thought catalog

So if you knew, with indisputable certainty, that love was never going to be yours, how would you live your life differently? What about your daily routine would you alter? What about your long-term plans?

Your first inclination may be to say “Nothing.” After all, you’re a smart person. You have plans that don’t involve someone else’s influence. We all do. But ponder it a few moments more. Because here’s what we don’t want to admit about love: it is a crutch that we use all the time. The idea that someday somebody will love all our flaws is a subtle excuse not to work on them. The principle of two halves making a whole restrains us from becoming our own better half. We want someone to swoop in during our darkest hour and save us, but what if we knew they never would? We’d have to start doing everything differently.
A Ranking Of Every One Direction Song, From Least To Most Sexual
Because if these boys are good at one thing, it is pining after another guy's girlfriend. And making teenage girls feel something a lot like love. (Okay, that's two things. But my point stands.)

Least sexual: Act My Age

Most sexual: No Control:  “I mean, you get the point. If this song is not about morning sex, then I honestly don’t know what to tell you. They’re loaded guns when they’re waking up. It’s about morning sex. There’s no alternative.”

Men at Arms is a direct attack on the idea of monarchy and aristocracy that so much “high fantasy” is based on; Jingo is a fantasy war story that denies the reader the “fun” of seeing a war break out and ends up attacking the concept of war; the character of Rincewind is a subversion of the whole idea of heroism. Monstrous Regiment is a meditation on feminism, Cherry Littlebottom and other female dwarfs a commentary on gender identity and trans people, Thud! a statement against ethnic hatred.

But all this deconstruction and subversion didn’t come across as having to eat your vegetables, the way literary fiction often does. And it didn’t come across as a bitter, guilty pleasure either, the way people geek out about the horrifying viciousness of “low fantasy” worlds like A Song of Ice and Fire’s Westeros.

Pratchett somehow made his progressive, subversive work as tasty a snack as any of the high fantasy he was subverting. Much of that candy coating was humor–the ability to laugh, as he once argued, being our brain’s way of extracting pleasure from the otherwise painful process of recognizing uncomfortable truths.

—  Arthur Chu breaks down the importance of Discworld in his farewell tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett, A Guide to Escape from Escapism
There is only a slight difference between passion and rage. Passion will drive you to write the great American novel. Rage will get you a 6 year sentence for burning somebody’s farm down. The two can very easily intertwine.
—  From Jayme Karales’ article How To Be Pissed Off As An Adult In A Socially Acceptable WayWithin which he tells us to turn our rage of working at Forever 21 into passion which will help us write the great American novel.. or something. 

15 Men React To The Idea Of Taking Their Wife’s Last Name After Marriage” via Thought Catalog 

 #3: “If hoards of men started taking their wives’ surnames, it would be an unfortunate and perhaps irreversible step towards a matriarchal goddess culture, which blows for guys because those cultures used to routinely kill male infants and treat males like slaves. In a world where there are already very few incentives for men to get legally shackled, this is one slippery slope I wouldn’t want to slide down.” - Ricky, 27 

 I’ve got your Matriarchal Goddess Culture right here.

Originally posted by thewarriorandthebard

Originally posted by anotheranonymoussoul

Originally posted by aletheia90

13. If you could talk to your younger self, you would be able so say: ‘We did it, we made it out, we survived that terrible thing.’ So often people carry their past traumas into their present lives, and if you want any proof that we carry who we were in who we are, all you need to do is see how you respond to your inner child hearing, you’re going to be okay, from the person they became.

1. Practicing gratitude for what I have will make me so much happier than obsessing over the things my life is lacking.

2. Regret and “what could have been” are concepts that are so much scarier than failure.

3. The moments when I feel the most insecurity and uncertainty are the moments in which I am experiencing the most growth.

4. I got to wake up to another new day today, and I should never take that for granted.

5. I cannot control other people, but I can always control myself.

6. It is okay to be afraid of judgment, criticism, and rejection, as long as I continue to work and try and put myself out there in spite of those fears.

7. “How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.” –Annie Dillard

8. Everyone else’s backstory is just as complicated as mine, which is what I should remember when I’m tempted to judge someone.

9. Grow up, but always remain young at heart.

10. I will never go anywhere if I stay put.

11. Chasing after the validation of others will always be a losing battle.

12. People aren’t judging me and zeroing in on my mistakes as much as I convince myself that they are.

13. “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.” –E .B. White

14. The answer to my own self-acceptance does not come from an external source like weight loss or career success or a significant other; it must come from within.

15. Sometimes I will encounter people on their very worst day, and I should remember that it’s not necessarily a reflection of who they always are.

16. I should never care if my positivity or ambition makes negative people feel uncomfortable.

17. Even if I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, I can give meaning to any situation by finding something to learn from it.

18. My career is an important part of my life, but it is not who I am.

19. I will never please everyone, and that’s okay.

20. Integrity and character will always be more important than power and wealth.

21. No one is forcing me to keep toxic friends in my life.

22. I must also make sure that I am never brewing toxicity and spreading it to those around me.

23. Ideas are great, but action is what invokes change.

24. I cannot take any of my belongings with me when I die.

25. The little things I do every single day are much more important than the things I do every once in a while.

26. Just because I care about something does not mean everyone else should automatically care about it, too.

27. Being a fair-weather friend means nothing.

28. Being a foul-weather friend means everything.

29. I deserve love, respect, and dignity.

30. But when it comes to success, reward, and achievement, I am not entitled to anything – I must work for the things I want.

31. I should spend my time with the people who make me feel the most like myself, not the people who I think I should hang out with.

32. I have every right to say “no” if something or someone makes me feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

33. Pain is relative; it’s not a competition.

34. Complaining will not fix my problems, and it will not make people feel bad for me; all it will do is hold me in place.

35. Perfection can get in the way more times than not.

36. Asking for help shows strength, not weakness.

37. A person’s outer appearance never tells the full story; I must remember there are multiple layers of every person that cannot always be seen.

38. I will never let anyone make me feel bad for having big dreams, as long as I’m working on them instead of talking about them.

39. Forgiveness will lighten my soul, and grudges will weigh it down.

40. Just because some people aren’t overly kind to me doesn’t mean I can’t still be overly kind to them.

41. “Nobody looks stupid when they’re having fun.” –Amy Poehler

42. Maybe time doesn’t heal all wounds, but it certainly helps them to sting a little less.

43. It is when everything feels like it’s falling apart that it is most important to keep going.

44. If goals were easy, everybody would achieve everything.

45. I do not need to apologize for being good at what I do.

46. “People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” –The Pursuit of Happyness

47. Being lost is not necessarily a bad thing. TC mark

48. Kick ass.

49. Some of the best advice I will ever receive will come from children.

50. Love will never burn out.
What Gentrification Feels Like To Those Who Actually Grew Up In Brooklyn

“It is being angry at everyone, yet sad because YOU can never be part of them, YOU are not even middle class. It is wishing that maybe, even though it wasn’t as safe back then, you could just have this neighborhood the way it was for at least a week. But, you can’t. Gentrification is waking up one day, and hating the shit out of New York City. It’s finally deciding that it is time for you to leave. ”

1. Everyone is different, so your life path will never be like anyone else’s.

2. Some people are just going to be more successful than you.

3. Don’t be scared of getting letters of recommendations.

4. If you don’t try drugs, alcohol, sex, or smoking, you’ll never know what they’re like.

5. There are some bad people disguised as good people and waiting to pounce.

6. You will keep falling in love with people that are either not good for you or don’t like you the way you like them.

7. You need to be educated, in the book way and the street way.

8. Your parents are eventually going to die.

9. There is going to be a lull in your life where you accomplish nothing and feel awful.

10. Exercise and eating healthy is key.

11. There will come a time when you look in the mirror and be like “Holy shit, I am ugly!”

12. The internet is the next big thing.

13. It’s OK to cry.

14. You shouldn’t be ashamed to move back in with your parents after college.

15. Traveling ain’t all that.

16. Religion and politics need to be discussed.

17. You don’t need to be famous to have an impact.

18. If you want to move, do it now.

19. Learn something every day.

20. Don’t be afraid.

Here Is The Voice Of An ENFP

By  Elise McGill

I am an ENFP.

I have the ability to look at a situation from many different standpoints. I can see everyone’s side in an argument, whether I want to admit that or not.

I have an energetic and compulsive personality that you’ll either love, learn to love, or despise. I know that sometimes I go a little overboard with my upbeat personality, but I swear I can’t help myself.

I am constantly thinking abstractly about life and who I am; which will come as a huge surprise to many. If you are not close to me, you will only see me as that loud, goofy girl who is always making a scene. But inside I am just burning to make a connection with you. I want to hear about how your day has been, what you’re struggling with, and how I can help you.

I live for human connection.

I urge for people to open up to me. Anyone and everyone. I want every single person to be heard. I know it’s much more difficult for some people to stay in touch with their emotions. However, I also know that I am a great listener when you need me. I will listen to you for hours. I will be patient. I will ask you those questions that you don’t want to think about so that I can learn more about you.

I will help you. Whether you want me to or not; there is no escaping my love. I will check in with you. I might overstep my boundaries at times, but I am doing this because I worry.

I worry about you, and I worry about everyone. I know I can be sassy and outspoken at times, but I never want to hurt you. There is an infinite guilt that eats me away when I feel I have done so. I always wonder if you are okay. Is something worse going on in your head that I don’t know about? I will grasp on to that idea for eternity.

I will mess up. Badly. I am extremely spontaneous- which makes me eternally unreliable. I am ditsy and unorganized and you might think that it’s simply because I don’t care- it’s not. It is because there are always millions of thoughts rushing through me. I have to pick out the important ones to grasp onto.

I am extremely confident with who I am. I am set in stone with my beliefs and values. I see beauty in everyone, but I can’t let that distract me. I need time to reflect on who I am so that I don’t lose myself helping and worrying about everyone else. I am a crazy, energetic, loving, charismatic, goofy, and personable ENFP.

How To Fall In Love

Love is one of those things that finds you when you least expect it. You can’t really go hunting for it and you can’t predict it. What you can do is help facilitate not-expecting it.

Start by telling yourself that you’ll never fall in love. Look in the mirror every morning at your stupid ugly face and make a mental note that nobody could ever love someone who looks like you. Take a shower and let water pour over you, down the length of your mediocre body. There’s no way another human being could ever find that attractive. Dry yourself off and repeat your mantra to yourself. “I can do anything.” That’s a stupid fucking mantra. You are a dumb fuck. You will never amount to anything and nobody could ever love such a sad waste of space. Get dressed in anything, it doesn’t matter because all your clothes aren’t cool enough.

With your expectations sufficiently lowered (“none”), you can now proceed through life. Go to class, go to work, see your friends, see your family. Have a coffee, have a sandwich, have a beer. Life is pretty awesome! You have a lot of good stuff, and since you’ll never fall in love, that’s just one less thing to worry about. Enjoy each day the way you would regularly, watching your friends couple up and strangers embrace. That’s so nice for them! Go home and watch your favorite TV show, update your blog, go to bed, repeat.

Proceed like this for as long as necessary. It might be forever, but chances are it won’t be. Love will slowly creep up on you in the form of a new friend, a stranger, a one night stand that you can’t get out of your head, whatever. This is where your training comes in. Don’t be fooled by this new feeling! You are worthless, you are ugly, you are stupid and nobody will ever care about you. Ignore any advances. Perpetuate your worst traits to further solidify your unloveable persona. Love might be real, but not for you.

Eventually someone will figure you out. They’ll see through your exterior and decide you are wonderful. They’ll love the things you don’t like about yourself and they’ll inspire confidence. They’ll resuscitate feelings you forgot you had, or maybe never considered before. Don’t fall for this. They can’t possibly love you. The feelings are false. This person is probably delusional. They have been mislead. It’s those new shoes you wore, it’s that funny joke you told, that honesty you showed, the way you looked at them that night. Fuck fuck fuck.

A person is starting to really care about you. You’ve tried to rationalize it away but you can’t anymore. You can literally feel them loving you. They might be crazy but they’re really convinced! Consider this instead of sleeping. Write it down in your private journal. Realize that love might actually be real for you too, against all odds. Try to fight this feeling because it goes against everything you’ve worked so hard for. “My mantra sucks and so do I.” Say it three times. Look in the mirror and try to hate your reflection. Stop smiling. Stop fucking smiling.

Turn on the radio. Pop songs are starting to make sense. Every song is real. Fuck! Turn off the radio. Go outside. The sun is shining and there’s a breeze. Something smells wonderful. Everything reminds you of the new feelings. Your brain starts making new connections between things and ideas. Snap, snap, snap snap snap. Everything leads back to them. New socks, scrambled eggs, polka dots, anything. This is too real. You are not built for this.

Wonder what else is real. Question everything. Predict several potential futures. Predict every potential future. Worry that this feeling might end somehow. Imagine yourself dying too soon. Wonder if you will ever feel like this again. Imagine your heart breaking. Imagine their heart breaking and feel like your heart is actually breaking as a result. Wonder if “soulmates” are a real thing. Worry that you will never sufficiently be able to thank them for everything. Wonder if they can tell you’re freaking out. Don’t say anything. Say literally everything. Fuck.

Look at yourself in the mirror. You’re still a little ugly but it doesn’t matter anymore. You’re still an idiot but it’s different now. Sit on the floor of the shower and let the water pour over your mediocre body and laugh. Everything is hilarious. Life is your mantra now. Everything is reaffirming. Love is real. Love is real even for you.

(originally published here, 2013)

10 Cultural Things You Should Do In Iceland If You’re Visiting During Winter

It is quite popular for tourists to visit Iceland during the summers to explore all the beautiful nature and experience the midnight sun. However, Icelandic winter has a charm of its own. Most Icelanders travel abroad during the summers leaving the city of Reykjavík behind with tons of tourists. In the winter all Icelanders are back to school and work and therefore the winter is a perfect time to experience Icelandic culture to its fullest. Here is a list of things Icelanders love to do in winter and which you should try as well:

1. Go get ice cream. There is never a bad time in Iceland to get ice cream. Even though it’s cold, windy and raining! The trending ice creams shops are “Valdísís” and “Vesturbæjarís”. The latter one is quite special because there you can get ice cream made out of milk instead of cream. It’s healthier!

2. Go to the blue lagoon. Because it’s outside the city there are fewer city lights and therefore a higher chance you’ll see a clear starry sky while soaking in the naturally hot water. If it’s cold and clear enough you might even be so lucky as to see the northern lights.

3. Go to the movies. Icelanders are movie freaks. They are always up to date with the newest movie releases and they are specialists when it comes to actors and actresses’ names and role history. Most Icelanders will go to the movies a couple of times a month at least. The movies are big and have great sound quality.

4. Blow some fireworks if you’re there around the end of December or beginning of January. New Years eve in Iceland is unlike any other experience with the sky over all Reykjavík lit up in fireworks.

5. Try the local coffee shops on Laugarvegur, the main shopping street. Icelanders have high standards when it comes to coffee making and both their coffee and tea are as a matter of fact extremely high in quality! Some shops have loads of books and magazines you can read just to make your coffee experience a bit more cozy.

6. Go strolling downtown during the evening. Many bars and cafes will have live music performances from talented artists. Icelanders see Björk downtown quite often and you might too!

7. Go to Harpa to see a symphony concert! The Icelandic symphony has often held concerts where they play music from famous movies. Themes they have had in the past include “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings”.

8. Go downtown to play the classic arcade games!

9. Go skiing or snowboarding in the “Blue Mountains” (Bláfjöll).

10. If you’re there in the beginning of November make sure to go to the Icelandic Airwaves. Icelandic Airwaves is a platform for both popular and aspiring music bands and artists to play their music in public. Live music can be heard in multiple places in the heart of Reykjavík. You need tickets to go on venue but those who can’t afford tickets can still listen to loads of wonderful music, even famous artists, play off venue.

1. Forget deodorant in the morning.

2. Eat Taco Bell in your bed at midnight without pants.

3. Shut the world out for 6 hours to dedicate to Netflix documentaries.

4. Own a flannel sweatsuit.

5. Apply lip-gloss generously.

6. Spend an entire weekend rereading Anna Karenina for the eighth time.

7. Not care about morning breath until you’re actually out of bed.

8. Wear wool socks with gym shoes.

9. Wear wool socks with sandals.

10. Wear wool socks.

11. Take the pill a little later if you absolutely must.

12. Hide your hair under a Red Sox hat when dry shampoo stops working.

13. Eat an entire bag of potato chips in an hour.

14. Buy super bold makeup shades. You’ll wear that magenta lipstick exactly once, but it’s worth it.

15. Buy super high-heeled shoes without calculating how tall you’ll be in them.

16. Accept a drink from a nice guy at a bar (whether you’re attracted to him or simply because it’s free.)

17. Make chocolate milkshakes at 2 a.m. without worrying about waking someone up with the blender.

18. See how long your leg hair really is.

19. Sleep starfish style.

20. Girls’ night. Every weekend.

21. Make a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to pasta.

22. Turn your phone off for a day.

23. Pick up and leave for a little.

24. Have a self-tanner mishap.

25. Dye your hair turquoise.

26. Ugly cry during Up.

27. Pair jeans with gym shoes.

28. Explore the world of scented candles in great depth.

29. Make fantastically adventurous after-college plans.

30. Subscribe to more than five science magazines.

31. Have frozen blueberry waffles in your freezer.

32. Ask for breathing room.

33. Ask for silence.

34. Tweet incessantly at John Newman.

35. Have sleepovers.

36. Post double chin pictures of you and your friends on social media.

37. Swing dance with a stranger.

38. Wear tie-dye for a week straight.

39. Stay at your favorite wing at the art museum for as long as you want.

40. Become deeply acquainted with buffalo sauce.

41. Put buffalo sauce on everything.

42. Put off laundry for one more day.

43. Make the weird face you don’t even know you make half the time.

44. Paint your nails black because it feels right.

45. Spray your bed with too much lavender spray.

46. Flirt with your barista.

47. Drink a beer with your guy friends.

48. Self-seek.

49. Get a facial that may or may not make your face look like the surface of Mars for a couple days (but then Cupid’s butt shortly thereafter).

50. Order the garlic bread.