I Have Not Written in Weeks Because I've Been in Prison

I Have Not Written in Weeks Because I've Been in Prison

Thankfully, it isn't what it sounds like.
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I know the title may come as a shock, but it's absolutely true. While articles are due at 5 p.m., I am on my way to the Lackawanna County Prison by 5:30 p.m. No, this is not some wild college night gone wrong that landed me in prison. I have been volunteering with the women at Lackawanna for about three weeks now. Once I had informed my mother that I would be working in a prison, she was naturally concerned. "You couldn't have picked safer volunteer work?" she said, and I mean, I could have, but this one stood out. The program we do with the women is creative writing, so it fit my interest. I will be working with these girls for six weeks and so far so good.

The first time I went to the prison was just a tour. I have never stepped foot in one before, so I was pretty anxious. After having my ID checked and handed a pass, it was time for us to go in. The interesting thing is, to get to the classroom you have to walk past the male prisoners. They don't see many women and my group is all girls and one guy, so you can imagine how this went. They were rowdy when we walked in and out of the prison. This has continued every week since. There are many wild and inappropriate reactions that I can't help but awkwardly laugh to myself about.

The following week was my first week working with the women. After watching way too many prison drama shows on Netflix, I was nervous. Thankfully, that nervousness didn't last long. The girls came into the room and sat themselves with their friends in whatever groups they wanted. My group consisted of myself, two other girls from school and two women from the prison. This week specificity we were working on blackout poetry. Not only did I get to see the talent these women have, but I learned a lot about them. One of the women writes songs and loves to preform with her music group here. The other woman plans to manage them and has dreams of being an actress. People sometimes forget that prisoners are people too.

Now I am around three weeks into the program, this being my week off. I think it has been such an amazing experience. Sometimes it's hard when it's a Wednesday night and I'm overwhelmed with schoolwork, but I know I have somewhere to be. Taking the time to talk to these women honestly makes my night. I get to see some of the amazing talent they have (believe me it's amazing, I've come close to tears), we get talk about our week and we have some pretty funny moments. I mean, who better to make jokes about committing crimes with than prisoners? I have found the program to be rewarding and inspiring to me as a person and to my writing. I also learned not to judge as harshly. Yes, these women have committed crimes, but who am I to judge someone off of one aspect of their life? I would recommend this experience to anyone. I have learned so much and hope to keep learning more from the program.

Cover Image Credit: WNEP

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44 Lyrics For When You Need An Instagram Caption

Your caption is just as important as the filter.
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Choosing the caption for your Instagram can be almost as challenging as deciding on a filter. So, if you’re ready to post that Insta, but don’t know what to say, here are 44 lyrics for when you need an Instagram caption.

1. “Be young, be dope, be proud.” - Lana Del Rey, "American"

2. “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us.” - Drake, "No Tellin’"

3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

6. “Find me where the wild things are.” - Alessia Cara, "Wild Things"

7. “If I was you, I'd wanna be me too.” - Meghan Trainor, "Me Too"

8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

19. “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” - Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away"

20. “One of these days the clocks will stop, and time won’t mean a thing.” - Foo Fighters, "These Days"

21. “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.” - Brad Paisley, Perfect Storm

22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

25. “Nobody said it was easy, no one said it would be this hard.” - Coldplay, "The Scientist"

26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

27. “Celebrate we will ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"

28. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” - Florence + The Machine, "Shake it Out"

29. “There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how.” - Oasis, "Wonderwall"

30. “You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world.” - The Beatles, "Revolution"

31. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” Billy Currington, "People Are Crazy"

32. “Well my heart is gold, and my hands are cold.” - Halsey, "Gasoline"

33. “I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.” - Twenty One Pilots, "Forest"

34. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” - Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

35. “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” - Augustana, "Boston"

36. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.” - Brandi Carlile, "The Story"

37. ‘Ready or not, here I come. Where you at? The night is young.” - Bridgit Mendler, "Ready or Not"

38. “In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an angel.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

39. “Turns out not where, but who you’re with that really matters.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Best Of What’s Around"

40. “Know yourself, know your worth.” - Drake, "0 to 100"

41. “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown.” - Lorde, "Still Sane"

42. “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?” - Rihanna, "Needed Me"

43. “Hands in the air like we don’t care.” - Miley Cyrus, "We Can’t Stop"

44. “I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” - Beyonce, "Freedom"

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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Happiness Is Homemade: Turn A Sour Time Sweet

Never fully dressed without a smile.
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"Self-care" reminders serve all over everyone’s Instagram story, posted on their twitter, and is written about on blogs everywhere.

However, “self-care” exceeds past bubble baths, wine and bath bombs.

Maybe, you’re like me and personally don’t find “self-care” a word that is necessary your cup of tea. However, I do believe that happiness is homemade.

What does this mean?

You can’t control everything that life throws at you. Death in a family, an unexpected breakup, a friendship falling out – are all little pieces of crap we step in on our walk through life. However, what we can control is how we clean up the mess.

Taking care of ourselves (yeah, I know another way to say “self-care”) is imperative to not just our well-being, but our outlook on life. Here are some ways to practice doing you, making yourself smile, and feeling a little bit better on days when life gets rough because we all know someday the bubble bath just won’t cut it:

1. Dance Like She Do It In the Mirror

Sounds silly, I know, but hooking up in the Beats, putting on your comfy PJs, and dancing around your bedroom at night, for your own personal party of one, is good for the soul.

Listen to that music that nobody listens to anymore.

Jam out to Metro Station, All Time Low, The Jonas Brothers, or whatever guilty pleasures you have stored on your Spotify. Spin around your room and jam out, and your heart will feel lighter in minutes, I promise.

2. Sip Something Good

Add some vodka and mix it in yo lemonade.

Totally not saying drink your feelings away, but make your favorite drink, sit on the porch and have some time to yourself. Try one of those Tasty video drinks that you have always wanted to try (Strawberry Lemonade Moscota Slushie? #yum).

Watch the sunset, sip on some sangria and you’ll be thinking about how good you have it in this world.

3. Write Your Thoughts Down

Journaling is cheaper than therapy.

I’m not suggesting you handwrite every thought and detail of your day and thoughts on everyone in your life, (we all know that can end badly…Harriet the Spy? Yikes) but maybe look up a journaling challenge to get you started.

I personally have a poetry journal, a gratitude journal and just a songwriting journal.

A little overboard?

Maybe.

But take it from me, gathering your thoughts, writing it out, pushing it aside and taking a breath really does wonders.

4. Take a Drive With Some '90s Hip-Hop

Plug in the aux and click away at a '90s hip-hop playlist.

Something about driving around listening to Naughty by Nature really makes you feel like you can handle your sh*t.

Take a route that you're familiar with, drive by the beach, pass along the back roads and jam to some '90s babies oldies.

5. Be a Sunset Lover

Go by yourself, bring your favorite blanket and watch the sunset.

Not only is this nature’s free entertainment, but after you watch the beautiful sun go down to sleep, you will feel like tomorrow will be better, no matter how today was.

When the sunsets, I try to think, what did I do good today and what would I like to do better tomorrow?

Take time to reflect and watch nature’s beautiful creation, whether it be from your porch, a beach or on an evening stroll.

6. Pinterest Worthy Your Life Together

Spend an evening lighting your favorite candle, and organizing your Pinterest boards.

Put on some tunes, explore what you pinned in high school (you don’t even want to know) and discover some new hobbies, crafts or food you can attempt to recreate.

Putting together a “dream wedding” board or “perfect vacation”?

Now that’s what I call a proactive way to make yourself feel better.

7. Run, Forest, Run!

You know what you never regret?

A run.

Even if you almost die after because you find out you have anaphylactic reactions when you eat tomatoes and workout right after (fun times, not speaking from experience at all). But all jokes aside, running clears the mind and makes you feel happy and healthier right after.

8. Quality Time With Quality People

Call that friend that you may not get to see often, but makes you smile, no matter the distance.

Grab coffee with that gal pal that keeps you laughing.

Don’t associate with people that drain your energy. Spend some time with the people that make you feel like life is full of wonderful people and restore your hope in humanity.

9. Put It On Airplane Mode, So None Of Those Calls Come Through

Seriously, Cardi B don’t lie.

If you’re feeling like you are spending too much time on Instagram, looking at FB memes, or you’re sick of your group chat there is no judgment for turning the phone on do not disturb.

If you’re out with your friend or having a movie night, turn the phone off and spend time being present. Snapchat streaks aren’t more important than actual time spent with friends.

10. Take Up Underwater Basket-weaving

Or whatever else interests you. Learn how to make Stain Glass, paint a really bad picture, learn the Uke, or knit your grandma a scarf. Take some time to develop new interests, passions and even if you suck have fun doing it. Having interests and passions outside of drinking and working is imperative for your health and sanity.

* * *

It is challenging to make time for yourself. However, the little things can count.

Spend time making yourself feel better, whatever works for you.

Take time to be thankful for what you have — not what you are striving for, what you wish you had or think about the pursuit of happiness — instead focus on your own happiness, which is simple, by doing what makes you feel good on the inside.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia DeLucia

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