It's no secret the last year or so has changed all of our lives in ways we wouldn't have expected. Whether you've done well or struggled, people are seeing life and relationships differently than before.
You may have taken time for yourself and started a creative hobby or faced breakups and other heartbreaks. Maybe added to your family, or perhaps experienced loss.
How will you recall this time? One Redditor wanted to know how people would describe the unique chapter of our lives.
Redditor broteafog wanted to hear what people thought in a single line. They asked:
“What's this chapter of your life called?"
The pandemic 15...
"’The plot thickens’ - owing to my weight gain. You may refer to me as Plot.” qalarkiyv
"The Thiccening" siamlinio
“Cruise Control” threedogafternoon
“Also known as the ‘make it look like I know what I'm doing’ chapter” Eternaltuesday
“it was always burning since the world's been turning...”
“Why is everything on fire?"Redditwhale1
“Everything is on fire but, it's not my fault.” Wrigley1121Mask Trash GIF by 100% SoftGiphy
“Why writing a book is more complicated than I expected." BW_bird
On a positive note...
“Healing phase.” Automatic-Cow-1436
Not the happiest place on earth...
“Part 9 of Chapter 23: Why did I sell my soul to a mouse?” SkinnyAynte
“You work for Disney?” AbilityWholehappy black and white GIF by louis16artGiphy
“Crypto regrets.” Awesomost
“These Are Supposed To Be My Peak Years. Emphasis On Supposed To.” ItsAFineMisoSoup
“‘Enjoy it! These are the best years of your life!’”
“COVID Do-Over - Wipe the Slate Clean. New job, new home, new relationship, feels great to let go of all the toxic crap from my past that's been holding me back. The virus really gave a lot of people a chance to change their lives and try something new. Really glad I did.”
The last 15 months may have been dumpster for but we've taken time to reflect and hope for a better year.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
When traveling and seeing the world, it is always best to also understand the lay of the land.
That seems to be something we forget.
As tourists, it's suddenly, "All bets are off. I have no manners. And I'm here to burn down the town!"
You know people still live and work there right?
And that a touch of decorum is much appreciated.
So let's see what the locals would like from us while we visit.
Redditor Winterbeers wanted world travelers to listen up to the locals for a minute before you run off to your destination. They asked:
"People who live at tourist destinations, what is it you wish tourists would stop doing when visiting?"
I try my best to respectful when in other people's spaces. But how can we do better?
"Going on the black rocks and being swept out to the Atlantic Ocean, risking the lives of first responders and locals many of whom are already traumatized from Swiss Air."
Just be decent...
"Don't freaking carve your name on stuff!!! The amount of people who need to carve their names onto historical buildings and statues are just crazy. Don't be an a**. You are ruining the place. And respect peoples properties. Yeah, it's a cute street with cute houses and charming gardens. But that does NOT give you the right to enter peoples private properties to peep in their windows, walk in their gardens and try to open their doors."
"A colleague is selling his house because he's tired of people peeping in their windows and trying to open their door to have a look inside. He got yelled at for being inappropriate while he was sunbathing naked in his own garden by a tourist who let themself in the gate and walked around the house to have a look at his garden."
"Deface world heritage sites for souvenirs or internet clout."
"For example: The Colosseum in Rome has graffiti carved into it's walls by arsehole tourists and Stone Henge is closed off to the public because arseholes were chipping pieces off for souvenirs."
"It is worth noting: at one point the 'caretakers' at Stonehenge handed out rock hammers to tourists for the specific purpose of chipping off bits to take as souvenirs. That was before the modern idea of 'museum as conservation of history.'"
"Stopping their cars in the middle of the road to take in a view. WTF?"
"They do this for wildlife where I live as well. I've seen idiots chasing bears with cubs into the forest to take pictures with their phones. A friend of mine lost a relative because a touron in a bear jam didn't look before pulling back into traffic on the road because he was so focused on the bear and didn't see the cyclists. Hit one of them and broke the cyclist's neck."
Hands Offangry yellowstone national park GIFGiphy
"For your sake, STOP TRYING TO PET THE BUFFALO! Or don't, some of us are entertained by the videos of you flying through the air."
Why do we always want to touch the wild beasts? We have death wishes.
Too Many SipsHappy Spring Break GIF by HBOGiphy
"Driving drunk. I live in Sonoma County, California. Make sure you’ve got a sober driver ffs. The roads around here are never more dangerous than winery tasting room closing time on a sunny weekend."
“'I paid a lot to be here.' 'Change (blank) or I’ll leave a horrible review.' Driving like a d**k head, leaving garbage anywhere but a rubbish bin, stopping in the middle of the road to let out your family of 12 instead of pulling into the parking lot. I have a lot of stories. I live in Hawaii and work only with tourists. Best yet, My company was asked to contact the cruise ship company to have them move the ship because it disrupted the sunset."
"In my hometown, it somehow became a thing that tourists would rent mopeds. So when you are trying to get to work, you often get stuck behind a flock of tourists on mopeds, riding at 20MPH in formation so you cannot pass them. We are infested with gawking tourists moped gangs. If they want to rent mopeds, at least go the speed limit, and ride in a manner that allows others to pass you."
"Stop feeding the damn seagulls."
"I worked at Disney World for a few years and the squirrels there are vicious. People think it's fun to feed them so they are completely fearless. They'll hop right into a stroller and grab food from a child."
Proper AttireFalling Down Lol GIF by America's Funniest Home VideosGiphy
"Stop trying to hike up a mountain in flip-flops! Also, don't try to use an air mattress as a mode of transport between islands. Several of these every year."
Well this is all good information. Now... will people listen?
Movies make so many jobs look cool to a point where we're like... "I want to do that!"
But in the end it's some of the most tedious, boring stuff we could do and then of course the danger factor always looks sexy until... you're in danger.
Being frivolous with our lives is romantic on paper, but makes you cry in reality.
And most of the time, the jobs don't pay.
That would be nice to know sooner.
Redditor Ok_Boot5426wanted to compare notes on careers that really aren't as sexy as we thought.
"What’s a job that’s romanticized but in reality sucks?"
I always wanted to be a stripper. But I sweat too much. And the pay is limited if you don't have certain gifts. Alas...
Just Blahjames bond GIFGiphy
"I strongly suspect being a spy doesn't involve half as many high tech gadgets and spontaneous sexual intercourse as I've been lead to believe."
"One former member of the CIA said the most unbelievable thing about James Bond was that he never had to file an expense report."
For the Rich
"Anything in modern-day publishing. How many television shows and movies must I watch where the plucky young upstart graduates from college and gets a job at the magazine or newspaper of their choice and is respected and can make a living? The pay sucks, you're in constant danger of being laid off (when your pub folds, usually)."
"And it's usually a pretty corporate environment where you're tasked with multiple jobs for little hope of advancement. The names high up on the mastheads are usually those of rich people, and it's because they started off rich and could afford to stay in the industry."
"Game tester. I worked as a game tester for EA for almost 3 years. Here's what it's like. Imagine a game type you don't like. Maybe soccer games. Maybe an RTS. Whatever. You now play that game, 8 hours a day. But you don't play it. You test it. So let's imagine an RTS. You are told to test the resource acquisition systems."
"All you do is click around and make sure your guys can mine gold and harvest lumber. You click around the map and mine and forest. There is no combat, they've turned that off for your testing. There is no story, because you just flick from level to level to test the resource system."
"You test using one guy. You testing using 100 guys. You make sure no other units can gather resources. You try blocking your own guys. You try killing your own guys. 8 hours a day. Every day. For weeks. You enter dozens of bugs. They put out a patch that fixes the bugs. You have to retest every level and every bug to make sure they're all fixed. That's game testing."
"Number of historic, life-changing, precedent-setting cases participated in: 0"
"Number of angry, self entitled, abusive clients wanting to screw each other over: 842"
"Number of pages of paperwork that’s sucked up free time and social life: 84,836"
Yehaw-NO!Star Lol GIF by Disney PixarGiphy
"From what I've understood, being a cowboy was (is?) really awful."
I can't ride horses anyway. So I'm good.
Mostly MiserableExplode Sports Bar GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Everyone used to think it was awesome that I worked in live sports TV. 70% of the people I worked with were miserable pricks with over-inflated egos, and then there were the athletes."
Long Days + No Job
"Working on a film. If you're crew, it sucks. long long hours for what seem like very very slow progress on the picture, lots of standing around waiting, etc. You arrive well before everyone else and leave after everyone else. If this is an indie production you also may have to beg/chase down for your pay at the end of each week. Oh and when the film wraps, you're now unemployed."
'let's talk about your feelings'
"Being a therapist. Too many people I've met get into the field thinking it's how they saw it on TV: affluent white collar, own office, warm slow pace environment, where you get to sit on a nice comfy couch and be like 'let's talk about your feelings.' That's only if you get to private practice, which they don't tell you is also like running your own small business, which good luck is you have no business acumen. The reality is you get out if grad school, get your first job working at a Community Mental Health facility because they are the only ones who will hire you with a limited license and no experience."
"Getting paid less than $40k/yr if you're lucky, and then get put in a walk in closet of an office, where they dump 100 client case load on you the first day, followed by your first client who has 5 different diagnoses and is on 12 different psych meds who says to you 'f**k you, you're my 7th different person I've had here, nobody cares about me.' Yeah people go into $100k of debt for that."
Nothing is Happening
"Archaeologist, specifically field archaeology. 99% of the time you find absolutely nothing, it's often physically demanding (sometimes grueling), the pay is crap, there are no benefits, you have to constantly travel, there's very little stability, I could go on. Source: have worked in CRM (Cultural Resource Management) archaeology for several years now."
"In spite of all the bulls**t of this field, still love being an Archaeologist and don't really wanna do anything else for a living, but I can't universally recommend this job to everyone in good faith."
Less than ThrillingIm Out See Ya GIF by ADWEEKGiphy
"Journalist. Expectation: I’m gonna be the next Hunter S. Thompson and write compelling feature pieces with a unique voice and get paid to travel the world!"
"Reality: Talking to my editor about how my contact from the cat fashion show won’t call me back or do an interview unless we pay them $80 or adopt two cats."
"In order to have a shot at dancing ballet professionally, you have to train your entire life. Once you make it, you'll be paid so little that you'll share lodging with a half dozen other dancers since you make less than a server at a casual dining restaurant. And even then the odds of still being a professional dancer after 30 are almost nil. If you want to stay in the field, you basically have to move into teaching which tends to pay so poorly that you'll need to find a second job."
At this point in life, boring can be fun. Now we know we have options.
Humans are naturally curious creatures - it's a primate thing.
As kids, we tend to explore those curiosities and ask whatever random question popped into our heads. As adults, we learn that some stuff just isn't our business. Some questions are intrusive or uncomfortable.
We don't necessarily "mature" beyond ever having an inappropriate or intrusive curious thought. We are just mature enough to know we aren't entitled to those answers, and that it's unfair to make someone uncomfortable by asking those questions.
But then there's Reddit...
Reddit user Spunkybluepuppy asked:
"What’s something you wish you could ask trans people without any judgement?"
Curiosity isn't a good enough reason to treat a random stranger like a science experiment - but there are plenty of people willing to talk openly about their experiences - and they're the real heros of this thread.
Stopping Cyclesperiod yes GIF by U by Kotex BrandGiphy
"Do periods go away when you start T? Is there a way to get rid of them without surgery?"
"For some folks, yes, for some folks no."
"Some IUDs can stop periods, like mirena, or for some taking birth control without the sugar pill week can stop periods."
"For transmasculine folks The most reliable way to get rid of periods is by having a full hysterectomy with oophorectomy , which also helps reduce the amount of estrogen in the body."
"My period stopped after two months on T. My friends' stopped after he had been on T a bit longer, not certain of the exact number. But both of us had a last period that was a real b*tch. Worst cramps ever! I'm glad I'm done with it now! 😂"
"Yes, my cycle ended about 6 months into T."
"Do you get to choose a size?"
"For trans guys, it depends on how much skin they can safely graft, I think. But after the maximum is established, yep."
"NB transmasc here, MtF wife So for masculine bottom surgery:"
"It really depends on a lot of things. First HRT will grow your clitorus, this averages 1-4cm of growth, some surgeons require either a certain amount of time on HRT/ certain amount of tissue. So from here there are 2 commonly surgical options, each have their own pros and cons and have different methods of being done : 1- metoidioplasty, sometimes referred to as a Meta 2- Phalloplasty sometimes called a phallo. Either can have urethral lengthening, some surgeons will require one depending on the surgery. An issue with urethral lengthening is that the urethra can become blocked/collapse which is obviously no fun. Scrotoplastys are also common to also have done, usually that's done in 2 surgeries where they create the scrotum and then add testicle implants later."
"For a meta what is happening is the ligaments that hold the clitoris to the body get cut and released from the pubis, giving you more shaft. 4-6cm is average length. It will basically look like a small penis. Benefit of it is it can get erect without further surgery. You will likely have more sensation compared to a phalloplasty. You also don't have a giant penis 24/7. Depending on length you may or may not have issues standing to pee."
"For a phallo there's usually multiple stages to the surgery. If you have a meta you can still get a phallo in the future but not vice-versa. So you'll have a donor site, either your arm or you thigh is pretty common, you'll get some say in length but it really depends on how much tissue they can use and the goal is generally average size. They cannot become erect on their own. You have to get an implant for that which is an extra surgery and more money on top of the money you've already spent to get a phallo. Because the tissue is donor tissue taken from other parts you won't have as much sensation if any. Some say they never get sensation to the shaft, some do get some sensation to the shaft. The lack of sensation can actually be problematic during healing because you can't feel if you accidentally bump your penis into something. And with a phallo it will always be full length as it can't deflate like a cis-penis would."
"For transfeminine bottom surgery: So there are a few different ways to make a neovagina. A common way is by taking the penile tissue and inverting it, so the length here varies based on how much tissue. Another procedure uses rectal tissue, the benefit here is that is has some self lubricating capabilities, unlike with penile inversion. Though due to risk factors it's less commonly done. Another surgery involves taking peritoneal tissue from the abdomen to create the vagina. This is a newer surgery for transgender women even though it's a surgery that has been used on cis-women for decades. It also has the benefits of self lubrication and having a stretchier vagina compared to penis inversion. Length here varies quite a bit on what tissue is available for use. Most surgeons operate with the goal of length of cis vagina when aroused. Though some will result in a short vagina. Dilating the vagina after surgery and for years afterwards will help maintain depth overtime. Anecdotally I've heard of dilation once you're past recovery stage to only be necessary if you aren't sexually active and it can depend on the type of surgery you received."
"Edit: I came here from a trans sub honestly expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the really great questions. It was fun to spend some time answering questions. I think there really isn't enough good conversation on trans topics. The people who are the loudest on trans topics are generally the ones who are not transgender, incredibly misinformed, and do not care to listen to other points of view or scientific information. So I really hope there were some good conversations that might have brought issues to people's attention/ broadened the understanding of what being transgender is. Anyways, have a great rest of your day! If you comment a follow up question to my comment I will do my best to answer if possible. :)"
Most Manly ExperienceThats It Season 7 GIF by One ChicagoGiphy
"Trans men… do you realize the manliest experience you’re having is being told you’re not a man?"
"That’s like 60% of being a man."
"This was hilarious and validating thank you"
"You know what's the crazy thing? I've always been bullied for being a girl. Decades later I come out as a girl and now the same 'manly men' tell me I'm a man. Like make up your mind! JEEZ!"
"Does sitting down feel different after you get bottom surgery"
"At least for this one trans woman, Sitting down the three months after bottom surgery is a b*tch. You're still recovering and all the irritated flesh is very painful."
"Then eventually sitting down is the same except for the fact that I no longer have my privates in the way."
"However for me personally, when I sit down my belly button feels weird because my nerve endings regrew incorrectly."
"Over a year post-op, and it feels way more natural & easy. There's no extraneous crap between my legs any more, and I can sit like a degenerate bisexual much more easily now."
"Is it still possible for a person to have an orgasm after reassignment surgery? Not a doctor, but my understanding of the process of creating the genitalia (F-M or M-F) would seem to make that prospect incredibly dim."
"The sheer number of nerve endings in the clitoris and tip of the penis make it seem impossible enough survive the surgery to provide the same sensations"
"My surgeon uses a technique that leaves the neurovascular bundle fully intact, the tip of the penis just gets reduced in size to form a neo-clitoris. I had my first orgasm 34 days after surgery and the intensity is pretty much as before, I just can have longer ones now."
"To add to what many people are saying here... there is a risk of losing sexual sensation after surgical intervention. We all know it. Before surgical intervention is performed, that risk will be made explicitly clear to the patient, they will have to acknowledge that it is a risk, and confirm, often in writing, that it is an acceptable risk, and that they are prepared for that outcome."
"It is, however, considered an unintended side effect these days... something that decent surgeon will be able to avoid almost all of the time."
Just A Phase
"Is there any part of you that is genuinely worried that it is 'just a phase'?"
"Yeah. That's why it took me over 10 years to accept it and begin my transition"
"Yes. Most if not all trans folk wonder this at some point, this is why a lot of us are depressed."
"Yep! I think that’s fairly normal with any identity tbh. It’s annoying because rationally I know that I have dysphoria and prefer certain pronouns but my irrational brain is really good at making me second guess myself"
Functionsstudying busy philipps GIF by Drunk HistoryGiphy
"If you’re transitioning MtF and are on hormone replacement therapy but haven’t had bottom surgery yet,"
"1) does the penis shrink up and become unusable?"
"2) can you still have penetrative sex (penis in vagina)?"
"3) can you get someone pregnant via question 2?
"I’m a cisgender woman and am genuinely just curious"
"1: It varies! Some people retain full size, some people shrink. The jury is out even among the community on if you can control it, and to what extent. 2: Yes! 3: Yep! Fertility is generally harmed by hormones, but not always completely gone."
"I am talking purely from personal experience."
"1)yes it does, but primarily when soft, you lose random erections which work as bodily check if your penis is healthy, which means it's recommended to get it erect every so often so the muscles don't atrophy, which could lead into it being unsuable."
"2)If I wanted then yes."
"3)Possibly...The funtioning sperm count heavily decreases on hormones, but that doesn't mean all of it does. Usually it's recomended to freeze your sperm before taking hormones. Still wouldn't count on it as 100% save from getting someone pregnant."
"This actually hasn't been studied systematically in trans women very extensively (there are huuuuge gaps in the medical literature), buuuuut there are cis men who get testicular cancer and can't go on testosterone replacement (like, their tumors were hormone sensitive, so it's risky to go on T again), and we know a fair lot about them. Since testosterone is what mediates penile response, what applies to them seems to apply to trans women who are either pre- or non-op. Thus, to answer your questions:"
"1)It's not that simple. When you nuke testosterone, some people lose the ability to have erections, but most retain it to some degree. What disappears is nocturnal erections--ie morning wood--and the biological function of that is to exercise the skin, vascular contractions, and so forth of the phallus. Unless you work the phallus out, you'll lose size and function, but if you use it regularly, it seems to stay just fine, according to the literature."
"2)Why wouldn't you be able to? Many girls don't want to, because it makes them feel dysphoric, but those who do can. Some need help from cialis or viagra, but that's not exactly a big deal."
"3)HRT has major effects on fertility, radically reducing the likelihood. However, 24% of girls with testes on HRT still produce some amount, albeit small, of sperm even years and years into transition. So, yes! HRT is NOT birth control."
"I work in medicine. Often times it can be apparent that someone may be transitioning, but it’s never right to assume anything about anyone."
"I’ll usually see their given name before I meet them, and it’s standard practice to have a pt confirm with their legal name and dob."
"What do you think is the best way of being asked if you have a preferred first name other than what is 'legal' in that situation?"
"I usually stumble with something like 'Hi I’m looking for John Doe is that you? Nice to meet you, is John okay or do you go by another name?' "
"But it always feels clunky."
"Looking for advice."
"EDIT: My main clinical setting is an urban hospital in a large network of hospitals. This makes any change to charting/intake very well out of my reach, unfortunately. It is a discussion that I hope continues to climb to the administrators."
"I don't know if this was to avoid using my birth name (most likely it was) but I've had doctors use just the surname when calling me and then confirming by asking for my birth date or ID."
"the way you say that is perfect, i don't think there's a better way to do it. big ups for actually asking, way too few people do that!"
"love that! you can still say that, if you don't want them to assume you thought they weren't cis (some people may feel discomfort from that) you can say its because some people don't like their name or go by a nickname they use as a first name (you can make up a person in your life, if you want to add in small talk, for example, both my parents don't use their legal names simply because they're too used to what friends and family have been calling them)"
"These answers are the dialogue that's missing right now."
"After years of trying to understand, I finally feel like I get it. Thank you all for educating and enlightening! Media dialogue seems elusive and circular - these answers made clear sense and I feel like I learned something."
"No- thank you. This comment made my day, aside from this post going viral. I’m so glad that you showed and interest and even happier that you learned something after years of trying to understand!"
"It’s been really nice to talk about it without pushback for the most part. I feel like education is what’s needed for it to be understood without malice."
"Media dialogue on trans people not being very helpful to understanding trans issues is very much by design - media has grown increasingly hostile to trans people in recent years."
"thanks for reading and learning :))"
When people are willing and able to freely talk about their experiences, we can all learn a lot from one another.
The day Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election, people literally took to the streets to celebrate, giving an idea that people weren't so sad to see his predecessor leave office.
Indeed, many think so ill of the 45th President of the United States, that people have a hard time even saying or writing his name.
Throughout his tumultuous, often headline-making four years in office, he was frequently referred to as the "worst President of all time."
But was he?
Redditor Unaball3r was curious to hear who the Reddit community considered the all time worst leader of the free world, leading them to ask:
"Who was actually the worst President in US History and why?"
The 17th, but also an unceremonious "first"
"He only became President because he was VP when Lincoln was assassinated."
"He basically tried to obstruct/reverse as much of Lincoln's policy as he possibly could."
"Inept, regressive . . . the first President to be impeached."
"A President that never should have been . . ."- OutsideSpring
"Andrew Johnson paved the way for the KKK to form in the aftermath of the civil war."- Random_puns
"Andrew Johnson is directly responsible for much of why the US is f*cked up today."
"TLDR: land redistribution after the civil war could’ve set up former slaves to be on equal footing with white people."
"Instead, Johnson made sure they got nothing."- caldo4
So bad they weren't even mentioned by name.
"The two presidents before Lincoln and his successor are usually ranked as the worst ones by historians."- DanSRedskins
"The 'Trail of Tears' guy wasn't great."- RudigherJones
Seriously, how do people like this get elected?
"Grover Cleveland assaulted a woman, got her pregnant, promised to take of her, and had her name the baby after a friend of his that passed away."
"He had a doctor he knew deliver the baby, then kidnapped it and had his sister raise it."
"Then he had the woman committed to a mental institution."
"When all this came out, he painted her to be mentally unstable and a drunk."
"He claimed she didn’t know who the father was and had several men come forward and lie saying they all had been with her."
"He also made it a point to mention that she had named the baby after who she thought the father was, and that wasn’t him."
"The guy was dead so he couldn’t say anything."
"He convinced everyone he had tried to help her by having her put away to get help and by finding the baby a good family because he assumed the father to be his deceased friend who the child was named after and he was just wanting to do the right thing."
"He also married the daughter of a friend and business partner."
"He doted on her as a child and bought her a baby carriage."
"When her dad died when she was 11, he was more like a father figure."
"Until she got older and then he started sending her flowers."
"Everyone assumed he was courting her mother until the two of them popped up and got married."- TheMudbloodSlytherin
A war is never a good way to end a Presidency
"The Civil War escalated to the levels that it did because of his inaction."
"His presidency was by far the most disastrous in history."
"He’s at the bottom of every conceivable list."- LFCSpectre
"Encouraging secession and setting the stage for the civil war puts him at the top without much debate."- jah05r
Andrew doesn't seem to be a name befitting a President
"Jackson and Johnson."- ConnieLingus24
In the eyes of others, maybe there was a President worse than the 45th.
A man with more impeachments than terms as President.
Perhaps its still too soon, and everyone's just trying to forget it ever happened...