Thought Catalog

To The Girls With Freshly Broken Hearts

Posted: 11 Jun 2016 12:00 AM PDT

super awesome
super awesome

I'm not going to tell you any clichés because I never wanted to hear them myself, even if everyone was only trying to help with their words of comfort. I'm not going to diminish what you're feeling because of the length of your relationship, the nature of your breakup, or the classification of whether you were in an actual relationship or not. I'm just going to tell you it sucks and I'm here for you. Because that's really all you need right now, someone who will listen to every random thought and analysis about this breakup when new revelations come to you at 3 am. Someone who will not judge you for steering the conversation to what you're going through. Someone who will sit while you ramble your incoherent thoughts out mid-cry. You really just need a sister right now and I hope you know I'm always hear for that, because I've been there and my sisters were the ones there for me.

Last semester, I was abroad when I was broken up with and being away made it easy to ignore any hurt I could have felt initially. I was in Europe surrounded by wonderful and beautiful people who dulled and numbed any pain that sought to seep through the happiness I felt then. If I was still overseas, I believe I never would have actually properly felt that pain, but when my program ended and I came home, the reality of my situation hit me so unexpectedly and abruptly that I wasn't prepared for the damage it potentially could have done. I felt so confused and had a million 'what if' questions running through my brain. What if I never went abroad? What if we tried again now that I'm back? What if I reached out more during when I was gone? What if what if what if. Those two words have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life and that's usually the hardest part about moving on – getting rid of the 'what ifs' in your mind.

I want you to know that all the negative thoughts you are thinking about yourself aren't true either, I know because I've thought those as well. It's hard not to question why you weren't good enough for them to stay around, why you weren't enough of a person for them to want to fight for. What is so completely flawed in you that it was easier to give up on something you claimed to have once loved? The answer is nothing, even though it's hard to believe that as you feel like you've been sucker punched in the gut and have the urge to cry every time The Killers comes on the radio. I hope one day you realize you are enough, you are so enough, it is unbelievable how enough you are, but it's okay if it takes time to see this. I'm still not there yet either.

When I came back to school this semester I was feeling this pain all over again and I didn't know how to start healing, but that's when you need to lean on your friends. Because there will be a friend who will take you to the gym and help you work out and will make you feel strong about yourself again. And there will be another friend who will answer every single text throughout the day when you just need to vent your heart out. And I promise you, there’s a friend who will agree every time you say how stupid he is and she will take you out and make you forget he even existed. And don't worry, you’ll have another friend who will always want pizza or chipotle and will happily eat her heart out with you. At least I had all these people surrounding me, and I cannot thank them enough. You can be weak with them, you can be dependent on them, and you can trust them that one day you will feel whole again. And until that day comes, they won't judge you for getting tear stains on their t-shirts.

Because there will be one day that you stop checking his social media pages before you go to bed. There will soon be a day that your heart no longer lurches when you see he's texted you. One day you won't look back on photos together and think 'what if' anymore, and one day soon you can listen to every song on the radio and sing along without a second thought as to if those were your songs. One day, a day will pass and you won't even have thought of him. And let me tell you, that is such a great feeling. I cannot thank my friends enough for how much they've helped me recently and they will be there for you too. I know I said I wouldn't say any clichés, but I have to lay a few on you. You're beautiful and smart and so, so strong, and if a boy doesn't appreciate that then he isn't 'the one.' He might have been 'the one' at that time in your life, but he's not your end goal. Just know you are not alone, because I'm not even all there yet. But one day, I know I will be. And until that happens, just please reminder, you are worthy. TC mark

Imperfection Is Real And Raw, And I Want A Life That’s Imperfect

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 11:30 PM PDT

Bailey Weaver
Bailey Weaver


"You draw what you see, not what you think you see."

This, my mother says, as she takes a sip of her wine and leans in towards her canvas to fix a smudge of paint on the edge of a leaf.

We are at a fun painting class, one where you drink wine, eat cheese and crackers, and listen to a kind voice guide you through a painting of whatever you choose.

This time, we are making water lilies in a beautiful glass vase. I squint at the painting in the front of the room, the example we're supposed to follow with its perfectly proportioned lily petals and reflections on the glass vase, and cringe.

Up close, my petals looks like little blobs of white, yellow, and blue.

"Not what you think you see," my mother says again, leaning towards my painting and pointing at a leaf.

I squint again, and see what she's saying. The leaf I've drawn doesn't exactly exist in the example; I just drew it because I thought it was realistic, thought it would make the lower half of my painting look more like stems in a glass vase then lines of black and white and green.

You draw what you see. Isn't that the same thing for life? I find myself suddenly lost in thought. I've always been one to make my own paintings, to draw myself the life or relationship I want, rather than what I have right in front of me.

I try to smooth the edges and creases, try to make what I have sparkle just a little more, shine just a little brighter, look just a little prettier than blobs of paint on a canvas.

I try to take what I have and make it better, believing that who I am and what I have isn't quite good enough yet.

And I keep doing this until it completely cripples me.

Until I feel like I'll never find love, I'll never be enough, my life will never be as wonderful and put together as someone else's.

Until I'm sitting in front of a canvas, a glass of wine to my lips, biting back tears because everyone else around me seems to know what they're doing and I'm just stuck.

I draw what I think I see, rather than what's there.

I try to fit my life, my heart into a pretty little box, into a flawless drawing rather than leaving it complicated and messy and imperfect—which is what's truly real.

I try to make things look beautiful rather than authentic and flawed because I don't yet realize that I'm sitting a little too close.

That my nose is pressed against the canvas, searching for imperfections, when really I could take a step back and see that my painting is beautiful. Just the way it is.

Imperfection is real and raw. And I want that.

I want a painting that's a little blobby and spotty and messy, but artistic and impressionistic, rather than something that merely hangs on a wall and looks 'how it's supposed to.'

I want a life, a lover, an existence that doesn't always make sense, but is absolutely wonderful because it's mine.

I take another sip of wine and brush away the stupid green leaf in the corner of my vase. I squint at the example again and try to draw what I see—lines of black and green that are haphazard, blobs of white and yellow and blue that form into petals.

I take a step back and examine my painting. From further back it's beautiful, messy, real. It's pointillism. It's art.

My mother steps back and puts her arm around me.

"That's much better," she says. And she's right.

It is better when I stop trying to be perfect, when I stop trying to make my life into what I think I see rather than what's really there. When I embrace the real, raw, wonderful, and complicated painting that is me.

That is art, all on its own. TC mark

I Don’t Want To Take Shortcuts In Life

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 08:01 PM PDT


I don't want to take shortcuts to achieve my dreams. I want to take the long road; the road full of mistakes and bad choices and moments of despair. The road that seems longer and longer as the days go by and the road that almost makes me give up but forces me to fight harder.

I want the long road because it's the journey that makes you want the dream even more and it's the journey that will give your dream meaning and it's the journey that will truly change your life.

I want a journey that's full of struggles, obstacles, surprises, heart breaks, laughter, tears and battles. I want scars and bruises. I want signs that I fought for my dream, that I learned how to make it happen, that I didn’t settle and that I survived whatever tried to destroy me.

I don't want to take shortcuts to find love. I want to fall in love with a lot of wrong people and get heartbroken a few times, because this is how you grow, this how you become wiser and this is when you learn how to be compassionate, how to be kind and how fragile our hearts can be.

I want to have bad examples to learn from, and people I can't forget along the way, I want to look back on all those I've loved and understand why it never lasted and why it never worked out, but more than anything, I want these people to be living proof that I'm still capable of loving, I'm still capable of trying and I'm still capable of forgiving.

I want them to be a sign of my strength, of how I put myself first when I walked away and how I found a way to love myself even if they didn't love me back. I want them to be memories of who I used to be and who I'm becoming and I want them to be the reason why I'll be the best possible person for the one I'll  end up with.

I don't want to take shortcuts to make friends. I want to meet all kinds of people, I want to meet who don't resemble me at all and learn to accept and love their differences and I want to meet people who are so much like me to know that I'm not alone and that someone out there was sent along to be on the same path with me so we can lean on each other.

I want to talk to strangers about life and experiences and learn from their wisdom and I want to be around people who make the world a better place. People who dream, people who love, people who want to make a difference and people who are trying to make the best out of their lives.

I want to find them after I've been around people who let me down, people who made me feel alone, people who judged me because they couldn't understand me and people who didn't believe in me, because this is how you learn to distinguish between the real ones and the fake ones and this is how you learn not to let yourself be defined by what other people think of you.

I don't want to take shortcuts to anything worth having because shortcuts make you miss the beauty of the road, the surprises you see on the way, the people you meet in traffic and the pretty views you drive by when the road is long. Shortcuts make the drive quick and unexciting but the real road is full of surprises, full of bumps, full of incidents that will teach you something and full of moments that can change your life. You don't learn how to drive so you can take shortcuts; you learn how to drive so you can take the real road, the highway and handle any circumstances you face on the way. Shortcuts can sometimes lead to dead ends but the long road is endless. TC mark

It’s About The Practice (Not Pursuit) Of Happiness

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Mitya Ku
Mitya Ku

For the majority of my life, I viewed the concept of happiness as a dichotomous switch – either you are or you aren’t. And to a certain extent, I suppose that still holds true. But the more detrimental implication of this way of thinking was that I saw happiness as an end goal to reach, something that I could possess only if I tried hard enough. So what was the problem?

It seemed that the harder I pursued it, the further it slipped out of my grasp.

As the years went by and I started growing out of the confusing, messy haze of adolescence into the even more terrifying realm of young adulthood, I began to hone in more and more on the fact that I simply wasn’t happy.

I became increasingly more fixated on “becoming” happy; it was a devious puzzle that seemingly had no solution. I approached it from every angle I could think of, and laid out plan after plan…although I didn’t exactly expect to wake up one morning and suddenly realize I was happy (a miracle!), I did anticipate the spontaneous realization of happiness. There would be a clear delineation in my life’s timeline when this happened – a neat and singular marker that separated “Jen Before Happiness” and “Jen After Happiness.” It sounds odd when I put it into words now, but my way of thinking clearly supported this impossible hypothesis.

Lately I’ve been tired. Tired from working, working out, school, and just generally trying to operate as a functional human being, but tired of this pursuit. Approaching happiness as a methodical goal to be obtained has left me going in circles, and it seems I’m drifting further away in the process.

I have come to think maybe happiness isn’t a destination I will one day arrive at if only I tried hard enough. Instead, I have been wondering if happiness is actually a dynamic skill that needs to be practiced.

I suppose this distinction is something akin to the difference between simply running to get to Point A and practicing to get better at the skill of running itself.

Now, such a fundamental change in the way one thinks isn’t going to be an overnight switch either. There is obviously no standardized manual to the “right” way to happiness, and I’m just as in the dark as anybody else. But simply reminding myself that I will get progressively better at being happy if I paid attention to certain self-sabotages – negative thoughts, disconnecting from the present, and ruminating on things I have no control over, to name a few – already helps.

The idea that I could be happy right this second if I wanted to is quite a powerful insight. Now, I’m definitely not espousing that life is all sunshine and rainbows spouting out of kittens’ assholes only if one chooses to see it that way. No matter how objectively you view it, sometimes life just sucks and is just generally gritty, dirty, and so fucking hard.

But focusing on what I do have supreme control over – my mind – is doing myself hell of a lot more favors than running endlessly in the proverbial rat race towards an arbitrary finish line that doesn’t even exist. TC mark

I’m Never Going To Throw Away Your Pictures

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 05:00 PM PDT


When relationships or friendships end, our defense mechanism is to get rid of all reminders of that friend or that ex because it's easier to move on, but I beg to differ, I will never throw away the pictures of someone who once meant a lot to me, who was once a big part of my life and someone who gave me so many memories to look back on.

In the art of forgiveness, you can still keep their memories in your life without keeping them in your heart.

Pictures remind you of the times you shared together.

It reminds you of a certain trip, a certain occasion or a certain event in your life that you shared together, it takes you back to the person you were and how things have changed. Pictures can be a mini reflection of your life; of how time changes people, of how you changed, of how you thought certain people will always be in your life but now you barely even talk to them and it reminds you of how you can live without people you said you couldn't live without.

Pictures make you less resentful.

When you look back on how happy you looked, it's hard to completely hate or resent someone who once made you so happy. You needed that person at that time, and whether you like to admit or not they made you happy, they made you smile again and they were there for you, even for a short amount of time, they were all you needed and sometimes this helps soften your heart.

Pictures capture your growth.

It's like watching your life in pictures, it shows you how much you've grown and how far you've come. It shows your evolution; your style, your looks, your confidence and the things that you used to capture back then versus the things you capture now. Do you still take pictures of the same things? Do you still take pictures with people even though they might not be in your life forever? Pictures are truly worth a thousand words because they speak your life and they capture the moments that either changed your life or changed you.

Pictures are sometimes all you've got left.

We leave pieces of ourselves with everyone we've ever loved and they leave pieces of them with us too, and pictures are sometimes all you've got to remind you of these pieces; of their smile, of their touch and the way they made you feel. Long after these people are gone from your life, you'll have moments when you miss them, when you miss their memories and when you miss the connection you had. Because even though you can be done with a relationship or a friendship, you still long for some parts of it or you wish you could bring back precious moments that are all stored in these pictures.

Pictures are homes you once belonged to and visit every so often to make sure you don't forget where you came from. TC mark

The Real Reason We Fell Out Of Love

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 04:00 PM PDT

We fell in love because we each needed something
from the other,

Small reminders
That we were still good people
still cloaked with virtue
still alive and armed with
something to give

We fell in love because it had been
Quiet and haunted
in the recesses of our devotion
for too long,
Because we needed to brush the cobwebs off
Our aching, desperate hearts
Because we wanted to remember how to

We fell in love because we needed to believe that we could still be
Set aflame
That we were more than old collections
of outdated emotions,
preserved in the museums
that we kept
inside our ribcage

We fell in love because
we needed to know
we were still magic

And yet the moment that
the curtain dropped
the crowds dispersed
and the show halted and failed to go on,

we fell out.

And for two such skilled magicians,
you and I could not discover for the life of us
where our magic trick
had possibly gone wrong. TC mark

Please, Let Me Chase You

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 03:00 PM PDT


You were always there, but I never noticed.

You told me you loved me, but I didn't care. You watched me fall for guy after guy; guys that weren't you. But you loved me all the same.

You watched me get hurt, knowing that you never would have treated me like they do. You were the good guy, the nice one. The one I kept as a friend.

I kissed you when I was drunk, and pushed you away when I was sober.

I hurt you, and for that I'm sorry.

I changed you, and I wish I hadn't.

While I was getting my heart broken, I never realized I was breaking yours. While I was chasing after the bad boy, I never realized that you were chasing me.

I took you for granted, and that wasn't fair. I was only 18 when I met you: young and naïve. You were the boy I should have wanted. The boy that would have kept me safe. The one who would have kept his promises.

You were the one who would have made me happy, the one who wouldn't have cheated, the one who wouldn't have broken my heart – but I never gave you a chance to prove it. You said all the right things at exactly the right time. You were the shoulder I could always cry on. You were the one I always missed.

You cared about me so much, and the thing is, I cared about you too.

But I was too busy. Too busy with the guys that would break my heart. Too busy playing the game. Too busy trying to change the guys I was with.

Too busy trying to change them into you.

Now I'm standing here, hoping you will give me another chance. Hoping that deep inside, you are still that boy. The one who loved me, the one that cared.

Now I'm standing here, hoping you'll let me prove to you that I can love you, and that I can care too.

Now I'm standing here, hoping that you'll let me chase you. TC mark

If Only I Could Forget You The Way You Forgot Me

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 02:00 PM PDT

 Angelina Litvin
Angelina Litvin

How are you, really? Are you happy? I hope you are, I heard you are, I wish you are. Are you happy with her? Does she do things I can’t do for you? Does she love you more than I did? Does your decision of leaving me your best one yet? I hope it is… I hope.

Hey, you, I miss you, even on days I shouldn’t. I still remember the important dates I should have buried away with the old me. I still dream of you on nights that I should be sleeping peacefully in my current life. I still think of you, and how you are, our what ifs included. You’re still in me, lingering in me. You left me, but there is still a part of you that I refuse to let go, I know I should, but I refuse to do so.

They say pain changes people, but how come with you, I am still that same helpless, vulnerable girl who is madly in love with her first love?

I loved you, I love you, and for years I refuse to acknowledge that, for I thought denying it would make me the stronger one. But you are that person, you’re moved on, you’re happy, you’re okay. And I’m not.

I still hold on to our memories, even if they hurt me, even if I’m the only one left in them. Tell me, how do you do it? How did you do it? Teach me, how do I forget you? It is not enough that I see you as a jerk now. You’re still here, you’re still in me. And I wish you aren’t, I wish you never were.

I’m still yours, if not all of me, most of me, while I have nothing of you anymore. I still treasure the memories that meant nothing to you now. How could you become so whole while I’m still stuck in being pieces?

I hope you could answer me back one day, when you have figured out how come it took you no time to let go.  TC mark

18 Men Describe The Surprising Reason Why They Fell For Their Significant Other

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Wendy Liu
Wendy Liu

1. “Her music taste. It’s actually terrible. She likes old country western stuff. But I had to give her credit. One night she showed up at my door in cowboy boots, nothing else and her favorite song blasting on her iHome. That’s when I knew. Although that song was god awful.” —Ryan, 24

2. “One night she had eaten a few too many Tacos and she threw up on me while I was kissing her. She then started hysterically laughing and rolling around the room like a little kid on speed. Disgusting, but adorable.” —Justin, 27

3. “The way she talked to my dog. She uses this weird high pitched baby voice that is very irritating but hearing that for the first time was when I knew I was madly in love with her.” — Michael , 25

4. “Her appetite. As soon as I realized that she was the type of girl who loved to eat five slices of pizza every night just like me, that was it.” — Cody, 26

5. “The way she slept. She wasn’t a peaceful sleeper at all. She thrashed around and talked in her sleep loudly enough to wake me. Annoying as it was, it was ridiculously cute and I couldn’t help but fall for her.” — Billy, 22

6. “Her playfulness was so inspiring to me. She always had a smirk on her face like she was ready to do something sneaky or fun with me. The day she dragged me to have sex in a golf course was the night I knew.” — Sam, 29

7. “Her laugh. To most people it sounds like a horse having a heart attack, but to me it sounds like the most beautiful sound in the world. It lights me up.” — Luke, 20

8. “I fell in love with her the second I heard her sing. She probably has the worst voice I have ever heard. Like American Idol, cringeworthy status. But, no matter what anyone says, she just keeps singing and that’s sexy as hell.”  — Ronny, 38

9. “I fell in love with her almost immediately. She was a waitress at this restaurant I loved and she literally spilled my entree all over herself. You could call it love at first spill.” — Tai, 35

10. “She had this disgusting old stuffed puppy. At 23 years old, she still took it with her everywhere. She needed it to even sleep at night! Call me lame, but I thought that was the cutest thing in the world.” — Derek, 22

11. “One day, she started talking in a British accent just because. So there we were, at a bar, pretending we were from London or something. I think that was the day I knew she was the one for me. She’s just so weird.” — Steven, 28

12. “One night out of boredom, she started practicing her makeup…on me. We started taking pictures of each other in all of this makeup and ended up having sex in a sparkly mess of makeup.” — Joel, 20

13. “The first time I saw her cry. I was expecting to see a puppy dog type of cry, but she was the spitting image of the “Kim Kardashian” ugly cry meme.” — Rick, 21

14. “I realized I loved her after she made me drive to McDonalds at 2 am. just so we could get some fries. I don’t think I’ve ever been more in love than in that moment.” — Larry, 31

15. “I knew I loved her after she started not caring about me seeing her go to the bathroom. You can’t get any closer than that.” — Jacob, 26

16. “Her love for Star Wars. She still likes to make Chewbacca noises at me.” — Chris, 23

17. “We had a water fight in the kitchen and she turned to my parents and started hosing them down. Their faces were priceless.” — David, 24

18. “Honestly? It’s probably when we went grocery shopping together and I discovered she was obsessed with Lucky Charms. Like, she literally bought ten boxes in that one night.” — Arnold, 30 TC mark

30 Silly, Little Things In Your Relationship That Prove You’ve Found Your Person

Posted: 10 Jun 2016 12:00 PM PDT

Leo Hidalgo
Leo Hidalgo

1. Laughing just because they’re laughing.

2. Suddenly having fun running errands or doing chores, just because you get to do it together.

3. When one of you fights sleep just to keep the other company.

4. Loving the small, random things about them, like their hands or the way they run or how they pronounce a certain word.

5. When they get up to shower before you so you have an “excuse” to stay in bed a little longer.

6. Late night car rides.

7. And late night car talks.

8. Having a never-ending amount of inside jokes.

9. Watching them interact with kids and falling in love even harder.

10. Being able to vent about people in a safe place, without feeling like you’re gossiping.

11. Taking a nap on the couch while they’re doing work beside you.

12. And just having someone who’s always down to take a nap with you, too.

13. When they remember something you said you liked – a beer, a movie, a type of flower – and they surprise you with it.

14. Being punch-drunk together when you’re both really exhausted.

15. Surprise little handwritten notes that make your entire day.

16. The first big laugh you share after an argument.

17. Having a restaurant or bar that you always go to together.

18. Compliments for no reason.

19. Getting a “thank you” for something you thought they hadn’t even noticed.

20. Always having a travel buddy.

21. Nesting on the couch on a Saturday morning.

22. Never feeling like you’re boring them when you talk about your passions.

23. When they tell you “it’ll be okay” and you know you can trust them.

24. Receiving an encouraging text when they know you have a big day at work.

25. Accidentally spending an hour watching YouTube videos together.

26. Tagging each other in funny Instagram posts.

27. Inconspicuous hand-holding in a public place.

28. Learning new things from them.

29. Staying in together on a weekend night.

30. Knowing that you’ll stick together, no matter what. TC mark