The Seeker

The Seeker

I am an individual lost in a sea of others.

Every day I rise to filter in-between

classes of few and many,

searching for a sense of understanding or belonging.

I am an individual lost in a sea of others.

The hometown I left behind has little

memory of me

except for those whom I call family.

The friends,

for which I have few

carry only remnants of what I was when I

left high school and see

only snapshots of life as they

scroll through social media.

I am an individual lost in a sea of others.

I pass by different people each waking moment of

my life and each one of them cares


but for the occasional passing smile filled

with empty courtesy

leaving me helpless but to awkwardly return it.

I am an individual lost in a sea of others.

Or so I believe.

Or so I believe

until one day someone comes along and tells me that they miss me.

Or so I believe

until one day someone comes along and tells me that they need me.

Or so I believe

until one day someone comes along and tells me that they love me.

I am an individual lost in a sea of others.

But maybe one day I will

wash ashore and

find that someone else is as

lost as I.

I am an individual lost in a sea of others.

But soon,

I will find my way home.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Don't Be Afraid To Say No If It Means Putting Your Happiness First

Responsibilities can crush you, put yourself first.

By the time this publishes, the first week of classes will be over. We'll have made it through the bliss of syllabus week and be moving on with the rest of the semester. But as I go through syllabus week and work on getting back into the swing of things, I've decided that I want to put myself first this year. Writing that sounds ridiculous. I should never have to choose to put myself first, it should always be that way. But the fact is that everything else gets in the way sometimes.

Whether it be school and grades or clubs and work or everyone else in your life, it's hard to know when you should really be saying no. I knew I had put myself in a bad position last semester. I took on too much and though I made it out okay, it's not an experience that I want to have again. So, I've been trying to think of ways to reevaluate what I do and why I do it.

First, I have to remember that above all else, anything I do I should be passionate about. If I'm not happy doing something, I'm putting myself in the backseat for the needs of others and I'm not doing that anymore. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. We're not all so lucky to be working our dream jobs. But that doesn't mean you can't work somewhere that you like. I've worked really horrible jobs and really great jobs and now I know what I deserve when I walk into work.

I also try to think about what an activity is doing for me. Again we all have to do things we don't want to do but if it helps us achieve our goals, it's usually worth it anyway. But on the other hand, just because you like doing something doesn't mean you should. Bend out of your comfort zone a little and look for the things that challenge you. It's going to do more for you than sticking to something you're already good at.

At the end of the day, what's really most important is knowing when you're happy and when you're not. If you're involved in an activity that makes you miserable and you're only doing it because you think you have to, for the love of God please just quit. You're not helping anyone, especially not yourself and no matter what, there's never anything that you need to do.

It is your life. Please, please only do what makes you happy and what makes you a better person. Turn some things down. Say no to the things you don't want to do and pursue the things you do. Choose yourself. There's absolutely nothing wrong with needing time for yourself too. You're not perfect, you're you and that's much better anyway.

Cover Image Credit: Bryan Minear

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Who Do You Live For?

It's easy to say "I'd die for you," but harder to say "I'd live for you."

In Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride,” there’s some lyrics that stand out: “I’d die for you, that’s easy to say/...‘I’d live for you’ and that’s hard to do.” Meaning, it’s easy to say you’d die for someone, but it’s significantly harder to say you’d live for someone.

I’ve struggled with that my whole life. For many years, I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I struggled (and still do) with anxiety and depression, and there were days where I wondered who I’m doing this for, why I do certain things, who I’m living for.

For many years, I felt completely alone. I had no friends. My parents and I didn't have a good enough relationship where I could simply come talk with them. I was even scared to confide in my trusted grandmother, because scared younger me didn’t know if she'd tell my parents or not. I internalized way too much, and it destroyed me inside. All that internalizing made me feel isolated, like I wasn't good enough at anything, and I began to question my existence and who I was living for.

It took time. It took switching schools, finally making friends, and gaining new opportunities to explore my identity and what I enjoyed doing. It took venturing into community theater and meeting my boyfriend of a little over two years now. It took living on my own in my first two years of college, gaining independence and strengthening my relationship with my parents. It took making new friends and losing some along the way.

It took four years out of my 20-year lifespan to realize that I did, in fact, have people to live for.

I have my parents, with whom I’ve resolved past struggles and grown closer to. I have my sisters, who still occasionally drive me crazy--but we're not fighting endlessly anymore. I have my grandparents, particularly my amazing grandmother who had always seen and supported the version of me that was hidden away until switching schools allowed her to emerge.

I have my incredible boyfriend, who has become one of my biggest reasons to get through every week and is the reason I can finally envision a future. I have my best friend, who calls it like it is, gives me tough love when I need it, and is an all-around awesome person.

To anyone else who thinks they’re alone or don’t have anyone to live for, look again. You have family, friends, who love you wholeheartedly, who would miss you beyond words if you weren’t there anymore.

To quote “Dear Evan Hansen,” “You are not alone.” You’re never alone, especially in your feelings. There are so many other people who feel exactly like you do. Find them. Remind each other that you’re not alone and there are others out there who understand.

If you ever feel this way, please check out "Dear Evan Hansen." The music alone will help. I also recommend making a playlist filled with favorite songs, pick-me-up tracks, or songs that, like "Dear Evan Hansen," describe what you're feeling or going through on the nose. I have one for myself, and it has a mix of all three. It's gotten me through countless low points purely through the healing power of music. A playlist like this can help you, too.

And remember, you always have someone to live for: yourself. You are always enough of a reason to keep going. Never forget that.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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