the semicolon project

This pain is as real as cutting off your own arm. We need to be open to the signs of depression in ourselves and in those around us.

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FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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10 Things Girls Who Have Lost Their Dads Want You To Know

I miss my dad every day.and sometimes the emotions fill my gut. He was the best.

Thought Catalog

Flickr / Anastasia Yankovskaya Flickr / Anastasia Yankovskaya

When I was 17 I lost my dad unexpectedly. It’s been seven years and the pain is still very real. Over the course of those years I have come to realize many things that I feel need to be shared with others. I know there are many other young women who are in my shoes. To our friends, these are the things we want you to know.

1. We’re sorry.

We are sorry for being quiet every time you talk about your dad to us. We don’t mean to sound uninterested or make you feel that your happiness is unimportant to us. It’s just that when you talk about moments with your dad, it takes us back to moments with ours. Moments we wish we could relive and share with you, too. We don’t get quiet on purpose; it kind of just happens. It’s our mind’s…

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My graduate

My great-nephew is graduating from high school. This is a young man who struggled in school when he was younger. In fact I home schooled him for his third grade year because the school he was attending had no resources to tutor him. So I quit work and spent the year bringing his math skills up to the appropriate level.  This was a child who could read at a fourth grade level but couldn’t add.

I was not going to let him fail and I was the one who could help him. After researching into what his math block might be I found that as we are starting to learn our brains break the concept of numbers into the visual-the number we see and the conceptual-what that number is in quantity. For example the number 3 is visual. The number III is conceptual. But they are equivalent. He had a disconnect between these. In his mind 1+3 and 3+1 required separate calculations. They were independent of each other. This was a young person who required the old-fashioned memorization process.

Once this process was put into place using math flash cards he started making progress. By the time our year was complete he could add, subtract and had started to learn multiplication. He could tell time and make change.

The most amazing thing was I could reward his hard work with history and literature. This little fella loved history. We learned about all fifty states by the history of each state.

I also helped him become a student. I tried to impress on him that the teacher was there for all of the students but it was difficult for a teacher to work individually with their students and he needed to make sure the teacher knew when he needed help. We worked out the way for him to ask for help and what to expect in a public school classroom of 25-30 students. He did well one-on-one but was shy in expressing himself in the classroom.

He is graduating from high school and my heart is happy.

Congrats Kristopher.

-N

Little Humans

Little humans crack me up. At least most of them. Once they can verbally communicate all bets are off!

I was leaving Wal-Mart this morning and this family passed me. Mom and Dad and two kids. The daughter looked about ten and the son was probably around five. The thing I noticed was this little guy was talking a-mile-a-minute. Mom would look back quickly and reply and the dad, who was walking next to the little fella, was listening to the happy chatter.

Little fella was explaining something and his expression and rapidly moving hands told as much as his high-pitched words. He was captivating in his efforts to express himself to the older members of his family. I wanted to turn and follow so I could hear more of this interesting human.

Another time I was having dinner with some friends who had their grandchildren with them. It took all of fifteen minutes and the questioning by the two oldest began. What was humorous and interesting were their candid questions and their mature responses relating their own experiences to my answers.

Forget the grownups, these guys were more fun.

At a wedding recently I started a conversation with my seven-year old niece. I was so charmed by her conversation and the way she leaned in to speak to me, the way an adult does when caught up in the interaction, I wanted it to go on. She expressed herself wonderfully.

One aspect I have noted is the mimicry involved in conversing with little humans. I can’t count how many times the parental influence comes through in their words or expressions. An aside here is I have also encountered a lack of this same aspect in little humans. I don’t claim to know why this happens and it may be natural shyness in some. Yet, it seems that most children are by nature gregarious and curious.

They are wondrous creatures. A blank canvas waiting for inspiration from those around them and a unrecorded video waiting for their story to be imprinted.

It is an awesome and righteous responsibility. What we communicate to them is what they will give to society.

I hope little fella was allowed to tell his story with acceptance and respect.

-N

Self perception

Reality check of self perception.

Took off yesterday afternoon to do some grocery shopping. I pulled into the Fry’s parking lot to discover it was packed. What?? As I cruised through, my usual parking spots were filled. I can always get a good spot in this lot, what the heck is the deal? Finally grabbed one when someone pulled out. I got my own bags out of the car (hate plastic bags), snagged a cart from the cart rack outside and headed into the store. One other observation of the parking lot was the very slow moving vehicles and a cajillion people pushing carts.

I know this store well enough I can write my list based on aisles. I can usually cruise through the process pretty easily and fast-unless Chuck is with me.  If he is with me it takes FOREVER.

The place was a zoo, every part of the store and every aisle was packed with people and their carts. I couldn’t believe how many times my cart was bumped, pushed and blocked by shoppers.  I started thinking “Did I miss some holiday that required cooking?” Maybe they wanted to stock up so they didn’t have to shop Christmas week, probably a good idea.

Since I always shop with a list I can usually get in and right out. Not gonna happen in this case. I got the last of the list items in the dairy section and headed to the checkouts. I came up by the pharmacy and stopped. There had to be a line of at least twelve people.

Light bulb moment! Wednesday is blue hair day!! Nearly all of the people in the store were old. Well that explained the full parking lot and crowded store. As I looked around while in the checkout line I saw people writing checks!?!? Who writes checks anymore?

It was my turn to check out and the cashier was fast and smiling-thank goodness. Just as she was totaling my purchase she asked me a question. “It is senior day, 55+ so would you like me to put in the discount?”

Stop.

Wow! She didn’t question if I was 55+. She didn’t want to see my ID, but if I wanted the discount as a senior. Oh man I must have had the deer in the headlights look on my face for a second and then I said “oh sure, why not.”  A discount is a discount, and it got me about $20 off my purchase. I paid, I left and once I was in my car I called Chuck. “It’s official Chuck, I am old!” I told him what happened and he howled with laughter. Ok not helping.

That’s it, I had been letting my lovely silver/white hair grow out but I’m coloring it, that’s settled. I don’t want to look too much like my mom yet. I already have her knees and square face, but I can control my hair.

I will go to Fry’s again on Wednesday’s. I am not a fool and the discount is good. But now I will be prepared. Ego hit without warning is hard on this “old” lady.

-N

Too far apart

This is what I’ve been trying to say and couldn’t have said it better or more eloquently.
-N

Cristian Mihai

many“There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.

Yet, simply by writing these words with these strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements.

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Year 2: Day 53 – Seeds

Profound and mesmerizing. I am there.

The 365 Poetry Project: Year 3

If blooming is what we do,
is it the proof of what we are?
Can there be pure seeds
in a rotten fruit;
can there be foul seeds
in a saint?

And what of hope?

I have looked at a man and saw glimmers in him
that he could not see in himself;
I have looked into a host of sunbeams
and seen darkness they would never perceive.

And who am I, or don’t we all
see the seeds hidden within?
And who am I, or aren’t we all
blessed with sense to detect their kind?

And what of hope?

But for hope, we must never forget,
we would see our judgments pass-
never to see long-dead seeds to sprout,
nor a man to rise and shine.

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The snow falling as it is

A trip to take on a day by myself.

KURT★BRINDLEY

The snow falling as it is
As a dream within a dream within a dream is
Leads me to where my home is
Not to where my house is
But to where my heart is
To where the the forest of my chaste chastened childhood is
To where the sage old oak of that forest is
To where the thickened and knotted and crooked branch of that sage old oak is
To where that branch I used to climb to to
think to
hope to
hide to
hate to
cry to
live to
die to
wonder and why and why and why to
as the snow falls
as a dream within a dream within a dream is



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