Poetry on Odyssey: Pause or Play?

Poetry on Odyssey: Pause or Play?

As time moves, life gets easier, the choices become clearer.

“You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
...is to press play.”
-Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

When I first read “13 Reasons Why” five years ago, I remember not understanding why Hannah would want to end her life, I mean she was almost a grown up and eventually she could leave and not have to go back and ever have to see any of those people unless she chose to. But, then I got to the end of the book and I understood a little more. Then I became a teenager and I guess now I am an adult and I can see, for the most part, why Hannah chose the path that she did. I have wanted to at least slow things down a little.


There are times in life where everything is going back too fast.

So fast that you can’t keep up.

You just want to pause.

Stop everything where it is.

Slow down the deadline.

Keep your little brother little.

And at times…





We can’t stop life.

To survive, you must be a shark.

Keep moving.

I know it is hard.

The pause button is just sitting there.

It's taunting you.

But you gotta keep going.

If you’re feeling a little brave, maybe even fast forward.

But to start

You must press play.

As children, all we want in life is to be older. To have the authority to make choices for ourselves, like have ice cream for breakfast or stay up all night watching Scooby Doo. Little did we know that along with all the fun things were all the harder choices, like whether to keep going or not. I know it may be hard right now but, as time moves, life gets easier, the choices become clearer, so keep going. There is always a rainbow at the end of a storm.

If you have been having suicidal thoughts or think a loved one may be, call 1-800-273-8255 or click here to go to their website.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Yates

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If You Want To Die Tonight, Please Read This

I want you to live. More importantly, I want you to want to live.


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255





The thoughts are deafening, screaming at you that the world would be better off without you and that no one would care if you were gone.

So, you find yourself on the Internet, searching for ways to die in a relatively painless way that will leave the least amount of mess for others. You find yourself thinking about the bridge a half mile from your house or the assortment of pills lining the walls of your medicine cabinet. You remember that your roommates will not be home from class for a few hours; that you are totally alone.

And then, in your Internet search for ways to finally escape the pain, you happen upon this article.

Yes, this one right here.

This one telling you to stay.

And, well, you find yourself still reading along because a piece of you, even if it is the smallest piece of your existence, wants a reason to live.

* * *

I am not sure what is causing you pain, and maybe you honestly are not sure either. All you know is that you have this pain — this never-ending pain — and it's become enough.

Society tells us that we need to tattoo a smile onto our faces and pretend that everything is OK even when we are aching on the inside. If you take one thing away from this article, I want you to remember this — it is OK not to be OK. It is OK if you are not OK today or tomorrow or next week or a year from now. However, one day, it will be a little better and there will be a little bit of sunshine peeking out through the clouds.

I want you to live. More importantly, I want you to want to live.

And, sometimes, wanting to live is about just noticing the little things that make you happy and remembering them.

Like the way the sun looks glistening off of the lake by your house at 5:47 p.m. on a Thursday evening.

Or the way the scent of your coffee creeps up your nostrils while it cools to a drinkable temperature.

Or the fact that a new episode of your family's favorite show is coming on this Thursday.

Or the way your Lush bath bomb colors your water into beautiful shades of blue and green and yellow and pink.

Or the dinner your Mom cooked for tonight to share with you, your Dad, and your sister.

* * *

Life may not turn out how you plan, but perhaps that is not a bad thing.

God has a plan for you.

Why the plan involves you feeling this way, I do not know, but I do know that God did not bring you into this world to suffer.

You deserve help.

You deserve love.

You deserve to be supported.

Even if you feel alone, I promise you are never alone.

You can text "Hello" to 741-741 at any hour of the day and someone will be there to support you.

* * *

So, tonight while you want to die, please just think about the last time you smiled so hard that your face physically hurt or laughed until you almost peed. Just think about a time that you felt something besides what you are feeling now and hold onto it.

Hold onto it, lie down, and go to sleep.

And wake up tomorrow knowing that you are a survivor.

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