#BeTheVoice

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

Two weeks ago my friends and family participated in the Out of Darkness Walk in Piedmont Park for suicide prevention  and it was AMAZING. Hundreds of people came together to remember their loved ones or raise awareness for suicide prevention. Although at times, the heaviness of the walk’s purpose made us freeze, we were in awe of how many people care for others. Our family isn’t alone in this fight against suicide, and neither are you.

I began thinking- I talk all the time about raising awareness for suicide prevention, but what does that mean? What can you do to raise awareness?

The most vital place you can start if just talking. There’s such a menacing ring to the word suicide, not to mention the crippling stigma that comes along with it. Suicide is scary, but we have to talk about it in order to make the word feel less uncomfortable. Suicide happens. We have to face that reality, and then come to terms with how to prevent it.

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Talk to your loved ones. Not just talk, but really talk. Turn off Netflix and put down your phone and have a real conversation. How have they truly been doing?

The second most vital action you can take is to educate yourself. Would you know the warning signs if you saw them? The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has some fantastic resources, and is a perfect place to start. Their website contains information on warning signs, preventative tips, and ways to get involved.

Take action. Participate in community events like the Out of Darkness Walk, post on social media. Even just smiling at a stranger could completely change their mindset for the day, and sometimes that’s all they need.  AFSP shares ways to get involved through volunteering, donating, prevention training, and even program to bring to your school.

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Suicide is preventable and it starts with us.

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Checking In

Hey guys!

I haven’t been posting much lately and I apologize for that! I’m in my second year of college and it’s been extremely time consuming. I love it here, though.

An update is well over due. As stated, I’m a sophomore in college majoring in journalism and minoring in professional writing. Since August of 2015, I’ve written at our newspaper, The Sentinel in the opinion section. While writing for The Sentinel, I briefly wrote for The Odyssey Online, but left to focus on The Sentinel.

Last January, Cameron and I adopted our sweet baby Macchiato, or Maki for short. Maki is a lab and Australian Shepard mix who will frequently appear here in Thoughtful Boheme! I currently live with three awesome roommates where Maki  stays most weeks.

This semester I am enrolled in several Communication major classes. For my technology class, I will be making separate posts where I discuss relevant technology topics. I will have a section dedicated to said posts!

That’s all for now! I’ll leave you with a recent picture and much love! ❤

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Come On, Congress

Written by me for the Kennesaw State Sentinel:

Dr. Willie Parker of Chicago is often viewed as a savior to many Mississippi women. According to Esquire, he flies from Chicago to Mississippi twice a month to perform abortions, a job that many doctors in the state refuse to complete. Many terrified women come to him seeking help. His humble office known as the Pink House is one of 1,793 independent women’s health clinics in the US, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Dr. Park’s practice and others are often overlooked by women because of the overwhelming popularity of Planned Parenthood. Because Planned Parenthood is a federal business, it receives support from the government. However, in the recent months, videos and information about what Planned Parenthood does beyond closed doors has surfaced.

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a secretly filmed video this July, revealing that Planned Parenthood has been selling parts of aborted fetuses. More and more information is being uncovered and the move to defund this organization has been stronger than ever. Regardless of your stance on abortion, it is extremely difficult to defend Planned Parenthood’s recent actions. If Congress defunded Planned Parenthood, they could put an end to the illegal doings of the company.

As stated in the New York Times, the eight minute video released to the media by the CMP includes Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, conversing with potential buyers of fetal tissues and parts.

According to the 42 US Code 289g-2, it is considered a felony for any person “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce. Breaking this law as Planned Parenthood did results in up to ten years in prison.

The video also suggests that Planned Parenthood is altering abortion procedures so that the fetus’ body parts are more intact. Because such alterations could be harmful to the mother, abortion physicians are not allowed to alter procedures to produce “better” tissues. Since the first video was released, eight more have surfaced, each more horrifying than the other. In the seventh video, released Aug. 19, the Executive Director Dr. Ben Van Handel of a company that buys the fetal parts admitted that sometimes a baby’s heart is still beating. Handel said “there are times when after the procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating.” As each video was released, more questions arose concerning Planned Parenthood’s priorities.

By Congress defunding Planned Parenthood, they would stop the company for a year. During this time a more thorough investigation of the company will take place. This law will not stop abortions, but it will put a pause and hopefully an end to the horrid actions taking place. Regardless or a person’s stance on abortion, myself and countless others believe the gruesome actions of Planned Parenthood go against all morals and must be stopped. No fetus deserves to be mutilated and sold for profit.

Every life has value, but by thoughtlessly trashing an aborted fetus or its parts, society sends the public the message that life is worthless and disposable.

Copyright The Sentinel 2015

The Last Night

Outside of my window, crickets and frogs are filling up the night with their song. Tonight is my very last night sleeping in my room that I’ve made so many memories in. It’s an extremely weird feeling to know that tomorrow I really am going off to college; I really am leaving this familiar town. Starting this week, I will be plunged into adulthood. Well not really. Starting this week, I will be plunged into college band camp and THEN into adulthood. I’m going to miss so many amazing people here with whom I’ve grown up. This place will always be home? But tomorrow I will be in my second home. 

Ketchup

Hello! Summer is almost over. Sadly, I didn’t keep up with writing everyday like I had planned on in the beginning. I haven’t talked in forget so now is time to play ketchup. I have three days left here in my hometown before I make the giant step to college. Next week is our band camp and the following week the real work begins. Decorations around my room are slowly disappearing and boxes are quickly appearing in the dinning room. My boyfriend moved in last Friday and we both cannot contain our excitement for college together. In three days, cars will be loaded, tears shed, and hugs shared. Of course, it won’t be my final goodbye; I will still visit when I can. I’m exuberant. I’m nervous. Most of all I’m eager to start anew in a different town.  There’s even a Disney store at the local mall that will be hiring in September! I would be on cloud nine working at a Disney store. 

Recently, on Instagram I read about a 100 day challenge. During this challenge, instagramers post their talent (art, music, writing, etc) everyday for 100 days. I’m thinking about starting that and posting both to my blog and Instagram. Have any of you participated in the challenge?

The Witching Hour

A novel written in tweets.

Day 1

Unpacking the truck is more exhausting than I remember. We still have around fifty boxes to unload and a new house to grow acquaintance to.

Day 2

We all slept on the living room couches. It’s spooky here at night and too quite. We only have one neighbor and they’re worlds away from us.

Day 3

The moving trucks have finally left and Annie and Jack began decorating their rooms. Annie discovers several dead butterflies in her window.

Day 4

The children aren’t too fond of the house. There are misleading corridors and creeks in the night. My husband says the house has character.

Day 5

As I’m standing in the ominous basement, a crash comes from behind me. An invisible force caused a vase to plummet to the floor, shattering. Read More

Valedictory Speech

Hello, Class of 2015! Here we are, days away from graduating and making new beginnings for ourselves. When I first stepped into this building as a freshman, all the upperclassmen told me that whatever I do, don’t blink. Because the moment you blink, your high school career will come to a close. I used to laugh it off in disbelief, but now here we are. As I look at the faces before me, about to embark on separate journeys, I can recall our first moments together. In all honesty, freshman year we entered nervous and not unafraid. Even though we were the bottom feeders of the school, a false sense of maturity flooded our minds. We began finding new friendships, joined clubs or sports, and discovered ways to became involved with our new home for the next four years. I found my passion in the silk and that has made all the difference. The band program became my home, my family, my shoulder to cry on. I and many others have come out of our shell. As the years passed, we slowly made our way to the top of the tank, colliding with several menacing sharks and rocks along the way. And now, finally, finally, we have reached the top. Senior year is the year of adulthood and change. Stress and chaos and chaos and stress have paid off. All those late night study sessions and empty coffee cups have rewarded us.  Our class has a bond unlike any class before or after us. Through the many high and unfortunately many low moments these four years, we have remained by each other’s sides no matter what. Our class has shown the power of community and love. After tossing your caps into the air, I pray that you will bring with you community and love where ever you may go. Show others what it means to be a family. Uphold a sense of adventure and curiosity throughout life. Don’t you dare let anyone tell you how you will live your life. Bono once said, “The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.”As cliché as it sounds, you truly are the captain of your fate. The beloved Dr. Seuss convinced his readers of this:

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

So get up and go. Do not let yourself be the ship that never sailed. Class of 2015, carpe diem! Seize the day and make your lives extraordinary!

Passage

Within the past year, I have become infatuated with Disney. I constantly listen to Disney music, watch the movies, own piles upon piles of Disney clothing, and even got to go to Downtown Disney and Disney World over the summer. I felt like I was reliving my childhood, only was I now more appreciative of Disney. Disney has become my way of feeling like a little girl again, dancing in my room in her Jasmine costume. It never truly hit me that I was a senior until band camp over the summer. During lunch and dinner, seniors were able to claim “seniority” and skip ahead of the underclassmen. On the morning of the last day, senior do not have to condition as well.  These miniscule privileges are not necessarily a big deal, but it’s our senior band kid rite of passage. Between each session, I belted out Disney songs with my friend, almost as a reminder that although we went through our “rite of passage”, we are still children at heart.

The End.

He said I would hate him forever. Our friendship would be over. We were through and all I could feel were sobs wrenching at my soul, my heart shattering into shards of what once was his. My tears seared pathways down my cheeks. Bringing my knees to a fetal position, as small as I could be. I hear my mom start the bath. I’m not sure how I appeared in the bath tub, but there I was. Sick to my stomach, drawing my sorrows in water that scalded my skin. The pain on my skin was more comforting that the ache in my chest. I felt empty. Numb. Forsaken. Tears once more found their way down my countenance as I wept.