No, You Have Not Peaked Yet Stop Thinking You Have

No, You Have Not Peaked Yet Stop Thinking You Have

Not even you, Blake Lively.
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I peaked in high school.

I peaked trying Chago's queso.

I peaked watching Harry Style's carpool karaoke.

I peaked when I saw Bob Fisher walking around campus.

I peaked when I heard the song 'Sleep on the Floor' for the first time.

I think we have all been here.

We go through this one great moment and we say "I've peaked. Nothing good will ever come again and this is where they will put my headstone."

As people, whether adults or college students or itty bitty fetuses, we have the tendency to over exaggerate like this. Now, do not get me wrong, I love. a great exaggeration. I feed off of it. I breathe it. It may even well be my love language.

But here's the thing,

NO ONE - not even Blake Lively - has peaked yet.

Now, I know it is easy to look back at high moments in your life and wish on the Dragon Tales stone that you could go back to that time. I find this especially happens when we are faced with challenges, or are in a "valley", or are experiencing the wrong kind of "funk".

It is within these times that the summer after Senior Year or last spring break seem so much better than the time we are currently in. It is these times that make us go - "shoot I really peaked Junior Year of high school, man wish I could just go back then when I had long hair and didn't have to pay for my own groceries".

It is like we are claiming to climb Mount Everest but it is actually a 6 foot hill in Illinois.

In reality these "peaks" are actually just baby hills, and I mean it, baby.

The peaks we have declared for ourselves are probably good times, maybe even wonderful times but compared to the Sky High reaching mountains that are coming later in life THEY ARE BABY HILLS.

And I now you are probably like - "yeah okay you're right, I will just peak in my 30's like Jenna in 13 going on 30". WRONG - O.

Your greatest peak will not come when you are 30, 40 or 80, or even 120, but it will come the moment you are reunited with your Father at the highest peak of all.

So here's to the moments you think you are peaking, but more importantly here's to the higher mountains that are to come.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpasteris/37503347941/in/photolist-Z93sKg-BW2nyU-C2XRWs-XnpYRj-YvMQTW-Z6iZW3-Z4Pw4L-Z93rEv-Y5QL5D-WfNXpu-YWctea-XZZhpS-SKFFn6-XP56yt-YLYMG7-C5WAmo-Z4gfjy-YwDAtj-XXevQE-XWStTz-Z9QBN4-YY71GM-YY7dqr-Y6h5mt-YKWGK4-XWSRAH-Wzecgs-YyUHdy-YEVQ1o-BVV6CY-XQeV3J-XP3Skg-Yrx6Lu-XzGX5W-XKr9wA-XNXDGk-YznUa3-Y2ot2v-YBeWyG-Z8Xv2F-YE99PN-YNrDcx-YxyoxN-XSKigD-Y16SEo-YD9DKo-XWUxdN-YmUBYJ-YmUDBy-C2RN6d

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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The U.S. Is Slowly Making Rape OK, And I Am Not OK With That

As a college student, I am surrounded by rape, and I could never begin to imagine going through such a situation and then having to have a child due to it.

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A couple weeks ago, I got into an Uber.

I wasn't expecting my driver to tell me what she did. She informed me that just weeks ago, she had picked up a girl on the side of the road walking alone who had just been raped. Raped. She did what she thought to be the right thing and took her to the hospital, right in the heart of a college town, and was shocked to find out what they didn't have: rape kits. They told the victim that by the time they got one from the closest hospital that had one, it would be useless.

I was appalled.

Now, what's even more appalling is everything that's going on at this very moment surrounding female reproductive rights. I've tossed up the idea of writing on this topic for a while, but I finally decided it's time. Numerous states, including my own home state, have recently made big moves in the wrong direction on the topic of abortion, including the heartbeat bill.

As one article puts it, "Heartbeat bans attempt to outlaw abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, which is often in the embryonic stage, as early as six weeks' gestation, before many people even know they are pregnant. These laws, some of the most extreme in the country, are flatly unconstitutional because they seek to ban abortion months before the point at which a fetus is viable."

Now, I'm not one to believe that abortions should just be thrown around like nothing, but in no way should they be completely thrown away, which is essentially what these states are trying to do.

What's even more appalling on this matter is the speech that our country's politicians are using to validate their positions. Here are some of the most shocking:

"Rape is kinda like the weather. If it's inevitable, relax and enjoy it." — Clayton Williams
"Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation." — Rick Santorum
"In the emergency room, they have what's called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out." — Jodie Laubenberg (I can't even begin to express how wrong this statement is.)
"If a woman has the right to an abortion, why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death." — Lawrence Lockman

These are actual statements from politicians on why they remain pro-life. These are the people representing our country. These are the people who are now representing my body and my reproductive rights, and I'm not going to lie, I'm scared.

Scared to get raped in a college town where the hospital even doesn't have rape kits.

Scared to get raped in a society that doesn't believe in or care about the woman making a claim.

Scared to get raped.

I'm honestly not sure if and when I want children, but I now live in a country where these concerns do not matter. However, my own thoughts aren't the only thing that does not seem to matter.

Eleven years old. This is how old a rape victim in Ohio is, who is now pregnant. Thanks to the new law, young women like her will now have to follow through with their pregnancies, but it does not matter to these politicians.

When signing the bill, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine focused on the rights of the fetus. "The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable among us, those who don't have a voice," he said. "Government's role should be to protect life from the beginning to the end."

If they really wanted to protect the "most vulnerable," they would think about the young (and old) rape victims who go unacknowledged each and every day.

As one article from CBS reports,

"More than 4,000 women were raped in Ohio in 2017, according to data compiled by the FBI. Of those, more than 800 victims were assaulted by a family member. In the future, if women became pregnant as a result of such crimes, Ohio's so-called 'fetal heartbeat bill' would prohibit them from receiving an abortion any time after about six weeks, which is before most women even know they're pregnant."

Ohio's new law has no exceptions for rape victims or incest. These states do not care. In several cases, they even place the blame on the victim and shove the situation under the rug.

If we truly want to "Make America Great Again," we need change.

These laws are inhumane, as are the people supporting them and representing us as a country. It seems as if every day we keep moving backward instead of forward, and are moving back into a society that advocates against women, minorities, and more.

I could never support something that could easily affect me at any point in time that I have no control over.

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