6 Life Lessons You Should Learn The Hard Way

Thought Catalog


1. It’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

Humans were not made to be alone. As much as we like convincing ourselves that watching Netflix in the darkness of our bedrooms every Friday night is normal, the truth is, it’s not. It may be easier than facing the prospect of rejection or heartbreak but being lonely is not worth the trouble in the end. If you don’t take the leap, you’ll never experience the joy of the fall. A few cheesy photographs and a cheap carnival teddy bear may not seem like much of anything when you’re crying over the one who gave them to you, but they’re worth more than a heart completely devoid of romantic experience.

2. You can’t stop people from talking about you.

People are mean. They will make judgments about you right off the bat without any prior knowledge…

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Having Sex Does Not Make Me A Sinner

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I remember being 13 and learning that abstinence was the only way. There was no talk of condoms. No talk of birth control. No talk of diaphragms (I didn’t even learn what those were until I was 17 and had public school friends). All we were given was abstinence and a verse from 2,000 years ago: “And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people” (Leviticus 12: 13-14).

So that was it. No sex before marriage. If you had sex before marriage, you were probably going to Hell. Worse, your friends would shun you. You would be a slut.

I remember being 15 and my sister telling me she’d had sex. I remember wondering if she…

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I Accidentally Fell in Love With You

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I can’t tell you exactly when it happened. I can’t tell you why my feelings for you suddenly changed. I can’t tell you how we went from being casual acquaintances, to being this. What I can tell you is that right now, I love you. In every possible way a person could love someone, I love you. Stronger and more passionately than any romance I’ve ever known, I love you — and I’m sorry for that.

Why is it that two people who fit together so effortlessly, can never manage to come together at the right time? When we first met, I was in a relationship. You and I became friends, and I was happy being just your friend. I didn’t know you felt something more.  I’m sorry for leaning on you when my relationship came to an end. I’m sorry I ever convinced you that our casual romance…

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A Letter From The Other Woman

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He will never leave you for me. And we both know it. All the cards have been laid and turned. We both put up the best fight of our lives: quiet but fierce and unrelenting. To him you are a habit, comforting, steadfast, and safe. I am a risk, a novelty, a curious little thing, an escape. You are familiar ground, and I am unchartered territory. Truth be told, you’ve always had the upper hand, and I never stood a chance.

What started as a joke that turned into a game eventually became a bargain. I never meant for me to like him, especially knowing you’ve been there all along. But he soon became the drug I can’t quit. I know you understand this part because the things I love about him are probably the same things you love about him too. How he drives too fast that the view…

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This Is How I Want You Today

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Today, I want something comfortable. I want hugs and cuddles and drinking on the sofa while watching crappy TV. I want to lean into your body and to spring up to grab you another beer, or to mix us both new drinks. I want pajama pants and pizza and make-out sessions between shows. I want to run my fingers through your hands and burrow my face into your arm.

I want to make love, not just to screw. I want to feel something intense while we move together slowly, with clasped hands and tender kisses. I want to be held under the blankets and to want for nothing but to keep touching. I want to pass into blissful slumber and awake to a friendly face. I want the soft, comfortable things today.

But some days, I want the chase. Some days, I want drinks and…

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Don’t Give A Crap About Being Cool!

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Being ironic, being detached, in a word, being cool feels very important in our uber-fast tech-driven world of slick appearances and curated social media identities. But I’m here to tell you, my friends, paraphrasing what Fiona Apple once said, “That’s all bullshit.” You only have so many minutes, so many hours, so many days in this life. And your attempts to remain cool, to remain detached and aloof, are a fucking lie you tell yourself to be liked. When the reality is being cool traps you in a prison of other peoples’ opinions. Let it out! Be you! Be strange! Be weird! And most importantly, be passionate! Truly give a shit about what matters to you. Care for yourself and for others and do it as honestly as you can and with your full heart.

I’ve had a surprising number of friends commit suicide. I’ve also had a…

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Losing Our Virginity

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I take issue with the term “lose your virginity.” I take issue with the verb, with the idea of loss. Having sex for the first time isn’t a loss, it’s a gain. You gain an experience you didn’t previously have. You gain an aspect to a relationship. You gain a connection with someone, no matter how fleeting it may be. Right down to the terminology we use to talk about it, the first time we have sex is framed as a predefined concept, as something that inherently is a certain way—and that we have to feel a certain way about it. Terming it a loss is only the beginning of the problem.

When I was 19 years old and a freshman in college, I was dating a guy who was completely wrong for me, and dating him was quintessential proof of the bad decision-making that often goes on during one’s…

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