The Only Thing You SHOULD Be Doing in Your Twenties

First for Everything

The Only Thing You SHOULD Be Doing in Your Twenties

I’ve read a thousand of these same articles and posts that have been circulating Facebook as of late: “20 Things You Need to Do Before You Turn 30“, “News Years Resolutions You SHOULD Be Making For 2014“, “Top 10 Things You Should Accomplish in Your Twenties“, “20 Things To Let Go of Before the New Year“, “What You SHOULD Be Doing Instead of Getting Engaged in Your Twenties“, blah blah BLAH.

While I may agree with some of them more than others, I more so believe that people should stop looking at lists and trying to fit the molds of other people’s standards and bullshit articles. Sure, some of them are somewhat entertaining and can also be “inspiring” but these writers, who have no idea who you are and where you’ve been, can in no way decide what you “

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Letter to a young journalist


By Caitlin Kelly

Inspired by a post on Small Dog Syndrome; a great anonymous letter from a nurse with 12 years’ experience to one studying for the exam to nursing school.

Here — H/T to Amber Hargroder — is a terrific 8:45 video of artist Marina Abramovic with her advice to young artists, much of which can equally apply to any ambitious writer.

The original is a series of letters between a young military student, Franz Kappus and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke between 1902 and 1908, when Kappus was deciding whether or not to become a poet.

I’ve been writing journalism and non-fiction books for a living since my third year of university, when I began selling stories to national newspapers and magazines in my native Canada. I’ve since written for dozens of publications in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, with staff reporting jobs at three major dailies. Freelance…

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25 Ways to Travel Cheap

First for Everything

25 Ways to Travel CheapPeople always ask how I have the money to travel as much as I do. Well here are a few secrets, my friends! Hopefully you can learn from a few of my mistakes and benefit from some of my tips!

1.     The obvious way: travel on budget airlines. When I traveled around Southeast Asia, Air Asia, Jetstar and Tiger were insanely cheap – and I’m talking $65 flights from Bali to Phuket. I couldn’t express how much the phrase “you get what you pay for” applies to these, however, but they [usually] got us where we needed to go.

2.     TRIPADVISOR. TRIPADVISOR. TRIPADVISOR. We booked every single hotel after first reviewing them on This website is absolutely essential to get the best value. From splurging on a 5 star hotel in Bangkok (Oriental Residence – best hotel I’ve EVER stayed at) to…

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Returning Home After Being Away For A While

Thought Catalog

The leaves are beginning to crackle and fall in Annapolis—the city I was born in. The wind isn’t yet harsh or uninviting. It drifts slightly, wisping through hair and clapping lightly through the trees that outline my parents’ home. Growing up I dreamt of the bigger cities I’d live in, promising to leave this place for some arcane reason. I dreamt of careers and romantic dates and a more hustled atmosphere than what my home provided. But as I grow older, the easier I find it to return to this place that housed so many expectations and longings for Tomorrow. I find more comfort now cuddling into the stiff leather chairs in the den, sunken into sturdy, unfluffable craters after years of use. I find a safe familiarity with the scent of warm, buttery vanilla that unfailingly wafts through the kitchen year-after-year, or the way my bedroom is still a…

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11 Life Lessons You Get From Shopping At Target

Thought Catalog

11 Life Lessons You Get From Shopping At Target

1. There’s a quote from Mike Tyson that went something like “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” That concept applies to entering the palace of altered strategy known as Target. Countless times I’ve walked towards those pretending-to-be-generous, sliding glass doors and repeatedly told myself I was only there for a couple necessities. 

Soap, toothpaste, deodorant, EXIT.
Soap toothpaste, deodorant, EXIT.
Soap, toothpaste, deodorant, EXIT.
Soap, toothpaste, deodoohlookatthoseDVDs.

Everybody’s punch in the face is different. For some it’s the clothing section, others it’s the small appliances – for me, it’s a copy of Friends With Benefits for $8. All it takes is one blow and your entire plan is scrapped as you walk back to swap out your hand-basket for a full-sized shopping cart and convince yourself that you need these shelves and those throw pillows and that wine glass set.

2. Clearance end caps can…

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“Moist” And 28 Other Gross-Sounding English Words That Everyone Hates

Thought Catalog

When you poll a group of people on the “most disgusting words,” moist always wins in a landslide, the most-universally hated word in the English language. If you don’t hate that word, say “moist panties” and you will. “Moist” inherently makes the skin crawl because of it’s association both with our genital areas and our favorite desserts. You should not be able to describe that delicious German chocolate cake in the same way you do Nicolas Cage’s private parts. It’s just not part of God’s plan.

For a word to be truly objectionable, it shouldn’t just sound disgusting. The linguistic formula for a disgusting word is to make sure it contains phonetically abrasive letters like “b,” “g,” “m,” “u” and “o,” which you’ll find to be common among the most hated, but “bogus” doesn’t elicit the same response as “bulbous,” the sound of which makes you instantly queasy. When I…

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21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

Thought Catalog

A lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist.

Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting Lolita, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies. Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” Gertrude Stein received a cruel rejection letter that mocked her style. Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way earned him a sprawling rejection letter regarding the reasons he should simply give up writing all together. Tim Burton’s first illustrated book, The Giant Zlig, got the thumbs down from Walt Disney Productions, and even Jack Kerouac’s perennial On the Road received a particularly blunt…

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How To Be Home

Thought Catalog

The weight of the decision to leave a home is often overshadowed with the logistics of the move itself, so much so that we forget about the courage it really does take. No matter your reason for starting a new chapter in a new place, once the luggage is sorted and the tickets are confirmed, only then do we feel the full force of the stamina required to take this risk, the spirit to not be disappointed with what we encounter, and the nerve to not long for what we left behind.

Some days it pours from the moment I wake up. They say this weather can extend for months in my corner of Eastern Asia. Breathing in those last few moments of unconscious twilight, the rain slapping the tin overhang could just as well be the rhythmic, steady click-click-click of drizzle coating the air conditioning unit balanced out the…

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Sense Of Wonder

Thought Catalog

I read a great line in a book the other day that really made me stop to think:

In the West, many have lost their sense of wonder about things. If miracles happen, how can we possibly know about them? We are too busy to notice.  We’ve gained wonderful things such as wealth and efficiency, but I think we’ve lost a great deal of perception – sixth sense, insight, call it what you like.  When you’re occupied every minute of the day, there’s simply no time for this kind of awareness.

It’s true. So true. Whether you realize it or not every minute of our days are completely and totally occupied. At work we are constantly toggling from Gmail, to Facebook, to our work email – holding many conversations simultaneously. Same in our personal life – many times we are out with friends, but also holding conversations, or following aquaintances’…

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