New Girl: Season 3
New Girl: Season 3

People always say that when you are in love you just know. And yet, no one can really explain what it’s like to be in love. Whenever you ask someone what it feels like to be in love, they always struggle to come up with a good answer. It is for this reason that love is also the most complicated of all the emotions. And as easy as it is to know that you are in love, it is also easy to mistake certain feelings for love, especially after a breakup.

After a break up (especially if you are the one who got dumped) your thoughts and emotions are all over the place. It can be difficult to sort out any feelings you have, but especially the feelings toward your ex.

So when you’re in your room alone on a Friday night, thinking about your ex with a bottle of Jack Daniels listening to ‘that song’ over and over again, maybe it’s time to take a breath and evaluate the kinds of thoughts you’ve been having. Sometimes realizing that the feelings you’ve been having aren’t love is a huge step in getting over your ex.

So if you’re feeling confused here are a few signs that you aren’t still in love with your ex, even if you think that you are.

1. You Want Their Current Relationship To Fail

I know what you’re thinking, “Of course I want (insert ex’s name here)’s relationship to fail, because I love him/her and I want them to be with me!” Now while you might want nothing more than for your ex to leave the person they are with and come back to you, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you still love them.

If you still loved your ex, you be understandably depressed if they were with someone else, but you still wouldn’t want their current relationship to fail. When you love someone, you want the best for them. You want them to be as happy as possible. Even if them being happy means that they need to be with someone who isn’t you.

2. You Want Nothing More Than For Them To Contact You, But You Don’t Want To Contact Them

We’ve all been there. We sleep with our phones within arms reach, and we look for texts from them the moment we wake up. Whenever we see the little green dot on gchat/facebook messenger that says they’re online, we stare at it like we’re Jay Gatsby staring at the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock.

We constantly check and stare at our various communication devices, praying that they will call. But we never call them. Why is that? What stops us from contacting them ourselves? Is it pride? Or fear? Or both? Ultimately it doesn’t matter.

If you want them to come to you, but are unwilling to go to them, then you don’t love them. You just want them to come back so you can feel better about yourself. You want that self-satisfying knowledge that they came running back to you. You want their pride to break first.

But love isn’t a power struggle. It isn’t a contest to see who can hold out the longest. If you love someone; then you’re willing to put forget your pride, and face whatever fears you have, and go to them yourself.

*Note: This should go without saying, but the opposite is also true. If you are constantly calling and texting your ex, and not getting the hint, that isn’t love either. That is obsession, and that is the opposite of healthy behavior.

3. You Want To Win The Breakup

Once the initial depression stage of the breakup is over, however long it takes, it’s very common for people to want to become the best versions of themselves. People get new haircuts, they update their wardrobe, they get in shape, they go after a promotion at their jobs, etc.

This is a perfectly natural thing to do. It’s often a very beneficial process for people to go through. I would even go so far as to say that it’s ok to want to improve yourself to spite your ex. Nothing lights a fire under our asses like the desire to prove something to someone, especially when that person has hurt or wronged us in some way. So go ahead, think about your ex while you’re going for that run. It will only make you run further and faster.

But again, this isn’t love. As I said earlier, love shouldn’t be a competition. There’s a difference between trying to be the best person you can be for another person, and being the best you can be to prove something to someone. And honestly, that fire you get from being mad at your ex will eventually burn out. But by the time it does, you’ll want to keep making these improvements simply because you like this version of yourself.
4. In Your Dreams, They Take On A Generic Boyfriend/Girlfriend Role, Instead Of Being Themselves.

Psychologists have been saying for decades that dreams are our wish fulfillment. In our dreams we see what we truly want. But what we actually see is usually very open to interpretation.

People often dream about their exes for years after they break up. A lot of people (myself included) think this means that they are still in love with them. But this isn’t necessarily so. Sometimes if you see your ex in a dream, it means that you just want to have what you had with them. You want to have those feelings for someone again.

But how do you know the difference? You have to really examine your dream. You need to look at the context in which you are seeing your ex.

When you dream about your ex, what are you doing with them? Are you doing generic couple-y things? Like going on dinner dates, watching a sunset, or making love? Or are you dreaming about specific memories of them, or in such a way that their personality really comes through? If your dreams are more like the latter then that might be a sign that you are still in love with them. But if your dreams are more like the former, then you might not specifically want them in your life. You just want to have those feelings for someone again, but you associate those feelings with them.

5. You Get A Stronger Reaction From A Facebook Pic Than You Do When You See Them In Real Life

When your ex posts a photo on any social media, you’re probably going to feel all kinds of emotions. And most of them will probably not be pleasant. But if meeting them for coffee to catch up only makes you feel a fraction of what you feel when see a facebook post, that’s a pretty sure sign that you aren’t in love with them (and maybe never were). What it means is that you are in love with the idea of them.

In today’s social media obsessed world, this is very easy to do; especially when said social media allows you to see what your ex is doing almost 24/7. The problem with this is that if your only interaction with someone is on social media, then you are inevitably going to see the person through rose-colored glasses.

That’s because we only show the most interesting things about ourselves on social media. We only instagram pictures from the best events we attend and meals we have, and then we add a filter to make it look even better. We spend an hour thinking about how to word a tweet in such a way to make it as funny as possible without seeming like we are making an effort to be funny. We take the same selfie at least five times to get the angle just right.

But I guarantee you that everyone is exaggerating on social media to some extent. And on facebook you never see a person’s flaws, or imperfections. I.e. we never see what makes them truly unique. And when we spend hours stalking our exes’ perfectly curated social media presence, it’s very easy for our perceptions of them to become a little warped.

Love has confused both men and women since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so until the end of time. So my friends, if you are feeling confused about someone from your past, don’t be afraid to take a step back and really look at your feelings. It might be scary at times, and it probably won’t be easy. But you will be thankful that you did. TC mark

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© Tomas Castelazo, / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
© Tomas Castelazo, / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Forget all the urban legends and ghost stories and “scary” Hollywood movies: These cases are all real, and they all happened on Halloween.

1. Man stabs girlfriend to death over missing bag of Halloween candy.

Level Peoples (Cook County Sheriff's Office)
Level Peoples (Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

On Chicago’s South Side in 2011, 55-year-old Ledell Peoples blamed his girlfriend for stealing his bag of Halloween treats. An argument ensued and 49-year-old Maria Adams threw a plate at Peoples’s head, which struck him above the eye and caused a gash. Peoples then grabbed a knife and stabbed her multiple times, killing her.

2. Father poisons his son with Halloween candy.

Ronald Clark O'Bryan (Harris County Police Department)
Ronald Clark O’Bryan (Harris County Police Department)

People purposely poisoning strangers’ Halloween candy is mostly the stuff of urban legend, but this 1974 case in Deer Park, TX involves a father who laced his son’s Pixy Stix with cyanide with the intent to kill him so he could collect on an insurance policy. The father, Ronald Clark O’Bryan, had fallen deeply into debt, so he decided to claw his way out of his self-inflicted money hole by murdering his son. He purchased potassium cyanide, sprinkled it inside five Pixy Stix straws, crudely stapled them all shut, and handed them out to his son, daughter, and three other neighborhood kids. To avoid suspicion, his plot was to kill them all and blame a neighbor.

After trick-or-treating, O’Bryan’s 11-year-old son Timothy, apparently at his father’s urging, swallowed the Pixy Stix powder and complained that it tasted bitter. He soon began vomiting uncontrollably and was dead before reaching the hospital. O’Bryan was found guilty of murder and died via lethal injection. He subsequently earned the sobriquets “The Candy Man” and “The Man Who Killed Halloween.”

3. Man confronts kids who egged his car and gets shot.

While driving his girlfriend and her son home through the notoriously dangerous South Bronx on Halloween in 1998, twenty-one-year-old computer programmer Karl Jackson had his car egged by a group of local ne’er-do-wells. Jackson stepped out of the car to confront them and got back in the car after a brief argument. One of the youths got into a car to pursue Jackson. They caught up with him a few blocks later and shot him dead in the head.

4. Seven-year-old boy shot to death while trick-or-treating.

Seven-year-old Tony Bagley was wearing a skeleton costume and trick-or-treating with his sister, mother, and aunt early on Halloween night in 1994 on the north side of Las Vegas. A man in a hooded sweat suit leaped out of nowhere and fired at the family before hopping in a getaway car, which peeled away with its lights off. Bullets hit Tony’s sister in the liver, his aunt in the leg, and his mother in the chest, but they all survived. Tony did not. His biological father, who reportedly never commented to the police on Tony’s death, was arrested a few years later for an unrelated street shooting. Tony’s murder remains unsolved.

5. Man answers front door on Halloween, is shot to death.

Back in 1957, Los Angeles resident Peter Fabiano was having marriage problems with his wife Betty that led her to briefly leave their house and shack up with a woman named Joan Rabel. After Peter and Betty reconciled and she moved back in with him, Rabel became consumed with jealousy. She conspired with another woman, Goldyne Pizer, to murder Fabiano on Halloween, reasoning that it was the best night of the year to wear a mask without engendering suspicion. Rabel put together a costume for Pizer consisting of red gloves, face paint, and a mask. The pair sat for two hours outside the Fabiano residence on Halloween night waiting for the house’s bedroom lights to be turned off. When the lights went out, Pizer walked up to the house and rang the doorbell. Fabiano answered, probably anticipating a late-night trick-or-treater. Pizer shot him dead in the chest with a .38-caliber handgun.

6. Trick-or-Treaters knock on man’s door and he blasts them with an AK-47.

On Halloween night in 2008, convicted drug dealer Quentin Patrick of Sumter, SC heard a knock on his door. Assuming it was rival gang members, he grabbed his full-auto AK-47 and blasted at least 29 bullets through his front door at them. Eleven of those bullets hit 12-year-old trick-or-treater T.J. Darrisaw, killing him. T.J.’s father and younger brother were also hit but survived.

7. Preacher strangles woman to death, then dresses her son up for Halloween.

Although he’d previously served separate prison sentences for stabbing one woman and murdering another, John D. White was paroled and became the pastor of a small Michigan church. Living in a trailer park, he became romantically involved with a female resident a few trailers down and would frequently babysit the woman’s three-year-old grandson. On Halloween night 2012—while the three-year-old boy was in the trailer—White knocked the boy’s mother out with a rubber mallet and strangled her to death with a plastic zip tie. He stuffed her in a garbage bag and dumped her in the woods. Then he returned to the trailer and dressed the boy in a Halloween costume, whereupon the boy’s father came by to pick him up. After being arrested for murder, White told police his crime was part of a lingering fantasy to have sex with a corpse, but that he’d “forgot” whether or not he completed that act.

8. Teen allegedly rapes elderly nun and stabs her to death.

From all available evidence, Johnny Lee Garrett endured a brutal childhood of physical torture and sexual abuse that rendered him psychotic and brain-damaged. After examining him, one psychologist said that Garrett’s life story was “one of the most virulent histories of abuse and neglect…I have encountered in 28 years of practice.”

In 1981 when Garrett was 17, a 76-year-old nun in Amarillo, TX was raped and stabbed to death in the early morning hours of Halloween. Garrett’s fingerprints were found on her headboard. In a statement that he refused to sign, police quote him as confessing to the murder:

There was a nun in bed and she acted as if she was going to scream. I covered her mouth so she couldn’t make any noise….I started choking her until she passed out. I had sex with her. I left the convent the way I came in.

Garrett later denied murdering her and instead claimed to have burglarized the convent a few days before Halloween. Still, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Although it seemed like an open-and-shut case, details emerged that cast doubt on Garrett’s culpability. Such details include a prosecutor who wound up killing himself, a forensic investigator who was convicted of falsifying evidence in multiple cases, and a convicted murderer who told police that he was the one who’d raped and killed the nun. The doubt was so formidable that even the Pope petitioned the Texas governor not to execute Garrett for the nun’s murder. But after a brief reprieve, Garrett was executed in 1992.

9. The “Tool Box Killers” torture a female hitchhiker to death while tape-recording it.

Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris were known as the “Tool Box Killers” because they routinely employed implements such as pliers and hammers in their unconscionably vicious series of kidnap/rape/torture/murders of five teenage California girls in 1979.

The last of these murders, that of 16-year-old Shirley Ledford, occurred after they spotted Ledford hitchhiking home from a Halloween party. They picked her up in their van, and over the course of hours, they bound and gagged her, smashed her elbow repeatedly with a hammer, sodomized her with pliers, and finally strangled her to death with a wire coat hanger before dumping her on a random front lawn.

During the course of Ledford’s murder, they tape-recorded themselves taunting her while she screamed for mercy. Norris was later quoted as saying:

We’ve all heard women scream in horror films … still, we know that no one is really screaming. Why? Simply because an actress can’t produce some sounds that convince us that something vile and heinous is happening. If you ever heard that tape, there is just no possible way that you’d not begin crying and trembling. I doubt you could listen to more than a full sixty seconds of it.

10. Man stabs and kills woman in Betty Boop costume.

Jeremy Bryan Jones was a drifter and self-proclaimed ladies’ man who was raised in Oklahoma but wound up in Georgia. He eventually befriended a woman who allowed him to stay at her home. On Halloween night 2012, after making up the woman’s 12-year-old son and the boy’s friend in makeup so they’d resemble Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS, Jones went to a popular tavern in Douglasville, GA, where he stabbed a woman wearing a Betty Boop costume to death in the parking lot.

11. Man wearing Scream mask shoots and kills Brooklyn teen.

Last Halloween a man wearing a ghost-face mask that resembled the killer in the movie Scream shot and killed 19-year-old Anthony Seaberry on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. The case remains unsolved.

12. Man rapes, tortures, and kills nine-year-old girl.

On Halloween night in 1973, nine-year-old Lisa French of Fond du Lac, WI dressed up as a hobo and went trick-or-treating. After she rang the doorbell of neighbor Gerald Turner, he took her into his house and shut the door behind her. Turner would later write:

I can still see you standing in the doorway with that felt hat beaming at having recognized me….Then I see the delight in your eyes turn to fear as I close the door behind you….

He raped her, killed her, stuffed her body in a plastic bag, and dumped it in a field. Although he was convicted of her murder, he was later paroled and would go on to file a discrimination complaint when Waste Management of Madison refused to hire him.

13. Serial killer cuts girl into three pieces, buries her.

Richard Biegenwald (New Jersey Department of Corrections)
Richard Biegenwald (New Jersey Department of Corrections)

Like many males who grow up to be killers, Richard Biegenwald had a childhood stuffed to the gills with beatings and trauma. Very early on, he also displayed psychotic behavior of his own. At five, he set fire to the family house. He was drinking at age eight. At nine, he received electroshock therapy. At eleven, he attempted to set himself on fire.

One of his estimated five murders occurred on Halloween night in 1981. Seventeen-year-old Maria Ciallella of Brick, NJ had been out trick-or-treating late at night. Shortly after midnight, a patrolman spotted her walking alone on Route 88 in the direction of her house. Around 10 minutes later he had turned around back to offer her a ride, but she was already gone. Her corpse was later found chopped into three pieces and buried in the yard of Biegenwald’s mother’s house on Staten Island. TC mark

Read Jim Goad’s terrifying yet amusing ebook about fending off fans turned stalkers.


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Maybe we are.
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1. Stop worrying about how other people are living vs. the way you live. Embrace the ordinary.

There’s a lot of us well into our twenties and thirties who are still living the lives we thought we’d have left behind already: working dead-end jobs, overwhelmed with student debt, living in our parents’ homes or driving cars that hardly start. The challenge of our generation is that what worked out in the past no longer works. But in a time of uncertainty, there is unlimited potential. Forget the stress of what isn’t working in your favor and figure out what is.

Who cares if that girl on Instagram has twelve thousand followers, lives in a Manhattan loft and drinks juice for every meal? She has nothing to do with your life, and you shouldn’t be getting down on yourself for not living the same lifestyle. Maybe you’re in Laramie, Wyoming or Newark, New Jersey — it doesn’t matter. Imagine yourself on a platform where thousands of people could see you. What positive aspects of your life would you show off? What would you want to represent? Embrace those things. Embrace your ordinary.

2. Allow yourself to be creative.

The first thing you should do when you wake up — before you check your phone, open your laptop or turn on the morning news — is work your expressive side. Your mind is fresh and palpable, and whatever ideas come to you will be your own, rather than the regurgitated ideas of someone else. Keep a notebook on your bedside table and utilize it.

It doesn’t matter what type of art interests you, and the subject of your work is irrelevant; doodle if you’re an illustrator, think of a few jokes if you’re a comic, write a haiku if you’re a poet. It doesn’t matter how good or bad your work is, because what you produce is not supposed to be some kind of high art for exhibition. Too often we are imprisoned by the idea that art has to exist in forms that are already glorified. This morning exercise exists to get you developing your own ideas, and, over time, will allow you to be more comfortable with the creative way your mind works.

3. Embrace what you are instead of trying to be what you are not.

My entire life, I really wanted to be funny. In grade school, I envied my classmates who met the teacher’s questions with a witty response to break the mundane silence of the lecture. In high school, I studied the movies I saw as brilliant to learn the time frame of comedic relief. After college, I tried my hand at stand up, and while there weren’t crickets in the audience, there weren’t roaring swells of laughter either. Finally, I realized I could enjoy comedy without having to partake as an entertainer. I just wasn’t built for it. I’m able to look at my skill set now and be happy with the hand I was dealt. The patience and motivation I was given in terms of communication and writing compensate for my lack of a funny bone. So if you don’t possess an eye for aesthetic and thus aren’t a natural photographer, or if you want to be a movie critic but hate independent films with inconclusive endings, that’s okay. You should never force anything. Just figure out what your strong suits are and how to apply them to what you love.

4. Support others and let go of the past.

Let’s do ourselves a favor and stop with the name calling, okay? That girl is not basic, the guy is not thirsty, your ex is not evil. We’re all just trying our best, ultimately for the sake of being loved. Remember: the attitude someone projects is just a call for some aspect of personality to be recognized. If you don’t like what someone is projecting, ignore it. The most successful people don’t talk poorly behind the backs of others; they’d rather spend time improving themselves. So while you’re working on being nice, work on weeding out the people who affect you negatively. You don’t have to remove them from your life in a harsh way, but recognize that a past relationship, whether it is a romance or a friendship, didn’t fail by chance. The past doesn’t belong in the present, and if you’re confronted, a gentle explanation of why you no longer choose to spend time with them is more respectable than lying.

5. Do something for yourself.

Sometimes life feels unbearable, like you are going to break any minute. But you don’t break. You keep fighting, even if it means fists raised in the dark. It’s human nature to keep going, to strive forward despite the heavy weight on our shoulders. But look around you now — you’re calm, centered, reading this instead of thinking about the pain. I’m here to tell you that you deserve something good for holding it together. Order dinner from your favorite restaurant for carry out. Pick up the book you’ve been wanting to read and curl up on the couch. Plan an adventure for the coming weekend. Do anything that is helpful to your mental well-being and commit to being present while doing whatever it is. It’s important to break out of your comfort zone, to feel good without feeling guilty.

6. Make a list of what qualities you want to have and what you’d like to accomplish.

We all did this as children in grade school, whether it was in the form of a t-chart or a letter to our future selves. Maybe it seemed futile then and it can seem futile now, but it does reflect our ideas of ourselves and where we’d like to go from here. You don’t have to figure out how you’re going to accomplish something, only that you will.

I’ve often asked my friends the question: “what would you do if you could do anything, money no option?” and it shocked me that most of them had no idea, until one of them turned the tables and asked me the same question. I didn’t know, either. Because it’s easy to get lost in a virtual world of far-off events and products we don’t have, it’s important to respect our own real-life interests enough to define them. When we’ve made this list, we can at least then see who we are vs. who we want to be, and work on improving areas that doesn’t match up entirely.

Bonus points for re-reading the list daily, so over time we can realize how we’ve grown and how far we’ve come. (If you’re not a “list” person but rather visually oriented, draw a picture. Cut out pictures in magazines and make a collage. Figure out a way you can physically see what you want from yourself. After you figure out what you want from yourself, demand it.)

7. Take out the trash. Do what you’re putting off.

I know, I know, there was no sign posted and that parking ticket totally wasn’t your fault. You’ve been eyeing the orange envelope on your kitchen counter for weeks, and every time you leave the grocery store you cross your fingers and hope there’s no boot on your car. Suck it up and either contest it or pay the damn thing. That extra stress weighing on you isn’t doing you any good, and it takes away from your enjoyment of the little things.

You can’t check out that good-looking specimen of a human loading groceries in the trunk if you’re straining your neck looking for cops. Take a deep breath and chill out. Take care of the things you’ve been putting off for your own mental health, and from now on, deal with them as they come to you. Clean your closet. Sell your Pokemon cards on eBay. The fewer stresses you have to deal with, the better off you are.

8. Break a bad habit.

We’ve all got our vices and it’s time to give them up. Whether it’s smoking or allowing yourself to be half of an abusive relationship, you have to stop. There’s no point in partaking in something you know is harmful to you. Consciously, you’re caught up in the habit of it, but unconsciously, you’re driving down your self worth. You deserve more. You have to value your life enough to know when to say, “No, I refuse to allow myself to be a victim of circumstance.” Stand up, because if you can’t stand up to yourself, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have a problem standing up to someone else. You are your own worst enemy and best friend. Be nicer to yourself. Start right now.

9. Get dressed. Pull yourself together. Develop a routine.

It’s easy to sleep until you absolutely have to wake up, but it’s more beneficial to develop some pride and take care of yourself. Eat a good breakfast. Allow yourself the time you need to shower and get ready. Appearances aren’t everything, but you know as well as I do that you’ll have a much better day if you’re feeling good about yourself. It’s also important to develop a routine. Even if your job doesn’t allow you the luxury of a fixed schedule, make sure you’re fitting in time for self-care every day.

It doesn’t have to be a fixed routine, but shoot for at least a half hour a day to exercise, relax, and be productive. I don’t mean be productive in the sense of doing something for your job. I mean to invest in yourself, not for financial gain but because you want to. Paint. Volunteer. Garden. Whatever it is that increases your own value in your eyes. Every day. Don’t fall asleep with the TV on or with your fingers glued to your phone; make a conscious decision to go to bed and rest. And every week, do something on a bigger scale that makes you feel good — sign up for a cooking class, go to yoga, ride that bike path close to your house. And no matter what, don’t let anyone else make you feel selfish for doing these things. You aren’t good to anyone else if you aren’t good to yourself first.

10. Feel good about where you are.

In the digital age, everyone shows off the highlights of their lives via photo albums and status updates. But because the normal moments fall far below the radar, we all feel insecure at times, wondering if we messed up or why our lives seem so mundane. When you feel down, remember to look up. Try to feel happy, and if you can’t do that, at least feel hopeful that things will turn in your favor.

Hold your head high, knowing you’ve done the best you could. We all have, so remember that too. Be confident; confidence is sexier than worry. And remember that this is only one moment in the long line of your life, and that it will pass. Things will get better. So feel the moment in full, and be conscious of your life this second because soon it will be gone. Learn to love the present moment, even if you have nothing more in the present moment than hope for the future. TC mark

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The feeling of being “inspired” is very often just finding something brilliant, and trying to emulate it. The rush and desire makes us manic and driven because we think we are actively becoming greater than ourselves. We find something we perceive as so great, we want others to perceive us – our take, our idea, our belief, our creation of it – similarly. But the foundation of that is what we are not. That’s why we have to find it, that’s why we run dry. It is not inherent or internal – at least the whirlwind, overwhelming kind of inspiration isn’t.

Acting without feeling inspired is us saying what we naturally know, feel and think, and this is vulnerability. When we believe that we must be inspired by an idea to create something of it, it is a mechanism to avoid placing ourselves bare into something that other people can judge.

The same goes for the idea of “passion.” Passion is the crazy, grandiose, brilliant idea for the epic novel, but it is not the every day work that gets it written. Ryan Holiday just wrote about this idea, in that Passion Is The Problem, Not The Solution.

Passion does not get the work done. Passion does not sustain you for more than a moment’s worth, neither does inspiration. It is not what gets your ass on the floor and your fingers on the keyboard and your mind in a space of determination. Please take my word for this.

But we’ve based most of our cultural aspirations on these ideas. That is to say, we’re supposed to choose what we feel consistently strongly about, and pursue it madly and wildly and at any cost. It’s why, I think, so many people feel lost. Because they don’t feel compelled by a single, conveniently-career-transmutable activity or idea (and most people aren’t supposed to… I have a hard time believing that “life purpose,” if it exists, is an isolated experience or job or action.)

You’ve probably heard (and read countless articles and studies) on why “following your passion” is the worst career advice you can get (“passion” is something you build; it’s what comes after you do something you enjoy repeatedly and gain skill and accolade, etc.) It’s not something that comes over you one day, at least not to any conceivable end.

But we don’t want to misstep. We want to base our decisions on something solid, on a singular purpose, on the truth gauge we’re promised we have. We are basing our life choices on feelings that other things give us, rather than the instincts we naturally have, and we’re calling that intuition.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea that you should do something each day that is fulfilling, but there is something dangerously misleading about the idea that you should feel passionately inspired each day (it insinuates there is no work, or rather, work shouldn’t feel like work.)

This makes happiness “good” and anything else “bad.” This makes the spectrum of emotions that human beings are meant to experience obsolete. This closes us off and stoppers our progress. This is how we induce our own suffering, by believing that the things that are “meant to be,” that are actions of passion and divine grandeur are going to make us feel consistently “good.”

If we were “meant” to feel good all the time, it wouldn’t be such a struggle. And we create that struggle for ourselves. Every time we look to something else to give us that high, we externalize our purpose. We step over vulnerability, we idealize a certain feeling, a certain job, a certain partner, and that’s it, it becomes the end goal, the only goal, the only way we’ll be content.

Passion is not what gets the job done. It is not what sustains a relationship or a career. Inspiration will not “find you” every single day. If you believe it’s supposed to, you’ll only be a failure in your own mind.

These things are drops, not constants. They are sparks, not flames.

You can prove this to yourself by the sheer fact that in retrospect, you probably realize you do not value the isolated moments of inspired thought as much as you do the work and love you consciously choose to put into them every single day to create something out of them. You value what you make, what you choose. Not what happens upon you. TC mark

image – girl/afraid

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Imagine going to the doctor for whatever reason. He or she diagnoses the problem and the two of you mutually agree upon a desirable option to solve the problem. Then, right when you’re about to take care of it, she says, “Oh, now you’re going to have to wait three days because the government doesn’t think you know what’s best for yourself.”

That’s what’s happening to women all across the United States thanks to 72-hour imposed waiting period on abortions.

What if you get pregnant because of a rape, molestation, or incest? If you’re in Missouri or South Dakota, you’re out of luck, you still need to take three days to think about what you did.

Half of all states have a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours, but Missouri, South Dakota and Utah took it a step further. And sorry not sorry, if your pregnancy falls on a weekend or holiday, you’ve got to wait even longer.

According to a recent study, more restrictions were passed on abortions between 2011 and 2013 than at any other period during the preceding decade. The abortion-hating choo choo train continues on election day next Tuesday, Nov. 4th.

Colorado, Tennessee, and North Dakota all have proposed amendments to their constitutions that would further restrict abortions. Colorado and North Dakota have personhood measures, which would define the fetus as a person in criminal proceedings. The Tennessee measure would allow legislatures to pass abortion legislation more easily.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sharply oppose personhood measures, saying that they, “erode women’s basic rights to privacy and bodily integrity; deny women access to the full spectrum of preventive health care including contraception; and undermine the doctor-patient relationship.”

But who cares what they say, they’re just the doctors most knowledgeable about women’s health, what do they know?

Jennifer Mason of Personhood USA says that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution requires equal protection under the law for everybody, “…so we believe that every human being, regardless of their location, whether they’re in the womb or out of it, deserves those protections and those rights.”

Waiting periods aka Rape Time-Out Corners, new definitions of scientifically proven medical facts… what’s up with all this concern with women’s vaginias? Imagine the explosion that would happen if there were a 72-hour waiting period on men seeking a Viagra perscription.

I can literally think of so many other things I’d much rather the government impose a three-day waiting period on people doing. Like…

  1. Getting Big Gulps.
  2. Posting Instagram photos of whatever you’re eating.
  3. Posting Facebook pics of your baby.
  4. Status updates that include your current mood.
  5. OkCupid sending that “Quiver” email.
  6. LinkedIn letting me know that dummy asked to follow me.
  7. Websites posting those ads that start to play without my consent.
  8. Any phone call ever.
  9. Inviting people to Facebook events.
  10. Inviting people to “Like” your Facebook page.
  11. My mother asking if I have a boyfriend.
  12. My compulsive obsession with bread.
  13. Debt collectors calling.
  14. Turning in my timesheet.
  15. Basically turning in anything ever.
  16. Between dates (I’m getting older and tired).
  17. Google’s launch of Google Plus.

Point being, conservatives talk a lot about getting the government out of our lives, even though they consistently have their faces down the pants of every woman in the United States. There’s a reason Roe v. Wade was passed, and it was because the United States recognizes the right of women to make their own medical decisions. Imposing waiting periods and redefining scientific facts are just swarmy ways of getting around a constitutionally proven issue: that women have a right to an abortion. TC mark

featured image – Shutterstock

Thought Catalog

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quotes on we heart it

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Ghost World
Ghost World

1. We’re always messing with you

Don’t take it too seriously. We’re playful, like cats with laser pointers. You’re the cat and we’re the laser pointer. Or something, I don’t know. Just take the joke and throw it back, okay?

2. Mean comments are displays of affection

There’s nothing more intimate or affectionate than me calling you an asshole and kissing you afterwards, trust.

3. We remember everything

That time you tripped outside the movie theatre, that embarrassing picture of you dressed as a LAX bro on Halloween freshman year. We like to keep our joke bank fresssssh, so don’t think that anything goes unnoticed or is off limits.

4. You can make fun of us too

We can honestly take a joke, even about our appearance. It’s fun when you bite back.

5. We come off cocky, but it’s a front

We’ll say inflated things about our appearance, like “I’m just so gorgeous” or “damn I look good” when we’re at our worst. We’re not infallible and we don’t spend hours on our faces. We don’t actually think we’re the shit…well, okay, we kind of are, but we will not say it like that.

6. If you don’t know if we’re joking, safe to assume we’re joking

The default mode of your phone is silent, and the default mode of my mouth is sarcastic.

7. We ARE laughing at you. But that’s because we like you

I wouldn’t laugh at you if I didn’t think you could laugh at me too. Your misery might make me smile, but only because I want to be the one to help you up and hug you after you fall down.

8. We have soft, gooey centers under the hard exteriors

We’re like rude Entenmann’s cookies. We’re only this sarcastic because we have mad layers of depth and feelings. For every mean thing we joke about, we have five more nice things to say about you.

9. If I’m ignoring you in a big group, it means I like you, yes you, the one I’m not talking to

Don’t get used to the loads of attention we pay you when we’re alone. We’re not really about PDA or making you feel like royalty when there are a bunch of people around. We’ll never be the ball and chain, and the more we ignore you, the more we can make eyes at you and mouth “I hate you,” which is basically a sign of head-over-heels, stupid crazy affection.

10. I hate you = I love you

Always. Always. Always.

11. Learn to take a little hit

We’ll shove you, playfully slap you for a good joke, and obviously hit you with a verbal shot to your glass jaw. The better you take it, the more we love you.

12. We will say something really mean and immediately wish we didn’t say it

It’s almost like sarcasm is this involuntary reaction and we. can’t. stop. being. sarcastic.

13. We will occasionally say something incredibly sincere, but you won’t notice because you’ll think we’re being sarcastic

..And then we feel pretty foolish for putting ourselves out there.

14. There’s nothing in my eye

I am actually having an emotional reaction to something. I’m not sure what this salty watery substance is coming out of my eyeballs right now but it happens sometimes when I get upset. You don’t need to stare at me like I’m on fire. I have feelings!

15. I actually have a lot of feelings

I’m not an emotionless robot, I’m just a sardonic lady. I like to joke and mess around, but that doesn’t mean I’m a stoic rock.

16. I know it may not seem like it, but I’m not trying to play it cool

We are so sensitive, if that wasn’t obvious by now. Too sensitive. Could be why we are so sarcastic, but whatever, that’s dumb, we cool, we cool.

17. We’re bad with making moves

We truly, honestly do not know how to give you the signal that we like you or that we care about you. We are hoping you will see through our sarcasm and see we’re basically dying for you to notice us.

18. Being sincere doesn’t come easy

So when we get serious, you need to pay attention. (Or like cherish it or whatever).

19. In the truest reality, you’re dating a sensitive, affectionate, loving lady

Sarcastic girls are really the sweetest girls. Just shut up about it, okay? TC mark

Thought Catalog

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