Thought Catalog


14 Women Reveal The Most Fucked Up Comments Men Have Made About Their Vagina

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 08:00 PM PDT

via Lookcatalog
via Lookcatalog

1. Vaginas Are Gross

No way am I going down on you! Vaginas are GROSS!

Yet, he was surprised when I never spoke to him again…

maryjanesandbobbysox

2. Your Clit Is Too Small

My first boyfriend tried to complain that my clit was “too small.” I never did figure out what he was actually trying to complain about – it worked just as advertised, and it’s not like we were going to fly flags on the thing, you know? Like, what else precisely were you looking to have it do?

innovativesalad

3. It’s Like A Micropenis

My boyfriend gave me a….compliment? about my clit saying “Wow, this is the biggest clit I’ve ever seen, it’s like a little penis.” Thanks bro, that is totally not a compliment. He said it with awe and wonder though so I can’t take it too personally.

Also, it isn’t even close to a little penis, maybe like a newborn’s penis.

twistedfork

4. Meat Curtains

Yes. He called me meat curtains. I didn’t see him after that.

kimininegaiwo

5. You Look Like A Real Woman

Yeah, I’ve had a few guys comment before that I don’t look like the women in porn/other women they’ve been with.

pistachio-pie

6. “Thank God”

Yes, one. He didn’t say anything at first, but looked obviously put off. He later told me my labia weirded him out. I mentioned at one point that I plan to eventually get labiaplasty (I’ve wanted labiaplasty since puberty, mainly for physical comfort). One day when we were in bed, he said, “You said you were going to get surgery on that, right?” I said yes and he said “Thank god.”

paperseverywhere

7. Ugly

He told me my vagina was the ugliest he had ever seen. I being a 16 year old girl at the time just cried my eyes out and kept that comment with me until I met my wonderful husband.

GETINTHEHOUSECORAL

8. Weird And Too Dark

Yes, he told me my genitals were weird, too big and too dark. I was in an abusive relationship, and he wanted my genitals to look like porn or at least pink like many white women’s.

I still think my vulva sucks thanks to that, and society and porn telling me it sucks too.

LegsForAboutAnHour

9. Gross Vulva

I was 16 and met him online in a chat room where I used to spend a LOT of time. (It was the late 90s, the Internet was new-ish.) We didn’t sleep together because he couldn’t, erm, ya know. He was super embarrassed and I told him it was no big deal etc. We watched tv instead and I thought we had a good time. Then I went to the chat room where we had met a couple of days later and he had told everyone that my vulva was huge and gross. It messed me up because I was young and impressionable, but everyone was like, “Yeah okay whatever” and moved on. He talked about it for years. Literally years. And he also did it to one other person. So he made it pretty clear to everyone that he’s a psycho with issues.

ohyoshimi

10. She Showed So Much Restraint

“Beef curtains”.

We got divorced. Never, at any point, did I criticize his tiny penis.

OhJohnnyIApologize

11. “Landing Strip”

I had spent about 1000$ to get laser hair removal to obtain the ideal hairless body. He commented ” grow a landing strip’ I cant grow anything of the sort.

backbitting

12. “Too Wet”

My ex told me I was “too wet”.

icecreamknuckles

13. A Cute Butthole

A lover once insulted my vagina, and I’m kind of paranoid about it now.

I do occasionally check out my pink bits with a mirror. I guess it’s pretty nice looking as far as pussies go…but what am I looking for. Pink? Nice hat?

The biggest surprise was my butthole. I thought it’d be this gross brown hairy thing that devours worlds and stuff…but nah. Tiny pink little butthole, and it’s as cute as a butthole can be.

CrazyIrina

14. “Floppy And Gross”

Yeah, one of my ex bfs asked why my vagina was so “floppy and gross.” Even though my inner labia are only about 2 cm longer than my outer labia, and I find all vulvas attractive personally, I was humiliated (self esteem issues), and to this day i have issues with my current bf touching me any lower than my clit, or going down on me, or looking at my V in any way.

Cat-smokes-hookah TC mark

Here’s Your One-Sentence Life Purpose Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Edu Lauton
Edu Lauton

Aries:

To live a rough and tumble life.

Taurus:

To find delight in simple pleasures.

Gemini:

To be a messenger, a teacher and a comic.

Cancer:

To live with both strength and softness.

Leo:

To adore and be adored.

Virgo:

To extend a hand to those in need.

Libra:

To find peace, beauty and connection.

Scorpio:

To seek value in what is true.

Sagittarius:

To seek wisdom and laughter.

Capricorn:

To achieve dreams.

Aquarius:

To disrupt to status quo.

Pisces:

To break down barriers. TC mark

10 Micro-Signs That Your Life Is About To Take A Turn For The Better

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 06:00 PM PDT

thought.is
thought.is

1. You feel lost.

Being lost means you're no longer clinging to a life that's devoid of meaning – you're struggling to forge a new path for yourself, even if that path isn't crystal clear yet.

Being lost can perhaps be compared to the split second where you've let go of one monkey bar but have not yet grasped the next one – it's terrifying and can feel like a free fall at the time, but in reality, it's just a necessary component of moving forward.

2. You've been alone for a long time, and you're growing tired of it.

You've spent a lot of time getting to know yourself as an independent agent – understanding what you want, what you're capable of and what you have to give back to others. And the fact that you're craving the company of others means you're finally feeling ready to open yourself back up to people – to invest in others and to start building new relationships in a healthy way.

3. You've recently taken on a new challenge and failed at it.

Okay, so failure sucks. There's no great way to sugarcoat it. But the fact that you've recently failed at a new endeavor goes to show that you're trying for new things – instead of getting stuck in the same old habit patterns.

You're branching out in new ways, which means you're failing forward – and that's a hell of a lot more productive than standing still.

4. You're disappointed with yourself.

Self-love is wonderful, but sometimes self-love is (and should be) synonymous with tough love.

Being disappointed with yourself means you're refusing to see yourself as a victim – you're recognizing the ways in which you could improve and understanding that those opportunities for change lie within yourself, not outside of yourself. Which is the first step towards taking action on those opportunities.

5. You're feeling disillusioned about relationships, success or other things you always assumed would make you happy.

So you finally found the love of your life, landed your dream job or curated the perfect living space and now you feel… vaguely empty inside? Congratulations! You've reached an important phase of your life – one that many people never arrive at.

It's the phase where you realize that fulfillment isn't just a matter of ticking off a series of arbitrary boxes. It's a matter of realizing what really matters to you and living in accordance with that. And the dissatisfaction you're feeling now is just the beginning of your opportunity to cultivate a life that revolves around what actually matters to you.

6. You're working tirelessly at something that isn't paying off (yet).

So you've been plugging away at a project or endeavor that just isn't getting you anywhere – yet. But the fact that you're still trying speaks volumes – you know that success isn't an overnight occurrence and you're persevering in a situation that others might easily give up in. And we all know that success lies on the other side of perseverance.

7. Your emotions are a little unpredictable.

You know what happens when you're psychologically stable? Your mind stops pushing everything that could potentially be painful aside and you actually start feeling things. Like a healthy, functioning human being, who is mature enough to listen to what their emotions are trying to tell them.

8. You're letting people in on your struggles.

The more pain we're in, the more likely we are to push others away – fearing they'll see us as weak or take on our burdens as their own. But when we start feeling capable of managing our struggles, we start talking more openly about them – and the more we do that, the more we open ourselves up to opportunities to solve them.

9. You're taking advice selectively.

You're open to guidance from others, but you're no longer swayed by every Tom, Dick and Harry who claims he knows how to get you back on track. You're recognizing what you need to be happy, and accepting advice from others only as it pertains to the life you know you want.

10. You're really, really hungry for something that you don't have yet.

Maybe there's a big, empty hole in your life where close relationships should be. Maybe there's a job that you desperately wish you were working. But one thing's for sure – the people who get what they want out of life are the people who are really, really hungry for them.

And who refuse to stop trying unless and until their lives take a turn for the better. TC mark

17 Of The Scariest Horror Movies Streaming On Netflix For Halloween

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 06:00 PM PDT

13 Cameras

13 Cameras
13 Cameras

This movie is absolutely terrifying. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare about moving into a new place — the creepy landlord whose actually watching your every move.

The Blood Lands

The Blood Lands
The Blood Lands

What is it about pig masks that make everything so creepy?

Most Likely to Die

Most Likely to Die
Most Likely to Die

You’ve seen something like this before, but it’s still classic and fun and exactly what you want to watch around Halloween.

Sacrifice

Sacrifice
Sacrifice

Imagine being trapped on an island with a bunch of corpses from pagan rituals. If you’re not convinced, watch the trailer.

V/H/S

V/H/S
V/H/S

If you still haven’t seen this it’s a must watch. V/H/S 2 and V/H/S Viral are also streaming now on Netflix, so this is the perfect pick if you’re looking for a horror movie marathon on a lazy Friday night.

Preservation

Preservation
Preservation

Totally bizarre in an unsettling way that will stick with you.

Hush

Hush
Hush

A new spin on the classic scary man with a knife terrorizing a woman home alone story.

The Houses October Built

The Houses October Built
The Houses October Built

A perfect afternoon horror movie to watch in October. You’ll get sucked into the somewhat realistic plot of searching for the story behind “extreme” haunted houses — and then be absolutely terrified when the story turns on it’s head.

Wolf Creek 2

Wolf Creek 2
Wolf Creek 2

If you don’t think this movie is terrifying enough, read the Wikipedia article while you watch it.

Honeymoon

Honeymoon
Honeymoon

I’ve raved about this movie before, it’s truly scary and unsettling. It also feels “fresh” — it’s not something you’ve seen a bunch of times before.

Dark Skies (2013)

Dark Skies
Dark Skies

One of the movies that’s terrified me the most in recent memory. Lot’s of jump scares if that’s what you’re looking for.

Children of the Corn

Children Of The Corn
Children Of The Corn

Make this classic fresh by reading the short story ahead of time. It costs $1 on Amazon. It’s scary!!!

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow

A classic, but refreshingly horrifying in it’s gothic scenes. Definitely worth a rewatch this season.

The Awakening

The Awakening
The Awakening

Watch this one on a dreary fall afternoon.

Haunter

Haunter
Haunter

A nice haunted house movie to watch alone, with all the lights off.

Kristy

Kristy
Kristy

A weird gang terrorizes a young woman alone on a college campus during holiday break.

Scream 2

Scream 2
Scream 2

It’s just not October unless you marathon-watch all the Scream movies. Unfortunately this year Scream 2 is the only one on Netflix so you’ll have to rent the others through Redbox or YouTube. TC mark

Read This If You Think You Might Need To Be Done With Dating For A Little Bit

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 04:00 PM PDT

@reza_jl
@reza_jl

It’s been almost six months since my last serious relationship has ended. While this might not be so important to many, it is to me. That relationship lasted almost three years and I really thought he was the one I would marry. When that guy and I broke up, I did something which many women do nowadays and which I greatly advice you don’t: I dated immediately. Immediately meaning a month after the break up.

I dated men without fully moving on. I dated to distract myself. I dated to feel wanted, needed and beautiful. I dated, not with the objective of finding another boyfriend or the man I hoped to marry but with the intention that I just wanted to forget.

And oh boy did I forget. I forgot myself in the process of making time for all those men. I forgot my goals, ambitions, dreams. I forgot the things and people I love.

I forgot who was the most important person in a relationship–myself. I forgot so many things about myself that by the time I met a great guy who was really special, I threw everything away and went for it. I went for him and by some great divine intervention, he didn’t want me. By that time, I had lost everything that was important to one’s self–drive, hope, motivation, principles. I was devastated and heart broken.

It was exactly what I needed.

I woke up.

After weeks of crying, thinking dark thoughts, running in the morning thinking of “whys” and “what could’ve beens”, after weeks of exhausting myself by working out and working hard so I wouldn’t think of all the pain that these boys caused me, it finally dawned on me: I am lost. Very, very lost.

It was a series of reflective paths that spurred me to take one step forward, then the next, then the next. It was a very long journey. Ever so slowly, I was walking forward. I was moving upward. I was moving. And when you leave that place where you’ve always been, it gives you a perspective on things. It makes you see everything and everyone, most especially yourself, from a different angle. From a different lens and a different set of eyes. And for that I am grateful.

Because of that movement, I was able to figure it out. I am not ready for any relationship. I am not really for any man ready.

Even before that boyfriend who I was with for almost 3 years. I wasn’t ready for him. I wasn’t ready for that guy who I fell head over heels with after my ex-boyfriend. I wasn’t ready then and I am not ready now. Even if Hugh Jackman (who is happily married by the way), my all time Hollywood crush, suddenly comes forward and declares his undying love for me, I won’t be ready for him (sorry Hugh).

This is why I am through with men. I am through with men because I am not ready for anyone. I am not ready to invest my time, energy, efforts, emotions in someone when I have so many things I need to do with my time, so many projects and advocacies that need my energy and efforts and so many people who need my emotional support at the moment.

Yes, there are times I feel lonely and sometimes the darkness of such loneliness overwhelms me. There are times that I long for a company, a companion, someone to unburden myself to at the end of the day, someone to vent out when I am frustrated, someone to hold my hand when it’s cold out, someone who will greet me at the beginning of each day and at the end of every night. (But then, all of these can be done by a cute, fluffy, dog).

I am kidding. But it would be lovely to have someone to share your fears, pains, joys, hopes, dreams, knock knock jokes with. But while it would be lovely, I also know that I have too many things I am working on and want to achieve and the idea of giving my time and emotions to someone when I still have that long list of things to do makes me hesitate. Actually no, it doesn’t make me hesitate. It makes me conclude with full conviction that I am not yet ready, sorry.

I still have places to go to: hills and gardens I want to explore, beaches I want to camp on, stars I want to sleep under, long bus rides I want to take.

And while the idea that I can do those things with someone would be great. But the idea that I can do those without relying on someone and that I can explore the entire world just leaves me breathless with more excitement. I still have classes to take, people to meet, books to read, movies to watch, cafes to eat at. And no, I don’t need anyone at the moment to enjoy those things.

But most of all, I don’t need a man right now because being alone has made me realize that you can be alone and not be lonely.

It is empowering knowing that even if you are alone, you aren’t lonely. Even if the wind is cold, the sky turns dark as night enters, and sometimes, the rain pitter patters outside — a perfect recipe to feel loneliness but not now, not anymore. Instead I am left with the feeling of contentment, of happiness. Amidst my big, white bed. Amidst my empty and cold apartment. It is not even depressing anymore. It is peaceful. I find it peaceful.

I do think that I do not need a man. I do not need to marry. I do not need to date. Not yet at least. Not now. Not yet. When I am ready, I will be there for him. I will give him my 100% as a wife, woman and (eventually) mother to his children. I will support his causes, his advocacies, his dreams, ambitions and goals in life, in society and in his role in this vast universe.

But until then, I am doing the things that I want, that makes me grow and that makes me happy. If I do meet him, he has to be one hell of a man to deserve the woman that I am and that I will be.

But most of all, he has to wait. Because I am not yet ready for him. Not now. Not yet. TC mark

7 Crucial Things To Remember When Recovering From An Eating Disorder

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 03:30 PM PDT

Brooke Cagle
Brooke Cagle

1. The importance of creating a tribe

A tribe is going to be fundamental to your recovery. My own tribe consists of a handful of incredible women my age, a few people 20 years my senior and a sprinkling of people in between. My tribe is full of people from different backgrounds. Let the members of your tribe surprise you with their variety. Let all these different perspectives of outlooks on life glitter your life contribute to your recovery. Honesty and authenticity will engage you with your tribe. Without my own willingness to be both honest and authentic, I would not have created this network of unconditional support. If you want to get better, you are going to need at least one other human on this planet who you can text for distraction when you're thinking about relapsing. You're going to need people who encourage you, with or without them knowingly doing so, to eat the cinnamon bun. The worst moments of my eating disorder happened when I made a conscious effort to keep it all a secret. The minute I started talking about my eating disorder, I stopped giving it so much power and received the gift of flourishing friendships in return.

2. Accept that your weight will change with life changes

Weight is not static. Weight is a fluid concept. We cannot expect our weight to remain remain constant. When you began food restriction, you began life restriction. You're getting your life back. You're going to do the normal stuff you once loved. You are going to eat brunch with your friends. You are going to drink wine. You are going to eat meals cooked for you by other people. You are going to eat the foods you once mistakenly labelled 'bad'. Your weight is going to alter as you alter your life. Eating one slice of cake isn't going to immediately cause a five pound weight gain. Make a conscious effort to let go of the fear of weight gain. Your self-worth isn't synonymous with your weight. Remember that there are a lot worse things in the world then having to buy a pair of bigger jeans. Practice acceptance and stop waging war with your body.

3. Understand that there is no such thing as a 'typical' recovery

You have to understand that recovery is not linear. That there is no perfect way to recover. It may take months for one person and years for another person. Do not shame yourself for the amount of time it is taking you to get through this. Do not shame yourself for how difficult or easy you are finding getting through this. Do not shame yourself for relapsing into old habits and behaviours. Eating disorders thrive in shameful environments. You feed your eating disorder by being ashamed. Treat yourself like a child. Take walks in the fresh air. Sleep enough. Dink lots of water. Do not put pressure on yourself. Remember not all recovery is physical. Do not belittle the strength it takes to recover from negatively reinforcing safety behaviours. Do not belittle the power it takes to consciously stop indulging in a body-shaming mind-set. Be proud in your own personal story of deliverance. Recover however the fuck you have to.

4. Pay attention to what triggers you

You've got to pull yourself together enough to realize that you are responsible for the stimuli that you are exposing to your brain. It is so important to make a conscious effort to avoid exposing yourself to things that make you want to indulge in negative behaviors. Unfollow the people who make you feel bad about yourself on Instagram and other social media platforms. Stop hanging out with the friend who makes you question your worth. Leave the job that makes you feel out of control. Don't sleep with boys who inadvertently make you feel less than you are. Surround yourself with confident and strong people. Read more literature. Go outside more. Pinterest positive quotes. Read the amazing stories of people behind recovery blogs. Learn a new skill. Find out what makes you light up and put all the energy your eating disorder took from you and pour into all of these new things. Watch your life become magic before your eyes. Don't forget that you are in control of what you react to your surroundings.

5. Understand that it is not your mind and not your body that is the problem

If you are unhappy with yourself when you are a size sixteen, then there is very little chance you will be happy with yourself when you are a size eight. Self-love doesn't magically blossom when you hit a societally desirable clothing size. Stop telling yourself you will not be happier if you gain five or fifteen pounds. Stop telling yourself that people will love you less if you gain five or fifteen pounds. Say good riddance to the idea that your life will begin once you manage to lose another five pounds. Life is already happening and the good news is you don't need to constantly focus on attaining a socially desirable body type to live it. Your life calling isn't going to be losing weight. Your path in life is not attaining and maintain a tiny body. Realise that becoming all inclusively comfortable and in love with your raw and true self will make you feel more fulfilled, empowered and beautiful than starvation, purging and thinness ever could. It begins and ends in your mind. Take comfort in this.

6. Remember to be brave

We live in a society where our outward appearances are celebrated more than our personal achievements. We are members of a culture that often overlooks kindness, intelligence and personality for the size of the gap between a pair of thighs or the flatness of a stomach. There is something inherently wrong with this cultural message. The bad news? This attitude is deeply ingrained into our culture and is hard to avoid. The good news? You have the ability to practice bravery. You have the power to say fuck you to these toxic ideas. You have to remember to be brave. Live life without fear of how people perceive your body to look like. Stop wishing that you were smaller. Take up more space. Be brave enough to ignore the idea that you should exist in the way the world tells you that you should. Be whoever the fuck you want to be if that's what constitutes the concept of healthy to you. Be brave to say fuck it to anything or anyone that makes you think otherwise.

7. Never doubt the importance of self-care

Be gentle with yourself. You are reconciling with parts of your mind you have been at war with for months, for years. This is not an easy feat. Self-care is so important. Set personal boundaries. Take time for yourself. Indulge in doing things that make you feel good. It's not all about face masks, warm cups of tea and candle lit baths. It's about saying exactly what you mean. It's not being afraid to say no. It's not being afraid to say yes. It's trusting your instincts. It's letting go of what you can't control. It's doing what feels right. It's being kind to yourself. And it's going to be central to you moving on with your life. TC mark

The Truth About Love That Only Marriage Has Taught Me

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Scott Webb
Scott Webb

I'd grown up seeking a widely popular and yet entirely unattainable picture of relationship perfection, as I imagine so many of my generation do. The morning after our wedding as my new husband and I were leaving our bridal suite, I brushed passed the maid who took notice of the bouquet of semi-wilted flowers clutched in my hand and asked sweetly, "are you the bride?" I smiled and nodded.

She went on to say that she and her husband had been married for nearly forty years and that it was the most difficult thing she'd done in her life, besides raising her four children, but that it was worth every minute of the hard work they'd invested.

She gave me a quick hug and sent me on my way with her best wishes. High on dopamine from the previous night's nuptials, my brief conversation with the soft spoken housekeeper seemed like a piece of trite advice I'd heard a million times in passing. Thanks lady, but we already had it figured out.

In my mind, being in love meant having a superfluous supply of butterflies, breezing through the days drunk on dopamine, and aside from the occasional disagreement, generally living life in a state of wedded bliss. What I have learned in the two and a half years since that morning is that the love that lasts, in all actuality, is frequently disguised as a much less sexy and much more intentional, sometimes exhausting, but always rewarding version.

I met my now husband through family (that's a story for another day) and though I immediately thought he was cute, I had no plans of pursuing him or exploring its potential any further. I was twenty three, still reeling from a break up with my college sweetheart, and more interested in developing my young career and investing in friends and family than adding a new guy to the mix. Over the next few months, I ran into him here and there at some of my favorite local watering holes and restaurants.

Each time, we'd have a brief friendly conversation and part ways until one Sunday when I received a text asking to meet for drinks. Caught off guard, a little unsure, and already having plans for the afternoon, I politely declined. What I have come to now know and absolutely adore about the man that I married is that it takes much more than a "thanks but no thanks" to discourage him. And so the story goes.

The beginning of a good and healthy relationship exists in a microcosm. Inside this bubble is where you begin to navigate the new and exciting terrain of the young relationship. It's a concentrated amount of uncertainty, anxiety, euphoria, and general anticipation where patience is limitless, forgiveness is easy, and the physical attraction is barely able to be contained. Exhilarated by this new found piece of our life, we mislabel it love, when really it's just a good old case of infatuation.

So when I started dating my husband and these incredibly influential feelings began to matriculate, I remember thinking: this must be proof that it's right and will last forever. Last forever being the key words there. Here's the tricky thing about feelings that rom-coms and pop culture fail to include in their portrayals of love and marriage: emotions are fleeting, they are fluid and impermanent, they are easily influenced, and not always a stable navigation for behavior.

As a product of that pop culture, I'd been feeding on this irrevocably fictional picture of "true love" for, well, my entire life. The movie always ends just as the happy couple says "I do" as if that's the grand finale. They've done it, they made it across the finish line, they're married and everything is gravy from there. So when my husband and I wedded in a casual lakeside ceremony on a beautiful July night in upstate New York, I thought I knew what was coming next: buy a home, take some time to travel, have a baby or two, and so on, all while high on the infinite feelings of unfiltered happiness. Instead, we discovered the profound reality of what marriage entails.

We bought our beautiful home that we had been dreaming of, we traveled to some breathtaking destinations in the world, we added another sweet puppy to our family and in between those momentous occasions, we managed months of tight finances, battled a bout of mental illness, left jobs to start new and more demanding ones, and began our journey with infertility.

With each of these changing circumstances, we navigated the evolving dynamic of our married sex life, the shifting landscape of our communication, and balanced and supported one another's emotions as best we could. The infatuation that had existed in that microcosm slowly progressed to something even more intimate, more stable, and more reliable. It permeated into every facet of our relationship. We began to dismiss that childish version of love, understanding that real love looked a lot less glamorous than Hollywood made it seem.

It is collaborating to tackle life's most difficult moments. It is supporting the other's choices and ideas that may scare you or leave you feeling uncertain. It is waking up every single morning and making the intentional decision to commit to loving your partner no matter how you feel that day. It is being mindful of your words and actions and the effect they have on your spouse. It is laying your head down every night next to a person you respect the hell out of. That is what a state of sustainable love looks like.

There is no shortage of lessons that being married affords you and even in our most difficult moments, I am deeply grateful for them. Without these moments, I have no doubt that I would have continued chasing a temporary state of infatuation, mistaking it for the real thing and later on finding ourselves struggling to keep our heads above water when things became ordinary, repetitive, and monotonous the way life has a tendency to be. We're all born and raised under the false pretenses that we have an innate understanding of love and while I believe that every human is capable of it, I no longer operate under the arrogant assumption that we all naturally and seamlessly arrive at it.

And what a disservice it is to ourselves that we assume to, manifesting in the dissolution of marriages, the dysfunction between partners, and the jaded attitudes we take on after the feelings fade. As with most things in life, there is a learning curve to love and marriage that requires a kind of stamina and dedication that most other things do not. As the gentle hearted maid said to me that morning, it is the most worthwhile investment I've made in my life. TC mark

All My Friends Are Turning Thirty

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Ryan O'Connell
Ryan O’Connell

All my friends are turning thirty and they're getting married in backyards and at wineries in Santa Barbara and people are giving toasts and crying and I'm trying to cry too, but mostly because marriage means change and it means life is just turning into a series of vignettes, a few pops of Major Events before the ultimate nothing. You can see it now, the crostini you're nibbling on at the wedding, and then the pita bread you're dipping in hummus at the baby shower and then the pretzels you'll be eating alone while you catch up on the phone about how crazy your lives are and yes, we need to see each other soon, girls weekend, reconnect, sounds great, talk to you in eight months.

All my friends are turning thirty and they have decent amounts of money, which allow them to eat $16 heirloom tomato salads once a week, even though no one can afford a house and maybe they never can and that's okay, sure, sure, it's fine but wait, I'm sorry, will we ever retire, just kidding, don't tell me, I want to be surprised on my deathbed.

All my friends are turning thirty and their lives are getting busier and smaller and all the clich├ęs of a year going by in what feels like a second are true and I wish it wasn't, I really, really do. Because it means that everyone was right about everything.

All my friends are turning thirty and they're happier than they've ever been and if they're not, they hide it pretty fucking well or, at the very least, wait to have three glasses of wine before they start talking about this permanent low-grade sadness they've been experiencing. There's no culprit, no asshole boyfriend or terrible job to pinpoint the blame on. It's just called "paying attention" and it will probably be this way forever and I guess this is just how people feel and no one ever talks about it???? Like, you're happy, you're stable, you stopped destroying yourself, but just because YOU got better doesn't mean LIFE got better.

All my friends are turning thirty and their parents are turning sixty, sixty-five, and their brains are getting slightly dulled, the mid-afternoon rests are getting more frequent and you know, without a doubt now, that they are going to die, which makes you understand a little bit more why people choose to have families of their own, so that when their parents die, they have something of their own to hold on to and give them purpose. You get it, you get it, you get it, so should you just start having kids now and tell them when they get older, "Hi, I had you so life could make a little bit more sense for me, sorry." Or is that too cruel?

All my friends are turning thirty and they look good. Their faces are lived in now, they've been paying rent on them for probably four years now, and they look mature without looking fried. They're going to look at pictures of themselves from this time and be like, "Wow I was hot. I hope I knew how hot I was." But, of course, you never really know anything until you're forced to live with something different. (Think about this for a second, then quickly unthink it: One day, your child is going to post a picture of you when you were thirty and their friends are going to comment "omgggg they were such a babe!!!!" and you will see it and feel very sad and old. Ugh. If that doesn't just send a shiver up your (still) sexy and young spine, I don't know what will.)

All my friends are turning thirty and they love to say the word "no" and they love knowing that they'll never have to go to something as meaningless as an acquaintance's housewarming party ever again and they love talking about all the bad things they used to do because it allows them to quietly brag about their own progress. They find comfort in being "boring", in no longer throwing up in stranger's toilets or giving their heart to a dick with a great dick. They surprise themselves less but that's okay. The surprises were never that good anyway.

In short: Their lives are getting better and better.

And harder and harder. TC mark

Here’s How You Can Fix 6 Months Worth Of Life Into Just One Backpack (You’re Welcome)

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 01:30 PM PDT

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Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences that can happen in your life. Seeing the world can teach you about different cultures, people, and especially yourself. But before stepping onto the plane to start the life-changing experience that awaits you, there’s one minor detail that must be taken care of. Something we all love to do. Packing. When planning a trip, whether it be for a week, a month, or a year, packing is always the hardest part. It’s an overwhelming process for many and must be planned for carefully in order to avoid an emotional breakdown (even though for many of us this is inevitable!). However big or small the trip, the question will always remain- How in the world do I pack for this?

As the trip comes closer important questions begin to overload your mind- What luggage should I buy? How much of each clothing item will I need? Can I fit my hair straightener and makeup bag? When I got to this point in my travel planning I had to have a serious sit-down with myself and prioritize what I really couldn’t live without. It took sacrifices (and a few tears…I’m sorry to say the hair straightener didn’t make the cut) in the beginning, but I am living proof that IT IS POSSIBLE to fit everything you need to survive into a carry-on size travel backpack. Keep reading to see how I've managed so far during my journey! And if you are planning a trip I hope you find my suggestions helpful.

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You are looking at my entire wardrobe. Every piece of clothing shown here is all that I have to my name. And it all fits into this Osprey travel backpack. Finding this bag was the first step to my packing adventure. I knew I wanted a backpack because of how much easier it would be to carry it around the world. European and Central American sidewalks aren’t made for wheeled suitcases and no one wants to look like a struggling American every time you’re trying to go anywhere. I also wanted a pack that would open from the front, not the top like a normal backpack. It would make organizing everything much simpler. With this very specific criteria, it wasn’t hard to narrow down my options (because there really weren’t very many!) The Osprey Farpoint 70 was exactly what I needed. It is the perfect size for all of my clothes and toiletries. Not to mention it is just the right size for a normal aircraft carry-on which saves a ton of money! It also has an added detachable daypack which has come in handy for storing electronics and such throughout the trip.

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So, let’s get down to specifics about what is in my suitcase! Luckily Jake and I are traveling during the summer months in Europe, and Central America is pretty warm year-round, so lots of tank tops and shorts are in my wardrobe. Pictured above are the shirts that I cycle through. The one in the middle is mostly for going out (because you always have to be prepared for at least one of these options!) The rest I wear frequently. There are two t-shirts (pictured on the ends) and two tank tops. I chose either solid colors or simple black and white patterns because it is extremely helpful when all of your clothing items have the ability to match. One tip I’ve learned when packing clothing for an extended trip: select clothing items so that if you were to pick an outfit completely blindfolded from your backpack it would match no matter what. Now this isn’t going to work EVERY time, but it is a good rule of thumb when your clothing options are limited. I love clothes and picking outfits. So if I only have five outfits to choose from I will get bored. So having more combinations because of clothing colors and patterns makes for a happier Elizabeth!

Another important note- three out of the five shirts in the picture above I have bought while in Europe. Throughout traveling you will discover that you won’t wear a shirt as much as you thought you would or you want more space in your luggage. So I’ve done a fair amount of swapping clothing items and throwing others away. I started the trip with more, but two months in I think I have finally perfected my shirt options!

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The additional shirts in my backpack are for working out/sleeping/lounging around. The black tank top has a built-in sports bra which has saved me from having to pack multiple sports bras. Obviously I had to rep my beloved sorority even if it's just during a run or in my sleep (I’m still in denial that I am an alumni). These shirts are all perfect for what I need.

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Next up, bottoms! The two on top are the ones I wear often while out sightseeing in the city. To be honest, I’ve been debating getting rid of the khaki ones because I don’t wear them as much as the jean style ones. We will see! The bottom row are my shorts for working out/sleeping/lounging around.img_1962

I started out this trip with only the yoga pants and Capri jeans. They have filled each purpose that they are intended for with satisfaction. I decided on bringing Capri style jeans to save some room in the bag and also because it’s hot and full length ones are not necessary. The patterned pants on the end I bought at a market in Croatia for $8 and I think it was the best eight dollars I have ever spent. They are super comfortable, lightweight, and cute! Definitely a great addition, especially because they take up virtually no room in the backpack.

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Maxi dresses and rompers are some of my favorite clothing items in general, so I had to incorporate them somehow into my backpack! The maxi dress takes up a considerable amount of space. However, it has been perfect to have when Jake and I are going out to nice dinners or to a performance of some sort. It also has been a lifesaver in Italy when visiting churches because of their modest dress code requirements! The romper is super comfortable and essential for summer traveling in my opinion. Only one item of clothing and you don’t have to worry about being “lady-like” all the time in comparison to a sun dress!

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To remedy the solid and bland-ish colors of my wardrobe I decided to bring a couple “accessories” to help change up my look sometimes. This lightweight kimono is beautiful and really fun to wear. The orange scarf is nice at times too when I want to switch things up. And of course, I always gotta rep good ol’ Portland with my Portland Gear hat! This hat has been perfect for travel days when I want to hide my sleeping face from other passengers on the train or on a hike on the beautiful European terrain.

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While I may be traveling during the summer months and in the tropics during my six months away, I can’t be in denial about the possibility of being cold. However, I don’t need to over prepare. I decided that a lightweight, but warm, zip-up hoodie that I have had for years would be perfect for those cold evenings and rainy days that are inevitable (it’s currently raining in Italy as I write this in August so I think it was a good choice). As a true Oregonian, I never go anywhere without my rain jacket! Rain jackets are malleable and easy to fit almost anywhere. So this was a must in my backpack. Finally I have a vest from ScotteVest. I feel like Inspector Gadget when wearing this thing! There are 17 pockets able to hold basically all of your valuables including RFID pockets for passports and credit cards. Jake’s very generous grandparents (Hi Delaine & Mike!) gifted these to us for the trip and they have been amazing. We are very fortunate to have them!

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Last but certainly not least, SHOES! I have narrowed it down to the absolute necessities for these babies. Not that I wouldn’t love to have more, I obviously would, but shoes take up A LOT of room in a backpack. I don’t have room for any more than I already have. I have my Nikes for working out/hiking/traveling. They are extremely beat up and have multiple holes in them, but they are necessary on this trip for me! I also have one pair of sandals that I wear most often. They are SO COMFORTABLE. Perfect for walking around cities for hours and they are extremely lightweight which is important for packing reasons! I also have one pair of low rise shoes that are also good for walking around in. The last is a pair of flip flops that I wear exclusively in hostel showers (it’s necessary, trust me), on the beach, or lounging around.

Of course there is the debate of how many bras, underwear, swimsuits, and socks to bring on the journey as well. However I think these, much more than anything else, are decisions based on personal preference. My only advice would be to bring as much underwear as possible because it is the only thing in your wardrobe that really can’t be re-worn (or shouldn’t be!)

In addition to clothing, there are obvious toiletries that must be accompanied as well. As a women I feel that I have a lot more going on in this department than Jake (actually I KNOW this is true) so narrowing these items down was probably the hardest part of my packing experience. Keeping toiletries organized is one of the most difficult parts about packing, in my opinion, so I made myself fit all that I wanted to bring into this toiletry holder from Bago. This thing is PERFECT. Honestly, if all of your toiletries can’t be fit into this amazing bag then you need to have another sit-down with yourself about your priorities. I have made sure all of my containers are smaller than 3 oz. but I still have a lot of things to include in this bag. It all fits with ease! This bag has multiple compartments of all sizes keeping everything extremely organized and has made me very happy throughout the past two months.

Overall, no matter how much you plan, packing can be overwhelming. However, if you are reading this blog post with future travels in mind, I hope you can refer back to this post and these suggestions leave packing for your next trip a little less overwhelming than ever before.

Happy travels! TC mark

I Want To Take You To All My Favorite Places, I Want To Let You In

Posted: 28 Oct 2016 01:15 PM PDT

Spring Fed Images
Spring Fed Images

There is a hill just north of my apartment that overlooks the ocean. It juts out, right beyond the edge of someone's driveway and gives you a view of the beautiful, southern California coast. At any given hour, you can see elementary schoolers running on the playground below, or tiny boats bobbing on the water's surface like children's toys. Depending on the weather, you can barely distinguish the ocean from the sky, all a crystal blue or a hazy gray fading off into the distance.

If you look north, you can see thousands of tiny houses, people milling about like ants, miniature cars with their spinning on the coastline roads. If you squint, you can see La Jolla and the cliffs reaching out from the shore, and just inland, the airplanes taking off.

This hill is one of my favorite places because it makes me feel so small, yet so connected. Such a huge world, and open ocean, limitless possibilities and endless places to explore.

And I love knowing that I'm a part of it all.

It's one of the places where I feel grounded, where I feel safe, where the world stops spinning, just for a moment. It's where I've found myself.

It's where I want to take you, one day, when I let you in.

See, you'll know I've fallen for you when I want to show you my secret places. When I want to share the most precious spaces of the earth with you. When I want to bring you into where I've called home, where I've felt safe.

There are quiet roads and abandoned park benches where I've sat and poured my heart out into journals. There are patches of grass where I've picked flowers and watched the sky turn from yellow to red to purple as the sun dipped behind the clouds. There are alleyways and highway turn-offs with graffiti that I've studied. There are restaurants where I've hidden in corner booths, sipped cold tea, and watched cars rush by. There are sandy beaches where I've listened to the sound of the waves and began to heal.

There are so many pieces of my heart that I will unveil to you as we wander. So many parts of me that you will only understand when you've been there, when you've touched the earth.

When you've let flower petals slide through your fingers, or your toes scuff in dirt. Or when you've closed your eyes and let go, let me in. As I let you in.

You will only truly know me when you've been to all the places I claim as my own. And when I love you, I promise I'll take you. I promise I'll bring you in, take down those walls, and let you share my homes.

I promise I'll show you my past and my scars. I promise I'll show you where I'm hurting and where I've healed. I promise I'll tell you stories, tell you what I'm thinking, share the inner-workings of my mind, as we watch the sun dance across the sky.

I promise that one day I won't be guarded.

One day I'll take you to all the places that mean the most, and let you feel them. I'll let you break and reshape along with me. I'll let you know who I am when I'm all alone.

I'll let you love that girl.
And I'll let her love you right back. TC mark