to unlocking all of your life's potential and all of the possibilities therein, you decide the length of your sentence, and the minute you make the decision to be free, you will find venturing out of your comfort zone only gets easier, because it will become clearer and clearer with every risk you take that all of your reservations and fears are completely unfounded.

And so I flew off to London, with a heart full of hope and adventure, and for reasons I won't delve into too deeply here, all of my plans immediately fell apart — I found myself in a foreign country alone, without a place to stay or any idea of what I was going to do, and truthfully, there were a few particularly dark moments where I strongly considered cutting my losses and booking the next plane back home to Melbourne. But I had come this far, travelled almost 10,000 miles and invested too much time and energy into making this trip happen to turn away now, so rather than descend madly into panic mode, I pulled a deep breath, composed myself, and decided I would instead take this opportunity to spend the next two weeks going against my nature and saying "Yes” to every little thing I could. And I never looked back.

I watched the red double-deckers go by from a luxury hotel in Knightsbridge. I spoke for hours with a deeply fascinating woman in Soho who had lost the love of her life from an overdose. I danced with a roomful of French strangers in Shoreditch. I dined with two of Australia's finest minds in Notting Hill and knelt by Tolkien's grave in Oxford. I emptied pint after pint with the punks in Camden Town and watched the sunset spill through the twisted, leafless trees in Hyde Park. I laid sleepless on the bottom bunk of a hostel in Westminster while a stranger in the bunk above me shamelessly and violently pleasured himself. I took the train through France and spoke with the CEO of an advertising firm in the carriage cart. I spent an unforgettable weekend in Amsterdam, navigating the narrow streets and stairwells, smoking in coffeeshops and loitering in window sills with a talented, effortlessly elegant musician who sang me her songs, lent me her coat, and cooked me Andijviestamppot for tea. I was put on the wrong train to London and found myself utterly lost in Brussels, wandering from station to station, including Maelbeek Metro, only 12 short hours before the bombs went off, a devastating and blood-curdling attack that carried with it an indispensable personal lesson — that life is precious and incredibly fragile and must always be lived to the fullest.

…I came home a new man. I see now that I have things to do and places to go. That a life is a string of moments where each one is as valuable as the next and must be embraced like it is the last one you have. So the next time I come face to face with fear or doubt, I will not make excuses, retreat into myself, or shrink weakly away to what is sure or safe. Instead, I will stand my ground, shrug my shoulders, and shout back grinning into that black, lightless void the answer to the question of the rest of my life, "Eh, why the hell not?" TC mark

Today I Will Live Unfiltered

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 02:15 PM PDT

elizabeth.filips
elizabeth.filips

Today I will forget the way my body looks in a mirror, through a camera lens, or on a palm-sized screen. I won't be measured by the light in the background, the contrast, the tint, or the shade. My self-love will not be determined by the caption of my photographs, by the clicks of buttons, or by fingers pressed to a keyboard.

Today I will not rely on what I see plastered to a billboard to tell me I'm beautiful. I will not compare the contours of my face to those in a magazine, or brush my fingers over each of my blemishes, as if to wipe them away.

I will no longer hide behind a layer of red lipstick, a smile, a shadowed curtain of hair. Today I will not try to be anything other than imperfect, nothing less than a mess of skin and cuts and bruises and tired lines under my eyes.

I will no longer wear the clothing I'm supposed to, fold my hands neatly in my lap, or bite back the words I want to say that are stinging on my tongue.

I won't lie about my feelings, but let them rest openly on my face, bold and unafraid. I will acknowledge the parts of me that aren't flawless, that aren't lovely, that aren't put together, that aren't toeing the line. And I'll say f*ck that damn line. Today I will be myself. TC mark