I read a lot of Thought Catalog. If you’re unfamiliar with this site, I recommend that you get familiar – well kind of. It’s a digital magazine where hundreds of thoughtful , creative, brooding, wandering souls unleash their sometimes interesting, sometimes ridiculous meanderings onto the interwebs to help create an archival space for what’s relevant to 20 and 30 something’s that are still trying to figure out life.
Among some of their articles are titles like: 7 Social Anxieties Invented by the Internet, 5 Universal “Truths” about Dating I Don’t Understand, 12 Fairly Simple Ways to Stop Wasting Money (And maybe even save some), The Best Parts about Being a Relationship
What you’ll notice among them is that most of them contain some idea of a list being created. Like… these 5, 7, 12 things are the KEY to changing, figuring out, overcoming what grief you have in life. I honestly am all for lists but I fear that these lists give many readers the wrong idea, that if something is not listed than perhaps it’s not a worthwhile idea or they are doing something wrong versus what it’s actually intended to be – extra tools for that invisible tool belt you’ve got on.
The other thing you’ll notice is that most people are obsessed with dating, relationships, love, being stomped on, kicked out, unloved, single, obsessed. Reading some of these would make you think that there’s nothing else to think about in the world besides finding the perfect mate (though I suppose this doesn’t differ from any other magazine, movie, book out there, so I can’t fault it for this). I mean it seems like most singles I know are frackin’ freaked out about their singleness in one way or another anyway, this just reveals the ultra-crazy emotional side that most people aren’t willing to reveal.
Anyhoo, I’m not really one to be complaining about these damn lists or the fact that everything is so relationally based since yeah… like I said, I still read them all of the time, and I’m about to create a short list.
Recently they reposted one that I missed from last December.
You Need To Go After The Things You Want – actually go read it first, it’s a fairly short read, then come back.
Okay… good, now that you’re back, let’s talk about it a little.
I’m going to be upfront here and say that I loved this article. Yeah… okay, Mr. Ryan O’Connell may have gone a little extreme in some parts of the article, but what I’m loving here is all the emotion and all the “fuck, just do it!” attitude.
I wasn’t actually clicking on the article because I thought it had anything to do with relationships really, it just seemed apropos to my current situation of deciding to leave Seattle and get on with trying to actually find and get the things that I want instead of remaining stagnant.
Of course, I should have realized I was about to click on a Thought Catalog article, which of course meant that it was surely going to be some diatribe on getting love. However, what it said is this in a nutshell, “stop being a fucking whiny hole of sorrow and despair because you’re not getting any of the shit you want and GO get it! At the very least try to get it because it’s not going to fall into your lap no matter how many secret spells you try to conjure or wishes you make on shooting stars. Trying is half the battle, if you don’t try then you’ve already lost.”
With that said, there are limitations to some of the stuff you should do, but as an adult you should also be aware of what is or isn’t going too far, if you don’t know, then you might need to grow up a little bit more first.
Things you may or may not want and need to go after
- A fucking awesome job: You’re stuck in your dead end job or job you hate. Should you quit? Should you stay? Well… you’ll know when enough is enough. If you’re at enough already and have been there for a while, it may be time to rethink what you’re doing and why you’ve reached enough and haven’t done shit about it. Perhaps find a new job, make a life change, just fucking do it! What’s stopping you? Oh… the economy? I’ve heard a lot of excuses, but I have some friends that even during the downturn in the economy were like “this sucks, I’m gonna change it” and did. (If you are reading this right now, you are likely fairly well educated, so don’t give me some sob story BS about how you, “privileged you” cannot do some shit with your life.
- A vacation, a house, a car, or any random material thing: Ask yourself, do I really need it? If you really need it, try to implement the ways in which you need to get it. If you don’t know how, ask people who have achieved, done, figured this shit out before you. Isn’t that what friends and mentors are for?
- A life partner: In all honesty, it’s not really as hard as people imagine to find someone to “love,” but as picky fucking human beings we actually make it really hard for ourselves. I know that if I had wanted to be married by now I could probably have been, but how many people have I said no to, turned down, looked away from because I have my idea of an ideal mate? I’m not saying settle, I’m saying give more people chances and those people that you have crushes on (that are single) at least tell them how you feel because guess what? They are not mind readers. Maybe they like you, but they are just as paralyzed by the fear of rejection, losing a friendship, blah blah blah as you.
- A whole new life, travel the world?: Well this is easier said than done, but it’s especially doable if you are still let’s say single and unattached to your current life. It’s still doable if your current life partner has similar aspirations. Want to move to Bora Bora? Italy? The other side of the continent? Okay… what’s stopping you? No really, what did you just say to yourself? If it’s just money and there’s nothing else pressing, visit the bevy of blogs, books, zines dedicated to doing something they thought was impossible on little to no money. They exist.
Okay… well I’m done ranting. The point here people is to love yourself and the people you love by going after things, telling it like it is, and not hiding behind fear of everything. Don’t worry, I’m trying to listen to my own advice even though I haven’t always followed it.
Also, please re-read this Harvey Milk quote from that article one more time just to solidify all the things I just said.
Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.