Thought Catalog


15 Deep Throating Tips That’ll Turn You Into The Queen Of Blowjobs

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Unsplash
Unsplash

1. Get into the right position. If you’re sitting at a weird angle, it’ll be hard for you to get his dick all the way down your throat. Your best bet is to get down on your knees and sit in between his legs.

2. You could also try getting on your back and hanging your head off of the bed while he stands over you.

3. If your gag reflex makes blow jobs close to impossible, then try to test it when you brush your teeth. Push your toothbrush back just a little further than usual every time. You need to get your tongue clean, anyway.

4. You could also try to get rid of your gag reflex by using your fingers, starting with one and working up to two or three. Or you could grab a dildo that’s around the size of his penis and shove that into your mouth.

5. Don’t wait until he’s hard to start blowing him. If you want to work on your deep throating skills, start when he’s soft. That way, you’ll be able to feel his entire dick in your mouth at once.

6. Remember to breathe through your nose. When you get down really far, you won’t be able to rely on your mouth, so make sure you’re still getting air into your body.

7. Most adult stores actually sell numbing spray meant for deep throating. Might as well give it a try to see if it works for you.

8. You don’t have to deep throat the entire time you’re giving him oral. The head of his penis is the most sensitive area, so you should lick it and play with his balls. Then, when you’re ready, deep throat for a bit and then switch it up again.

9. Relax. It sounds like pointless advice, but it’s actually important. If you’re tense, then you’re not going to be able to get your mouth open wide enough to take him all in. So take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and get going.

10. For some reason, women have the most trouble with their gag reflex early in the day. If you notice this problem, avoid going down on him as soon as you wake up. Wait until later on in the day.

11. You should be in control of pacing. Don’t let him fuck your face. Even if you don’t have a super sensitive gag reflex, there’s a higher chance of you gagging if he’s the one in control.

12. Make sure there’s plenty of saliva, pre-cum, or lube on his dick. If it’s dry, then it’s going to be hard for you to move your lips against him.

13. Practice makes perfect. That means you need to give more blowjobs to get better at blowjobs. Your boyfriend definitely won’t mind being your guinea pig.

14. Look up at him, just like you would do during any other blowjob. That eye contact will drive him wild.

15. Remember you don’t actually need to deep throat in order to be good at oral. If you can’t get your mouth to reach the base of his penis, use your hands along with your mouth. It’ll feel just as good as deep throating does. TC mark

27 Of My Most Cringeworthy Moments From My Early Twenties I Will Recount Here For Your Entertainment

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 07:00 PM PDT

James Garcia
James Garcia

1. I once locked myself into a bathroom with several cases of beer, because the cops showed up to a college party. I declared it my throne and proceeded to continue to drink cans of Coors Light for over an hour BY MYSELF until I decided it was safe to emerge.

2. After my 21st birthday party, I fell asleep on my staircase with my tights midway down my legs cradling my then baby dog and assuring her over and over, “You’re so beautiful.” I woke up to her chewing on my hair.

3. I played Peter Pan in college and had some sort of weird virus that resulted in 85% of my body being covered in hives. I was released from the ER after my school’s health center sent me there post thinking I was going into anaphylactic shock, but I had to do press and several photo shoots for the show. So now, there are photos of me (that yes, you can find) dressed as Peter Pan, flying around, while on several milligrams of Valium. Gives a whole new meaning to “flying high.” (sorry I had to.)

4. Once I got drunk in a field solely so I could hang out with a goat named Penelope. Here’s a picture:

Also had an angled bob and a nose piercing. It was a LOOK.
Also had an angled bob and a nose piercing. It was a LOOK.

5. My boyfriend for the latter half of my early twenties was around a year younger than me. So he couldn’t drink with me (in public anyway) at my 22nd and instead had to take care of me, bless his heart. On my 21st birthday a friend had challenged me to take a shot of SUPER cheap whiskey and I’d managed to do it. On my 22nd I tried to complete that same challenge and ended up puking into a cloth napkin, and sneakily throwing it away in the trash. My boyfriend promptly took me home after.

6. Another throw up story (let’s just stick with the theme) involved a pint glass. A party was being thrown at my ex’s house and naturally, I didn’t want to attend. One of my best guyfriend’s offered to accompany me to a bar near said ex’s place called “The Town And Country Lounge” which is a bar in a refurbished double wide. We sat there for approximately two to three hours, drinking cheap beer and shooting whiskey. The last shot of Jameson I did didn’t sit well, and I ended up methodically vomitting into the pint glass next to me, filling it straight to the brim. Surprisingly though, I didn’t spill.

7. At 25 I got so heated with a cab driver after a long night that he ended up calling the police on me. From my own phone. Saving that whole story for my eventual Lifetime movie. But it happened.

8. I went to a One Direction concert and a stranger who was drunk and talking animatedly with his hands clocked me straight in the face. I told him it was okay, I missed Zayn too. Again here’s a photo from said evening:

We definitely know, oh oh oh, we know that we're beautiful.
We definitely know, oh oh oh, we know that we’re beautiful.

9. At 25 I sent presents to some dude who wrote for the same website as me, because I thought it meant we’d be friends. Now I’m pretty sure he just wanted to have phone sex (never did) because he was lonely as he stopped talking to me the SECOND there was a possibility of us hanging out IRL. Learn from my mistakes kids: don’t send flat-brims to people just because they’re sad. Save that money.

10. I left my number on more coasters and napkins for cute bartenders than I can even remember. It’s not really a cute move though, and I fully shake my head at myself now.

11. I sort of notoriously trolled a guy on Tinder and wrote about it. It made a lot of people really mad. I still stand by my original intent of writing the piece, which was/is that it’s kind of fucked up that we laugh when people threaten us or harass us or even just get rude, but I didn’t execute this well at all. Like honestly, I am linking to it and saying, “I think this is poorly written and I am the one who wrote it.” BUT – I don’t believe in deleting work even when I don’t really relate to it anymore or even when it doesn’t garner the reaction I was hoping for. Instead I just shake my head when I get random messages about this piece (yes, even over a year later) and use it as a reminder to always do better.

12. After my first big breakup I decided to get out of a dodge for a bit and flew home to be with my parents and my childhood best friends. Only problem, I was flying out of my college town on my ex’s birthday. And apparently, his parents were also flying out on the same flight to go on vacation. I was in first class (not bougie – just the only ticket that was available) and they had to awkwardly stand beside me waiting to get to their seats. One of my absolute least favorite memories.

13. I impulsively got a tattoo with a sort of boyfriend one day on my ribs. I didn’t really WANT a rib tattoo but this dude told me it was “so sexy” so I caved. I also made the mistake of not going to a reputable artist, and frankly the tattoo looks like shit now. Eventually I’ll get it covered up but for now, the scratchy Alice in Wonderland quote stays. Here’s another a picture so you can see visual representation of my mistakes!! Yay!

Instagram Photo

14. Once I went out on a date with a guy who actually, seriously quoted that fucking AWFUL book about picking up women called The Game and I didn’t leave. Not only did I not leave, but I let him stay the night at my apartment (didn’t hook up with him because I maintained SOME level of self-respect) AND let him shower in the morning. He used my brand new, pretty spendy Sephora bubble bath as body wash, and opened brand new shampoo. He wanted to have a “discussion” after I told him I wasn’t interested in seeing him again. Yeah…I pick winners.

15. For my 20th birthday party I threw a joint birthday party with my friend Nicki that was “P” themed. This meant everyone who came to the party had to come dressed as something that started with the letter P. (Best costume was this dude Kyle who came as the preamble. It was gold.) The only other rule was that no one could come as a princess because that’s what Nicki and I were being. I dressed like this:

seriously how did i have a boyfriend then but I'm single AF now
seriously how did i have a boyfriend then but I’m single AF now

16. I was so in love with a boy that I bought him Decemberists tickets for literally no reason. Actually, come to think of it, a lot of the moments where I look at my younger self and go, “What the actual fuck were you thinking?!” have to do with spending money on boys who didn’t appreciate me. My therapist told me that I show affection through material goods because I have difficulty expressing emotions. Whatever, I’m working on it.

17. I have written so many prose pieces about guys who I knew were pulling away from me in a sad, pathetic attempt to try and make them see that I was worth their time and attention. Spoiler alert: If a guy doesn’t even read your stuff to begin with, this will literally never work.

18. At 23 I went to Las Vegas for my best friend’s 21st birthday and the two of us go so lit up before going to the wax museum that we found a karaoke machine (it’s next to the was figure of Simon Cowell) and started serenading the entire museum with renditions of Celine Dion hits like “Taking Chances” and “The Power of Love.” We attempted to shake his hand after. We cleared the room of 70+ people. What I’m saying is, it was embarrassing.

19. I was really bad about remembering to renew my tags for my car in college and was pulled over for said offense one summer, and still didn’t renew my tags. 7 months (yes I know, I was/am the worst) later I was pulled over AGAIN for the same thing. Apparently there was a warrant out for my arrest and the officer decided midnight was the appropriate time to lecture me about this. Catch? I had just finished a performance of The Mikado which, if you’re not familiar, is set in Japan. So I was in FULL kabuki makeup while this policeman decided to lecture me about my fuck up. I was sobbing, Ben Nye makeup was smearing everywhere, he felt pretty bad. It was overall just a mess. But I didn’t go to jail. Thanks, Missoula Cop who didn’t take me in while I was still rocking the geisha makeup. I really appreciate it.

20. I was feeling vulnerable and sad one Halloween and decided the cure to this was hooking up with my friend’s much younger, VERY hot, trying to be a stripper friend. It was fine, it was whatever. But we hooked up on the floor of an apartment which was basically concrete. I ended up slipping a disc, bruising my tailbone, and having to spend the next 3 months getting chiropractic work to make my back okay again. He was hot, but not hot enough to justify that amount of back pain. #srynotsry

21. I got violently ill once from antibiotics and promptly shit in my leggings after trusting the fart. There is more to the story but again, saving it for my future bestseller.

22. I thought this was a good look. And also did this in public.

yep. that's me. form a line, gents.
yep. that’s me. form a line, gents.

23. In college I played Columbia in the live musical version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show where, for the midnight shows only, we were topless. I debated about it, but it was a paid gig and I felt fine about it so I decided sure, why not. My boyfriend at the time was NOT okay with it. I later found out he adamantly REFUSED to let his friends come to the show, even going so far as to pay them back for the tickets they had already purchased. I didn’t find this out for years and it still makes me super embarrassed for his behavior.

24. A guy broke up with me when I was 25 because I didn’t make enough eye contact. That was his honest to god reason. (Still bitter.)

25. I went on a mini vacation with some friends to Austin, Texas for my 26th birthday and decided to really just GO for it when I was there. This meant doing one of the ultimate “why not” moments: the Tinder one night stand. Only problem? We didn’t know our way around Texas and I didn’t bring any condoms. So my solution was to have Postmates deliver them. I didn’t even try to play it off and ordered like, chips and gum to make it better. I straight up just ordered a box of 16 Trojan’s to the AirBnb. The delivery man was loling, my “date” was loling, my friends were loling. It was lols all around. 10/10 recommend.

26. A friend of mine came to Seattle for an audition and I took her out one night to blow off some steam/show her the city. We ended up drinking all night with a professional indoor soccer team from Vegas, and I definitely got naked in a photobooth with a bunch of them. Somehow though, I still didn’t get laid. Only I could be one of two girls surrounded by a bunch of guys who were hot, professional athletes, show them all of my tattoos that required me taking my clothes off, and end up going home to eat queso in bed.

27. I lived. I made memories. Or I had those memories told back to me because I didn’t really…well…remember them. And even though sometimes that makes me all “god dammit smdh” I honestly think it’s pretty dope that I have all of these stories – cringeworthy or what have you.

Plus I once peed on my neighbor’s lawn furniture because she was threatening to call the cops on my Harry Potter themed party. And you can’t pay money for those kinds of stories. TC mark

This Is Why Having More Money Just Brings New Problems

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Alexandre Chambon
Alexandre Chambon

I am renting a small beach casita on the beach in Encinitas.

The rent is $1950 USD a month. For most of my life I have only been able to afford $450-750 CAD dollars in rent.

My business has only starved thriving since this past year.

For my last 7 years visiting Costa Rica I always took 3 chicken buses, one ferry and one taxicab, total length = 12 hours to get to Santa Teresa.

There is an air-conditioned shuttle that costs $50 from the airport and takes 4 hours.

I stayed in dorm rooms filled with drunk Argentinians who party till 3 am on spring break for the last 5-6 years of my stay for $12 a night.

The last time I was in Costa Rica in January I was able to rent my own place with a roommate.

It was a shared wooden cabana flat a few blocks from the beach with a Swedish girl who was a graphic designer. It didn’t have a roof and I was bitten by mosquitoes every night. Our landlady was in a constant state of being miserable, her husband was sweet–we didn’t know how they stayed married. There was a large rat that moved in and stayed despite our biggest efforts. We worked with jungle Wi-Fi, woke up with mosquito bites, surfed everyday and drank cold pipas.

It was the first time I had enough money to get my own space in CR.

It wasn’t luxurious, but it was the first time I invested in my own space and self.

In March I bought a ticket home from where I was living in Costa Rica, I booked the cheapest, longest ticket and a hostel in San Jose the night before I flew out.

As I checked into the hostel I forgot I actually had enough money for the first time in my life to get a hotel if I wanted.

When you’ve had a lifetime of being broke, and being broke becomes your context making money is actually hard.

It becomes uncomfortable.

You have to retrain your brain that spending money is okay, and it doesn’t make you a soulless shell of a human.

After I got home from Costa Rica I went shopping for things like shoes (my boots blew out) underwear, a bra that actually fit my petite rib cage and wouldn’t fall down when I exhaled. A durable travel bag as I had been borrowing my mom’s kayak bags and was constantly on airplanes. Some clothing for a public speaking gig and workshop I was attending.

I got to the cash register and it was $989.00.

I froze.

I left all the things and went in my car and had a mini break down of whether it was morally okay I spent that kind of money on me.

Should I be mailing a check to The Global Alliance for Animals and People, a non profit I help support?

Did I really need a bra, and a blazer?

Was I just buying useless “things”?

Had I become shallow and materialistic?

My “unworthy” and “undeserving” reared its ugly head at me in the passenger seat and asked, “Who the hell are you to spend $980 dollars on yourself?”

I went back the next day and bought everything.

It was hard, and didn’t feel easy but I did it anyway.

When I walked in my boots that were resoled and felt the support on my feet I realized that what spending the money on was just self love, and that after so long of rejecting self love–it had felt “wrong” to love myself in this way.

Spending money on myself has slowly gotten easier, slowly.

I was on a two week trip down California this spring with a couple I met hosting a workshop at a yoga studio in Seattle.

We stayed at the Marriott or one of those fancy type hotels.

I remember coming down to get a toothbrush in a crinkled shirt before a call with my coach and seeing men with combed perfect hair and crisp suits and feeling completely out of place in a long Shakti dress that smelled like India.

I had an entire call with my coach that morning where I voiced all my insecurities with both making money, spending money and what would happen to my art when I wasn’t the woman walking around with bear mace chopping wood in my cabin.

We think that once we have money are problems will go away–in actuality we just create more problems.

I am dating a man who lives in Austin, Texas and he voiced wanting me there for a wake surf competition this weekend. I decided fairly last minute to book a ticket to see him.

Last minute tickets aren’t cheap.

It was over a $1000 dollars to fly direct when it can be as low as $300 USD.

I sat at the screen hesitating on the purchase ticket button for about 2 hours.

I almost didn’t go.

Not only was I spending money on myself, but I was also receiving his money to buy half the ticket.

I am still not used to spending money on me.

I am not used to waking up in my beach casita that overlooks the orange and red tainted sand dunes of Encinitas and walking three steps to check the surf.

I am not used to hitting an automatic lock button on my Jeep Wrangler as I go for my morning surf–I am used to manual locks on the one and only car I have ever drove.

The gardener who tends to the property I live on speaks zero English. I always make sure to come outside and hash out small conversations in my broken Spanish with him.

Today I brought him a coffee and we stood in my yard talking about his family in Mexico, how his mother and father passed away 2 years ago. He asked how long I was staying in the house and I replied till November.

I wondered what he thought of me in my robe, working on my computer every morning he comes by.

I am terrified of being someone who is so busy or so successful they don’t take time to acknowledge the people who aren’t inherently “important” in their days.

Maybe that's partially why I make him coffee.

Maybe it’s because I am kind.

I know that 9 months into no chicken buses and hotel rooms and direct flights and beach casitas and an assistant I still struggle receiving the support I have built from my business for three years.

I do know that having money does not solve all the problems, it just creates an opportunity for different ones. TC mark

Here Are All The Non-Sexual Things Men Have Done That I Found Irresistibly Attractive

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 05:00 PM PDT

@RLTheis
@RLTheis

1. Acknowledged a dog that we passed by.

2. Immediately bent down and asked permission to pet aforementioned dog.

3. Gave me full AUX cord privileges.

4. Belted out Carly Rae Jepsen songs with me at the top of our lungs.

5. Did something embarrassing just because he knew it would make me laugh.

6. Did something kind for my mother.

7. Indulged my guilty pleasure TV habits and watched with me.

8. Remembered an insignificant detail from a story I told months ago.

9. Asked if there was anything he could to do help around the house when he saw that I was stressed.

10. Put an alert on his phone so that he’s notified if my favorite musician comes to town.

11. Sang “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” by Al Green at karaoke.

12. Gave me a collectible Spike doll from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

13. Ran to the nearest pharmacy to buy me Midol for terrible menstrual cramps.

14. Squeezed my shoulder in a reassuring way.

15. Said, “I love the person you are so much.”

16. Visited me at work.

17. Said I was prettier than the (OBJECTIVELY WAY MORE ATTRACTIVE) woman in the movie we were watching.

18. Smiled at me.

19. Laughed so hard he ended up crying.

20. Cried during Marley & Me.

21. Talked about our future without an ounce of fear.

22. Held me during a scary movie.

23. Took an interest in my interests.

24. Sneezed. (I don’t know dude, he just looked really cute whenever he sneezed.)

25. Understood nights I needed to be alone and never made me feel bad about it.

26. Bought a video game he specifically knew I would like to play.

27. Surprised me with an owl onesie.

28. Wrote me a song.

29. Performed the song he wrote for me.

30. Gave me constructive feedback on something I wrote.

31. Made me a playlist of songs he thought I’d like.

32. Loved me. TC mark

27 Questions To Ask Yourself When You’re Wondering If He’s A Millennial

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 04:30 PM PDT

freestocks.org
freestocks.org

1. Is his Murray Hill apartment co-signed by his parents?

2. Do he have his parents' credit card on him "just in case"?

3. Has he gushed about the new brunch place he just went to?

4. Was said brunch place actually an abandoned dumpster in a rat-infested alleyway behind a Whole Foods in Brooklyn?

5. But it had bottomless mimosas for $15, right?

6. And even though he just violently complained about how overpriced Whole Foods is, he still shops there?

7. How many Instagram followers does he have? Is it way more than you think is possible for someone who says he "writes for the internet"?

8. Is he vocal about politics? Are you positive, after listening to him talk about politics, that he actually have no idea what the fuck is going on?

9. Is he drinking a smoothie juice?

10. Has he expressed disdain in drinking any sort of milk that wasn't sourced from some kind of nut?

11. Is his iPhone 6 charger frayed at the end?

12. Does he even have an iPhone charger?

13. Did he invite you to go to a farmer's market?

14. Did he say he needed to buy some fenugreek seeds at said farmer's market?

15. Did he justify his need to go to the farmer’s market because of all his very specific dietary restrictions?

16. Are you confused how he can afford fancy seeds when he just told you that he actually doesn’t work in a physical office, but spends all day in whatever artisanal coffee shop is closest to him (as long as there’s free wifi)?

17. Does he sometimes work from home and like it?

18. Is he boycotting TV until Game of Thrones comes back?

19. Has he checked the number of views on his Snapchat story?

20. Did he just slut-shame a Snapchat filter?

21. Did he mention that girls are hotter on Bumble than they are on Tinder?

22. But he still uses both apps, right?

23. Has he told you cable television is dead?

24. But his parents still pay for his Hulu subscription?

25. Would he run into oncoming traffic for a selfie?

26. Has he verbally hashtagged something to you?

27. Has he denied adamantly that while he technically was born in the Millennial generation (1982–2004), he is definitely not a Millennial. TC mark

Why ‘I Don’t’ Is The New ‘I Do’

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Ali Kaukas
Ali Kaukas

If we
Were to marry
Yes, I said the M word
Even though I don't think our hearts
Understand forever
But if you loved me—and this was important
You are important to me
So I would say yes
To you
I would beg for no ring
I would ask you to swear at the stars
sweat in the sea
wash pain in the rain
warm your heart with the sun
or me
or simply wake up each day
not knowing what the day will bring
and choose me
-Janne Robinson

I have an issue with the constitution of marriage.

I have an issue with the "forever" part of it.

I think that our brains can logically understand forever—that we can look at someone and think that we love them and that this love will stretch a long, long time.

I do not think our hearts understand forever.

Before I begin, I want to state that I am serial monogamous.

I think there is no "right" way to love, but I think polyamory is very complicated and requires twice or three times the work, communication and energy.

I think dancing with one heart is tough enough.

Polyamory is kind of like communism, on paper it sounds beautiful—but it never actually works.

So that being said, I love to love one person.

The reason I desire a naked finger is not because I want to throw my heart at the world and each man I connect with, a forever bachelorette—no, it is because my word is one of the most important things to me.

By keeping my word I am showing the world, and the people in my life that I value not only them but also myself.

Marriage is a big agreement to make.

I do is likely the shortest and strongest agreement we will make in our lifetime as two legged's.

I cannot know if I will ever forever love someone.

I can wake up each day and make the choice to love someone.

I think that, ultimately, is what love is—waking up each day and choosing our partners.

Making the choice moment to moment that right now they are the one we are loving, learning, growing, stretching with.

I think we have multiple "ones" or soul mates.

That anyone who reaches into the cavities of our hearts and teaches something about ourselves, the world, one another—anyone who slams our hearts and our souls on the ground is a soul mate.

Reserving our hearts or promising our hearts to just one "one" feels naïve to me.

There are many humans on this planet, and you will meet many that will move you—if you are open.

It is mature to meet someone, while in a relationship and acknowledge a connection—to know that if we weren't involved that we would explore whatever it is that makes us hesitate.

To make a choice to notice, but not engage and continue to choose the person we are with—at the same time.

On top of the "forever" part of marriage that doesn't sit well in my heart, it is also the validation that I feel is unnecessary.

I don't believe putting ring on your finger, saying, "I do" in front of the friends, family, and strangers validates love.

When I hear someone is married or engaged I don't think, "well he really loves her, now."

No, I just think as long as two hearts dance together—they love each other.

I also think sometimes people tie the not because it feels like the "next" bit.

Because after 3-5 years, you just, should—right?

Hell no.

Should is a word we use unconsciously when we are not making a free choice, or a willing choice.

Should, have to, could—big red flags.

Also, you know when you're in a funk and go shopping? Buy something new, and feel good in your brand spanking newly released endorphins for a little while?

Well sometimes I observe marriage between people that feels like a version of therapy shopping to me.

Like people are struggling in their relationships, bored, trying to fix something, or feel pressured by society or each other and this will create some excitement (like that new car you have, but more expensive) for a little while.

Marriage is sometimes like the puppy we love when it's little and later abandon when it isn't new and cute anymore.

Getting married doesn't fix any problems you have.

Being married doesn't mean that now you will be loved forever.

Marriage doesn't mean you have to stop doing work.

Sometimes a wedding and a honeymoon can be like a band-aid with all the stuff and things and excitement but it eventually will quiet down, wear off.

What will be there in the silence, after?

As I say this, I know all marriage is not like this–I speak only for myself—and what I sometimes observe in the world and people I exist around and see.

This is my truth, not your truth—and I honor your truth.

Marriage could be great for you—it could be all those things.

But for me it is expensive, extravagant, unrealistic and unnecessary.

Celebrating love is necessary.

We should celebrate love and one another daily.

Having our family to be part of a ceremony to celebrate our love is beautiful—I love this.

I don't love the religious part; the expensive dresses we wear once and then collect dust part.

I don't love the desperation some women have get married–to tie the knot.

Just because you are married, doesn't mean you are more successful or happy.

I know a ton of single people who are stinkin' happy.

I also know a ton of married people who are stinkin happy.

It has less to do with the Ms. or Mrs. and more with the you bit.

So—if you're a woman getting wrinkles about that naked finger, know that your finger is just breathing right now.

That it is still creating space for your "one" to swoop in and love you madly.

Who cares if that one is coined as a boyfriend, life partner, or husband—he's your one.

Don't sweat it—don't sweat what society says, or your parents say, or your married friends say.

Don't sweat that your younger sister or brother is married first.

We all love differently.

In the meantime, love the crap out of yourself.

And when you love the crap out of another, know that marriage is a choice—and that it may simply just not be for you.

I, personally, would rather be a Miss. TC mark

What It Feels Like When Your ‘Almost Relationship’ Ends

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 03:00 PM PDT

H Influencer Collective / Alivia Latimer
H Influencer Collective / Alivia Latimer

He suggests you shouldn't talk anymore. Just like that. Like it's that simple and that easy, like you're just an old dishrag used up and thrown away.

He suggests moving on, not seeing each other anymore, like you weren't invested into the relationships.

He decides it's better to see other people, better to go your separate ways and he assumes that you'll be okay with it. He doesn't ask your feelings, he just assumes.

So you try to be.

You try to act like you're not hurt, you secretly hope he's going to realize he messed up and you'll take him back. But he doesn't come back; in fact he barely even looked back at the wreck he left behind because to him it wasn't a big deal. To him you weren't really dating so why should it matter that much?

But you feel broken and hurt.

You feel like a fool, like you invested so much time into a person who could so easily just leave you in the dust. You feel used and you have an ache in your chest. Your friends tell you you'll find someone better than him and that he was kind of an asshole anyway. They'll tell you they can't believe he would do that to you and you deserve better.

It's like the whole thing was written out before you even knew it was over. It's like you should have seen it coming because it's the most famous scene in the movie everyone has watched a thousand times. But each time it happens it doesn't reduce the hurt and doesn't numb the pain.

The pain is still there, like a dagger in your chest making it hard to breathe. You try to convince yourself that the pain isn't worth it, that you shouldn't be that upset, that you should have seen it coming, but it doesn't heal the wounds. It doesn't stop the pain or weaken the blow from behind.

You're hurt and you're allowed to be hurt. You're allowed to feel sad, you're allowed to cry and you're allowed be to feeling the pain.

Heartbreak hurts, no matter how long you were with someone, no matter if you were dating or not. Once your heart is invested, it hurts when it ends.

Especially when you didn't see it coming, when you had no idea that he felt this way because he didn't communicate it to you. You were completely caught of guard and had to act like it didn't bother you.

That's the hardest part.

But you try to stay strong, you try to push away the thoughts of him that come flooding in your mind because while your waiting for an apology from him he's long gone, and he's not coming back.

It'll take time, but eventually you will be okay. You will move on from your almost relationship and you will forget the pain he left you will, but for now you're allowed to be sad and you're allowed to miss him.

You don't need a title in order to feel for someone.

So feel. Be human. It's okay. TC mark

No, You’re Not Dead Inside (You’re Just Afraid Of Being Hurt)

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Grace Chung
Grace Chung

“Well, you know, it’s fine because I’m dead inside.”

I’m standing outside my favorite Mexican restaurant with a new friend. I’ve just finished telling her about my disastrous experience with a man a few weeks back. I was essentially rejected, ridiculed, and guilted all in one night. Impressive, eh?

But I jump in quickly with a joke. It’s a joke so many people my age make. It’s one that’s all over Twitter. It’s one that’s so over the top, so clearly not true. And yet, we keep on making it. Our egos toss it in front of our hurt, our disappointment. We say, “Here, laugh with me.”

Having used this technique myself, I know exactly what it means. I know every time someone says, “I’m dead inside,” or, “I don’t have feelings,” they’re hiding. It’s easier this way. It’s easier to say we like our coffee the same color as our hearts, black.

For some ridiculous reason, it’s not cool to talk about your feelings. It’s not cool to say, “Yeah, that actually was really painful. It sucked. It made me sad.”

We’re all so afraid of letting our guards down. We’re all so afraid of being our true selves, of letting someone see the cracks and bruises.

Whenever someone says, “I’m dead inside,” they are saying, “I’m scared.” Something has happened to them in the past, or maybe a bunch of somethings, and they’ve decided it’s safer to build up walls.

Being scared, hurt, humiliated are all normal parts of human existence. You are not a robot. You are not dead inside. You are layered and complex so OF COURSE you’re going to experience a myriad of emotions and feelings.

It’s okay to look dumb. It’s okay to be embarrassed. It’s okay to get your hopes up for something and have it fall apart. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay!

I just want to scream, “IT’S OKAY TO ADMIT YOU ARE A LIVING, FEELING THING!”

Can we just stop this collective show of fake pride and inability to be upset? You’re not dead inside. You’re just afraid.

And it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to say that out loud. TC mark

When You’re Not Ready To Let Them Go

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 01:00 PM PDT

 Roman Pohorecki
Roman Pohorecki

It sucks when you're not ready to let go.

When you hung onto something for so long, when you've cried so many times over this person, when you've felt completely affected by everything and anything this person does. As time passes, you start to feel as if you are deeply connected to this person, and to this feeling. You daydream and make up scenarios in your head of this person coming back into your life for good, but deep inside you know that it isn't right.

It's unfair to wait for someone who clearly is not interested. You have so much love in your heart to offer, so many laughs you want to share and the real and genuine desire to love someone else, and have that person love you back. 

Forget about all of the what ifs, forget about all of the could have beens, and start being happy with what you have now. Look back and be happy that it happened, because everything happens for a reason. Maybe in that moment in time you needed that person to come into your life and make you feel whole again, but now you must learn to live without that.

Because you deserve to feel love for yourself, you deserve to love every inch of your being.

And you must work on your flaws and correct them in order to reach true happiness, and holding onto something so heavy, is holding you back, it's making you blind to new opportunities. Relish the memories, put them in a safe box, lock it, and throw it away until you are ready to experience those memories again without them affecting you this deeply.

If you had to write a letter to the person you were then, what would it say?

Here's what mine would say:

You're about to experience the weirdest, happiest, and saddest moments of your life so far. You'll fall for someone too fast, you'll give up the very thing you've always thought was saved up for someone special, for this one person that you feel was the thing you've been waiting for your whole life.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because it won't last for long.

You'll soon realize that this person was merely a passenger, he won't text you, make any type of contact with you, and you'll feel completely ignored and thrown away. You'll feel like you won't ever feel attracted to someone again, you'll feel sadness like never before, and you'll experience your first heartbreak. It won't be easy, but it will make you stronger. I promise. I love you. TC mark

Two Army Rangers Discuss Going Nomadic

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 12:30 PM PDT

Leo Jenkins
Leo Jenkins

In the formative years of his life, Leo Jenkins was an Army combat medic in 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Having completed deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, in 2007 Leo ended his enlistment after four years of service, exchanging the high-octane world of Army special operations for the uncertainty of civilian life.

He has published three memoirs. In the first, Lest We Forget, he details his war experiences and drunken shenanigans as a Ranger medic. In his second, On Assimilation, he tackles the emotional rollercoaster of adapting to civilian life. His journey takes him from the kick-in-the-gut realization that his intensive training as a special operations medic wouldn't qualify him to be a basic EMT…to battling alcoholism and feeling of isolation caused by those moments spent in a wartorn land…to opening and operating a successful CrossFit gym.

In his latest book, First Train Out Of Denver, Leo decides to leave the hustle and bustle that had become his life to go nomadic instead. With the utmost sense of purpose and intensity that is a definitive characteristic of an Army Ranger, he seeks to find adventure, enlightenment, and to make sense of those formative years of his life.

Raul Felix: Leo, your life as an unemployed vagabond started when you got up to go to work one morning and thought to yourself, "I don't want to go to work today." You then sold your possessions, business, said goodbye to your friends, and got yourself a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. What was the toughest part emotionally for you of that process?

Leo Jenkins: That is a phenomenal question that no one has ever asked me. I was in a dark place when I purged my possessions and took to the world. I was seeking some sort of solace in the comforts of solitude. By disconnecting myself from the only people who share my mutual experiences, I was forced into intense introspection. It’s a perilous endeavor if one is not prepared. Seven years of stuffing down the tumultuous cognitive dissonance created by multiple combat deployments violently surfaced, and there wasn’t another veteran, let alone Ranger, for thousands of miles. I was forced to sit in my own stewing antipathy alone. I was forced to truly come to terms with my youthful decisions and transgressions against my fellow man. It nearly killed me, but I’m a better man for it.

Raul Felix: What do you mean by it almost killed you?

Leo Jenkins: With no set schedule and no real responsibilities, I began drinking heavily. I began writing the book On Assimilation during this time. I was pulling up all the tribulations of my return to society and writing them down. I was alone, reliving my worst moments in vivid detailed prose.

Raul Felix: Just like being in the Army, traveling has a learning curve that can only be learned by actually doing it. What are some stupid cherry traveler mistakes and assumptions you made in the early phases of your trip, and what solutions did you come up with?

Leo Jenkins: Not everyone values what we value as a society. Traveling to any foreign country is an opportunity to shut up and listen, not to impose your belief set. Be a sponge and retain as much as you can. Release as much of your preconceived ethnocentric tendencies before getting on the plane, and almost everything else will come with ease.

The world is not a dark and scary place. Sure, there are assholes abroad, just like there are assholes in your hometown. Chances are, they’re just having a bad day and do not represent the ideology of their entire country. However, when entering their nation you become an ambassador for ours. So if you act like an asshole, the assumption will be that everyone from your country is [also an asshole], due to their potentially limited exposure to your nationality.

On a more specific note, don’t ever exchange currency at the airport; they will rip you off worse than the new Ghostbusters movie. Research the exchange rate ahead of time then hit the ATM. A lot of countries will take US dollars, but every shop will pound you on the exchange rate.

Raul Felix: When Marty Skovlund and yourself began doing your trip Eastbound to raise money for the Gallant Few, you tapped into your social media network of veterans. This dramatically increased the pace of your trip and raised awareness for your cause. Who was the coolest or most unique veteran you met in this manner?

Leo Jenkins: I've had the distinct honor of interviewing veterans all across the world regarding their experiences in war and assimilation. While Marty and my fundraiser across the world to raise awareness and funds for the Gallant Few provided me the opportunity to get to know many amazing war fighters, I’d have to say our conversation with a particular Korean War veteran and former UDT diver (predecessor to the Navy SEALs) was a standout. His narrative of war was equal parts adolescent inquisitiveness for the world, tragedy, and the dark profane humor of a salty special-operations soldier. Shrouded by a leathered face, his eyes told the story with the razor-blade poignancy of a young warrior. And his words regarding the separation, the isolation, following combat rang like a church bell through the ardor of my being.

Raul Felix: Aren't you pissed off you got assigned to 3rd Batt instead of 2nd Batt?

Leo Jenkins: 3rd Batt was actually my fourth choice. At the end of the special operations medical course, each of the six Ranger medics graduating with my class were asked to list, in order, where they wanted to go. My list went, 1st (cause the beach), then 2nd (because the mountains), Regiment (because I already had a bunch of medic friends working there) and finally 3rd. To be honest, I was pissed at first, but the journey connected me with some of the most inspiring and amazing men of our generation. I wouldn’t trade those relationships for anything.

Raul Felix: In the past, you made your name known for your military articles and books. What made you make the shift from military writer to travel adventure writer?

Leo Jenkins: I believe vehemently in the necessity of evolution throughout the course of life, to expand and contract and flow with the natural fluidity of a river. It’s taken a decade since leaving 3rd Ranger Battalion, and in many ways my experiences there will always influence my writings, but being who we are, not who we once were, is the acme of a free and jubilant soul.

Raul Felix: I agree with that. Human beings are human beings everywhere you go. It’s easy to think X or Y people are bad because the narrative the media portrays of them. If you weren’t an American, what nationality that you encountered could you see yourself growing up and fitting in with?

Leo Jenkins: I’m often asked if I’m a Canadian when traveling through foreign countries for various reasons. My fiancée is Canadian and I do associate with their culture in many ways. I’ve even been told to tell people I am so as to not provoke the negative connotations associated with being an American abroad. I don’t do that; I will never do that. I am proud of where I come from because I know firsthand how many truly amazing people come from the US. I’m as welcome to external cultural experience as any human on Earth, but I’m simultaneously unapologetically American. TC mark