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“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” I wailed, shaking with rage as I rolled to a stop behind a caterpillar of red lights, orange cones sitting stubbornly in the middle of the road. I wasn’t really sure who I hated at that moment—God, you, her, the girl who took too long filling up her stupid big-ass Suburban at the gas station on the way home, the idiot who sat in the middle of the turning lane so I couldn’t see oncoming traffic, but these days it feels like I’m always hating someone. After two doubles in a row, a fight with you, and our dog having dental surgery, I wasn’t having the best week, and I just wanted to be home, amid all of my dirty dishes and islands of clothes, my shitty liquor and anxiety pills.

While I am not particularly religious, I always feel a certain aversion towards screaming at the sky. It just feels wrong, even with my carefree upbringing, to yell at God or whoever’s up there, so I like to fool myself into pretending there’s this big Asshole Deity in the sky whom I created purely for moments like these, just so I wouldn’t feel as if I was tempting the real thing to smite me straight to the center of the Earth. Asshole Deity likes to drive me slowly around the bend, just a pinch at a time, including but not limited to making me lose my keys when I’m almost late for work, causing traffic, overdrafting money when I’m already down to $4 for the next four days, telling some random asshole to tell me to SMILE when it’s a damn miracle I even got out of bed. Oh, he also enjoys taking away my bonus a month before Disney World, giving me the dropsies, randomly making me remember the day when I was stupid enough to look at your iPad and learn how you really felt, usually at a really opportune moment, like rush hour at work. He likes that one a lot. Hell, he stopped me three times from typing this, like he can’t bear to hear the truth about himself. He’s like that Mayhem dude from the Allstate commercials, the inspiration behind Alanis Morissette’s Ironic. He drops feather upon feather on the minefield that lives in my chest.  And me being saddled with a short temper and an even shorter fuse, this causes me to lose my shit. Often. Loudly.

So I yell, and I scream, and I pretend that all this yelling and screaming and Party of Five behavior is draining the black stuff out of me, but really it’s just bouncing off of the ground and slapping me straight in the nose again, like sadistic Flubber. I’m trying to empty a sinking boat with a bucket here, and I’m tired.

So there’s the standard definition of anger, and then there’s this big, gooey, sulfur-reeking hole in the middle of my gut that breeds the ugliest of uglies. I need it, because without it, there’s that epidemic of sadness that I’m not ready for. I hate it because it’s turning my heart into a septic tank. I’m afraid to let go of it, because if I do, that means I forgive. And to me, forgiveness feels like permission.

If I forgive you, then it feels as if you get away with everything. If I forgive God for the things he’s forced me to give up, then what’s to stop him from taking even more? If I forgive her, then that means I have to accept that she gets you at your best when I had to endure your worst, and what kind of backwards-ass shit is that? You hurt me, hand over fist, time after time, and I’m the one that has to say it’s okay? Um, bye, Felicia.

Oh, I know what they say, all those mealy and limp Facebook memes worth a dollar a dozen. The best revenge is a good life. Forgiveness is not for them, it’s for you. It’s rainbows and care bears and unicorns made of chocolate, and girl, it is divine. Hatred and revenge only end up hurting one person, and it’s not the target. That’s all fine and good until you run out of buckets and boats. Until forgiveness feels like the gun you handed someone to murder you with. Over and over and over.

I am all out of buckets and boats. I am, however, not out of ocean.

I’m not ready to forgive you, or her, or God. I’m not ready to forgive the lady at the gas station, the dumbass in the middle of the road. I’m not ready to forgive any of them, because I’m tired of being the one who has to do it. How do you get off scot-free? Why does she get to inherit everything I so freely offered to you, and how is it that God is just going to stand back and let it happen? Asshole Deity is in charge of the tiny and annoying inconveniences department. You Know Who is the CEO. Even my dumb ass knows this, and I’m the one crying over a few traffic cones.

Of many a few million people on this planet, my bark is as big as my bite, and I don’t let the Big Man forget it. He knows I don’t trust him. And even when I’m throwing a fit at my Asshole Dirty, the real thing and I both know who I’m really pissed at.

Everyone who swallows the God Kool-Aid seems willing to just stand by and let him take everything. Oh, He has your best interests at heart, they say. You may not like the voyage but you’ll love the destination. Trust in Him. He’ll never lead you wrong. He does not punish, he is not fickle or petty or masochistic. You’re confusing Asshole Deity’s intentions with God’s. Put your life in his hands, let him scoop you out of that boat. Keywords here: let him. Sure, and while I’m at it, I’ll climb into an 18-wheeler with shot brakes. Why not? Weee!

God doesn’t pay the bills, sweetheart. When your car breaks down or your loved one gets cancer, your little “thoughts and prayers” on Facebook doesn’t do a thing except make you look like you give a shit while offering the bare minimum. He has his Reasons, they say. Yeah, well, Jesus lived in a time without credit scores, electricity bills, and five dollars for a gallon of milk when the rent is due and there’s no gas in the car. His Reasons will land your ass directly in the street with a bucket for change if you choose to believe all of that happy crappy. Thoughts and prayers don’t soothe an empty belly—you can’t cash a check with them, and they damn sure don’t erase heartache. So yeah, I think Asshole Deity and God are pretty close. Like little shit-ass twins that dress alike and play the Who Am I game just to mindfuck you.

In my lucid moments, I remember that my little problems take up very little space when stacked up against rape, murder, war crimes, poverty, and homicide. There are children starving in Africa and sex slaves being traded like Pokemon cards. Why should my fits of pique over you matter? Why would God care? He’s got his hands full. As Bender from the Breakfast Club would say, Screws fall out all the time—the world is an imperfect place. As my aunt would say, Too bad, so sad, so sorry for your bad luck.

I know the only way out of this Moria of loathing is to forgive. I know that I can beat my fists against the idea and kick and cry and generally act like a child about it, but that’s the only way. I just can’t bring myself to do it. There is a fundamental disconnect between my desperate need for peace of mind and the instinct to protect myself. So I can’t do it; you’d better find another way or get the hell out of mine.

Bullshit, I can hear God snorting disdainfully, perched atop his fluffy white throne, where he doesn’t pay rent or need groceries or get his heart broken. There are people that are big-hearted enough to forgive assholes who murder their children, their husbands, their wives, their friends, their family members, and you can’t forgive me for getting you away from a situation where you weren’t happy anyway? You can’t forgive him for letting you go? You can’t forgive her for falling the same way you did? Bullshit, he says, but take your time. I’m not going anywhere, and neither is your anger, until you do it. Okay, I say, but don’t hold your breath. You might suffocate to death from all of that weight of the air in my lungs.

So while it appears as if you’ve won, gotten away with it all, tossed away our life together, and given her all everything I taught you to give, I want you to remember that no matter how happy you are, I want there to be at least one person in the world who thinks you’re full of shit. It may not keep you up at night; you probably don’t even care, but you deserve one person who doesn’t think the fucking sun shines out of your asshole.

Well, God isn’t going to do a damn thing, so it might as well be me. And before you judge me, before you sympathize with him because I sound like a bitter fucking lunatic and he’s probably smart to be rid of me—I didn’t start out this way.

And I’m not paying this bill anymore.



A few years ago I hired a father-son handyman team to help me get my house ready to put on the market. Among other things, my outside doorknobs were in bad shape so they installed new ones. The dad seemed pretty nice, even did a little bit for free. On their 3rd and last day at my house, he was pretty fired up about a big job they were starting the next day. Three days later he killed his new clients because they were unhappy with his work. A neighbor saw what happened and ran into her house and hid. He kicked her door in and shot her too. I was terrified until he was caught.


He was really nice and I had gone to K-12 with him. Never knew him to be the kind of person that would even get upset. Then I get a text a couple years ago asking “Do you know about X? Him and his brother killed their parents”


My little sister dated a guy when she was in high school who ended up murdering a couple he owed money to for heroin. This dude beat them with a fucking baseball bat and hammer. He almost got the death sentence, but ended up with life in prison with no possibility of parole.

He was a seemingly nice, polite teenager. I used to drive him and my sister around for various dates and things. He was quiet, but not oddly so. He just seemed like a normal teenage boy.


I graduated high school with Dr. Death, Chris Duntsch.

He was an asshole. He was charming with teachers and people who could benefit him. He was awful to everybody else. I didn’t see it, but one or more awkward and vulnerable classmates said he bullied him relentlessly, and I believe it.

He was easily irritated and if you got on his nerves he would really lose his cool. Remarkably mean. And people would just shrug their shoulders and say that’s just how Chris is.


The younger brother of a girl I was friends with in middle school and high school. They had some struggles growing up and I know their mother was an abusive relationship because we gave her some help getting away from her husband.

Are we connected many many years later and found out that the younger brother had murdered someone. Initially it sounded pretty gruesome but when I actually read Court reports I kind of felt bad for the kid.

he had some mental illness issues but as a teenager apparently he had been groomed by a much much older man into a sexual relationship where the man provided money shelter and of course drugs. He was extremely controlling and abusive.

Eventually the kid tried to get away and was trying to start a new life with a girl he met but this guy tracked him down and blackmailed him.

Eventually kid snapped and murdered him. I think I felt worse for the kid because a lot of people can’t get away from their abusers.

Edit: for those who asked, he was 16 year old runaway with a history of drug problems when he started seeing the more than 20-years older guy who used to film him. He struggled with drugs but was doing well and he met with the man to tell him he loved someone else and he want going to see him again.

His story is that the guy attacked him saying he’d rather he died than break up. He had injuries consistent with fending off a knife attack and said he killed the man in self-defense. What probably really screwed him over is that he didn’t call the cops He hid the body instead.

Despite all of the evidence pointing to him bring preyed on, he got a sentence that is longer than the average human lifespan. He committed the crime in a place where being gay or bisexual isn’t really acceptable. a lot of the stories in the news refer to him as a hustler and say that he killed one of his patrons.


In my first semester of college, I had a computer science professor I really loved. Near the end of the semester, he told us he may be taking time off and finding a replacement for the semester. His severely autistic son had died in a ‘tragic pool accident’. He noted that the media was trying to make him look bad. I created a GoFundMe for funeral expenses; he appreciated it and shared photos to use on the page.

Fast forward half a year. I get calls from news reporters asking what my thoughts are… He had been arrested on suspected unintentional manslaughter. It turns out, he had left his son outside in the cold by the pool, unsupervised, when he left for work. His son was never supposed to be unattended. His son was outside for who knows how long before the professor’s daughter found the boy face down in the pool.

Further research into the case revealed the boy was living in an unfurnished basement, feces all over the walls, often left alone. The police were at the home frequently; CPS had made various safety requirements for them that they never followed.

He’s being charged with unintentional manslaughter and various forms of child abuse. Him and his wife are being charged for filling the boy’s Ritalin prescription for many, many months after the death.

I still believe it was intentional. Texts revealed the daughter discovered the boy when the professor texted her, asking her to check if ‘Freak’ was okay.


He was an asshole. I’m not surprised he killed somebody. He killed a 65 year old man in a revenge/drive by shooting. He shoot at the wrong house.The guy he intended to kill didn’t even live in that neighborhood.


I spent 3 months on a study abroad with a special forces, ex-FBI, guy named ‘Joe’. We were a small group of mostly students whereas Joe was older and there as part of foreign immersion training for the military. He was a little odd/awkward at times and didn’t share too much about himself which we mostly attributed to the age difference.

I’d describe Joe as very intense but kind-hearted. The military was very important to him and he always seemed very focused on that. But occasionally he’d make a dry joke or let his guard down for a moment with the group. He was very into photography and shared lots of great photos from the trip.

He was also somewhat the protector of the group and we always felt completely safe with him. One story I’ll share was when he was walking over a bridge and spied some guys in the trees waiting to jump down and rob him. He pulled out a large knife he carried on him and casually brandished it as he walked by. The guys smartly decided not to mess with Joe, but after he crossed he saw them sprint across the bridge and hide behind a building. Two policemen showed up shortly after and Joe showed them where the guys were hiding so the police could arrest them.

Anyways, a few years after we got back I heard the news that he had killed someone and took his own life. He had been training for a new position and his commander deemed that he wasn’t physically fit enough for the job. The judgment effectively ended his career and he felt he had been unfairly judged. He brought a gun into the base and shot his commander dead then killed himself.


My family bought a house from a man who flipped houses for a living back when I was growing up. He was a nice man, married with grown kids. He would often come over for dinner and help with minor repairs around the house.

We moved away a few years later and he wanted to buy the house back. Luckily, it was a cash deal because soon after it all went through, he was arrested for child porn. When the cops raided his house, there was no sign of his wife. Upon looking into it, no one had seen or heard from her in months.

Turns out, he had murdered her and buried her in their backyard.

I sat next to that man at the dinner table as a child. Still haunts me.


I went to High School with a girl who poisoned her father. No one knew until she confessed a year later watching a Shakespeare play in College. She was a little weird in school, but I didn’t think she was capable of that..


There was this kid that would sit next to me in Chemistry during my sophomore year of HS. Some days he’d be totally out of it with his head down, other days he’d be answering every question in class. On the worse end he’d sometimes get up and run out of the classroom. Our TA would then spend most of the period trying to find him. His life was definitely shit by the looks of it.

Fast forward a year later it turned out he got hired by some kid outside of school as a hitman (kid wanted his parents dead). He brought a hammer to the kid’s house, injuring his mom but he got fought off by the kid’s dad. He ran off but got caught at a nearby gas station. He got a sixteen year sentence about two weeks ago.


Yes. Was hired at the same time as him. WOrked right next to him for several years. He was one of those stoner guys always bragging about the parties he went to. He was a little obnoxious in a “bro” sort of way so I always skipped hanging out with him after work.

After I left that job a little while later he killed his ex girlfriend while her 5yo was in the apt watching tv, took the kid on a road trip to Texas, and smothered her on Christmas Morning and left her in a suitcase on the side of the road.


My sister was killed by her fiancé. He was, well, normal. Took good care of her during recovery from surgery. A bit weird , but nothing stands out. Weird as in opposite interests and shy where my sister was outgoing. Never would have expected it from him. Until o had to clean out their place and found a bunch of guns and crap load of knives and shit.


My best friend’s older brother killed her step mom. Strangled her and burned the house down. He was just like any other teenage older brother. A bit rebellious but nothing out of the ordinary. He was kinda goth and liked heavy metal and had dark humour. He played Goldeneye with us and always let me use the see-through purple controller. He teased his little sister just like any brother would. One time he took us for a car ride and did donuts in a church parking lot while blasting a Big Shiny Tunes album, and it was really fun. Nothing ever indicated what he would do later in life.


I played basketball with a guy a few years ago in high school.

Tried to find him on Facebook and turns out he was being tried for murder.
Apparently he and some of his friends were looking for pot money so they broke into this guys house and somehow they guy ended up dead.

Everyone in his group said he pulled the trigger but he denied it. Maybe he did it maybe he didn’t but I can say that he was a genuinely nice person when I knew him. Never would have expected him to kill someone but I guess my mom was right about hanging out with the wrong crowd.


Boy a couple years my minor in high school. he was always the outcast in his classes. he dressed funny, talked funny, and said disturbing things that some recall as threats (mostly to the girls of the school).

after graduation, he ended up butchering a homeless woman he was.. i cant say living together or in a relationship with… im not sure what their status was. either way, kitchen knife, drained her into the tub. in court he showed no remorse and was proud to have “finally ended someone’s life”.

his father was my professor in university. he took it very hard.


Before, like, literally the night before the crime, he was at my house talking about a new job he thought he’d gotten, how he was going to be able to take better care of his daughter, a new tattoo he was going to get, just random stuff.

Some backstory, he had a brain tumor when he was I think 9 or 10, not sure what kind or where but he was a ‘make a wish’ kid, I think he went to Disney or something, but they did manage to get it out with surgery. So he was a little, well, he wasn’t stupid or disabled but I’d say ‘slow’, basically. He was a little shit through his teen years, big pants, loud music, fast car, “Yo I’m gangstah!” kind of thing, but when he met his girlfriend and then especially when his daughter was born, he seemed to change a lot for the better.

He was the younger brother of a friend of mine. I went from “You can NOT bring Eddie to my house and I don’t even want him to know where we live,” to “Sure, Eddie and you can come for dinner,” so yeah, lots of change.

The night it happened we played D&D that evening and he was as boringly normal as he ever was. Actually he’d never expressed any anger or anything toward the girlfriend’s mother, at all. He’d said how happy he was that she was letting them live there and helping with the baby.

After, we only saw him once more, in court, when he was sentenced. We went with his mom, who we knew, and at the end, he turned his face and wouldn’t even nod to us.

I just don’t get it, I don’t think I ever will.


My coworker had work done on his house (he owned a large house and was quite well off). Whatever work he had done, he was not happy with and was arguing with the repairman over the work done. Apparently he took the guy to court to pay for another repairman to come in and redo all his work.

Some time passes, an one night this co-worker gets up in the middle of the night, (not sure if he heard something, or was getting a glass of water or something) when the garage (attached to the house) explodes setting the house on fire. He runs up and gets his wife and kids up and out of bed and tells them to get out of the house immediately. They get out safely and watch their house burn to the ground. Luckily he had cameras set up, and they were able to retrieve the footage from them which clearly shows this guy coming onto the property. Apparently he doused the cars in the garage with gasoline or something and lit them all on fire and ran. The cars eventually exploded.

I believe he went to jail for attempted murder, not sure.


I worked with a guy that murdered his gf. He was a cool dude. I sat with him a lot on my lunch breaks. We talked about football, school, life etc. Pretty normal stuff. Never would think he was a killer. He was not an aggressive person at all.


One of my best friends when I was stationed at Fort Bragg ended up getting into some sort of drunken altercation later on in his career at Fort Hood, went back to his house to retrieve a pistol, went back to the party and shot a dude.

It was absolutely insane to me when I heard about it because he had never shown any tendencies towards violence when I hung out with him pretty much every day for over two years. Probably drank a little too much, but he was always just a good dude raising a good family.

Last time I talked to him was three days before his trial. He ended up changing his plea to guilty to receive 25 years instead of life. He’s at Leavenworth now, going on probably seven or eight years now.

Feel bad for the family of the guy he shot. He was a medically retired vet and didn’t deserve to be gunned down like that. As much as the murderer was my friend, he gets to go home one day. The guy he shot never will.


One of my parents friends use to come around all the time. He was probably only 21. Nicest guy ever. Type of guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

A couple of years later he moved and we seen him on the news for murder. Turned out he got on the ice and his girlfriend convinced him to kill her ex with her. They then buried him in concrete.

Only reason they got caught was because they wrote their fucking names in the concrete.


I was friends with a guy who was accused of physical abusing his son. He went through the courts to fight it. The ex girlfriend finally admitted she made it up because he cheated on her .

He ended up killing her then himself.


My neighbors father murdered his entire family and then killed himself shortly before he was to be indicted over a ponzi-esk scheme. I knew the whole family well. The Dad was always a little weird and would do things like wear a full 3 piece suit to a child’s soccer game. Never showed any signs of being violent though. The mother and 2 daughters were wonderful people, it was a real tragedy.


We live in a world of constant stimulation, much of which is the bad kind.

We are almost always surrounded by people, and if not, we are connected to them at all times.

We are always busy and find it difficult to relax. Our downtime, if we are lucky to find some, is often full of worry and tension that is an overflow from the rest of our chaotic lives.

We are faced with an influx of horrific news stories on an hourly basis. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the highlight reels on other people’s social media accounts. We are taught to constantly accommodate for the needs of others, even at the detriment of our own happiness and peace.

It’s all just bloody exhausting.

Sometimes we need to slow down and take stock for the sake of our own mental health.

When possible, we need to find ways to protect our energy and our peace, and the most effective way to do so is by looking inward.

1. Say “no.”

It has become embedded in our minds that “no” is a bad word. That’s because the word ‘no’ is often used in situations of defiance, rejection, and negativity.

But it’s important to realize that “no” isn’t a dirty word, and you should use it when you feel the need. This little two-letter word has gumption and can often provide you with enough defence to protect your energy.

If something is going to make you unhappy or uncomfortable, say no.

If you just don’t have the energy required for something, say no.

If you simply don’t want to go somewhere or do something, say no.

If you want to say no, just say no.

2. Practice listening to your intuition.

The only person who will ever truly know what you actually need is you.

You have this wonderful built-in tool called intuition, and even if you’re not great at listening to it, this is a skill that can be learned.

Use your intuition to determine what you need. Whether you need love and comfort or if you need time alone to recoup. Whether you need rest or if you need to go dancing. Your intuition knows what you need, so practice tuning in.

Following your intuition can ensure that you are making the right decisions for yourself. You’ll feel at peace knowing that you’re listening to your gut because it knows what’s best, even before the rest of your body does.

3. Cut the ties.

Every once in a while, analyze what impacts your energy levels.

Notice your feelings and energy around certain people and situations.

How do certain people make you feel when you’re around them?

How do certain situations make you feel when you’re in them?

If you feel sad, drained, exhausted, deflated, or frustrated, learn ways to reduce or completely cut-out the culprit. It’s okay to cut the ties from certain people and things, even if they once served you well.

Eliminate toxic people and try your best to avoid toxic places and situations. We are forever changing, and sometimes things have to come to an end.

4. Nourish your body.

Eat well, get enough sleep, drink water, and exercise.

Sure, it can often be easier said than done, but the way we feel physically can greatly impact how we feel mentally.

Give yourself the best chance of inner peace by looking after yourself in the physical sense.

5. Be conscious of your thoughts.

Your thoughts determine your state of mind, and therefore the content of your thoughts need to be monitored — you’re the one who can control them.

They say that the majority of things we worry about never even eventuate.

We spend a huge amount of time and energy worrying and letting negative thoughts rule our lives.

But the good news is, we have a huge amount of control over what we think about and where our attention goes. Similar to listening to your intuition, this is a skill that can be developed.

Whenever you feel a negative thought creeping in, tell yourself, “Nope, not today.” Stop it immediately in its tracks, don’t fuel it. And then change it completely.

Replace your negative thoughts with something else — something happier, something better, something brighter.

Also monitor how and why these thoughts are forming and protect yourself from the things that make the negative thoughts more prominent. Reduce your intake of the news if you’re badly affected, unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, avoid nasty and negative gossip, and just keep away from anything that does harm to your sense of peace.

Surround yourself with the good and you will be more inclined to have good thoughts.

6. Declutter.

One of the easiest and yet most underestimated things you can do for your inner peace is to declutter your world.

Declutter your home — donate or get rid of anything that you don’t love or no longer need.

Declutter your digital world — unsubscribe, unfriend, unfollow.

Declutter your life —cut the ties from toxic friends, say no to events you don’t want to attend, and keep your life admin under control.

A clean environment can lend a hand to creating a clear mind. We all have enough on our plates, so try and unburden yourself when possible.

These six steps are all easy and actionable right now. You owe it to yourself to keep your energy protected and to ensure you feel a sense of peace most of the time.


Trigger warning: suicide

My world irrevocably changed on March 8th, 2000 when my sister, Lynn, fell to her death while hiking in California.

She would have turned 45 this past week, yet only barely made it past her 25th birthday.

Even though it was many years ago, not a day goes by when I don’t think about her. Seemingly out of nowhere, the ugly memory of her death pops into my head whether I’m cooking dinner, out for a run, talking with work colleagues or watching TV. My focus diverted, my energy sapped, my smile erased.

Don’t worry, I’m not on the verge of crying all the time. It’s far better now than in the past, but the feelings, while manageable, are still raw and powerful.

I was at a yoga class on the Sunday morning when the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others crashed. Upon leaving the studio and checking my phone, I was inundated with personal messages, tweets, and tags sharing the horrible news. I’m a huge basketball fan, but loved cheering against Kobe and his off-the-chart drive to ritualistically destroy my favorite teams. So many times I wanted him to retire, to stop playing, to go away.

And now he had.

I was instantly in tears. I sat at a bus stop, stunned.

The news of their tragic deaths made me feel so very sad on so many levels and I was instantly transported back in time to March of 2000.

The evening of March 7th was a fairly regular evening. I was helping out at a squash clinic before enjoying a drink and some food afterwards, talking and hanging out with some friends, enjoying myself. I rarely checked my voicemail when out, but for some reason, midway through the evening, I decided to. There was only a garbled, hard-to-comprehend message that sounded like a person in hysterics. At the time, I didn’t think much of it — probably a wrong number — but as I realized the next morning when my father called that it had been my mom attempting and being unable to share the worst news imaginable.

The abrupt sound of the phone ringing the next morning as I raced to get ready for work haunted me for years. The phone would ring, shattering the silence, and I’d instantly think, “Oh no.” Hearing my dad crying, telling me what happened, telling me to come home was like nothing I’d ever experienced before or since. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Every aspect of my world fell out of focus. I felt battered and bruised.

The next few weeks crept slowly by. I tried and failed to find some sort of meaning as the days felt so long and slow. Lying down, unable to sleep, barely able to eat or take care of myself, staring off into space, worrying about my mom and dad and younger sister. Exhausted, full of sobbing and weeping, wishing somehow that this had all been a huge error.

Praying that I could just press rewind. I wanted my life back when the worst thing that happened was a parking ticket or a student dropping my class or losing a squash match. I wanted to watch basketball or cook a curry or play a video game without a care in the world. The guy who lived in that world was like an alien to me now.

My mind played tricks on me as I denied reality. The park ranger or the police officer who called my parents had made a mistake. She couldn’t have fallen while hiking. The confident, smart, and very alive young woman I was proud to call my sister couldn’t have made one wrong step and been taken away. This had all been a dream, a nightmare, the sort of thing that happens to people in movies.

If I only tried hard enough, I thought in my permanent haze, I could mentally reverse this all.

It was all so hard.

I believe I’m intimately aware of how the surviving family members of the helicopter crash must feel, aside from the extra added attention due to the fame of Kobe. Full of guilt and regret and utter despair. Wondering how this could happen — your loved ones, so strong, so alive, and now not.

When not consumed with sadness for my sister — such an incredible human being full of life, humor, and love, who would no longer dance and create and cook and fill her days with adventure as she had for 25 years — I beat myself up.

She’d called a few weeks early and I’d been too busy. She had invited me to come visit, but I couldn’t. She’d suggested we talk more often and it never was high enough on my priority list.

Even though we were close, she had traveled for much of the final years of her life, only poking her head up at home from time to time. I was working, dating, at a different point of my life, and busy as she was always up to something new and cool.

And though I wished we spent more time together, I always figured there was no rush. We had all the time in the world.

For all of the guilt and regret I felt — and I felt a ton — my parents’ was 1,000 times worse. Though everyone told them it wasn’t their fault, they were unable to believe that. Had they subconsciously pushed her away? Had they been good parents? Hadn’t they hugged her enough? What did they do to deserve this?

She was everywhere in my parents’ house. You couldn’t turn or step without seeing her picture or remembering the past or feeling her presence. I both wanted to look deep into her eyes in every photo on the mantel and also to hide those very same photos in a big book or a box in the basement so as not to have to face her. It was the most emotionally overwhelming experience I’d ever felt — the pressure, the stress, the unrelenting sorrow.

So many times I woke from another restless sleep, only to wonder if I heard her voice. Or lying there, trying and failing to sleep at 2 a.m., seeing her face in my mind’s eye. Or wondering, if somehow I had been there, if I could have stopped her from falling.

Millions of times over the past 20 years, and especially in those first few months after, I imagined myself magically there, by her side, watching her slip, trying to grab her hand and either heroically saving her and instantly feeling truly happy again, or being unable to stop her and helplessly watching her fall again and again, as if on a loop, silently screaming as I dropped to my knees.

All I could think about on that Sunday was the moment the passengers realized they were going to die. What they screamed, how they looked, what they thought. I’ve thought about that moment for my sister more times than I can count. The look on her face as she slipped, the realization, the fear. The final moments before her life was extinguished.

She was so carefree and happy as a person. Always marching to the beat of her own drum. Doing what she wanted when she wanted and letting nothing stand in her way. She was invincible. Racing off to all corners of the globe, meeting wild and wacky and amazing people, going to places and doing things because she wanted to. Never slowing down even when a more cautious person would have.

Just as they were saying about Kobe, she’d packed her all-too-short life with more than many people do in twice as much time. But also like so many people are saying about Kobe, his daughter, and the other passengers, I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of moments thinking about all she’ll never get to do, all of the opportunities lost. As sad as I was for myself and my loss, I was infinitely depressed about her life ending at 25 for her.

She’d never finish school, get married, have children. She’d never write another poem, make a delicious meal, find herself. She’d never ride her bike, laugh out loud, or paint. She’d never grow old — stuck at 25 — never becoming this cool, hip older woman I could imagine, and we’d never have a chance to spend time together as a family. The hole her death created was infinitely wide and deep.

I worried my family would never recover.

I didn’t know how we could go on without her.

My family went to her viewing, but I just couldn’t go. I didn’t want to see her like that. I stayed in my small apartment, feeling like a loser. So many times since, as recently as a month ago, I’ve continued to beat myself up for being unable to see her the last time. I gave up the chance and I’d never have another one. But in my more positive moments, I know that it wasn’t her, that she was gone, that my not going didn’t speak volumes about me. I hadn’t been selfish, I just didn’t want my final, lasting image of her to be that one.

I gave a speech at her funeral. I’d never been more on edge in my life. The room was packed with so many people I’d never even met. She’d touched so many.

Those first few weeks were so hard. I listened and nodded my head when family friends said it would get easier. I wanted to believe that but couldn’t comprehend how. I followed the advice of caring work colleagues and went for counselling. I bought the grief books that were recommended but couldn’t will myself to open them. I wanted to feel better. I tried to feel normal, but I couldn’t.

Questions assaulted my brain constantly.

Why do some people get a scare and live? Why do some people have an accident and survive? Why couldn’t she have just had a warning? Why didn’t she listen when told that hike may not be safe? Why did she have to die?

Once back in the “real” world, surrounded by students, parents, teachers, and friends, acquaintances and strangers, it all felt so weird. Everyone around me was going about their days — shopping, exercising, chatting — and it was almost too much to handle. The trivial conversations about the weather or the reality show or the students who weren’t handing in the homework irked me so much. “Who the fuck cares?” I wanted to yell at people who were so wound up in things I used to care about and now didn’t or couldn’t.

I felt so different.

Not at all like myself. The world hadn’t changed, I had, and I wasn’t sure I could do it—I didn’t think I could “fake it till I make it” or go through the motions. I wanted to drop everything and hide.

I became deathly afraid of heights, quivering and shaking when on the second floor of a department store, unsure of how to leave. Slightly nauseous when at the top of a steep flight of stairs. Though I’d always been careful, now I worried about taking a wrong step.

I found myself angry, wondering how this had happened to us. We were nice people; we treated people well. We didn’t deserve this. I spent those days trying to keep it together while in public, being all-too-aware that my colleagues and students and friends were walking on eggshells around me, before collapsing at home. My dreams transformed from wishing it hadn’t happened — even waking up momentarily confused whether it had all been a dream — to ones involving hurting others or myself, punching and kicking things, drinking a whole lot. Suffering sucked. What was the point of living if this is how I felt with no obvious path out of this?

Not that I ever contemplated suicide, but after day upon day of feeling so incredibly down, with no reprieve in sight, I just didn’t think I could do it forever.

After all this time — the long walk through the desert — I can’t imagine being back at square one like the families of those on the helicopter.

I’m not sure when the shift started for me — I know it was gradual — but at some point the fog started clearing. Thankfully, time, as the expression partially goes, started to heal my wounds. I smiled a bit more, restarted some hobbies, looked forward to leaving the house. Feeling a little more normal. Actually, “normal” isn’t the right word, as I would never feel how I felt before again.

Often, when I was out, I thought I saw her. The back of someone’s head, a laugh, a feeling, the way the person’s hair moved in the wind. I was both sure it was her and positive it couldn’t be. Often I’d replay conversations we’d had, remember a unique experience, or relive times we’d shared. And though her voice — once so loud and clear and strong — slowly became hard to recall, her smile and some of her funny faces are permanently etched into my brain.

I grew. I learned. I changed. I still felt beyond sad, but I got stronger and I realized that there is life after.

Then, a little while later, a student of mine committed suicide.

Though that was the hardest time for me professionally — I’d only just started getting through whole days without long periods of sadness — it was also the most profound. Despite having the scabs torn off, I somehow found I was able to help others. These two experiences with death, though so, so difficult, helped me find my calling.

As a counsellor, I work with students experiencing some sort of loss often — the death of a family member or pet, the end of relationship, a friend moving away. I listen, I empathize. I don’t always say it, but I believe I know how they feel. I recognize the look on their faces. The slouch, the phrases they utter, the desperation. My attention is diverted. I try to stay present, but can’t help but remember my loss. I tell them it’s okay to cry. I encourage them to talk to me and others close to them, and though they don’t believe me, I tell them it does get better.

Not a full day goes by without thinking of her, feeling sad for her loss and for mine, wondering how with a little luck life could have been so different.

Wishing she could meet my wife, my kids — my first daughter’s middle name is hers, my younger daughter has her verve — and just be here. She was such an awesome person. I was envious of her carefree spirit, the way she touched others and the unique combination of intelligence, creativity, and joy she had. Though she was younger than me, I looked up to her. I never told her that — another thing I’ve beat myself up for over the years. Unlike me, she just did things. She moved people.

I wish so many things.

I wish I could look at a picture of her without feeling sad. I wish every time someone died, tragically or not, I didn’t think about her death. I wish I could talk to my wife and kids about her without feeling choked up, a tightness in my chest. I wish that such a happy person didn’t evoke feelings so diametrically opposite.

Most of all, I wish she was here.


Photo of Richard Turner and Tim Ferriss during the interview

“Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
— Richard Turner

I am very, very excited to introduce this interview, as I’ve been wanting to meet today’s guest, Richard Turner, for almost two years now. I first came across Richard Turner (, in the documentary Dealt, directed by Luke Korem.

I can’t remember the last time I finished a documentary, only to want to watch it again immediately afterward. I also can’t remember a doc that made me as emotional as Dealt did, pushing me from laughter to tears. It has 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and won the 2017 Documentary Feature Audience Choice Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Everyone should watch it.

But let’s get to my guest. Who is Richard Turner?

Richard is regarded as the best card mechanic and among the best up-close magicians in the world. He has entertained millions of people, including notables like Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Secretary of State Colin Powell, actor Brad Pitt, sports legend Muhammad Ali, and many more.

Richard has received many accolades, including the 2015 Close-up Magician of the Year Award, the magic industry’s equivalent of the Oscar.

His skill with a deck of cards has been featured on television shows around the world, including a performance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, in which Penn Jillette admitted, “Richard Turner is one of the finest sleight-of-hand artists who has ever lived. He fooled us with every single move he did!”

Richard is also a sixth-degree karate black belt, and we get into all that on the podcast.

Note: Toward the end of the interview, you will hear Richard performing card tricks. He did them in front of me, and he absolutely blew my mind. I highly recommend checking out the interview on YouTube, as I made sure to have video from multiple angles for this episode. Just go to Not to sound like a mullet-wearing Long Island boy (which I’ve been), but this footage is simply fucking amazing.

Oh, and did I mention that Richard is completely blind? That’s right. You’re in for a ride, my friends.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube

#411: Richard Turner — The Magical Phenom Who Will Blow Your Mind

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This episode is also brought to you by InktelEver since I wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, I’ve been frequently asked about how I choose to delegate tasks. At the root of many of my decisions is a simple question: “How can I invest money to improve my quality of life?” Or “how can I spend moderate money to save significant time?” Inktel is one of those investments. They are a turnkey solution for all of your customer care needs. Their team answers more than 1 million customer service requests each year. They can also interact with your customers across all platforms, including email, phone, social media, text, and chat.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear another episode with someone who lives without limits? — Listen to my conversation with Nicholas McCarthy. In this episode, we discuss how to overcome limitations, proving doubters wrong, how to manage ego, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download):

#174: The One-Handed Concert Pianist, Nicholas McCarthy


  • Connect with Richard Turner:

Website | APB Speaker Agency | YouTube | Facebook


  • What is The Magic Castle? [07:37]
  • Who was Dai Vernon, “the man who fooled Houdini,” and how did Richard get to know him? [09:10]
  • How a broke Richard finagled a free suit for his first meeting with Dai at The Magic Castle in 1975. [12:24]
  • “Won’t get the money.” Sleight-of-hand smack-talk by the bust-out man who once assisted in sending Luca Brasi to sleep with the fishes. [15:16]
  • Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. [20:12]
  • Discipline breeds discipline. [23:43]
  • You think you’re disciplined? Richard hasn’t missed a workout in 49 years — and even used to travel with a weight-filled briefcase in the days when gyms were a scarcity. Why is physical cultivation so important to him? [24:48]
  • Richard shares his experience with Charles Bonnet Syndrome and the unique way in which he sees and interacts with the world. [32:26]
  • Has Richard always had an eidetic memory, or did it come after he started losing his sight? [42:30]
  • What were the immediate changes Richard and his sister Lori endured when they began to lose their sight, and how did this contribute to an admitted streak of rebellion? [44:04]
  • Why does Richard still have a sculpture he made during this time, why doesn’t he have his piece of art that won first prize in a statewide competition, and why did he later go on to sabotage his own work? [46:15]
  • How did Richard relate to anger early in life, and what helped him escape from a spiral of self-destruction? [49:12]
  • What compelled Richard to take up martial arts on February 13th, 1971, and how did he fare as an absolute beginner? [55:09]
  • How to make Richard’s specialty fitness drink: Liquid Hell. [1:01:06]
  • Richard talks about bodybuilding, working out with Mr. Universe, refusal to accept an honorary black belt, and fighting 10 rounds in a sweltering Tijuana sweatbox against rulebreaking opponents he could only see in his peripheral vision. [1:02:23]
  • What did Richard’s insane training workout to prepare for his black belt trial look like? [1:10:02]
  • How Richard learned to reduce fear and control his asthma attacks, what he does to create strength by channeling his Charles Bonnet Syndrome like a superpower, and how he taught his wife to make use of his visualization technique. [1:12:40]
  • A demonstration of Richard’s superpower vs. yours truly. [1:17:20]
  • How Richard has harnessed his CBS to train with cards over lengthy periods of intense focus others might find exhausting. [1:18:55]
  • How Richard learned and expanded on Dai Vernon’s concepts — and pulled off the seemingly impossible — over the course of 17 years. [1:20:39]
  • Richard fought 10 fresh fighters in 10 rounds for his black belt (in spite of earning a broken arm in the seventh round), but it was the L.A. Times headline about the fight that bruised him the most. [1:23:28]
  • What is dreaming like for Richard, and how does something like medication affect his waking visualizations? [1:25:58]
  • What are Richard’s favorite colors, and did he have them before losing his sight, or did he develop them afterward?
  • How does Richard experience wind? What happens when he goes underwater? [1:29:56]
  • As someone who doesn’t necessarily find relaxation relaxing, what activities do recharge Richard’s batteries? [1:31:50]
  • Ever played poker in a casino and wondered if you were getting conned? I can barely shuffle, so what can Richard show me with an available table and some cards? Let’s find out. [1:35:53]
  • What were Dai Vernon’s thoughts about the feat Richard just demonstrated for us? [1:43:06]
  • Richard’s the one who has the ability to analyze when the manufacturing process results in cards of substandard quality and call them out. In the end, it results in a stronger product that benefits the company as well as the consumer. [1:44:37]
  • What would Richard’s billboard say? [1:48:45]
  • Richard is a certified oddball who works out with a crushed thumb and then shuffles cards with his one good hand as an anesthetic while his other hand is being operated upon — believe it or not. [1:49:36]
  • Richard shares what happened when he got the chance to fool Penn & Teller almost a year to the day after his thumb mishap. [1:54:54]
  • “That’ll get the money.” A former antagonist becomes a very dear friend. [1:57:56]
  • Parting thoughts. [2:02:21]


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Your sarcasm makes it seem like you don’t care about anything or anyone, when really, you secretly care too much.


Your playfulness makes it seem like you’re childish, when really, you just want to keep things light and fun.


Your indecisiveness makes it seem like you don’t want to contribute to planning dates, when really, you’re just worried about making the wrong decision.


Your lack of opinion makes you look like a pushover, when really, you just want everyone else to be happy.


Your pushiness makes you seem intimidating, when really, you’re just a perfectionist who wants everything to go perfectly.


Your take charge attitude makes you seem bossy, when really, you just like to take control so no one else has to stress.


Your unrelenting kindness makes you come across as fake, when really, you’re an optimist who sees the best in everyone.


Your blunt honesty makes you look like an asshole, when really, you just like to be authentic.


Your stoic attitude makes you come across as way too serious, when really, you just need to get to know someone before you loosen up around them.


Your intelligence makes you come across as pretentious, when really, you just like having deep conversations.


Your laidback attitude makes you look lazy, when really, you just like going with the flow and seeing what happens.


Your friendliness makes you come across as flirtatious, when really, you’re just a people person.


No two people experience grief the same way.

There is no one right way to do it.

When you see someone go through a loss, sometimes, you empathize, because you know what it’s like to feel that way. Sometimes, you’re triggered, as their pain reminds you of your own. Sometimes, you’re angered, and you think: “I’ve also known loss and yet I didn’t react that way.”

You’re right, you didn’t.

That doesn’t mean someone else can’t.

Some people grieve quietly. Some people have tears running down their faces in their parked cars after work, minutes after smiling to their coworkers and telling them to have a great night.

Some people grieve through connection. They write letters to the new owners of their old family house. They share photos of their loved ones online. They talk to their siblings, their friends, a support group.

Some people grieve loudly. They vocalize their pain and they express themselves. They let out all the tension, all the rage, all the sheer devastation of never again being able to see someone you really love.

Some people grieve productively. They make plans, they set arrangements, they create fundraisers and bake sales. They make donations to charities in the name of their loved ones. They refuse to allow their loss to be the end of their legacy.

When these people cross paths, one of two things happen: they recognize someone just like them, going through the same process in life, or they lash out. They judge and criticize, and tell a fellow grieving person that the way they are letting go, or staying quiet, or being vocal, or continuing to honor their loved one… is wrong.

It isn’t wrong.

It’s just not everyone’s path.

Remember this when it feels like you “sucked it up” and powered through your workday, so everyone else should have to as well. Remember this when it feels like the person who isn’t loud about their loss doesn’t care. Remember this when it seems like the person running a fundraiser in someone else’s memory just “can’t let go.”

Every single person is metabolizing loss in their own way.

Every single person is figuring out what does and does not work for them, how to best heal and carry on with their lives.

It might take some people longer than others.

Some people might need additional support.

Others may need quiet, or time.

There is no right way to mourn the loss of someone or something that mattered to you more than life itself. But there is a wrong way, and that is to judge someone else for their process, to make them feel bad when they are already at a low.

Please remember that we all must find a way to move forward in the wake of loss. We all must deal with the devastating and permanent consequences of how fragile life is.

We all lose, we all mourn.

We all have stories that we don’t tell.

Remember this, and go lightly. Remember this and know, to grieve is to honor, it is to remember, it is to release, and it is to move on. However long that takes, and in whatever way that goes.

We are all having our own experience, and it’s never your place to decide whether or not someone else’s process is right for them.

It is only our place to listen, to hold space, to set boundaries, to let others find their way, and when it comes our day to mourn, give ourselves the grace to find our way, too.


One of the most common ways to express ourselves is through our appearance. Our clothes, our hair, and our accessories all tell a story about who we are. The icing on the cake of character is our makeup. We can accentuate our features, tie in the colors of our outfit, or bring a look together with the perfect pop of pigment. There are so many aspects of the face that we can use to express ourselves, but the feature that talks for you without having to speak is your eyes. When putting together a look, don’t rely on just bright lipstick to give you some flare; dress up your eyes and make them features at which to stare!

1. Face Jewels

As popularized by the show Euphoria, face jewels are just the thing to make you stand out from the crowd. Even the simplest of gemmed styles will make your eyes sparkle literally and metaphorically.

2. Use Lip liner As Eyeliner

You don’t have to buy a ton of funky eyeliners. If you have lip liner, put it on your eyes and suddenly it becomes eyeliner. Create sophisticated monochromatic looks by using the same color on your eyes and lips, or mix them up when you’re in a fun and funky mood.

Note: Just make sure your lip liner is eye-safe, of course.

3. Put A Pop Of Color In The Inner Corners Of Your Eye

Who says your lids have to have all the fun? Use that bright color to draw attention to the inner corners of your eyes. Then on your lids, use a neutral color or sparkles like the example above. Just switching the color placement will switch up your whole look.

4. Funky Eyebrows

Are we ever going to look as flawless as NikkieTutorials? Probably not. But we can always try! This short clip gives you an idea of how to turn your eyebrows from drab to fab. Who know that could be possible?

5. Graphic Liner

This may look complicated, but it’s just a series of lines. If you can draw a straight line, you can give yourself a graphic liner look that will make people think that you must be some sort of social media celebrity.

6. Bring It Around Town

Bring that color around the rim of your entire eye. The key here is to not go into the waterline of the lower lash to make sure that the top and bottom matches.

7. Upper AND Lower Lashes

Add a pinch of glamor by adding a pinch of lower false lashes. If you are feeling up to the challenge, use individual lashes and place them in the middle and/or outer corners of your lower lashes to give that extra diva oomph.

8. Colored Mascara

Kiss your boring black mascara goodbye; it’s time to brighten up those lashes! You can buy colored mascara at any drug store, but if you are the crafty type, you can either melt colored eyeliner and apply it to the lashes, or you can apply clear mascara and then whatever color eyeshadow you want before the mascara dries.

9. Outline Your Crease

This look is so simple but so stylish. Start on the inner corner of your eye and draw a liner on the very edge of the bone above your eye. Then, when you get to the other side, connect the outer corner of your eye to your crease line with one straight line, creating a cat-eye effect. You can use any color, but this bright color gives even more of a futuristic style. Add eyeliner under your eye if you want more color and definition.


In the early stages of a relationship, you don’t want to be stuck doing all the work. You don’t want to be the only one initiating texts. The only one planning dates. The only one getting dressed up. The only one who seems to give a shit.

But that doesn’t end once you’re in a relationship.

Even though you might get comfortable with a person you’ve been dating for years, even though you might feel like you don’t have to try when you’re together because you love each other naturally, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to get lazy. That doesn’t mean you should stop planning dates, stop sending cute texts, stop making an effort.

Putting in effort will make your person feel loved and appreciated. It will remind them how much you care. It will show them that, no matter how much time passes, you are always going to be there for them. You are always going to treat them as special as the day when you first met.

Meanwhile, a lack of effort will make your person feel unloved, unwanted, unappreciated. It will make them question whether you still want to be with them or whether you’ve grown bored of them. It might even make them question whether they made the right decision in picking you. It might make them have regrets.

Even though your person should know how you feel after years of dating, that isn’t an excuse to stop saying those three little words or stop dropping compliments or stop surprising them randomly throughout the week.

Building a relationship with someone requires a lot of work — but so does maintaining a relationships with someone.

You can’t cut down on the romance as soon as you’re in a committed relationship because you feel like you’re finished, like your work is over, like they aren’t going to leave so there’s no point in spoiling them anymore. You should be spoiling each other because you love each other. Because you want each other to be happy.

I’m slowly learning effort can make or break a relationship. Even though it’s natural to stop trying so hard once someone becomes a permanent part of your world, you should never take them for granted. You should never stop appreciating them. You should never treat them like an afterthought since you’re confident they aren’t going anywhere.

Over the course of your relationship, there might be periods when you’re overwhelmed with work or distracted by family issues or caught up with other responsibilities that are thrown at you, and that’s okay. That’s bound to happen. But overall, you should always keep your relationship high on your list of priorities. You should do your best to assure your partner your feelings haven’t changed, you’re just as crazy about them now as you were at the start.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for three weeks, three months, three years, or three decades. You should still be putting effort into your relationship — and your partner should be doing the same.


If he’s been toying with you, making you think he’s interested one day and then completely changing his tune the next day, then stop chasing after him.

If he’s been sending mixed signals that have been messing with your self-esteem and making you feel self-conscious, then stop chasing after him.

If he’s the reason you’ve been crying into pillowcases and insulting yourself in the mirror, then stop chasing after him.

You can’t control your feelings — but you can control your behaviors. You can’t stop yourself from thinking about him — but you can stop yourself from texting him. You can stop yourself from accepting his shitty treatment. You can stop yourself from forming a deeper bond with him when you already know it’s only going to end in heartbreak.

If you’ve been complaining to your friends about him nonstop, then stop chasing after him.

If you’ve been more frustrated with him lately than infatuated with him, then stop chasing after him.

If you’re concerned he’s never going to start treating you better, then stop chasing after him.

Sure, there’s always a chance he’s going to change his tune sometime soon, but you shouldn’t keep chasing after him based on predictions and hopes you have for the future. You have to look at the way he’s treating you right now. You have to look at his past patterns and ask yourself whether or not he has risen to your standards. Ask yourself whether or not you’re interested in dealing with the same nonsense in the future.

You need to stop thinking about how badly you want to be with him and start thinking about how badly you want to feel loved, respected, appreciated, accepted. He might not be the one to bring you those comforts. He might not be able to give you everything you’ve been hoping to have. He might not be your answer.

Even though it’s important to chase after what you want, you shouldn’t need to beg for his attention. You shouldn’t need to list out reasons he should pay attention to you. He should be drawn to you naturally. He should want to spend more time with you, want to text you, not feel pressured into it.

You don’t want to place yourself in a position where you’re the only one putting in any sort of effort. You don’t want to set yourself up for heartbreak. After all, it isn’t your responsibility to make him see what’s so great about you. To the right person, your beauty will be startlingly obvious. They will see it right away.

If it seems like the amount you care is significantly greater than the amount he cares, then stop chasing after him.

If you feel like you’re the only one willing to put effort into getting to know each other better, then stop chasing after him.

If you’ve mostly been miserable dealing with him, then stoop chasing after him. Find someone it doesn’t hurt to love. Someone who makes you feel wanted, not discarded.


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