Happy (almost) new year, everyone! 2020 was a crazy one.
A lot of shit went down. First off my live-in boyfriend and I broke up, I dated a minor celebrity crush (for a minute), I moved in with two crazy (and awesome) roommates, I got fired from my programming job, I started writing full time, and I fell in love with an incredible man, who I’m now in an open relationship with.
Oh, and a global pandemic swept the Earth.
This year, I’ve had to a lot to write about. In 2020, I wrote over 130 articles.
Now it’s time to take stock. Which of those articles really mattered? …
At a hostel in the ancient city of Taormina, Sicily, a pretty girl greeted me at the front desk. As she checked me in, a man standing behind her checked me out with a big smile in the way I’d come to learn Italian men do.
He was several years older than I, had dark thinning hair, and had the gaunt look of someone who was malnourished.
Even though I did not find him attractive, I was grateful for his gaze. …
Last week, I wrote about my friend Claire’s date with Karl who is in an open relationship with another woman. On the date, Claire met Carl at his place where they discussed his relationship in detail.
What he didn’t tell her, however, until after they had sex multiple times and it was 1:00am and raining, was that he and his girlfriend had made a rule that they wouldn’t have sleepovers with anyone but each other.
So I would like to make this clear right here, right now: This is wrong.
As soon as he and Claire agreed to go out together, Karl knew there were rules that could likely apply to her. He had discussed them with another woman, said them out loud. Thus, they should have been somewhere at the top of his mind. …
The first time I saw the 2007 film “Juno,” I looked up to the main character of the same name. She seemed like a stand-up chick. Noble, selfless, and cool.
But as I watched the film again recently, I realized I was wrong for admiring Juno. When it comes to the way she handles her romantic relationship, she is not a good role model after all.
The coolness I once perceived as a strength is actually a flaw, a mere reflection of her immaturity. There are few scenes which highlight this.
In the first, baby daddy and love interest Paulie Bleeker (played by Michael Cera) asks a visibly pregnant Juno (played by Elliot Page) if she wants to go see a movie with him and his friends after school. As he asks her, he’s holding a comically large box of donut holes. …
As I looked into his eyes, I knew it was happening again. That ooey-gooey anticipation. I felt it now, and it seemed Tom felt it too.
An Italian American from Long Island, he worked at a big investment bank, had permanently tan skin, and big hazel eyes draped with long black eyelashes. He was opinionated, confident, and great in bed.
We hadn’t yet DTRed (defined the relationship), but things seemed to be going from casual to serious. And I was thrilled.
After many disappointing OkCupid dates and two years of running around single in New York, I was ready for something more serious, something real. …
Most people take drugs to make things more interesting. To escape their mind’s normal thought patterns. To have an experience.
But I’ve noticed that often they do the exact opposite. Drugs, particularly the sniffable ones like cocaine and speed, can actually make you end up missing out.
The very powder you’ve possibly spent 100 bucks on, crushed up on a plate, and broken up into lines to make this night more awesome, can actually take away from the fun. And I’ll tell you how.
In my experience, sniffable drugs can take you out of the moment more than all others.
The most common sniffables I see are cocaine, speed, and ketamine. The latter two white powders both amp you up. …
“I’m going to a friend’s house tonight to watch the inauguration,” said my Estonian friend Oli. “We’re having an America night. Making some apple pie. Eating some hot dogs.”
“Haha. Nice, is your friend American?” I ask.
“No, he’s Dutch.”
Kevin’s inauguration get-together reminded me of “The Bachelor” get-togethers my friend used to host every week.
No, Biden’s swear-in ceremony won’t be nearly as entertaining as “The Bachelor,” but the sentiment feels the same.
Europeans watch America like its reality TV. They can’t wait to see what happens next.
And I get it, America is a global power. Our decisions directly or indirectly affect the rest of the world, whether it be about our military presence in the Middle East or whether to tax carbon emissions. …
“In a happy committed open relationship,” read Karl’s Tinder profile.
My friend Claire had no problem with that. She continued to read through his bio.
“If you message me, say ‘Tigger’ in your message to signal that you’ve actually read this.”
Not only did Karl disclose the fact that he was in a relationship, he was taking responsibility for Claire’s or any other woman’s understanding of that fact.
He clearly wanted to ensure everyone was in the know. She applauded his honesty and ethics — this was a far cry from cheating. …
What have drugs done for you?
Here at Substance (Ab)use we understand that although drugs can be extremely dangerous, often deadly, as we were taught in grade school, the full picture is not always so black and white.
However you feel about drugs of any form (from alcohol to cocaine, from caffeine to psychedelics, from Advil to Adderall), tell us about it. What’s your experience. The good, the bad, the transcendent, the horrifying.
This is a judgement-free zone.
A place for you to ignore the question of legality. Ignore the judgement. Ignore the stigma. …
A year ago today, I would have told you making a living on Medium was impossible. At the time, I was working only three days per week as a programmer so that I could spend the other two days writing.
But even with this extra time to focus on my craft, I would average only $100-$150 per month from the Medium Partner Program.
At that rate, breaking even $500 seemed like a pipe dream. If two days a week brought me so little money then surely writing on Medium full time wouldn’t be anywhere close to sustainable either.
Making a living on this platform was clearly something for only especially skilled and lucky people. People that got in early and thus had an unfair advantage. People who knew something I didn’t. …