Thought Catalog

How This Woman Responded To Her Boyfriend’s Gift Of An Empty Box Is Absolutely Hilarious

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 09:15 PM PST

via Twitter
via Twitter

Braxton Sislo is an employee at a New Orleans cell phone shop. He is also the boyfriend of a beautiful girl named Ray.

One day at work, Braxton was handed an empty box by his boss who had just received a new phone in it. Instead of tossing the box into the trash, Braxton decided that he would keep it for his girl.

He texted Ray about the gift he had just gotten for her, and her response is everything:

via Twitter
via Twitter
via Twitter
via Twitter

Braxton might have been ready for a “thank you,” but he def wasn’t ready for the overwhelming excitement he got over an empty box!

Some other people tried this gift-giving tactic with their significant others and were not nearly as successful:

Braxton wanted the Huffington Post to know, however, that he did get his girlfriend some real gifts — not just the box!

Braxton Sislo thinks part of the reason why the post has become so popular is because people believe he's giving Ray the box as a Christmas present. He told HuffPost that he's planning to see Ray in Canada for the holidays and has actually bought her real gifts.

"It's also [because] people want that in their relationships," he said. "They want their partner to be grateful over little things. So they see Ray reacting like that and realize, 'That's what I want in life, a person that cherishes every small thing I do.'" (Source)

Happy Holidays, friends. TC mark

I Never Thought It Was Sexy To Dominate A Man Until I Had Hate Sex With My Ex

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 08:00 PM PST

sophie oatman
sophie oatman

I wasn't over him, to say the least. I thought he was an asshole and I was totally over the idea of dating him, but I still wanted him. He wasn't hurting as much as me because of the breakup, and that killed me. It wasn't fair.

The whole relationship I'd done a lot for him, to make him feel good, to make his life better. And somehow this was easy for him to walk away from, as if he'd meet someone like me again. As if together we were something easy and replaceable.

The worst part was how much I missed him physically. We were exceptionally good in bed together. We never really felt at home at each other's apartments unless our hands our mouths were on the other person. When we'd text late at night, those little blue dots that told me he was constructing a text were enough turn me on. I knew whatever popped up was going to be dirty and raw, and I couldn't wait to respond.

I felt good with him, even if our intellectual/emotional connection was lagging noticeably behind. Eventually it wasn't enough and I had an extremely unsatisfactory breakup with him where I expected to see some amount of fight for what we had, but it was all this kind of cold apathy instead. It solidified that I was making the right decision, but it didn't make it any less infuriating.

A few weeks afterwards I saw him at a bar in my neighborhood, which was annoying because he didn't even live in my neighborhood. I still wanted him, but there was another unfamiliar emotion pushing me towards him. I was angry and I wanted him to be hurting too. I threw caution to the wind and asked him to walk back to my apartment with me. He knew I had a booty call situation in mind, so we left together.

He sat on my couch and I straddled him immediately. I didn't want to pretend this was about anything else.

I pulled my dress down and pulled my breasts out and put my hand on the back of his head and pushed him forward as he started kissing them. It felt good to make him do something, to be in control.

He moved his hand to feel between my legs but I pushed him away. I could use him for my pleasure, but he didn't really deserve to touch me. He didn't deserve to feel like he was good at getting me off or like he could make me lose control of myself the way he did sometimes.

I grabbed a fistful of his hair and pulled his head back so he was looking at me and giving me his complete attention. "I just want to make you hurt" I told him.

I was squeezing his hair tighter than I usually did, past the point of pleasure, but I was on top of him and I was in charge so I could do whatever I wanted. I kissed and bit his neck and tried not to get distracted by the way he smelled. He was moaning softly in my ear and I could feel his erection between my legs. He liked the change in my behavior and I didn't care. I wasn't here to please him anymore.

When I kissed him, it was hard and needy. I bit his lips and pulled away when he tried to get closer.

I went down on him because I wanted to drive him crazy. I did the things I knew he loved. I softly sucked on one of his balls and then the other, I licked him from the very bottom of his shaft to the head and flicked my tongue around the ridge there. But I stopped every time I could tell he was getting really into it. I didn't want him to enjoy it very much, I just wanted him to know he could be enjoying it, if I let him.

I stood up and removed my panties. I looked at him and he was eager.

I straddled him again and worked his cock into me. He tried to kiss me and I pulled his head back by his hair again. I directed him to my chest as I began grinding on him. His cock felt as good inside me as it ever did, but what felt even better was being in control of him.

“You’re such an asshole” I told him as I could feel him getting more into it. I was bouncing on his lap now, his face buried in my tits, kissing me. He was ready to come, and I let him, but I wouldn’t let him look at me the way he liked to. I got up and started running the shower and told him he should be gone when I got out.

Things changed a little after that. He kept texting me to get together again, but I never responded. TC mark

43 Traits That Can Make Even The Most Attractive Person Ugly

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 07:00 PM PST
Found on AskReddit.

1. Self-pity.

"Self-pity. Too much of it."


2. Being a drama queen who hates 'drama.'

"The people who 'hate drama' yet they are always in the thick of it. I cut them out of my life real fast."


3. Freeloading.

"Coasting through life on someone else’s work/dollar."


4. Blabbermouths.

"People who won’t shut the fuck up."


5. Gossiping.

"Gossip. Girls who only find themselves able to talk shit about other people drive me crazy. I really don’t give a shit about what Becky did to Jennifer. Please stay out of other people’s shit."


6. Negativity.

"Negativity and cynicism about everything. I know a couple of people who just refuse to enjoy their lives, and I do my best to avoid them."


7. Pouting.

"The 'you should know why I’m mad'/'I’m fine' attitude followed by pouting. I luckily haven’t had to deal with it yet in a relationship and I don’t plan to put up with it in the future."


8. Acting dumb.

"Girls acting dumb or pretending they’re dumb to 'seem cute.' Grow up."


9. Never taking the blame.

"People who think all the problems in their lives were caused by someone else."


10. Being basic.

"I feel guilty for saying it, but the basic bitch persona.

Mac 'n' cheese worship, pizza idolization, Han Solo season. All of those scream, 'I never developed a personal identity.'"


11. Bragging about being an asshole or a bitch.

"Anyone who flaunts being an asshole/bitch. Why do so many people find this attractive? And then they say 'You just can’t handle my honesty!' Okay, yeah, that’s it."


12. Humblebragging.

"Humblebraggers. You know, 'I’m so broke after my fabulous European vacation!' 'Guys are always telling me how hot I am-I hate it!'"


13. Laziness.

"No drive to better themselves. No motivation to do more than they already are. I’ve met way too many people like that and its 0% attractive. You can be accepting and loving of yourself, and still strive to improve yourself."


14. Marilyn Monroe quotes.

"'If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.' No thanks."


15. Mistaking kindness for weakness.

"Oh wow, you’re a genuinely nice person. Let’s see what ways I can take advantage of your kind nature."


16. Complaining.

"People who only ever contact you to complain. I’m sorry your life is crappy, and I do want to be there for you, but hell. I’m not your friend if you only ever talk to me to bitch, I’m a therapist who isn’t getting paid."


17. Lying.

"Lie, lie lie. Your lips are movin' so you lie lie lie lie. Hate lying. I have two people in my life who are liars. One lies to avoid responsibility or blame and one lies to pump up her stories and make herself look good. Used to call them on their shit, but that’s exhausting! Now I just change the subject."


18. Neediness.

"Neediness. I like independence in a woman. So there is nothing that annoys me more than a woman who constantly makes me stop what I’m doing to pay attention to her.

A little is fine. but when it’s all day, every day, 24/7 you literally can’t let me piss without wanting to come to the bathroom with me, that is a bit to much for me."


19. Cheapness.

"Stinginess. Bad tipping. Possessive with belongings. Hanging on to a bunch of garbage."


20. Indecisiveness.

"Where do you wanna eat?
'Doesn’t matter to me.'
Cool. Chick-fil-a good, then?
'Eww… Their breading is weird.'
Ok. How about Taco Bell?
'No way, I’ll be shitting myself all night!'
Burger King?
'I'm really not in the mood for fast food.'
Oh, ok. Red Robin?
'No, that’s burgers. That’s too much like fast food.'
That sushi place you love?
'Ugh, I just ate there last week.'
'I’ll just be hungry an hour later.'
Texas Roadhouse?
'The only thing I like there is the steak, and I’m trying to stay away from red meat.'
Ok, so where do you want to eat?
'Anywhere’s fine. You decide.'"


21. Pretending you know something when you don't.

"Not wanting to admit when they don’t know something. 'I don’t know' isn’t that hard to say, and not knowing something doesn’t mean you’re automatically stupid. But pretending to know something when you don’t does tell me that you’re an egotistical idiot."


22. Making fun of the less fortunate.

"I don’t know what to call it but I will give an example. There was a man in my college language class who was in his 50s. He struggled to catch up with the rest of the class but he was persistent. And there was this girl in class who would constantly make fun of this man among her friends for being slow and old. Whatever quality she has, I find that extremely unattractive in a person."


23. Always talking about themselves, never asking about you.

"Telling me every meticulous detail about their day, which i find interesting and I’m happy to discuss, but then NEVER asking me about my day or holding any interest in my stories when I tell them. It just kinda hurts sometimes. Like, I have an interesting life, too. Please ask about it so I feel included."


24. Seeking validation.

"Asking for advice when they’re really looking for validation.

'Hey do you think this is a good idea?'

'No, probably not.'



25. When they try to make you jealous just to get more attention.

"When they try to make you jealous just to get more attention."


26. Being impatient.

"Lack of patience. Getting angry after something frustrates them just a little bit. The attitude of quick anger is annoying and at times overwhelming."


27. Constantly making excuses.

"Making excuses, or, they are never in the wrong.

I own up to my mistakes, I make sure to apologize if I am in the wrong. People who go through life and always have an excuse for the shit that happens to them, or that they do. I can not stand them.

You have not gotten fired from 7 jobs in 5 months because all the managers were shit and jealous of you Becky. You got fired because you’re a shit worker.

You are late for every event All the time? Do not come up with a new excuse every time. It wasn’t because your dog was sick, you got stuck behind a slow truck, there was traffic. Yes that stuff happens, it doesn’t happen EVERY SINGLE DAY. You are late because you don’t care about being here in time. You don’t plan accordingly.

You don’t know why your boyfriend left you. Hmmm can’t possibly be because you cheated on him? Oh you didn’t cheat on him? I could have sworn I saw you making out with a guy that wasn’t him. You don’t know what I’m talking about?? Yeah, all right.

I do not hang out with people like this. I currently work with a man like this. He keeps inviting my husband and I to hang out, and I say no every time. People like this are toxic."


28. Not being curious.

"The simple and tragic lack of interest in learning and experiencing new things."


29. Not being able to tell the difference between honesty and rudeness.

"People that make it a point of pride to tell you that 'they’ll tell you EXACTLY how they’re feeling' or that they are 'as blunt as it comes.' These people often confuse truthfulness/honesty with downright rudeness. Also in the same vein, people that never fail to offer their unsolicited opinion in every single situation."


30. Complaining about being broke, then going on spending sprees.

"'Oh my gosh I have no money'

Spends $300 on jewelry and shit"



"PLAYING. WITH YOUR GODDAMN. PHONE. WHILE I’M TALKING TO YOU. Put that thing away, my eyes are up here."


32. Being rude to waiters.

"Mistreating people in the service industry. When you’re being a total asshole to a waiter, or cashier, or fast food employee, it does not make the object of your affection think, 'Wow, he/she is clearly superior to them.' I don’t care if you’re rich, or smart, or privileged. If you treat other human beings as peasants who are beneath you, I just find that so incredibly ugly."


33. Flakiness.

"Flakiness. At this point if you flake once without giving a 24-hours notice, and I’ve known you for less than a month, I’ll probably not talk to you again. It’s incredibly disrespectful to my time, especially if my plans revolved around you. I understand if shit happens and we have to reschedule, but I literally have had instances where women have canceled 15 minutes before for some BS reason."


34. Saying how ugly they are when they know they are good-looking.

"Saying how ugly they are when they know they are good-looking. I see it so often and shit makes me mad every time."


35. People who believe their mood justifies their actions.

"People who believe their mood justifies their actions. I don’t give a damn that you’re hungry, if you bite my head off over an innocuous statement, then you’re an asshole."


36. Addiction.

"I hate the obsession with alcohol or drugs. I understand having a good time and a beer or two but when you drink for the sole purpose of getting shit faced or constantly brag about smoking weed it’s just a sign to me that you’re too boring to hang out with if there aren’t drugs or alcohol. I’m 22 and unfortunately this describes too many people I meet."


37. Selfie, selfie, selfie.

"When people take a lot of selfies and/or post them on social media. To me it’s either a sign of self-absorption or low self-esteem/being desperate for public approval, both of which are a huge turnoff."


38. Being hyper-competitive.

"Amongst guys, especially young guys there’s always this need to be competitive or show off. This manifests itself in many ways. You see it in packs of loud frat dudes in social settings or even guys trying to collaborate on something as trivial as say lighting a fire when you’re all camping. They lecture each other over top of one another, act informed or be bossy, grouted with typical insults. This behavior is always amplified when women are around and it’s probably especially there as a young dude because of women.

Throwing your friends under the bus as you compete for women is lame. Competitive behavior is also exhausting, it irritates me to witness or be around.

I am the oldest of five boys. I grew up with that shit my whole life and pick up on it like it’s instinct now. I’m not a fan, it’s annoying to see or be dragged into."


39. Vocal fry.

"That Valley Girl, vocal fry voice that so many girls seem to have. Drives me crazy."


40. Making every statement sound like it's a question.

"Speaking every sentence with rising inflection as if it is a question."


41. Entitlement.

"Entitlement. I know too many women who think they are entitled to things from men, particularly their partners. Usually money, freebies or attention. You can even take it to the level of just women who feel entitled to be treated differently like a special little snowflake, different to guys, because they have two X chromosomes."


42. Pessimism.

"People who expel negative and pessimistic energy in almost every regard. I’m the type of person who loves to get excited about things, like a new movie or a game, and I want to share that excitement with people. When they routinely react by pointing everything wrong and bad about any given thing, it leaves me with a sour impression. Even when they’re right, I can’t help but think, what’s wrong with enjoying something in spite of its flaws?"pheaster

43. Alcoholism.

"Try dating in your 30s and finding a girl that doesn’t have a drinking problem."

mofugginrob TC mark

26 Signs He’s Not ‘Emotionally Damaged,’ He’s Just An Asshole

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 06:00 PM PST

Twenty20, ana_lombardini
Twenty20, ana_lombardini

1. He doesn’t take responsibility for anything. He blames his family for all of the problems in his life.

2. He brings you more misery than happiness — at least once a week you’re crying over him.

3. He has, either intentionally or unintentionally, made you lose some of your closest friends.

4. You fight about the same exact things over and over again.

5. He makes you feel guilty when you have fun without him, even if you were only with your family or your female friends.

6. He’s suspicious whenever you work long hours or take a few minutes too long to text him.

7. He has a go-to excuse he always uses whenever he screws you over, so that you end up feeling bad for him.

8. Sometimes, you sleep with him, because you’re worried about what would happen if you said no.

9. There are certain stories you would never dream of telling your friends about him, because you know they’d hate him forever.

10. He breaks up with you on a frequent basis, and expects you to beg him to take you back.

11. He randomly cancels plans with you for no real reason at all, even though he knew how much you were looking forward to seeing him.

12. He makes completely ridiculous accusations, like that you’re a cheater and a drug addict.

13. He’s made you question how smart you are. And how pretty you are. And how valuable you are overall.

14. He tries to control what you wear, because he doesn’t want any other men to find you attractive or any other women to find him attractive.

15. You’ve been neglecting the things — and people — you used to care the most about, because he takes up all of your time.

16. He criticizes the size of your boobs, the scars on your body, and the sound of your voice. It’s like everything about you is wrong.

17. He chooses the bottle (or the bong) over you, because he thinks that it’s the only way to deal with his problems.

18. When he gets angry, he legitimately scares you.

19. Since you’ve started dating him, you’ve been disappointed more times than you can count.

20. He lies straight to your face, like it’s easy for him.

21. He spies on you by incessantly checking your social media and even driving past your house to search for something incriminating.

22. He’s referred to you as a slut, a whore, or some other demeaning term, just because he was in a bad mood.

23. Your family doesn’t approve of him. Your friends don’t, either. Not even one of them.

24. He doesn’t make any real effort to trust you, even though you’ve never done anything to make him question your loyalty.

25. Your relationship consists of extremes — you’re either crazy in love with him or you hate his guts.

26. Whenever you talk to your loved ones about your relationship, you feel like you constantly have to defend him, because he comes across like a real asshole. And, deep down, you know that he is. And that you deserve better. TC mark


Posted: 21 Dec 2016 05:45 PM PST


She will always exist in that hallowed space we carved out for ourselves.
Where fear was all there was, and so did not exist at all.
Where that black monster, with its deep divots and squirming edges, was constant, and thus, nullified.
Where love truly reigned and would not be contained
Where childish hope waxed and waned in concert with mechanical reality
In a toxic, thrilling dance.

And here I sit, alone as ever, trying very hard to remember and forget.
But failing both, with little hope, I settle for the in-between.
Perhaps this day is last of its kind,
The outer bound perhaps I've found, of this writhing and wrenching in-between,
Where trapped in the lip of some plastic bubble, her face returns, with searing burns, and cool pleasures, with nothing in-between.
I search my soul, for some old hole, probing front and back, to and fro, but find nothing in-between.

When will we be united? I enlist the help of silence
But I should know, with little show, each of us lives forever alone, in our own in-between.
I fling my arms, in confessed distress, upwards, towards the heavens' in-between.
And just my luck, a toe I struck, of something familiar, unmistakably.
And feeling me, with reflexive glee, she curled her toes, my Emily.
And I, being the child that I am, wrapped my fingers tight.
She pulled me up, and up and up, until I reached a sea,
In shallow waters, with steam and slaughter, rising up from under me.
She was not there, belied my stare, while plumey air rose quickly, now above my knee.
The smoke surrounded, and with hope compounded, I was face to face with my Emily.
The same but not, different but not, she opened her mouth, at last free:
"My love, my sun, you have returned to me.
Don't leave again, we'll be happier then,
And leave nothing up to the believed or bereaved."
And as her words finished, my torture diminished, she reached out a hand to run down my cheek.
But somehow forgotten, that lesson so rotten, exposed where we were as pitch-black bleak.
Her hand floated through me, gazed at each other truly, and agreed synchronously "the fuckin in-between."

We threw back our heads in rip-roaring laughter, then shed tears shortly thereafter,
For we knew now it was not meant to be.

We bid our farewells, but far as I could tell, this would not be the last time I'd see my love, my soul, my bride, my queen, my sweet, sweet Emily.

Fuck Your Rigid Idea Of Happiness

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 05:45 PM PST

Ryan Moreno
Ryan Moreno

When did everyone become so obsessed with happiness?

It seems like every Guru and kid with a blog (lol, hey it me!) are running this hamster wheel repeating the same old thing. We’re all Googling, “How to be happy?” and hoping something will stick. We’re searching for some mythical pot at the end of the rainbow. Actually, make it a double rainbow. Yeah, and make the pot of gold eternal happiness.

That’s what we want, right?

To be satisfied and fulfilled and stop hurting. We want to learn the meaning of life and work the dream job and have sex with the dream person, and wake up to do it all over again.

Yeah, fuck it.

Errr, sorry, Grandma.

Screw it. That better?

What if real happiness comes when we accept that happiness will never be a constant?

I’m tired of looking inward and thinking I’m incomplete for not being happy. I’m tired of comparing myself. I’m tired of this magical idea that if I could JUST be happy, just be fully happy, everything else would fall into place.

Happiness is fleeting. It comes and goes. It makes out with us behind the bar and then suddenly ghosts. It gives us the weekend or week or month of a lifetime, and then has to go back home. It has to leave and you don’t understand why it can’t stay with you forever.

This concerns some people. The idea that something is only temporary can be uncomfortable. Think about it. We’re one of the few species that actively practices monogamy and (many of us) believe in the idea of a soul mate – a forever person.

Nothing is forever. Life is temporary. Therefore, everything within a life is going to be temporary, happiness included.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go after the things that bring you joy. Dedicate time to your passions. Fall in love again and again and again. Sing in the shower. Whatever, do the things that make you happy.

But realize you won’t always be happy. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed. That doesn’t mean you haven’t figured out this CRAZY, TOP SECRET TRICK that everyone else has.

Today might be a blue day. Or an angry day. Or something lackluster and numbingly mediocre.

That’s normal. That’s okay.

Appreciate happiness when it’s around. But don’t drive yourself nuts trying to hold onto it. Let it come. And let it go.

After all, you wouldn’t know how special it was if you had it all the time, right? TC mark

When I Was Broke And Needed Help, Planned Parenthood Was There For Me

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 05:37 PM PST

Flickr / Charlotte Cooper
Flickr / Charlotte Cooper

I've been thinking a lot about my twenties, lack of adequate healthcare and pre-existing condition clauses that many times kept me from getting decent insurance. It occurred to me that one of my saviors from that time in my life was Planned Parenthood. Yes, it's known for providing abortions but offers so many other services that are constantly overlooked. As a matter of fact, most Planned Parenthood clinics don't provide abortions at all.

Often folks don't know it is a full service clinic that sees both men and women. They provide gynecological exams, treatment for urinary infections, STD counseling, free or discounted medicine and so many other services.

There was a time I had a serious financial situation in my twenties that I wasn't handling well. I was overwhelmed with stress and knew I needed to talk to someone. I called Planned Parenthood and told then, "I am not pregnant, don't need birth control but could I speak to a counselor?" At the time I didn't have extra money and the counselor squeezed me in that day regardless. I was told to pay five dollars when I could.

What other counselor would see me right away; without insurance or the ability to pay? Planned Parenthood did that. I had one counseling appointment that lasted about 45 minutes and I felt better, got a bit of life advice and was able to deal with my situation more confidently. To this day I know it was some of the best advice I've ever received.

The Affordable Care Act helped people who didn't earn a lot or worked freelance as I once did. Now it's being challenged in so many states, in part, because of the abortion issue. I've never been pregnant in my life but I still had desperate times when Planned Parenthood treated my Urinary Tract Infections and found a huge lump in my breast.

There are all sorts of reasons people who have never depended on the services to not like Planned Parenthood.  But I want people to know that there is much good being done and I am someone who is thankful to have had healthcare available to me. With the new Trump administration beginning in January I worry for the organization and their ability to help those in need. TC mark

10 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You Have An Invisible Illness

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 05:36 PM PST

Often, the hardest part of having an invisible illness is not the chronic pain or the constant discomfort or any of the other symptoms – it’s the fact that other people cannot really see or understand what you’re going through. Although the disability causes endless problems and challenges for the person experiencing it, the reality is that – unless they are specifically told – other people cannot easily grasp it or remember to adapt to it. So whether you’re suffering from depression or anxiety or Fibromyalgia or an IBD like Crohn’s Disease or any of the other number of invisible illnesses out there, here are 10 things others may not realize you are doing because of your illness.

1. Functioning in the midst of little sleep, lots of pain, and/or extreme fatigue. 

Not because you're good at functioning in this state, or because it's not a big deal, or because the discomfort isn't really that bad. But because you literally have no. other. choice. It's either 'let this illness take over your entire life and swallow you whole' or 'keep the illness enough at bay that you live as normal of a life as you possibly can.’

2. Working your ass off. 

You have enough situations in your life already where you have little to no control over what is happening to you and/or your body, so you often find yourself working overtime, going the extra mile, and pushing yourself to the peak of your limit – just because it feels good to actually do something and take the reins when you can.

3. Having a hard time trusting others.  

It's not necessarily that you have a hard time trusting others because they've let you down. Often, it's the contrary – you have tons of people in your life who do nothing but support you. However, learning how to lean on others is still quite a challenge for you; you're used to having to fight harder than everyone else, to take care of yourself no matter how exhausted you are, to make yourself get out of bed even when you really don't want to or you feel like you can't. Because you've had no choice but to be incredibly independent in everything that you do, it's actually quite difficult for you to occasionally let someone else take care of you for a change.

4. Feeling awful, even when you 'look fine.'

That's one of the hardest parts about your invisible illness: having to explain to people why you have to go home from work, or skip the presentation, or miss your friend's birthday party – and hoping they'll understand and believe that you're telling the truth, even though you might look healthy as ever on the outside.

5. Struggling to feel calm when you're outside of your normal routine. 

You've learned how to cope with your illness and live a mostly regular life, as long as you stick to a certain way of doing things. Even when you're feeling terrible, you can still get out of bed and go to work and be a person, as long as you make room for the things that help – doctor visits, go-to healthy meals, naps, relaxation techniques, extra sleep, whatever it is that helps you combat your particular struggle. So it's incredibly hard for you to adjust when that routine is disrupted in any way whatsoever, whether it's a vacation or a visit from a friend or a new job. You're not afraid of change, but you are afraid of it negatively affecting the routines you've worked so hard to perfect.

6. Feeling anxious about 'small' things.

Car rides, dinner parties, enclosed spaces, a short walk, a guest in your home. The possibilities of what you will worry about are endless.

7. Doing the last thing people would ever expect you to do.

For the people in your life that do know you have an illness, they're often surprised when you decide to run a marathon or go on a backpacking trip or sign up for a membership at a kickboxing studio. But in a way, your illness has been almost (alllllmost) a blessing in the sense that it's caused you to be much more adventurous and to try many more things, simply because you're so determined to not let it affect the quality of your life or to turn you into a passive person.

8. Trying to constantly reassure others that You. Are. Fine.

Because surprisingly, pity is one of the things you hate most about your invisible illness. You don't like people feeling bad for you, you don't want people treating you differently, and you really can't stand when people walk on eggshells around you. Having an invisible illness often makes you feel different and isolated enough as it is, so you do everything in your power to convince everyone that you're fine, just so that they'll treat you like a normal person.

9. Stressing over stuff that most people never even think about. 

There are a lot of things that most people don't even think about that end up causing you extreme worry, depending on how it affects your illness and your coping mechanisms. When you're asking multiple questions about an impending situation, it can be uncomfortable or difficult when other people are looking at you like you're crazy or high maintenance.

10. Being ten times more passionate about your dreams than anyone else. 

Because even if you can't cure this disease, you can certainly make sure you still have an incredible and fulfilling life in spite of it. And if that's as close to a 'cure' as you can get, then so be it. TC mark

When You Live In A Third World Country

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 05:35 PM PST

Flickr / catedral01

Inang Bayan / Motherland

Where I come from
children are not allowed
to be children. At 6
Juan learns the word 'violence;'
pink-faced on the floor,
salt-wounds on the knees. At 7
he learns the word 'sex,' at 8
he sees his first corpse –
Uncle some-name-or-other learns the word
'desperate,' blinks, and ends up with a
body-bag for a Christmas gift – at 9
Juan hears the threat
of jail bars rattling, at 10
he tastes his first high, at 10
he feels for the first time what it is to be
full. Since birth all he ever knew was
the word 'hunger.'

I pray for the gay child born
under the poverty line, but
where I come from nobody cares
what you have to say.
Where I come from
God sleeps,
but if you wake Him up He'll tell you –

Fathers are not allowed
to be fathers,
mothers are not allowed
to be mothers;
one sells pounds of flesh
for thirteen silver coins, the other
sardine-like rots in prison somewhere for a crime
he may have or may not have

The big man gets bigger,
the middle man gets less,
the pauper gets

sewer rats,
maybe a bullet or two if you're lucky
or unlucky and even now
Juan only ever knows
hunger, always hunger. You forgot
about him didn't you?
It's okay, everybody else does
until he breaks the rhythm of a good dream,
until he breaks inside our homes.

Where I come from
none of this really matters.
The sun still rises
in the east,
and sets
in the west.
But the sky bleeds red…

even at midnight.

Motherland: A Filipino Spoken Word

TC mark

Jason Silva: On Love, Empathy And The Great Beyond

Posted: 21 Dec 2016 05:31 PM PST

Image courtesy of National Geographic, published with owner's permission
Image courtesy of National Geographic, published with owner's permission

Edited by Ioana Casapu

Albert Camus once said,

Live life to the point of tears“.

But only once in a while do we manage to find people who hold up this thought and let themselves be defined through it.

One such person is film-maker, television personality and Emmy nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s TV series Brain Games, airing in 171 countries, Jason Silva. He also a digital filmmaker and the creator of the original series Shots of Awe. His videos have been seen over 100 million times across all channels. Jason is also an international keynote speaker, frequently giving speeches to companies like IBM, Microsoft, Intel and many more. Follow his Facebook page by hitting LIKE, here.

I managed to catch up with Jason for an exclusive interview that went beyond what we see on television screens, delving deep into the psyche of one of the best minds of this generation.

Here’s what went down when I sat down with Jason Silva:

Sayan – Let’s start at the start. You went to an international school. How do you think that shaped the way you interact and communicate with people?

Jason – Yes, attending an international school in Venezuela was an inspired, diverse, eclectic experience. It very quickly gave me a sense of the world, and an openness to other cultures in an environment of mutual respect and curiosity. This is the one world perspective. One planet. I developed a sense of intuition about how to relate to people of wildly different backgrounds.

– From what you’ve experienced over the years through all the places you’ve been to and all the things you’ve done, how would you describe the connection that one human feels towards another and how that is changing with the times and with the progresses in technology?

– There is a term I’ve come across that describes the magic of connecting with someone, that feeling of being understood. That term is “intersubjectivity”, which essentially means that when you ‘connect’ with someone else, two become one, two minds, two subjective worlds, temporarily merge. It’s a beautiful experience, and it is precisely this capacity for common experience that binds human beings together. Recently, neuroscientists have confirmed that when we click with someone, our brain waves actually begin to mirror each other. It’s called Brain Coupling, and it feels delightfully amazing. Technology will only augment and deepen the ways in which we can connect. Virtual reality will allow us to visit each other’s minds, share visions as never before. Tools will continue to break boundaries and warp geographies.

– How and Why do you think Cinema (given your love for it) with characters that we know mostly aren’t real, can actually transcend the barriers of communication and make people understand realities about themselves and the world at large, more than what real people around them can make them understand?

– When we watch movies a magical thing happens: we assume the viewpoint of the main character. Essentially we take on their point of view and vicariously experience whatever happens to them. Narratologists call this ‘the deictic shift’. This is pure magic. Our mind can mirror the character’s mind, we model their world, within our minds. When this happens, our self awareness disappears, we are quite literally outside ourselves. This is pure empathy because we assume the trials and struggles of the character, which means we move beyond our self conscious concerns. It’s a beautiful thing; and a glimpse of our most perfect moments, when we realize we are all one.

Image courtesy of National Geographic, published with owner's permission
Image courtesy of National Geographic, published with owner's permission

– We’ve talked about AI and I’ve heard you talk about how bots can be everywhere in the near future. Do you really think that these automatic machines can be empathetic, to the extent they mirror human emotions or even go beyond to create a kinder world?

– I do think that artificial intelligence will eventually model and mirror human intelligence in all of its spectrums – including having a rich emotional life. My view is that of Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly who says technology is organismic, a living thing, the seventh kingdom of life. He calls it The Technium, and thus we should see the eventual emergence of true non biological minds as simply the next wave of evolution.

– Do you think art and technology go hand in hand in the sense that they serve the same purpose in terms of how they affect people and how they are indispensable to the human race?

– Yes. Art and science are two sides of the same coin. Two interpretive frameworks, two lenses for understanding the world. Two languages. I think the role of science is to push the boundaries of the quantifiable, of all that is empirically measurable…. and I think the role of art is to look deeper than the journalist’s literal grid, and quantify our subjective world, that which exceeds the empirical.

– Where do you think love figures in this age where everything is changing at a million frames a second and can technology in all it’s glory and pomp, ever be as important to the human being as love itself?

– Love stems from the religious impulse, from the human desire to merge with the transcendent, with the great beyond. We are hungry for some kind of ultimate meeting to absolve our existential yearnings and unending thirst for understanding— and love teases at an ultimate answer. Love, like God, is a cosmic stand-in for that which we struggle to articulate. And while it’s hard for any romance to bear the burden of godhood, we keep striving for this kind of ecstatic transcendence in the iris of a lover’s eye, because anything less would be giving up.

– In most of your projects we’ve seen you talk about the advancements in the sciences and how that’s going to radically change the face of everything human, very soon. How are these advancements going to help reduce the severely increasing mental strain that we are facing today in every aspect of our lives? And more importantly, can this strain reduce given how social media affects the common man now?

-We are dealing with turbulent times of rapid change. So much advancement can be dizzying, and have unintended consequences. I get that. But we must not lose sight of the prize, or our sense of direction. We are moving towards more possibilities, more communication, and more creativity. Things are getting better, even when our social media filter bubbles prevent us from seeing it. The challenge is to zoom out, pierce the veil, move beyond fear, and work together to leverage these technologies to make this a better world.

– How can we all contribute to giving back to our planet?

– Make your voice heard. Make media. Upload videos about things you’re passionate about. Contribute mindfully and passionately. Be curious. Stay alert. Be KIND. Above all, BE KIND.

– One advice you received and one that you’ll want to share with the world.

– FOLLOW YOUR BLISS AND BE KIND. ALSO: passion exists at the intersection of 3 or more things you’re really curious about.

– Finally, they say that we know where we were heading when we arrive there. So after all this time, does Jason Silva know where he is going?

– Ha. Jason Silva wants to understand it all. I am hungry for ultimate meaning and understanding. Poetic rapture. Bliss on tap. Neural nirvana. Truth. Visionary understanding. Love. TC mark