By Ryan O’Connell
Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage!
Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “oh my god, so sick. need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all.
Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you.
Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “hey babe! i like you okay. do you wanna grab lunch? i think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!” It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love.
Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to.
Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them.
Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
1. Being in a happy relationship means that you will never again feel_______ (insert depressed, lonely, scared, insecure, etc).
As an awkward girl who spent most of high school and college dateless, I often thought that being in a relationship would somehow “solve” all my problems. Thinking that being in a relationship will instantly solve your problems is a pipe dream. A happy, loving relationship is one life’s greatest joys, but it can’t solve the things you don’t like about yourself. You have to do that, with work.
2. Being good at school means you’ll be good at work. Achieving academically by no means guarantees workplace success. I’ve had to swallow a big humility pill as I watch former fellow students who struggled through classes I breezed through now massively outpace me in career achievement. Being a great student does not mean you’ll be great in the workplace. And that’s OK.
3. Physical fitness doesn’t matter, being thin matters. Being skinny does not matter. Being physically fit really, really matters. Eat lots of healthful food and get tons of exercise. Ignore the scale.
4. Everyone has to like you. Inevitably, someone will always dislike you. I wish I had figured this out a lot earlier and stopped trying so hard and worrying so much about it. I could have used all that time and put it to doing something far more fun and interesting, like learning a new language or playing the piano. Heck, watching Project Runway reruns would have been a better use of time.
5. Quit something when you fail. Just because you fail at something does not mean you should quit, especially if it gives you joy or stretches you mentally. Everyone fails. Keep trying.
6. Getting rejected is the worst thing that can happen. It really isn’t. In fact, it can be a really good thing. Whether it was getting dumped or getting fired from a job, looking back I can honestly say that rejection taught me far more and had long-lasting positive benefits beyond whatever successes I’ve had. Getting fired from my first office job made me realize that no one in the working world cared about my kickass 100 page honors thesis on Jonathan Franzen and that I better learn some real workplace skills, fast. Getting fired and waking up the next day as usual made me realize that failure isn’t the end of the world. Getting dumped taught me the difference between a good and a bad relationship, something I already knew inside but refused to accept until the bad relationship was over. Getting dumped made me a better person for the amazing man I get to be married to today. When rejection teaches you something new and positive, then that’s actually a pretty great thing.
7. Talking is more powerful than listening. I’m a lot quieter and more introverted these days and happier being so. Not all silence needs to be filled.
8. Changing your location will make you happy. I’ve believed this and I see many people in their early 20s who believe the same so they travel, take off to a new city or get a nicer place. Happiness is more internal than anything.
9. Friends from childhood will be your lifelong friends. 20s are a decade for personal transformation and you’ll naturally grow apart from people. It’s not because either of you are bad people, but because you just outgrew each other.
10. You can always get healthy later. When you’re younger, other parts of your body are stronger and can compensate for poor health habits, i.e. junk food, soda, alcohol, smoking, etc. You think it’ll always be easy to get back into shape or become healthy. But in reality, health habits take time to build there’s never a better time to start than now.
11. You will magically stumble upon “the one.” Many people put more effort into they type of car they want to buy than their marriage partner. Most people don’t date enough to learn their true preferences in dating. They cling onto whatever comes through the front door and leave it to fate. Be more proactive in finding someone.
12. Having enough technical skills will get you hired. This is just one small part of the puzzle. Dealing with problems is the problem in most work situations. Having social skills, navigating politics, knowing who to ask for what, and being able to see the big picture are invaluable no matter what you do.
13. You have to achieve greatness to be happy. There’s a lot of sacrifice in becoming great and it usually doesn’t bode well for other areas of your life.
Hey, what’s up, I’m brandon. A few months ago I had to break up with a lady, as often happens with dudes and ladies, but I can’t say I was particularly happy to do it. It left a very specific person-sized hole in my life, and I felt unmoored, for quite a while. I was adrift! I was a slug. I was apathy personified. I was also, it may not surprise you to learn, relatively unhappy at times. I thought to myself. “Self,” I thought, “Self, you are ridiculous.” And it was true that I was. To celebrate my new-found understanding and to figure out a way to retain a bit of perspective on my slothful drifting, I started to write some little vignettes about the dumb sadness tricks my brain perpetrated on me during this time. Dami Lee, having the ability to draw, and also possessing a firm understanding of ladies (having been one her whole life), seemed like the perfect choice to turn these dumb things into tiny comic strips for your reading bemusement. And so it is. We will release one of these every Monday, and will stop when the well has run dry. If you enjoy this stuff, you can follow us on things, like twitter: twitter.com/necrosofty and twitter.com/dami_lee or these places: facebook.com/asperusual. Okay have a nice forever bye bye.
#1. You paid the bills this month, and maybe even had extra to spend on non-necessities. It doesn’t matter how much you belabored the checks as they went out, the point is that they did, and you figured it out regardless.
#2. You question yourself. You doubt your life. You feel miserable some days. This means you’re still open to growth. This means you can be objective and self-aware. The best people go home at the end of the day and think: “or… maybe there’s another way.”
#3. You have a job. For however many hours, at whatever rate, you are earning money that helps you eat something, sleep on something, wear something every day. It’s not failure if it doesn’t look the way you thought it would – you’re valuing your independence and taking responsibility for yourself.
#4. You have time to do something you enjoy. Even if “what you enjoy” is sitting on the couch and ordering dinner and watching Netflix.
#5. You are not worried about where your next meal is coming from. There’s food in the fridge or pantry, and you have enough to actually pick and choose what you want to eat.
#6. You can eat because you enjoy it. It’s not a matter of sheer survival.
#7. You have one or two truly close friends. People worry about the quantity but eventually tend to realize the number of people you can claim to be in your tribe has no bearing on how much you feel intimacy, acceptance, community, or joy. At the end of the day, all we really want are a few close people who know us (and love us) no matter what.
#8. You could afford a subway ride, cup of coffee, or the gas in your car this morning. The smallest conveniences (and oftentimes, necessities) are not variables for you.
#9. You’re not the same person you were a year ago. You’re learning, and evolving, and can identify the ways in which you’ve changed for better and worse.
#10. You have the time and means to do things beyond the bare minimum.You’ve maybe been to a concert in the last few years, you buy books for yourself, you could take a day trip to a neighboring city if you wanted – you don’t have to work all hours of the day to survive.
#11. You have a selection of clothing at your disposal. You aren’t worried about having a hat or gloves in a blizzard, you have cool clothes for the summer and something to wear to a wedding. You not only can shield and decorate your body, but can do so appropriately for a variety of circumstances.
#12. You can sense what isn’tright in your life. The first and most crucial step is simply being aware. Being able to communicate to yourself: “something is not right, even though I am not yet sure what would feel better.”
#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.
#14. You have a space of your own. It doesn’t even have to be a home or apartment (but that’s great if it is). All you need is a room, a corner, a desk, where you can create or rest at your discretion; where you govern who gets to be part of your weird little world, and to what capacity. It’s one of the few controls we can actually exert.
#15. You’ve lost relationships. More important than the fact that you’ve simply had them in the first place is that you or your former partner chose not to settle. You opened yourself to the possibility of something else being out there.
#16. You’re interested in something. Whether it’s now how to live a happier life, maintain better relationships, reading or movies or sex or society or the axis on which the world spins, something intrigues you to explore it.
#17. You know how to take care of yourself. You know how many hours of sleep you need to feel okay the next day, who to turn to when you’re heartbroken, what you have fun doing, what to do when you don’t feel well, etc.
#18. You’re working toward a goal. Even if you’re exhausted and it feels miles away, you have a dream for yourself, however vague and malleable.
#19. But you’re not uncompromisingly set on anything for your future. Some of the happiest and best adjusted people are the ones who can make any situation an ideal, who are too immersed in the moment to intricately plan and decidedly commit to any one specific outcome.
#20. You’ve been through some crap. You can look at challenges you currently face and compare them to ones you thought you’d never get over. You can reassure yourself through your own experience. Life did not get easier, you got smarter.
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
The dream of waking up and randomly finding the source of your depression.
The frustrating way people talk about mental illness versus other illnesses.
by GEORGE P.H.
Last summer, I went to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. This was a dream come true for me: Kiedis & Co. aren’t getting any younger and I absolutely had to see them live while they’re still touring.
Midway through the concert I realized that, at any given time, 5+ people in my immediate vicinity were using their phones. Everyone was instagramming, facebooking, foursquaring, texting…
They didn’t even stop when Under the Bridge – only one of the best songs ever – came on.
My first thought was, are you kidding me. These people paid good money to see a legendary band… but were more interested in telling their friends about the concert than actually watching it.
Then I remembered that it’s 2012 and this is normal. People live in their phones now.
But they really shouldn’t – and here’s why.
Internet Addicts Anonymous
I belong to the last generation of children who grew up without internet access. As a kid, I had to wait for my favorite cartoons to come on if I wanted to be entertained.
Every Sunday I’d stake out in the living room, waiting for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to come on at 11. If I missed an episode, I had to wait a whole week to see my favorite cartoon.
And if the T.V. wasn’t enough entertainment for me, I had to go read a book or find a creative way to keep myself occupied.
It’s different for today’s kids. They’ve got the Internet, video games and TiVo. They can choose to be entertained whenever they feel like it – which is not a bad thing in and of itself.
What’s bad is how addicted this generation has become to being stimulated. Now that most phones are internet-enabled, we’ve got constant access to all our favorite distractions – and we abuse the shiet out of that privilege.
Every day you see people Facebooking at work, watching shows on the bus and reading blogs at dinner. They can’t just enjoy the moment – they’re too used to being entertained all the time. Without their hourly fix of “fun”, they get jittery and distracted.
Yes, being able to have fun wherever you are is incredible, but it stops being incredible when you can’t stop doing it. Phones are a great way to stay entertained on the go but using them all the time will rob you of real-life experiences.