Thought Catalog


33 Important Reminders For All You College Grads As You Embark On This Next Chapter

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:36 PM PDT

phiasinclair
phiasinclair

1. You’re not the only one who’s scared about this. Big change is a lot like reaching the top of a roller coaster. It’s exciting and you’re full of adrenaline, but it can be downright frightening to not know what’s about to happen next.

2. Being nervous about something means you care about it. That’s a good thing.

3. Your first job is just that, your first job. It doesn’t have to be *cue Hilary Duff* what dreams are made of. Getting a paycheck is exciting. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

4. It’s just as brave taking a 9-5 to support yourself financially as it is following your childhood dreams.

5. Things take time. You can’t always rush to the next part.

6. Your goals are going to constantly change. Your passions might evolve too. You’re not required to love the same thing you loved five years ago, two years ago, or even a month ago. Give yourself permission to try new things.

7. You don’t have to work in the field you got your degree in.

8. You’re going to lose touch with some of those friends you made the past four years. It sucks, but that’s a natural part of life. The good news? The people who are meant to stay in your life will stick around. And those friendships will be so deep and meaningful.

9. Write a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to any professors or mentors who really shaped you during college.

10. You don’t have to travel the world to expand your horizons.

11. But if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity, go explore. Try different foods. Learn a new language. Get to know another culture.

12. Dating never stops being kind of terrifying. But that’s okay! We’re all equally freaked out by it.

13. You don’t have to date just because it seems like everyone around you is coupled off. There is an empowering freedom in being single and figuring out who you are.

14. But don’t push away love. Taking a chance on someone means allowing a level of vulnerability that can be really scary. But scary doesn’t mean bad.

15. Your heart is going to break in various ways: from romance gone wrong, from nauseating disappointments, from people you thought you could trust, etc.

16. But each pain is valid. You’ll learn something about yourself every time your heart is forced to bounce back.

17. Cut yourself some slack.

18. Remember you’re a human being. That means you’re going to make mistakes. That doesn’t make you a monster. That means you’re, well, human.

19. You’re not in competition with the people on your Facebook timeline.

20. Stop constantly checking up on that one ex through social media. I promise, it will never end with you feeling good about life and yourself. Just block them and move on.

21. Hangovers get increasingly worse as you age. Know your limits. There’s nothing wrong with nursing a tonic water from time to time.

22. If you’re on a tight budget right now, you can’t afford that puppy you keep dreaming about. I’m sorry. Tough love, kid.

23. It’s not selfish to root for yourself. It’s necessary.

24. Be kind to everyone you meet.

25. Networking doesn’t have to feel fake. Don’t just approach the people who have something you want, take an active interest in people. In all people.

26. Get that haircut you’ve always wanted, but weren’t sure you could pull off. It’ll make you feel like a badass. And if it sucks? It’s hair. It’ll grow back. It’s not like you made a permanent change.

27. Put aside money in your savings account and DO. NOT. TOUCH. IT.

28. Make time for the people who genuinely love and support you. Make sure they know it’s reciprocated.

29. Carve out time for yourself. In the real world, everything can feel like it’s going by at such turbo speed that we forget to check in with ourselves. Listen to your body. Unplug when you need to.

30. Try to get 20-30 minutes of exercise every single day. This is good advice for everyone, but especially after college. You probably picked up some (not great) habits during all those all-nighters that you need to break while your metabolism is still young.

31. If things feel too hard, ask for help. You’re not expected to do life all on your own. That’s the purpose of society — we’re all in this together.

32. The best years aren’t behind you. You just ended one chapter. You have so many more to write.

33. And lastly, don’t forget to just breathe. You’re going to be okay. You’ve got this. TC mark

17 Women In Relationships Share What They Miss Most About Being Single

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:34 PM PDT

marjramos
marjramos

1. “I miss going out and being able to innocently flirt with really attractive men, but I would never tell my boyfriend that.” —Rachael, 25

beetlejuice

2. “My single friends no longer think I’m fun. I miss being the fun one.” —Francine, 27

beetlejuice

3. “Kinda miss living by myself. I love my boyfriend, but when you move in together, you have no time to do all your weird habits that you only used to do when you were alone. I rarely ever eat white bread spread with mayo while reading cosmo with a face mask on anymore. If he saw me doing that he’d be like wtf.” —Jess, 26

beetlejuice

4. “I miss getting belligerently drunk on weekends and being able to do very regrettable things with little to no shame the next morning.” —Katherine, 25

beetlejuice

5. “I was skinnier when I was single. I got a boyfriend and it was like welp 10 extra pounds won’t make a difference.” —Sarah, 27

beetlejuice

6. “Caring less about how short my skirt was or how much my boobs were hanging out. If I’m out with my boyfriend and have random men oogling my boobs or ass it’s just awkward.” —Polina, 26

beetlejuice

7. “I miss being able to makeout with multiple people in one night.” —Natalie, 24

beetlejuice

8. “Dancing on table tops.” —Chloe, 23

beetlejuice

9. “I don’t miss my single life because I live it vicariously through all of my single friends.” —Gretchen, 26

beetlejuice

10. “I think I just miss knowing that I could do whatever I wanted without consulting someone else. If I wanted to pack my bags and move to Europe, I could. Now I have other things to consider because I choose to be with someone I love.” —Denise, 24

beetlejuice

11. “I miss being able to order my first preference for takeout. If I wanted sushi I didn’t have to settle for Mexican, I’d just get the damn sushi.” —Ashlee, 26

beetlejuice

12. “Tinder. Messaging 30 different guys at once with no intention of ever meeting any of them, that was fun.” —Tina, 25

beetlejuice

13. “I kind of miss the butterflies of a first date. Like when you’d wonder whether or not he’ll ever call you again, and then he texts you that night saying he had a great time and you do it again soon. That’s like the best feeling ever.” —Heidi, 25

beetlejuice

14. “I don’t miss anything about being single. Being single was exhausting.” —Bethany, 27

beetlejuice

15. “I miss my family continuously questioning why I don’t have a boyfriend, now they know it’s because I don’t like boys, and have a girlfriend.” —Macy, 24

beetlejuice

16. “I miss having the bed to myself and being able to sleep like a starfish. My boyfriend says I kick him in my sleep. I’m not asleep when I do that, I’m awake and trying to get you to move the fuck over.” —Elizabeth, 26

beetlejuice

17. “Shaving less. When I was single I could have a wild garden down there, now it’s like a grassless lawn, and has to be that way every time we’re together. Plus razor burn friggen sucks.” —Erica, 25 TC mark

Read This If You’re Exhausted By Your Own Lust For Life

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:28 PM PDT

istockphoto.com / Enrico Fianchini
istockphoto.com / Enrico Fianchini

It seems ridiculous to lament over having an abundance of passion.

After all, others go their whole lives feeling uninspired. They envy the fire, the passion, the intensity that those around them possess. They wish for the courage to pursue what they want out of life. They envy those who don't hold themselves back.

And yet there are two sides to every coin. And those who were born with an insatiable lust for the world that surrounds them know both sides.

They know the pull between the wild and the tame. They know the exhaustion that accompanies the constant need for stimulation. They know that no matter how glamorous, how exhilarating, how rich and full their lives become, there is always going to be a part of themselves that they secretly wish they could quell.

I don't think there's a person among us who hasn't wished – at one point or another – that they could simply take a break from their own minds.

I have an undeniable passion for life. I have an insatiable lust for exploration. The longer I go without divulging in my own need for novelty, for opportunity, for the wild and bold and wholly messy experience of living, the more listless and lifeless I become.

I need chaos to keep myself thriving. I need exploration to facilitate growth. I need to be moving at ten hundred thousand miles an hour to feel as though I'm going anywhere at all and on the best of days I like that about myself.

But on the worst days I absolutely hate it. And I wish that I could book a good, long vacation from my own mind.

As much as I loathe stability in practice, there's something so damn appealing about it in theory.

I like the idea of a 9-5 job, a stable relationship and an otherwise predictable routine. I desperately want to be happy within the confines of the suburban lifestyle I was raised in.

But I'm not. And I never will be. Because I was born with a mind that's always lusted for more.

More adventure. More opportunity. More exploration, more intensity, more thrill. I want to explore every avenue that is available to me. I want to run down every open road I find. I want to push the limits of the alluring, the intoxicating, the fascinating opportunities that are presented to us throughout the course of our lives.

The opportunities so few people take. Because they are inherently laden with risk.

No matter how long and hard I try to run from the chaos that governs my mind, I can never seem to keep it down for long. I have an insatiable lust for the world around me. And I don't think that lust ever winds itself down.

And so what do we do then, when the pull of the unknown is always going to be just that much stronger than the pull of the safe and familiar?

We can fight it. We can run from it. We can try desperately to fit ourselves into smaller, meeker, quieter versions of ourselves.

Or we can just let the exhaustion overcome us. We can run hard and fast and strong for years on end, until we inevitably need to take a break. From ourselves. From our lifestyle. From our habit of charging in full-force.

And then when we're ready, we pick up the reigns once again. We turn back to the life we've always loved. The passion that's always driven us. The lust that's always defined the very core of who we are.

And we give ourselves permission to charge boldly forwards, one more time.

And always one more time. TC mark

Dear Past Self: You Are Going To Feel A Kind Of Happiness That You Don’t Yet Know Exists

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:26 PM PDT

stephenpaulphoto
stephenpaulphoto

Dear Past Self,

I get it – you're lost right now.

And it feels like you will be lost forever – not because you're aimless or purposeless or not ready to work hard to get to where you want to go in life – but because everything you want feels out of reach at this moment in time. I get it.

The life you want feels out of reach because it is.

The unfortunate thing about growing up is that nothing ever seems to go as planned. You meet your dream person and then they leave. You work your dream job and then you fail at it. You succeed with bells and whistles and you then fail – massively, exhaustively and completely. I can't promise you that you're going to be spared from any of these intensely painful events.

But here's what I can promise you: Just as much as you're going to a kind of pain that you can't yet imagine, you're also going to feel a kind of joy that you've never even thought to hope for.

You'll work your dream job, but at a company that doesn't exist yet. You'll fall in love with your dream person, but you're not going to meet them for years. You'll travel to countries that will change your life forever but you don't know those countries exist yet – and they won't come onto your radar until a very long time from now.

Your life isn't going to go as planned. And right now that seems scary and unpleasant and wrong but what I know (and what you currently don't) is that everything you lose along the way is going to make way for a much greater gain.

You're not going to get into the University program you wanted to get into – because you're going to get into the program that changes your life. You're not going to choose the profession you've been dreaming of since childhood – because you're going to choose a profession that doesn't exist yet. You're not going to end up with that boy that you want to end up with – because you're going to end up with somebody so much better.

The truth is, you're not going to be happy in any of the ways in which you currently hope you'll be happy. Because you're going to be happy in better ways. Bigger ways. More fulfilling ways. Ways you couldn't possibly fathom from where you're standing now.

And so what I want you to know, through all of the struggle and confusion that experiencing now, is that you don't have to try so damn hard to plan out every last detail of your future.

It's not your job to control the storm. The storm is what moves you forward.

It's what strengthens you. It's what rips you away from the life you thought you wanted and plunks you right down in the center of the life that never thought to hope for.

At the end of the day, you don't need pointed advice or words of wisdom from your future self. You don't need to agonize over every fork in the road, every missed opportunity, every twist and turn that veers you off the course you've so carefully charted. At the end of the day, none of the decisions you make are going to determine your ultimate level of joy.

Because there's going to be joy down every road.

There's going to be joy and pain and struggle and redemption and happiness down absolutely any path you take.

There's going to be joy so great that you can't possibly imagine it from where you're standing now.

So stop trying to imagine it. Stop trying to plan for it. Stop trying to prepare for a life that you can't possibly predict the outcome of, no matter how hard you try.

And just get busy living it.

Because that's the best that you will ever be able to do. TC mark

Don’t Change To Find Love, Let Love Change You

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:20 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

You tell yourself relationships mean compromise, but how long will it take you to realize you're compromising who you are to become what he wants you to be?

To say that you deserve someone who accepts you is common knowledge, but sometimes we’re so eager to find love that we get fooled in the process. Because you want love, and while you already know that you deserve it, you think you might need a little work before you find it. So you begin to change.

You begin to change in hopes that he will love you for what you become because you see that he’s not loving you for what you currently are. But if you’re looking to change, you need to change for yourself, and not for anyone else. When you change for someone else you’re nurturing the parts of you that you created for him, for her, for them. And that’s when you begin to lose the parts of yourself you used to love.

Because even if it kills you to admit it, there was a time when you liked yourself, and there were plenty of things you liked about yourself, but when you realized that wasn’t good enough for him you began to question what about you was truly likable, truly lovable. And because he made you feel unlovable, you tried to become someone he would love.

In the beginning it was almost effortless. You became hopeful because he began to like the person you were manifesting, and the happiness you felt when he began to show you love made you oblivious to the fact that you were trying to be someone else, that you were being everyone but yourself.

Because all you ever wanted was his affection, his attention, his touch, his kiss, his admiration. You wanted him to look at you like you were the best thing that’s ever happened to him. And while it sounds desperate to desire the attention that someone clearly isn’t giving you, it’s even more desperate to begin to change yourself in efforts to receive it.

Because you shouldn’t have to work for his affection, you shouldn’t have to change for him to notice you, appreciate you, you shouldn’t have to change for him to love you.

Let love change you, don’t change to find love.

Because when you find a love that’s real it will change you. It won’t make you a different person, it will make you a better person. Because the person that you find it with will change with you, not for you. You’ll change together.

And you’ll want to hold onto this person for dear life, but you won’t find them. Because if you want to find a love that changes you, you have to let go of those you changed for in order to find it. TC mark

This Is The Thank You All Strong Mothers Deserve For Mother’s Day

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:17 PM PDT

twinshenanigans
twinshenanigans

You deserve so much more than a day, you deserve more than just a cake, more than just a greeting—you deserve the world, and so much more.

But, as a daughter, I would like to take this day as an opportunity for me to say how grateful I am to be raised by such a strong woman like you.

I cannot thank you enough for all the things you have done and sacrificed for me, for the times you had to stay up late to take care of me, for the times you had to cry in private when you know I'm hurt—or worse, for when I hurt you.

Thank you for giving me the chance to grow up with love and understanding, for teaching me how to be compassionate, for allowing me to see the beauty of the world through your eyes.

Thank you.

I would also want to take advantage of this special day so that I could tell you how sorry I am for all the things I have done—for not appreciating you enough, when we all know that you deserve so much more.

I want you to know how lucky I am to have a mother who continuously cares for me even during her bad days. I'm sorry for thinking I know so much more, for not realizing how much your words meant, for always believing otherwise—I hope I knew better.

I'm sorry for taking everything for granted, but thank you for never taking that against me. Thank you for patiently allowing me to mature, to grow, and become a better woman.

Thank you for showing me the meaning of woman empowerment, for showing me the beauty of equality, and the importance of being a lady. Thank you for letting me grow up seeing charity as a part of life, for teaching me how to forgive others, but most especially how to forgive oneself.

Thank you for always being there for everyone, mom. You deserve more than just a day. You deserve a lifetime of thank yous, and I love yous.

You deserve the whole world, my heart, my love, my gratitude. TC mark

This Is Why I’m Thankful For The Men Who Took Their Love Away From Me

Posted: 08 May 2016 09:02 PM PDT

Leo Hidalgo
Leo Hidalgo

Thank you. Thank you for falling in love with me and for loving me well. Thank you for the late night kisses and breakfasts in bed. For the piggy back rides and the back massages and the listening ears and the harmonizing to love songs. Thank you for teaching me, through loving me well, how to love others well.

Thank you for when you took that love away from me. For when you left me alone sobbing on a park bench on a rainy day. For when you didn't love me well. For when you left me feeling like we were Sam and Frodo bringing the ring to Mount Doom, but somehow I messed it all up and nothing will ever be good again and where were the damn eagles when I needed them?! Thank you for teaching me that not every story has a happy ending. Thank you for teaching me how to let go.

Thank you for teaching me, when you took your love away from me, that love isn't something you fall in and out of. Love is a state of being. I did not lose love when I lost you – I am always constantly surrounded by love. The love of my family, friends, nature – I fell in love when I took my first breaths.

They say loving more than one guy fragments your heart. It shatters it, they warned. They say you leave a little bit of your heart in everyone you love. You give some parts of yourself away, they say. But that's not true. Loving you didn't splinter my heart; the pains were simply growing pains. Loving you helped me discover parts of myself I didn't even know existed. You were pieces to my puzzle, each adding a bit more clarity to the picture of who I am. And through the process of putting the puzzle pieces together I learned that the final piece to the puzzle won't be added by a man. The last piece will be one found in myself. But until then, I'll date other men, collecting more pieces as I go, slowly revealing who I am. Some men will love me better than you did and some not as well. There will be more late night Taco Bell trips and early morning jogs, and I'll probably write more letters like this.

But until then, thank you for breaking up with me. Thank you for taking your love away so I could find it hidden in myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you. TC mark 

Dear Mom, I Forgot To Tell You How Much I Love You

Posted: 08 May 2016 08:30 PM PDT

London Scout
London Scout

Dear Mom,

I apologize if I don't take every chance I have to say I love, I apologize if sometimes I act like I don't, I apologize for the times I made your life harder.

But I love you. So much. Unconditionally.

I love you even when I am arguing with you over the silliest thing just to prove a point. I know you are always right but I have to show you that I have my own voice, that I have my own words, that I don't have to follow everything you say even if it's the right thing. I'm trying to learn from my own mistakes. I’m trying to be myself — just like you taught me.

I love you even when I hide things from you or keep secrets from you. I don't want you to worry about me. I know you won't sleep at night, so I'm sparing you the anxiety. I keep things from you because I love you not because I don't trust you. And trust me, you've got nothing to worry about. I got this.

I love you even when I don't agree with your decisions. You're too kind sometimes, too forgiving, too understanding, too gentle and too accommodating and it drives me crazy. But I understand why you do it, I understand how big your heart is and how strong you are and I understand why you don't want to leave people feeling unloved.

I sometimes forget that you know what you're doing, I sometimes forget that your wisdom and love surpasses what my heart can feel and what my mind can comprehend.

I love you even when I'm mad at you. Even when I don't think you make sense. Even when I tell you that I don't like you, I love you. Your words hurt more because they're true and sometimes I want to believe my lies. I know they're lies but they make me feel better. Let me believe them sometimes, I will figure them out later. I promise.

I love you even when I’m away, when I go months without seeing you. I miss you even though I don't always tell you.

Your hug still warms me up the most and my tears somehow dry faster in your arms. I love you because your love is still and will always be the greatest love anyone has ever given me.

I'm sorry if I don't tell you I love you more often, I'm sorry if I sometimes forget that you need love also, that you want to be nurtured too, and that you need to be taken care of instead. I forget because you never ask for it, you're always giving and loving as if your satisfaction comes from the love you give rather than the love you receive.

I love you even if you never ask for my love. I love you because you're the reason why I'm living and you're the reason why I'm surviving. So if I get too rebellious or too busy or too stubborn, just remember that I love you.

So if I ever forget to say it when you need to hear it the most….I love you. TC mark

You Make Me Feel Like High School Again

Posted: 08 May 2016 08:15 PM PDT

samanthavaughan
samanthavaughan

You're the giddiness on a Saturday morning when I roll over and see the sun poking through the window. You're the buzz in my head when it's past curfew and I'm sipping on gas station Slurpee's mixed with UV Blue.

You're like high school to me.

You're sweaty palms, anticipation for the last bell to ring.
I get dizzy just thinking about your name, writing little hearts around the edges of my notebooks.

We play high school games, like cat and mouse.
You text first, I wait. I text first, you don't answer.

I get caught up in the rush of it all.

Your hands around my waist send shivers down my spine.
You ask to see me and it feels like sneaking out,
feels forbidden like I'm sixteen again, tip-toeing on the living room carpet.

You're Friday night house parties down the block, driving in my daddy's car with the windows down. You're summer nights at the park with our tummies on the grass, prolonging every second until we have to return back home.

I'm no good at loving slowly, loving patiently,
loving like a mature, sophisticated adult.

I love like I'm fifteen.
like this is the only thing that matters,
like you're the one thing I never want to lose.
I don't.

You're like freshman year, timid but blooming, or junior year, looking ahead.
The worry for what's coming next, the anxiety, the ignorance.
The rebellion.

I want to be rebellious with you.
Drinks on the rooftops, cigarettes I promised I'd never smoke
passed between our lips.

When I think of love, I've never known it any other way.
No other way but all at once, everything. Abandon.

I like loving you like this. Like high school.
Like silly, like stolen sips of whiskey, like Saturday afternoons with the whole weekend ahead of us. I like knowing we're each other's everythings. That we're booth too young and foolish to know any better. To know that love hurts like hell.

So let's live in this moment, sixteen again.
House keys tucked in our pockets, bottles to our lips, my feet up on the dashboard as we're racing down the highway. Unafraid. TC mark

To Fall Out Of Love, Do This

Posted: 08 May 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Heidi Isern
Heidi Isern

"I want love on demand," she said. My friend Sophia was going through another hard breakup, hoping to sedate her pain. "Take it away when it hurts, but deliver it when desired, straight to my door."

If only love were like Instacart. Last year the New York Times published an article that claimed answering 36 questions could make two people fall madly in love. All you needed was 50 minutes, a partner in crime, and a mobile app. The Times app went viral like Herpes on Spring Break. Couples were accessing it on their first Tinder Date, hoping that love arrived before their Uber pickup.

We all crave love. Its universal language unites us as humans. Yet, it also slays us. If you gave people a choice between heartbreak and the Zika Virus, we'd all be feverish in bed. Love's pain spreads across our flesh faster than any plague. As soon as you think you're cured, you relapse.

I once fell for a writer, hoping our words would stay intertwined forever. But one night he ended our affair abruptly, while we were still naked in bed. I grabbed my belongings, fell down his staircase, and ran out wounded into the world. Months later, when I felt comfortably clothed in my independent life, I had an unexpected meltdown. I was cruising Delhi in a tuk tuk, searching for the best roadside Chai. The perfected alchemy of sweet and spice reminded me of his scent and I wept while burning my tongue on boiling tea.

"Love is so short, Forgetting is so long," wrote Pablo Neruda. Love isn't something we can just turn off like a well-oiled faucet. It drips, keeping us up at night. So where is the mobile app that helps us fall OUT of love? Desperate for a cure I created a step-by-step remedy. Try a dose; with time it works.

Step 1: Mind Tricks

In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a broken-hearted couple undergo treatments to erase each other from their memories. Sadly, Elon Musk hasn't invented that bit of technology yet, leaving us to fend for ourselves. But there is another trick called 'Mind Separation.' With Mind Separation you parse out the actual person, your idealized projection of that person, and your own ego.

We idealize our lover after they have gone. Every orgasm turns into three and each bestowed compliment becomes their entire language. We forget critique, alcoholism, and most of all, the fact that they prioritized their life over us. If we were the ones left behind, our egos pathetically cry out for help.

"Wait, but I'm awesome, right?" we question, completely doubting our awesomeness.

In most breakups neither person is awesome and both are looking out the relationship window, sick with vertigo, ready to jump. Whoever jumps and pulls the ripcord first, wins. The prize is an intact ego. Those who are paralyzed by unrealistic ideals, trip, fall, and crash to the ground with unopened parachutes and shattered psyches.

Listen Left-behinds, it's time to pick yourself up. Separate your ego and ideals from reality. Release the unnecessary weight so you can float back up to the sky. Rethink the relationship, and focus on one true, yet unbearable thing about your ex. Then, use all of your strength to pull that ripcord so you can sail safely to another land, far away. It's better there. Trust me.

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
― Kahlil Gibran

Step 2: Death for Life.

Most couples seal their marriage with the words, "'til death do us part." Why should your relationship be any different? If you have been damaged by a relationship's end, your mind has probably gone to "la mort," either theirs or yours. After my last breakup, my therapist gave me a rainbow of pills to mute the misery of my mind. I was morbidly fascinated with unprescribed ways to use them. One was downing a bottle right before I jumped into the Pacific with my surfboard, hoping a wave would suddenly break and suck me down to the ocean depths, seaweed forming a noose for my head. Another was corking the more potent pills inside a bottle of Cabernet and stowing it in his wine collection. He would, naturally, go to open it when he invited the next blond woman over for dinner. I only hoped she drank as quickly as I did.

Death fantasies are delicious distractions. I fell in love with my own stories, feverishly writing new ones each night, devising drama that would make Shakespeare envious. After two months, I realized our breakup was my muse; if we were together I would be quite dull, writing only about honeybees. The death of my relationship was the birth of my prose.

If you feel like you are dying yourself, celebrate! Now you can become reborn. The relationship ended because there was something else you were meant to do. Fretting over the wrong person devours your mind; repurpose it for a higher calling. Write the death of your relationship. Make it epic. Make it tragic. Make it irreversible so that you'll never return. It was just a prologue to something better.

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.
―Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

Step 3: Get Under to Get Over.

Everyone says the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. This isn't quite my style. I cannot get under or on top of someone unless I can fall in love with them.

"Romance is dooming your libido," said my friends. "Can you fall in love faster? View life like you're nearsighted."

I took off my correctional lenses and took out the New York Times app, reflecting over love inquiries while eating Mexican food on a Thursday Night. It worked! Magically, I fell in love with my burrito. But despite its spice and decadence, I wasn't going to make love to it. I left the taqueria searching for more human possibilities. Thanks to the Times, a full belly, and Tinder, I was ready.

I think that many people falsely hope each person they date needs to last forever. How limiting. Consider dating as life's dressing room, each relationship a new outfit to try on. An engineer will hold your angles, an artist will trace your curves, and a poet will entice your tongue. Each person will give you new perspectives and experiences to taste. If it were not for the men in my life I would never have learned how to climb rocks, shoot whisky, or speak sultry French. I decided to not fall out of love, but shift my love to a new person. Every, um, couple of months.

What did I do with the series of ill fitting lovers? Turned them into blog posts, of course.

There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.
― Lawrence Durrell, Justine

Step 4: Love More.

Do we have to stop loving someone in order to love someone else? Maybe we shouldn't try to fall out of love at all. Instead, let's bottle up our love in a glass memory jar and store it on a visible shelf as encouragement. Although Sophia was averaging one breakup every two years, she remained optimistic.

"You know, every time my heart breaks, it breaks open. I seem to love each person more than the last. Maybe heartbreak is preparing me for my life partner, and I'll love him deeper than all the rest."

The heart is a muscle we can train. As long as we don't close it off, reeling in pain, we can teach it to be stronger and to beat faster. True love means loving someone without needing to be with them. It means smiling at memories while wishing them the best for their future. If we are grateful for the love we once received, we strengthen our heart and are better able to bring its lifeblood to a new person. So don't fall out of love at all. Fall out of the person. And fall more in love with someone else.

Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.
― Dylan Thomas

TC mark