Thought Catalog

How To Feel A Little Bit More Alive

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Things are changing ever so slightly. Can you feel them? Pay close attention. You’re going to want to feel them.

Your life used to be different. It had a different texture, a different shape. Now it’s something else. Can you recognize it? Poke at it. Rub your fingers through it. Get comfortable. This is your life now. Sometimes it doesn’t feel right and sometimes it does. Hold on to the latter and fruitlessly try to forget the former.

You lie to yourself every day without knowing it. When the person who serves you coffee in the morning asks how you are, you respond on autopilot: “Good, thanks.” Gosh, if only the barista knew what you were actually feeling at 8:00 a.m. before you had your first cup of coffee. Imagine if you said, “I’m hungover and tired. I’ll maybe think about you later when I masturbate. I would ask how you are but I don’t care.” You play these games in your head often. You fantasize about giving the wrong answers and seeing people squirm. You never do though. “Good, thanks. Goodthanks. thanksGOOD.” It all reads like gibberish.

You’re a happy person. You really are. And you know what? You’re lucky. You’re lucky because you have face creams and prescriptions and you just got a new rug and you love your mom and dad and no one molested you when you were younger, so yeah, you’re good. Good, thanks.

You have a nasty habit though. Oh god, it’s the worst! You do this thing where you dwell on what you don’t have and forget what you do. It’s so embarrassing. And you tried doing yoga. And you tried reading books. And you tried volunteering with special needs children. But nothing. There seems to be a Wifi connection where your emotions used to be…

Everything around you feels fake and it probably is. You have these outlets to put plugs in all day long. So you plug yourself in and wait to feel connected to something. Except it never comes. You have all these extension cords and ample outlets but it’s adding up to zero. What should you do instead? How can you feel more plugged in?

You know that in order to feel connected to the things around you, you don’t need an outlet. So you go home and burn candles and listen to music. It’s raining outside and you’re dancing in your underwear. Your legs feel nice. Someone come over and touch them please.

Lie in bed with someone at 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday morning. It will feel like five shots of espresso and finding the perfect Internet connection. Here you are! Doing the life thing! And all of these changes are starting to feel a little bit more manageable. You don’t feel the need to grieve every single thing that’s left you.

Get out of bed and start thinking about tomorrow. Who will you see? What will you wear? Will there be Wifi? Oh, wait. Stop doing that. Stop doing it right now. Life is better without that!

Go to your grandmother’s house and ask her important questions about her life. After that, go to your ex’s house and tell them to screw off. After that, sleep with your ex. You’re getting the hang of this now…

Wish you could have ten million fights and ten million orgasms right now. You need it right now. You need to remind yourself that you’re still alive and that all of these things you’ve surrounded yourself with have just been killing you slowly!

Throw away the wires and cables. Sit on someone’s genitals and move up and down. Go to the movies. Cry to your parents about everything bad that’s ever happened to you and then GET THE HELL OVER IT. Come to terms with the fact that you’ll never care about special needs children. It’s okay. It’s worse to pretend. I got you now.

Now when you say “I’m good, thanks!” you mean it. And on the days you’re not feeling great, you keep your mouth shut or you finally act on your fantasy of being honest. Both will result in you feeling better. Now take your modern medicine and get some rest. You’ll feel a little bit more alive when you wake up. TC mark

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Poetry that will change you

This is for the women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea. This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls. The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts. This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it. This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence. The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times. This — is for you.

“When Janne has a new poem written, I shut my life down to do nothing but read it, and then when I turn my life back on, everything is better.” — James Altucher

You’ve never read poetry like this before

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  • http://twitter.com/TheNakedPenman Andres Ordorica

    brilliant!

  • Mslaurie

    Beautiful. Ryan is my favorite writer on here

    • Jessica

      Agreed

  • Lee

    Sometimes your posts are a hit or miss, Ryan. This one is a hit.

    • Leila

      So true.

  • gela

    Ryan, you are fantastic.

  • http://raymondthimmes.com/ Raymond Thimmes

    Ryan, you are by far my favorite on TC. Thank you for this. Especially loved the “I’m hungover and tired. I’ll maybe think about you later when I masturbate. I would ask how you are but I don’t care.” bit!

  • Vince

    “There seems to be a Wifi connection where your emotions used to be…”

    cringe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MissDeeMeaner Stephanie Rhodd

    Ugh.  Too true for these winter blues.

  • Diana

    Get the hell over it. 

    Advice I need to put into pill form and take once daily. 

  • Larry234

    Heroin also works.

  • guest

    who needs therapy when you can just read ryan o’s work?  I NEEDED THIS PIECE.

  • Erin

    You’re also my favorite writer. Whenever I’m in TC I just look at the titles only without authors and every single day I open the articles written by you. Great piece!

    • sarah

      I do this too!!! I am always drawn to ryan’s articles without even knowing they are his. love him.

    • anon

      I do the same thing as well! You go Ryan! ( :

  • Dani

    ryan, you are my favorite author. you always speak insane truths that no one wants to talk about but everyone wants to say. loving it. loving you.

  • Indi

    hey, ryan, you wrote something interesting.  congrats.

  • JOANA

    “You don’t feel the need to grieve every single thing that’s left you.”LOVE IT.

  • Eric V

    if you ever wrote a book, i’d buy multiple copies. brilliant.

  • Rebecca Aranda

    SECOND PERSON PERSPECTIVE FOR DAYS

    FOR YEARS

    WILL YOU EVER STOP USING IT AS A CRUTCH

    you wonder as you check the comments on your most recent article

    • banter

      I KNOW. IT’S BIZARRE!  THIS HAS TO STOP. 
      Choose Your Own Adventure isn’t cute.

  • Sky

    i like how you always end it with a fantastic conclusion on the last paragraph. keep writing Ryan

  • Sophia

    I hope I never identify with this article. This is depressing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Marchand/1198956598 Matthew Marchand

      You don’t seem like the type to relate to any articles on TC

      • Tyrone

        word.

  • Rishtopher

    “You have a nasty habit though. Oh god, it’s the worst! You do this thing where you dwell on what you don’t have and forget what you do. It’s so embarrassing. And you tried doing yoga. And you tried reading books. And you tried volunteering with special needs children. But nothing.”

    Just this.

  • lalala

    “Wish you could have ten million fights and ten million orgasms right now.” Perfect 

  • Diego Sánchez

    I’ve been reading Ryan’s articles for a while, and the same thing pops into my head at the end of every article: our generation is lost, it is confused, its on vodka, weed, and wifi, we dont care, we care too much about being hysterical and have everybody read about us on the internet, Ryan is all of us, we are Ryan, a global generation of people, who don’t know how to give meaning to their lives, im not saying that other generations weren’t lost, but we were completely raised by monitors, that’s a fact, as a twenty something gay male, who has lived all his life in Costa Rica, believe it or not, I can relate to almost everything I read on this site, because our lives are global lives now. this article seems to realize how empty and lost we all are.

  • cheese

    fuck you, ryan. you’re a shitty internet meme at first. good luck sustaining yourself when you’re “20-something” gimmick is up. 

    • Derrrrrrrrp

      KLSDLKFJSDKLF LOVE

  • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

    This was a wonderful thing to read at the end of a long and arduous work day. I read TC way too much and I have noticed that your posts have gotten more interesting (to me, at least). I am sure if it was my job to come up wth 5+ articles a day I would probably struggle to generate interesting content at times.

  • justin

    “You have these outlets to put plugs in all day long. So you plug yourself in and wait to feel connected to something. Except it never comes. You have all these extension cords and ample outlets but it’s adding up to zero. ”  
    Wow..I think you just summed up our generation amazingly.  I’m stealing that for my everyday conversation, hope you’re ok with that.  

  • http://garlandgrey.com/ Garland Grey

    ” And you tried volunteering with special needs children. But nothing.” So in this scenario you wanted to find some meaning in your life, couldn’t find in in volunteer work, and abandoned the children in question because they couldn’t make you magically all better?

    Please don’t ever volunteer for anything where people count on you or need you for support. Please continuing doing whatever this is.

    • Kik

      Oh, shut the fuck up up, won’t you? There’s no selfless good deed.

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