Repeating History

Repeating History

An unfinished story.
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I've tried.

I've tried for years to break all the cycles that haunt my fate and history.

Abuse. Find something. Drop out. Find something more. Divorce. Repair.

That's what I've seen, that's what I don't want to see again.

Yet, here I am.

Abuse. Find something. Drop out.

It makes me not want to find the more, to stay in stagnation with this emptiness left over.

I can't see how I'm any different from everyone before me.

Maybe I'd be better alone, maybe that would stop the cycle.

Or would it just move on to her?

Maybe I should take the past so they can move forward.

Would that work? Would everything be satisfied?

Move forward with all of this, possibly creating a hole for the destruction that would come again,

Find something to keep this going, to stay on the path that will ultimately lead me right back to the past.

I don't feel like fighting it anymore if it's just going to happen anyways.

"Are you okay?"

Yes.

No.

Someday maybe.

The writing helps, keeps me on a path to something.

Fight is what they tell me.

Don't lose faith.

I wish I had one.

Finding something to believe in while you're in the dark is the hardest.

Something other than the cycle.

I am not the cycle.

This low is just a point in my story, a conflict that will resolve in the Ending.

I know this somewhere, but it's hard to see.

So I'll trust my instinct and keep fighting, believing that maybe there is something more for me to do that isn't on the path I thought was chosen for me.

I'll write,

I'll work,

Maybe I'll even try to do what I really want.

I can't think of this as the end; That'll destroy me.

I have to keep going, find something to push for.

I'll find a way to break the cycle, even from this stage.

This is my Destiny.

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee Krizan

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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My First Time Donating Blood Was Traumatizing, But It Solidified My Desire To Become A Regular Blood Donor

You never know when you might become the victim.

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"Stand clear of the closing doors, please."

It's rush hour in the New York City subway station, which means adults and students alike are trying desperately to squeeze into my jam-packed subway car. A sweaty woman presses against my side as I grip the pole above me, standing my ground to avoid squishing my friend. The woman jostles me again, and I'm forced to switch my grip on the pole to my other arm. My sleeve falls away with this new position, revealing the blue bandage on my arm from donating blood earlier in the day. The train finally pulls away from Junction Boulevard, and I exchange an equally exasperated and relieved look with my friend.

I'm no stranger to the discomfort of standing on a train for hours at a time, so the wave of dizziness that hits me after just 10 minutes of standing takes me by surprise. I feel myself swaying and grope blindly for another pole, to no avail. Dark spots fill my vision and blood rushes in my ears — "Jane, I feel really lightheaded" — before I feel myself falling and lose consciousness completely.

When I think about my first time donating blood, passing out on a subway car is all I remember. I first donated blood during my senior year of high school, as my school was having a blood drive that was convenient during my double period physics class. Admittedly, my primary motivation for participating in the drive was to get out of physics, the fact that my blood could save lives was just a bonus. I've never been particularly fond of needles, but I figured I could brave the experience just this once.

The actual process of donating blood was painless, both literally and figuratively. After filling out a screening to determine my eligibility to donate, I sat with a healthcare provider for a physical exam. I remember, with some embarrassment, having to sit outside the classroom for half an hour because my heart rate exceeded the normal range. The provider stifled a laugh as she assured me that plenty of donors were nervous before donating. I just had to calm myself before completing the exam. Once I was in the chair and ready to donate, a nurse had me squeeze a roll of toilet paper to facilitate the process. I was done within 10 minutes. I grabbed a cookie on my way out of the room, my good deed done for the day.

Fast forward to that moment on the train. After such an easy experience, how had I, in a matter of hours, become the victim? When I came to, I was slumped in a subway seat, my friend staring down at me with wide eyes. Nearby strap-hangers gazed curiously at me as I reached for my water bottle and took several rejuvenating gulps.

"What happened?" I croaked out.

My friend filled me in on my brief fainting episode, informing me that I'd only been out for a minute and that other subway riders had helped to stabilize me, one had even given up their seat so that I could regain my strength. I remember feeling both shock and gratitude as I thanked the people nearby and inwardly cursed myself for not snacking enough and ignoring my fatigue. I kept my head down for the rest of the trip, feeling too ashamed to make conversation with my friend.

At the moment, I'm sure I swore never to donate blood again. The embarrassment I felt at passing out in front of all those strangers — probably looking like a rookie subway rider — trumped any sense of responsibility I felt to save lives. It was only when I got home and really thought about the experience that I realized why I should go in the opposite direction — not refuse to donate blood, but rather become a regular blood donor.

It had taken not even two hours for me to turn from a donor — someone who could help save lives — into a victim. The humiliation of my fainting episode and the fear I felt as I regained consciousness couldn't even compare to the feelings of someone who was gravely injured and in need of blood. Being in that position and losing control of my body put things into perspective, after all, what was a needle in the face of helping those in need?

Needless to say, I signed up as a regular blood donor that night.

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