for you:


You who works so hard but is never enough
This is for you.
You who fights every day
To live without any regrets
But just when you think
There’s nothing left to fight
The demons creep back up and
    Knock you down
    And scratch your heart
    Until it bleeds
               And bleeds
               And bleeds.
    Until your red turns to white
    And the white turns to gray.
And the gray is everything you are
And there seems to be no escape.
This is for you.

You who wakes up
And says “You can do it”
And paints a smile on your face
With bright pink lipstick
This is for you.
                  But the smile never reaches your eyes
                  And the happiness never reaches your heart
Because the demons are easier
And easier to hide.
This is for you.

And your mom doesn’t get it
When you start crying on the phone
Because you’re just so tired
No matter how much sleep you get
You’re just so tired
         Of feeling like a burden
         Of wanting to escape
         Of needing something more
              Than a painted on smile
              And a quick hug
              And popping the same three pills every morning.
       This is for you.

You who wants to change the world
  And doesn’t know how.
  This is for you.
You who needs a change
  But can’t seem to find it.
  This is for you.

You who sees that light in others
    But can’t find it in yourself.
This is for you:
Depression is not everything you are.
It is not a passing feeling
That is synonymous with “sad,”
But you will survive it because you are that strong.
And that incredible.
And that beautiful.
And you will see that light in yourself
Because you shine brighter than others
Because you are those bright rays
Peeking through the gray clouds after the storm.
And we are here for you.
We are all here for you.
We are all here with you.
Right by your side.
And this – this is for you.


Featured image from photographer Christian Hopkins, 16.

 

On Learning and Reflecting


togetlost

Learning what I find important in life has been a difficult journey, and it’s nowhere near over. I am constantly thinking about what I could be doing better, or what I am searching for, and it’s not easy to comprise a list of these things. What I will try to do is tell you what I have learned and what I am in the process of learning.

I have learned that even though I am living away from home, and that I’m probably one of the most independent people I know, I will always miss my family and my dog. Sometimes just the idea of being at home on the couch watching football with my family and a table full of Buffalo Wild Wings in front of me brings me to tears.

I have learned that I’m privileged and lucky. I have a family to miss and a second (and third and fourth) family to love me and care for me wherever I am in the world. I have never wanted for anything that I need to survive.

I have learned that I am a strong person, but I’m not strong enough to handle everything on my own. Sometimes I need help, and that’s okay.

I have learned that I give a lot, and that’s not always a good thing. Sometimes I need to take a step back and say no. A friend and I were talking recently about how we always say yes to things and we think that this will make us happy and productive, but in the end, it makes us stressed and unproductive. It’s okay to say no to things, even if those things might be stuff you don’t think you want to miss out on – there will be other opportunities to hang out with those friends.

I have not yet learned what it is I want to “do with my life.” Despite, constantly getting the question day in and day out, just because I am a junior in college, I do not have my future nailed down, and yes, you asking me that does make me feel a little nervous. I am contemplating a lot of things, and I know that I am the kind of person who will not really know what I want to do until I start doing it.

I have not yet learned quite how to love. Loving is sometimes so easy and sometimes it’s so much harder. I’ve not figured it all out yet, but I’m working on it.

I will always consider myself a learner long after I’m out of school. I will always continue learning new things and I don’t know if I’ll ever really “figure everything out,” but I like to think that I can keep working on it.

GloriousMess

Because I Said So…


This past week I started my placement for my service-learning course – Project Outreach. I am working with a group of adolescents at a youth residential detention and treatment center in a nearby county. We are working with an organization called Youth Arts Alliance! and during our first workshop, we did an activity we called “Because I said so.” 

We each had four slips of paper that we wrote down 4 goals/dreams/etc. with each sentence ending with “because I said so.” I wrote down four things nonchalantly, not really knowing how serious the kids would take the activity. After we all grabbed four random slips of paper out of the bucket to read aloud to the group, I was absolutely blown away by the things I was hearing. 

“I will get a bachelor’s degree and become a business owner…because I said so.” 

“I will be a better sister – because she deserves more than this…because I said so.” 

“I will get out of here and make a life for myself…because I said so.”

“I will be better – for myself, my family and my future…because I said so. 

So, forgetting the simple things I wrote – something about college, traveling and getting a dog – I thought I should re-evaluate what I would do because I said so…so here we go.

I will do what I love because I said so.

I won’t let people tell me what I cannot accomplish, because I said so

I will take care of myself, because I said so.

I will learn how to say “no” when I need to say “no,” because I said so.

I will be spontaneous, because I said so.

I will be happy, because I said so.

So, to this group of kids who stole my heart after only an hour together – I will do these things because I said so, and because you believed in me. And you can do the things you said – you will go back home and be so successful and happy, because I believe in you and you believe in yourself. I know you do.

becauseisaidso