13 Reasons Why 


To many, Hannah Baker was just a fictional character first in a book then in a Netflix series that went viral. To many others who related, they saw Hannah Baker within themselves.
Many saw themselves walking beside her in the halls as whispers grew louder and couldn’t be silenced.
Other saw themselves in the relationships that went from best friends to looking at one another like strangers. And how having some good memories from the past can hurt.
Many saw themselves in loneliness when surrounded by so many. When you are in a sea of people yet you feel alone you just hope someone will understand.
Others saw themselves in the love story of being too afraid to say how you felt, out of fear the other person might not say it back. So silence broke hearts when words might have healed it. 
“I cost a girl her life because I was too afraid to love her.”
Many saw themselves in the rape scenes. Where fear and shock was very real to a point where you’re frozen just wanting it to stop. Then it does. And you change. And there is no way to undo what has happened to you, so you have to live with something you didn’t choose but was forced upon you. And it takes everything in you to not blame yourself.
Others saw themselves in how depressed Hannah was walking around trying to make sense of how complicated it is to feel things so deeply sometimes. Hiding behind a mask because it’s easier to pretend everything was okay, then admit you need help.
Many others and I think the hardest place people saw themselves was in the suicide. Whether you’ve attempted yourself or thought about it, the scene made me cringe. Not just because it was so graphic but because I know it’s so many people’s reality.

This is to you…

When suicide is the second leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 18-24, that’s more than a statistic. Those are lives that have been lost. Those are children, friends, students, peers. And way too many people who should still be here.
So to every person who isn’t a statistic…
I’m so proud of you.
I am so proud of you because I know how hard some days are.
I know how alone you feel.
I understand there’s this pain within you, you can’t shake.
I know you think ending your life is a solution. But it isn’t. All that happens when you end your pain is you pass along to someone else. Your death is something that happens to everyone else around you.

And I know you might feel empty or feel nothing at all. Maybe you have a plan already or a suicide note, written. When you know exactly how you are going to do it and when.
But I’m going to stop you there.
I’m going to ask you to stay because so many people need you here.
Because I know there is a little bit of hope left in you. I know you don’t want to end your life, you just want the pain you’re feeling to go away.
And I don’t know what is causing it for you, maybe it’s heartbreak or bullying or depression. Maybe you’re 17 too and you don’t see a future.
But these things you are feelings, these bad days you are having, are simply preparing you for all the good that has yet to come in your life.

Stay around to see those good days.

There are still so many people who have yet to meet you. So many lives you are going to change. Love stories that need you apart of them. Because as lost as you feel and as lonely as you feel, there is somebody looking for someone just like you. Do not deny them the chance of meeting you because you want to take your life.
I know, it kind of feels like you’re alone and no one understands. I know you might be stressed and overwhelmed, not just by school or work but about these heavy emotions consuming you and it’s taken a toll.
And you feel like a burden to people around you. You think their lives would be better if they didn’t have to worry about you so much. But they would rather worry than be weeping at your funeral blaming themselves for something they should have seen.
But people don’t see it. Because I know like Hannah, you’re really good at hiding how you feel. I know you’ve mastered the art of keeping your head down in silence when so many thoughts consume you, taking you to this dark negative place.
I know you feel both invisible and silent. Because you can’t even find the words to describe how you feel, you just know it’s not right.
I know how much it hurts. Even if you can’t describe what that “it” is. There’s a pain within your soul you can’t shake.

I’m going to tell you something you might not have heard in awhile you are so strong. The fact that you can feel these things so deeply and it can only be described as hell when your mind tries to drag you into darkness but you still find the light.
You become a light for others because you know what it’s like to be in that deep.
You weren’t here you simply end your life looking for the easy way out. Because nothing about that is easy. But you were here to prevent others from making a mistake that will cost them everything.
I need you to simply do one thing for me, get it tomorrow. And when you get there, get to the next day. And when you get there, get to the one after that. One day you are going to look back at this and realize how glad you are, things didn’t end when you wanted them to.
And when that day comes and you’re standing on your own two feet and those thoughts at night aren’t drowning you, the way I know they are right now, I want you to reach out to me and tell me you’ve made it.
Because I know you have the strength to get there.
A bad day is only 24 hours but the best day of your life could be tomorrow. 

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Time Changes Everyone

I’m happy with the way things turned out. I’m happy with the path that my life took, with all of the twists and turns that lead me to the place where I am today.

But, even though I’m thankful for the location where I’m living and the people that are surrounding me, I still miss the way things used to be.

I miss the friends that I’ve grown apart from over the years. I miss the family that has moved away and lost touch with me. I miss the days when I could carry around a carefree attitude instead of worrying about when I have to pay my next bill and what time I have to wake up for work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with where I am. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t change any aspect of my life, even if I had the ability to do so.

One of the scariest, but most comforting things about life is that it’s forever changing. One moment we’re up, the next were down, and then suddenly we’re on the upswing again.

We don’t sit still. We’re never stuck. We won’t always feel this low. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you will be okay, because you will. I promise.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t miss the past. That I can’t relive the memories that mean the most to me.

In a perfect world, I could call up the friends that I miss and have a reunion with the family that I haven’t seen in years.

But the problem is that things change. I’m older now. I’m different now. Everyone around me is different, too. The people I remember from my memories aren’t the same people right now. They’re new, they’re fresh, they’re practical strangers.

Reconnecting with old friends might sound like the easy choice, but it isn’t always the right choice.

I can’t call up the exes I miss, because in my heart I know that we’re better off keeping our distance from each other. And I can’t go back to the job I miss, because I’ve outgrown it and am ready for bigger things.

I can’t just run back to the past when I’m feeling a little nostalgic, because I don’t belong there. I belong exactly where I am right now.

I’m already where I’m meant to be. I know I am. But I’m allowed to miss the past. I’m allowed to look back at old photographs and tell stories about how much fun my childhood friends were. I’m allowed to flip through yearbooks and social media stalk old crushes to see how they turned out.

I’m allowed to miss the past, but not want to go back to it. I’m allowed to think about how many amazing people I’ve met and places I’ve been, but be ready to move onto better things.

Sure, I miss the way things used to be and a part of me always will, a part of me will always love those old friends and cherish those old memories.

But, the truth is, I’m even happier now than I was back then. I’m an even better, stronger person than I ever was before. 

I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and I also  do believe that every choice we have made in the past has put us where we currently are in life. I do not believe that we would have ever worked — no matter how many do-overs we could’ve gotten — but I do believe that we both learned something from our time together that will serve us well in the future. #TBT

How To Understand Different Online Communication Culture

Facebook is Thanksgiving dinner. Your whole family is there your parents, your siblings, your cousins, including the cousins so distant that you don’t feel weird about flirting with them. Your random friends from high school who still live in your hometown and for some reason or another don’t interact with their own families and are now awkwardly here.
There are many different tables people sit at, an grownups’ table where people have Serious Conversations About What’s Going On In Our Lives, a kids’ table that seems to be a continuous high-pitched shrill whine of incomprehensible noise, the den table around which the middle-aged guys shoot the shit about sports, the coffee table around which the middle-aged women gossip about celebrities.
There is the corner where you stand with the other young adults making small talk about how much you hate the chintzy decor, how you’d like to be anywhere else in the world right now, and how you are paranoid that your parents will overhear you talk about sex or use a swear word. Vacation photographs are plentiful, interspersed with predictable political debates between the one angry Cordesian and the one strident Japanese(JAP).
At any given point, someone will be slumped on the couch crying while other people are desperately trying to console them, while being ignored by everyone else in the house.
Twitter is a big cocktail party. Everyone is in their 20s or trying with varying degrees of success to pretend they are in their 20s. People are either extremely well-dressed or dressed in the sloppy casual way of someone communicating they are too important to have to be well-dressed. The ambient noise is loud enough that it’s pointless trying to communicate other than in short, staccato sentences. There will be one exception, extremely drunk, who is conducting a full-on rant in his own little part of the room — no one will ever be sure exactly what he’s saying because everyone drifts in and out of paying attention to him at a different point. Everyone’s eyes are constantly roving the rest of the room for someone more famous, more interesting or more attractive than you to talk to. It is extremely dangerous to mention shitty gossip about somebody because they may in fact be right behind you, and yet everybody does it, because what else is there to talk about?
Random one liner jokes cribbed from stand-up comedians or directly quoting an episode of The Trend Show that aired last night abound. Whenever you come home from one of these parties your roommate asks, “Did you have fun?” and rather than actually answering the question you say, “I totally chatted with [random celebrity] standing in line for the punch bowl!”
Tumblr is the basement lounge of a college dormitory, after midnight on a week night. Everyone here should theoretically be studying or sleeping, and is instead here because of loneliness, procrastination and/or some kind of substance abuse problem. Whether or not substances are actually involved, everyone is either draped over pieces of furniture in an opiate haze or amphetaminically pacing rapidly back and forth as though they have an itch all over their body. The conversation goes through odd peaks and lulls many silences that would be awkward if everyone wasn’t too messed up right now to experience the sensation of awkwardness. Only to be suddenly broken by someone engaging in a long, meandering monologue about something horrifically personal, which either inspires a series of people “chiming in” with their own similar monologues or instead leads to a shouting, vicious argument over some tangential point made in the monologue. At least one of the guys in this room self-identifies as a Nazi, and everyone has kind of come to accept it.
The TV is on, and frequently people will mention whatever happens to be on the screen at the moment, but no one is really watching even though it’s a large TV on at a very loud volume. It’s tuned to one of those three digit cable channels that is showing a weird late night mix of Saturday morning cartoons, “for mature audiences” anime and call in shows produced in someone’s basement about UFO abductions.
LinkedIn is a corporate networking event and charity banquet.It is very similar to Facebook, except no one actually knows each other at all and everyone is wearing a tie or a string of pearls. All the small talk has an air of desperation to it. Everyone is craning to see the job title on your name tag says. Business cards are exchanged in huge numbers. Terms like “ROI” are used regularly and without irony. Any two people who see each other in this room and are actually friends will avoid each other all night out of a certain unnameable shame. This is by far the most depressing and unpleasant of all the rooms so far listed.
Google Plus is a “social” organized by the official social committee of a college campus. There are many brightly colored posters telling you where and when it is and encouraging you to take advantage of the free refreshments. After an initial flurry in which the refreshments are all eaten, there is no one left here but a handful of “facilitators” who are paid by the college to be here and be friendly, and some freshmen who are too awkward to just get up and leave but also too awkward to make conversation or eye contact. Many of the people who stopped by to get free refreshments were just on their way to get drunk at Twitter. The rest will be found getting stoned with each other in the basement of this building, on Tumblr. Pinterest
I have never been on Pinterest.

Social Media Isn’t Ruining Our Generation, It’s Revealing It

Social media is good for your soul. Those words have definitely never been said together before, but they should be. As much as the older generations want to believe that technology is destroying the authenticity of living life and that young people these days are morbidly obsessed with their phones, they aren’t seeing what’s really going on

When I scroll through Facebook out of pure boredom or maybe even out of habit, I’m not seeing worthless pictures and status’s about what people ate for dinner. What I’m seeing is real joy. The smiling selfie of two friends who just had an amazing day together, the picture of the delicious looking dessert that just brought an excited foodie to tears, and the engagement status of a happy couple splattered across your computer screen.

The thing about social media is that people aren’t posting pictures of themselves as they cry and eat a tub of ice cream post breakup or a status about how much they hate puppies. People are posting the best and happiest moments in their lives for others to see. So when I scroll through these feeds, I’m getting the beautiful opportunity of seeing happiness and young life. Your friends want to share the joyful moments in their lives with you, however simplistic, and that’s a real privilege.

Yes, I’ll admit there are some ridiculous things being posted on social media that can be a complete waste of time. While no one cares if you just ate a whole box of pizza on your own, most things ARE worth sharing. Even if it’s a video of a cat sitting on the toilet, because the odds are anyone willing to watch will have a smile on their face. So instead of aimlessly scrolling through your social media feeds waving off yet another selfie from your friends cruise to the Bahamas, take it in, enjoy the happiness, and take note because these social media obsessed young people ARE living. If they choose to share these moments on Instagram (even though posting more than once a day is obviously social suicide) than that’s okay. Spreading happiness is merely a mitzvah.

Keep doing your thing young people and don’t let anyone tell you Facebook stalking your high school friends on a Saturday night is a bad thing.