I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.
The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.
Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:
1. Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
2. It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you’re a legend.
By Nick Notas
We’ve heard it from every relationship advice column ever: communication is key. But what does that even mean? It’s like saying “be yourself” — great in theory but useless without context or practical application.
For years I thought I knew about good communication. I figured it boiled down to getting everything off your chest. And since I never shut up and would have heated emotional outbursts, I felt I was doing a fine job.
After multiple failed relationships, lots of reading, and serious self-analysis, I began to understand the real components of effective communication. Now, nearly three years into the healthiest and happiest relationship of my life, I’m ready to share my insight.
- Have regular bonding time. Don’t spend all your free moments together watching Netflix. Take even 30 minutes a night where you two hang out, talk, and show affection. This closeness promotes honest, vulnerable conversations.
- Don’t resent what they don’t know. Are you frustrated with something she did? Do you think she was being unfair? Did you tell her? If the answer is no, you have no right to be pissed off. Give her a chance to explain her side and apologize if necessary.
- Address your feelings as soon as possible. If there’s something on your mind (whether positive or negative), don’t delay telling her about it. Calmly describe how and why you’re feeling the way you do.
The same goes for when she asks you “What’s wrong?” or “What are you thinking about?” Replying, “Nothing”, “It doesn’t matter”, or “Don’t worry about it” are not valid answers. Again, how can anything get resolved if both parties don’t know the whole story?
- Set expectations early on. What do you want? What’s important to you in a relationship and in a partner? Do you need alone time regularly? Do you want to see your friends weekly? Is consistent sex a priority? Do you want to be monogamous?
Convey as much as possible from the start through discussion and action. If you pretend sex isn’t a priority, you can’t expect it daily a year later. Encourage your partner to share their expectations as well.
1. Took a lovely young lady Go-cart racing and followed it up with some laser tag. We ended up sitting on a hill drinking while the sunset, talking, making out for what seemed like hours.
2. To the airport, before the draconian days of the TSA and shoe-removal. I was a poor college student and had a date with a hot visual arts student with really short black hair and an ass you could bounce a quarter on. I had no money and was challenged to think of something different and creative. The airport was free. We people-watched, made up back stories for them, made up dialogues between people from far away, played spot-the-spy (every major airport must have at least one spy in it at all times. It’s a rule, I think). We walked up to those limo guys holding signs and pretended to be who they were looking for (“Hi we’re the Sniths. Oh, you’re looking for the Smiths. Never mind”) And when we were pretending to be spies, I told her our cover was blown and to follow my lead and kissed her. For a guy whose only exposure to anything smooth is a jar of Skippy, I’m still proud of that one. Then we went and watched planes take off and land, Wayne’s World style. We went on a few more dates, but nothing ever happened. Not even an under-the-shirt, over-the-bra squeeze. But that was still the best date I’ve ever been on.
3. She drove an hour and a half to meet me in a poorly-lit gas station parking lot. We had a lot of time to kill, so we went to a restaurant to eat and start getting to know one another. From there, we went to a divey bar for a drink, where an extremely trashed teenager kept us company and told us all about her ex-boyfriend. Eventually we left and went to a nearby park, where we made out until a policeman shooed us out of the park.
All of this was leading up to the midnight showing of an indie slasher movie I’d originally invited her down to see. We stole kisses through the whole movie and laughed our asses off (it was intentionally funny).
We were thirty years old but I felt like I was back in high school in all the best ways. Happy to say it was the first of many great dates. She’s the love of my life.
Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different—¦ After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had
1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5. It’s not your job to change or fix her—¦ your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
Myth #1 —“ Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 —“ Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 —“ Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 —“ Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
By Koty Neelis
You’re never alone.
The great thing about traveling is that even when you’re traveling through unfamiliar landscapes, surrounded by people you don’t know, you’re never truly alone. People are generally welcoming and friendly everywhere you go and striking up a conversation with someone can turn a stranger into a friend within minutes.
The world is a lot less scary than we think.
Often, the idea of traveling can seem overwhelming and frightening. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to interact with the world in a different way than we’re used to. By traveling the world you realize that people are mostly the same everywhere – good and kind and not out to harm you.
You can survive with a lot less than you think.
It’s easy to over pack for any trip but many times when you’re traveling you realize you only needed about half of what you actually brought. A great idea is to look up packing lists on your tablet for the region you’ll be visiting and reading what other travelers recommend. Pack your suitcase or backpack then look at what you have and eliminate anything unnecessary. You’ll thank yourself later when you want more room to bring home gifts.
You learn how to rely on others.
We’re so used to being independent adults taking care of ourselves but traveling is the one experience that brings us back to a childlike state. Everything is new and unknown and you look at everything with a sense of wonder and curiosity. You ask for directions or tips on where to go around town and realize a big part of your journey is relying on the kindness of strangers.
The world is filled with incredible food.
At home we’re so used to eating the same type of meals day in and day out but when you’re on the road you’re more likely to step outside of your comfort zone and try something you’ve never had before. While traveling you open yourself up to new experiences and realize just how amazing the food is all around the world.
You can have fun anywhere.
They often say it’s the journey, not the destination that makes a trip and that’s one of the greatest truths about traveling. You can make a connection with someone you’re sitting next to on a bus or while waiting to board your next flight. You learn to find joy in the small moments in your trip even if it’s just pulling your tablet out and sharing funny videos with the person sitting next to you.
It’s never too late to change.
Travel is all about change. You learn so much about yourself while on the road. It’s an introspective process that forces you to reflect on your life and who you are. When you put on your headphones and tune out the rest of the world you start thinking about everything going on in your life and what you’d like to do differently when you get back home.
You learn to relax.
Travel forces you to slow down and to become still for a moment. You put everything back at home on pause and learn not to worry about everything. These are the moments when we appreciate how amazing life truly is. In those quiet moments of reflection it’s great to grab your tablet and write about what you’ve seen thus far on your trip.
You learn how to question the status quo.
When you’re traveling abroad you see just how different things are compared to your own country and culture. You begin questioning things you’ve been so accustomed to your entire life, and you begin to have a new perspective on life and your cultural standards. Suddenly everything you thought you knew slightly changes and once you arrive back home you realize you’re no longer the same person as when you left.
You become more connected with the world around you.
You’re trying new foods, possibly learning new languages, and meeting people from various places around the world. Through these experiences you become more connected to the world in which we live and realize just how similar we are regardless of where we call home.
1. It’s hard to explain, but for me it’s that the sense of being part of some story where you are the protagonist kind of fizzles out unceremoniously and leaves you drifting for the rest of forever.
As a kid, you’re on a path, there’s a plan laid out for you, and whether you intentionally break from the plan or follow it to the letter, there’s this linear progression of growth, and an ultimate goal to strive for. You have allies, you have enemies, you have trials that you pass or fail, you have moments of catharsis, etc. You feel like part of a beautiful narrative, like the heroes in movies and books and tv shows and stories. You feel like there’s a right and a wrong way to go, and some ultimate fate waiting for you at the end that will sum up what all of it meant.
When you get to be an adult, that illusion crumbles away as you realize that you don’t have a narrative, there is no path or plan, things aren’t always linear, and you’re nobody’s hero. There are no allies, because friends can be both good and bad for you simultaneously. There are no enemies, because frankly no one cares enough to wage a personal war for long. You don’t have a destiny. You make choices that are more a product of random chance than you want to admit, and sometimes the consequences make sense, sometimes they don’t. You may flounder around in a bunch of different directions for many years, ultimately not making any progress, and having nothing of import to show for it. You’re not a good person or an evil person – you’re just an ant wandering around looking for crumbs. No, worse than an ant, because an ant has a purpose in life, to serve its queen and colony. You can choose to align yourself with a purpose, but it may never fulfill you or reward you. And nobody will be waiting with a shiny gold medal for you if you stick to it.
Life as an adult seems less and less like an exciting adventure story and more and more like a delerious, confusing fog of random developments and passing phases that raise more questions than they answer.
Edit: I somehow put my first edit in the middle of the text, which made it weird. But it said thank you very much for the gold and comments. I appreciate all the insights and solidarity, and the disagreement too.
I haven’t always felt this way about adulthood, and I probably won’t always feel exactly this way. It’s not as if everything’s hopeless, or that I’ll never try to find a direction for my life. It’s just that the realization of how small your impact actually is, and that you are not destined for anything great, and how subject you are to forces bigger than yourself – that’s a tough pill to swallow
1.When you’re going down the pub with your mates and you expect to be back around 11 tell her you’ll be back at around 12. So when you roll in the door at 11 you can claim you left early to see her before you both went to bed.
2. Once you’re in a long-term relationship/marriage, never stop dating your SO. There needs to be some sort of constant courtship to make them feel you still want them, even after all these months/years. I am an expert at not doing this.
3. “You’re not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”
4.“Marry someone with a different favorite cereal than you so they won’t eat all of yours.” You’d be amazed how much more peaceful life is this way.
5. Best response to: “my SO has changed, and it’s just not working any more”.
“If people can change, then that change is ongoing. Marriage is a beautiful thing that allows two people the time and space to safely fall in and out of love many, many times. Your wife could again become sexual just as easily as a new woman could become cold. I would plead with you to tend your own garden and be patient in its fruits. Paths that have intersected in the past are all the more likely to cross again soon.”
6. Don’t look for a girl you want to treat like a princess, look for a girl you want to treat like a partner. Its very true. I don’t mind carrying my SO, but I need to know she can carry me if I feel down
7. No relationship is perfect and there will be conflict. What matters is the desire to solve the problem.
8. Just because a person is right or perfect for you that you may not be the right one for them.
9. “A relationship is like a fart. If you have to force it, it’s probably shit.”
10. Don’t go into a relationship expecting to be made happy. You have to be able to be happy on your own first.