the lights that shine through

possible trigger warning, please continue reading at your own discretion. 

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the light that shines through

 

i love nothing more than the night skies,

angelic darkness and twinkling stars winking at me like a wise, old soul,

telling me that everything will be alright.

i wish for nothing more than to keep even one window open to hear the soft sounds of the night, so they can lull me to sleep,

see the things of the night that no one else sees so they can visit me in my dreams,

a secret between me and midnight,

but since i was just a girl i was told, ‘Mija, if you keep your curtain open then they will see you at night, they will climb up the ladder of your dreams so they can catch a peak of you changing into your Cinderella pajamas.’

if your curtains fall open just a tiny, sneaking inch, then when the cars drive past they will let their lights shine through into your room,

so all the peeping toms of the neighborhood can catch a glance of your sleeping face,

looking calm for once in your life because in your dreams you don’t have to worry about the registered sex offender on your street,

or the three registered sex offenders on your best friends street,

or the five registered sex offenders on your other best friends street

the lights from the cars cast shadows into your room that form into the man your mother told you about when you were six and you couldn’t understand why someone wanted to see you while you slept, while you were stuck in a vulnerable coma of candy land and sugar plums,

and now that you’re twenty-three, living on your own, you close your curtains but forget to triple check that they’re closed all the way,

and the next thing you know car lights are shining through to you and you’re six years old again wearing your princess pj’s and you call out for your mom,

but all you get in a response is a grown mans hand holding a rag against your face that smells like a

flowery,

sickly sweetly,

chemically smell,

and suddenly your eyes flutter shut and you no longer worry about the lights that shine through from the night skies

What You’re Worth

I’m not good with math
Or numbers or change
but here’s an equation
I’ll try to explain
if I start with a positive
and lose any cents
My account becomes negative
make any sense?
I know you don’t get it
Just hear me out
I’ve run out of worth
causing debt and doubt
I don’t take loans
grants or gifts
in the form of cheap thrill
Or fake relationships
so try and keep quiet
don’t fuss or holler
Bc what’s your two cents
Compared to my dollar
You still don’t get it
so let me just say it
I am changing for me
And no opinion can delay it
So in Dollars, cents
pennies or quarters
know your self worth
And stop taking orders
So better yourself
and don’t be ashamed
add up your value
Bc everyone needs change

The Hate U Give Book Review

FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM 

 

Damn. My first thought as I delved into the book I got whilst shopping with friends.

The Hate U Give

T     H      U  G     Thug.

This book, written by Angie Thomas, was the best book I’ve read-maybe in my entire life. Besides the fact that this book was incredibly written, has great wording and descriptions, plus makes real connections with the emotions that the main character feels, this book will make you feel things, I can promise you that. This book should make you want to get up and scream for justice!

THUG follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she struggles to keep her two lives separate. Her life in Garden Heights, her ‘black’ neighbourhood, and her life at Williamson, the, mainly white, private school she goes to. She finds herself at a party with her friend, who she hasn’t spoken to in months, Khalil Harris. When cops try to break up the party, Khalil says he’ll drive her out of there, and they never quite make it home.

Khalil gets fatally shot by a white police officer while he was unarmed and simply cooperating, and Starr’s two worlds collide forever. People at Williamson constantly talk about him, unaware of the companionship he and Starr had in her early childhood. The people of the neighbourhood wouldn’t even talk to Starr about him, yet riots would break out on the streets. A movement.

The Hate U Give is a phenomenal punch to the gut of those who fight against Black Lives Matter. It really exemplifies what it’s like to be one of the only people of colour in a primarily white school with such raw emotion and in depth detail. “I’m cool by default because I’m one of the only black kids here.” or another great quote which I personally relate to on a whole new level, “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” 

This book screams for social justice and equality for all, with an echo of the pride Starr has at the end of the book for her race. This book is all about teaching people that everyone deserves to live, that there is another side of the story that the media won’t tell, that no matter what there will always be that one person to drag you down but it doesn’t matter because you will have at least one more person to bring you all the way up to the clouds to get you away from the one person who’ll drag you down. It talks about how you will always be seen as a certain thing, like Star was seen as ‘the witness’ ‘the black kid’ ‘Big Mav’s daughter’ and many other things, until at the end she sees herself as a powerful young woman, with a hopeful future in activism, she is seen as Starr.

This novel is a must read for any teenager, young adult, adult, elder, absolutely anyone, no matter your race, sexuality, gender, or age, get your hands on this book as soon as you can!

Khalil, while talking about what Tupac has said and his current relevance, said, “Listen! The Hate U-the letter U-Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody, T-H-U-G  L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.” And if what we give kids in their youth affects how they act when they’re older and how they impact the world, then we should give them this book as soon as we can, or at least teach them even a sliver of what this book can teach others.

I’ve always said that us minorities can scream until our throats are bleeding and we can’t scream anymore, but those with the privilege can whisper and be heard better than us, and this book proves that in an insanely amazing way. This book will truly inspire you to take action, and you’ll be forever glad that you read it.

 

Beauty

     I have never met anyone capable of saying “beautiful.” I have never met anyone strong enough to comment on the wonders of the world that way. Are you capable of saying beautiful? Are you strong enough? When the word slips out does it taste awkward and new? Strange and unused? Are you sincerely commenting on the world?

     Does he tell you that you are beautiful when you are shattering? When you are sitting in the bathroom in a pool of tears wondering why you keep going? Does he hold you like you are made of porcelain? Does he watch you dream, wishing you would wake up to say your watercolor face is beautiful? If he does he is capable. He is strong enough.  

     You’ll feel like you aren’t strong enough sometimes. You’ll feel like you want to scream, but you can hardly whisper. You scoff and roll your eyes and sarcastically say it’s beautiful, even if you love the old lace, memories, and flowers.  If you are not ready to speak your truth to someone, if you are not ready to be your true, vulnerable, and floral self, then chances are they are not worthy of knowing it. But you’ll beat yourself up, because you’re scared. You don’t owe them anything.

     There’s a world out there, my dear, and it’s confusing to try to understand what you are going to do with it. Because part of you wants to know where the outside goes, and the other part in terrified. And are you ever going to let us know? Are you actually going to fly away, or are you only going to live in you mind. I beg you, go outside. Go outside with your new ability to say “beautiful” and find the things in the world worth seeing.

Failure

It pins you down

Captures you in its grasp and won’t let you go.

You can try as hard as you would like

But nothing you do will help

The voice in your head

Constantly reminding you that you failed

You did not succeed

You’re a failure and a disappointment

Don’t try again

It’s not worth it

Waste of time, space and energy

Give up.

chapter one: the broken girl in the coffee shop

chapter one: the broken girl in the coffee shop

she was not the type of girl to wait around after school just to watch you walk to your locker.

she would not wait around at the coffee shop after your practice just to watch you order your large strawberry flavoured water and yoghurt parfait cup.

she would not give you the answers to yesterday’s homework no matter how important that game or practice was, ” or was it a party this time?” she’d ask in an almost sarcastic tone.

she was a tough one, there was a certain stubbornness to her that you admired.

her light brown eyes had seen some of the darkest days you are yet to experience, but you loved it, you loved how she managed to get through it all.

she was not dying to get to know you, but god knows you would do anything to get to know her better.

the quiet girl who just transferred from california, was that her name? her name!  you don’t even know her name.

you started to stay after school to get a glance of her on her way to her car, backpack half open, hair a mess.  it was cute.  you thought it was cute.

after your practice at the coffee shop you would glance around hoping some day she would be sitting alone reading her favourite book, then you’d approach her right then and there and get her name.

weeks go by, she seems to have disappeared.  you see her occasionally when walking from class to class.

apparently, she has been seeing someone. someone who you know is not any good for her, but as long as she is happy right?

one night in the coffee shop you glance over at the brunette girl with light brown eyes sitting next to someone.

you hear the pain in her words as she opens her mouth, voice trembling, ” we were doing so well”

minutes go by and there she is alone.  wiping the tears off of her rosy cheeks.

you grew angry with yourself, why didn’t you comfort her? why didn’t you go and sit by her? ask her if she was okay?

these thoughts attacked your panicked mind until you got up and walked over.

there you were sitting next to the broken girl in the coffee shop.

no words were exchanged, as she placed her head in the warmth of your embrace.

she doesn’t have her car, so you’ll drive her home.

you won’t ever forget that rainy night or the dark pink and purple sky.

she lives close but you don’t mind taking her.  you hope she feels better, and not alone.

you got up and out of your chair, let her feel her emotions without having to hide them behind her grey tear stained sweatshirt.  drove her home so she’d be safe.  you offered to stay in case she didn’t want to be alone.

little do you know she’ll remember this night forever

mt

 

depression.

featured image via Panna Bagoly 

depression.

It’s time to talk about something very serious and something that isn’t talked about as much as it should be.
Depression.
Just that 10 letter word can scare some people and cause them anxiety. It may even instantly bring flashbacks of some dark times. If it doesn’t – I’m truly happy for you, because that means you didn’t have to go through this.
I have GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) ever since I remember existing, and still suffer with it to this day. It doesn’t have a cure and I know I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. One thing that has to be taken into account – and that took me years to realise- is that the fact that I’m going to live with this forever doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to let my disorder define me or my actions. It doesn’t have to take over my life.
If you suffer from anxiety just like me, let me tell you that there’s plenty of ways of getting help. You don’t have to suffer in silence, nor should you. That isn’t healthy and will only make the big monster that is anxiety grow more and more as time goes by.
When we decide to stay in silence, to keep our thoughts to ourselves, to silently cry every night under the duvet… that’s when anxiety decides to call a friend of his. Depression.
I have no doubts that to some this might come as a surprise: the fact that anxiety actually affects people that much and the fact that anxiety walks hand in hand with depression most times.
Suffering from anxiety doesn’t mean you’re always going to be depressed, but if the disorder isn’t treated as it should if the person suffering doesn’t seek for help, that black and chunky monster will most likely make its way into the body and start messing with the mind.
I’ll give my personal experience as an example.
Like I previously said, I’ve lived with my disorder ever since I remember existing, and it has been a terribly hard battle to fight.
My anxiety has made it extremely difficult for me to make new friendships, to speak in front of a crowd, to ask for a drink in a bar… but there was one year when I was 12 years of age when things were different.
I knew that what I was feeling wasn’t just anxiety.
In 2012 I started doubting myself. And when I wasn’t doubting myself, or even actually feeling good about myself one day, when night time approached, I’d always find myself crying in my bedroom and listening to sad songs.
That summer I fell out of some friendships and was struggling a lot with my self-confidence. It came to the point where I looked at myself in the mirror and wanted to cry due to how I looked, my appearance. I looked at all my friends in their swimwear, so confident and beautiful, just to look down at my tummy and wish it wasn’t that big.
The friendships I had slowly fell apart thanks to my “friends” constantly making little remarks about my tastes and sometimes even how I looked or what I wore. They made fun of me, whether I was around or not. It made me feel little in comparison to them, and many were the days and nights when I cried because their words kept playing in my mind like a broken record.
That was when the depression started. It started slowly, with my self doubt, then it escalated to seeing the ones who were once by my side walk past me and not even say a word, or laugh.
This all happened during Summer, that time of the year where you’re supposed to have no worries, to enjoy those three months to the fullest, to have fun… but I wasn’t doing that. I remember that many were the days when after lunch I’d go to my room and cry.
I was sad every single day and rare were the times I could plaster a smile across my face.
My elder sister and mom were extremely preocuppied with my condition and even told me multiple times I should try and see a therapist. But my answer was always no. At 12 years of age, I was one of those that thought “only the crazy or really sick ones need to see a therapist”. It makes me cringe that I actually thought like that. Silly me!
But I did end up going to see a therapist. I only made that decision because one of my sister’s friends had a conversation with me. He told me he knew how I was feeling, because my sister had shared her worries for me with him. That made my heart hurt and that was when I started crying. I still have this episode very present on my mind. I cried for a solid hour, listening to everything our friend had to say and tried to explain what I was feeling. If you have dealt/are dealing with depression, you know how hard it is to explain what you’re going through when sometimes not even you understand.
It was by the end of that conversation that I made up my mind. I was, indeed, going to see a therapist.
As soon as school started in September I started seeing my school’s therapist.
I was there every week for two years. It helped! It really did, and that’s no lie. If you think that talking to a stranger won’t help – you’re wrong. Sometimes talking to someone who doesn’t know a single thing about you is just what you need. You won’t feel judged.
I stopped the therapy sessions because I was better. So much better. My confidence had grown a bit and my anxiety was more controllable. And the depression? It wasn’t there anymore.
I’m trying to be as raw and truthful as I can. So I will say that maybe the decision myself and the therapist made wasn’t the best. I shouldn’t have left Therapy. I should’ve kept going every week, even if I only went to talk to her about my day!
But I didn’t and things were good for a good couple of months! Maybe a year.
But there’s something people need to understand about anxiety and depression: it comes and goes.
And that’s what happened to me. Depression eventually came back, and I was back to crying alone in my room, to doubting myself, comparing my figure to others… But I didn’t go back to Therapy. I dealt with it myself – and that made me grow into a much stronger person.
I should’ve dealt with those two monsters by myself? No, I shouldn’t and I don’t think it is recommendable. But was by my own that I learnt to deal with my anxiety in situations no one was going to be able to help me. It was like I injected some postivity into my brain.
Now, if you’re going through one of these dark phases and haven’t gone and look for help, I don’t want in any way to encourage you to stay that way. Please do seek for help. Talk to someone, whether that is one of your parents, a therapist, a friend… someone you know that’s going to listen and try to understand you. Someone that’s going to be there for you along the way.
Anxiety walks hand in hand with me everyday, and it doesn’t matter if I want it to hold my hand or not, because it’s tied and glued. It won’t leave, but I’ve learnt to deal with it. To control it.
One thing I still have to quite learn to deal with is my depression. It’s the monster that still scares me every time it appears.
If you’re dealing with depression, please don’t let it spread. I can’t stress enough the fact that you should look for a Therapist, seek for help and take care of yourself.
We are all unique in our way (no matter how cheesy that sounds) and we’re all worth it. We were all put into this planet with a purpose and if you haven’t, you’ll eventually find yours.
Depression isn’t just feeling sad. The word is actually thrown around like something with litte significance, when in reality it is something very serious and complicated.
Depression can start with people doubting themselves, to hate the way they look, the way they speak, the way they walk. People think no one cares for them, “no one would miss me if I just disappeared”. People are going through a very delicate and storng pain, and gain pleasure from causing even more hurt to themselves, because they feel like they deserve it. Depression leads to anxiety, to suicide… Depression isn’t a joke and it sure isn’t something to be used as a joke. It’s an illness that just keeps on getting more current in our society and it needs to be taken in count just as seriously as other illnesses.
We have to raise awareness for mental health. People who suffer with any sort of mental health illness have to feel comfortable talking to someone, have to understand that they’re not alone. And in our generation, I think we still have a long way to go for people to feel like that.
If you suffer with depression and have an anxiety disorder/panic attacks or any sort of mental illness I just want you to know that you’re not alone, ok? You’re not. There’s a way out of all this mess and even though it won’t disapeear and will always be a part of you it doesn’t have to define you. It doesn’t define you. Just like my therapist once told me “You are not your disorder”.
No matter how hard it might be to understand this and believe it, everything is going to be fine, eventually. You just have to treat yourself.
Us humans are like plants. We have to keep on watering ourselves in order to keep flourishing and keep on getting healthier and healthier!
I know that my words aren’t going to cure anyone, and that that are some that might feel confused or frustrated because the depression they’re going through isn’t exactly like this. But I hope most of you find some smiliarities in my story and understand that it is possible to get better and that seeking for help is crucial. It’s that click we have to take in order to start the journey that is trying to make that huge black monster get out of our body and mind. It is possible, and you can do it.
I’d love to hear some of your stories and to help in any way that I can.
Feel free to leave a comment down below telling me your story and journey living with anxiety, depression or both. Who knows maybe there’ll be people who read it and identify themselves?
If you relate to any comment, why not reply and spread a little positivity?
I’d love to read your stories and try to contribute with my words as much as I can.
And always remember: you’re not your disorder, you’re not your depression – these things don’t define you. You are a human that needs to be taken care of and that needs to be watered in order to keep on flourishing. You are unique and needed in this world. Stay strong and remember that nothing’s impossible. You’ll fight this battle and kick anxiety/depression in the ass. I believe in you!