Bloganuary Day 2: Write about the last time you left your comfort zone

It was a peculiar day. The sun was extra bright; I had just gone through an episode of depression because the previous day, I got triggered from experience. I then jumped out of bed, looked in the mirror, and the mirror looked back at me.

And it kept looking. I recognized that I was caught in a loop of non progression and to an extent, I kept myself in it. I got tired. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, but as I said, something was very peculiar about the day. And just like a bad dream being exactly what it was, I woke up.

I always wanted to do things with people. To have their time and experience it with them. I felt reluctant to do things by myself, but I ended up taking a shower, dressing up, and seeing a movie. After that, I took myself to lunch, walked a very long walk to a new neighborhood, and just admired my surroundings. This was the beginning of a new habit: Doing something out of my comfort zone and being content about it.

Bloganuary Day 1: What is a road trip you would love to take?

The United States is huge and not enough people are exploring it and I find that disturbing.

There seems to be a level of comfort that people have resigned themselves to the idea that manifests itself in their opinion of “ my city is better than yours” banter. That being said, please go outside and touch some asphalt. And keep hitting it in every direction.

With enough gas money ( or EV recharge points) and the safety of knowing I will not end up in a sundown town, road trips are a great way to unwind. And the diverse options on what you want to explore in every journey is fascinating. From foods, to landmarks to the occasional oddballs and niche cultures, in no particular order I’d like to pass through:

  • Oregon
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Washington
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine
  • New Mexico
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Arizona
  • Utah
  • California
  • Texas

I want to cultivate the habit of posting my thoughts every month, so I might come back to edit my original posts.

Loud and Queer: How These Two Artistic Visionaries Express Their Creative Identity

Expressing one’s artistic autonomy is no easy task. Here are a couple queer individuals who, within their respective fields, are paving the way for self-expression and creative individualism.

Chance Allen

Chance Allen is a junior Journalism and Media Studies double major at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He began taking pictures in his junior year of high school, and after navigating his first year of college, decided to pursue his love for photography.

“I think every photographer has their own kind of style, whether they’re trying to do it or not.” Allen said.

Allen takes pride in his creative vision, however he, like us all, faces creative challenges. Night photography in particular, is a challenging but rewarding practice Allen is trying to master. 

The secret to Allen’s success in his field is to always be prepared. He will usually bring his camera everywhere, and take photos of anything and everything happening around him.

“My best photos have come sporadically. I have had some planned shoots, but I think more times than that I’ve had better ones from random moments.” Allen said. 

Photo by Chance Allen

His photos capture the beauty and authenticity within Macon’s community, and his unique style illuminates the community’s rich culture and charming individuals.

“Give yourself the space and time to take photos of what you enjoy.” Allen said. “It takes time. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but if you take the time to really put in the work, it will be more rewarding.” Allen said.

Ivy Marie

Ivy Marie is a junior English Literature and Creative Writing double major at Mercer University. She first started writing when she was little, eventually picked up poetry in middle school, and started to solidify her writing skills in high school.

“I’ve been writing my whole life, but I started taking it seriously as a junior in high school.” Marie said.

Finding her literary voice was a journey for Marie. As she ticked off the poets who she simply could not relate to, she found that there were many that were not the right fit.

“In the beginning it was really hard to find confidence in myself. I knew I didn’t like old poetry. The challenge was finding my own voice.” she said.

Now, as a confident poet, Marie is navigating how to decipher the line between sharing her art without oversharing her personal life.

“I don’t need to make art that shows all of my trauma, everything I’ve been through, all at once.” Marie said. “Some things are good to keep to myself.”

Poetry by Ivy Marie

Marie handles all her poems tenderly. She strives to do justice to her experience while also creating stories that carefully cradle her queer experience.

“No matter what I try to do, it always comes off as very gentle, and very ethereal, even when I don’t mean to.” Marie said.

Marie’s poetry takes a snapshot of her queer experience. Her storytelling makes for vivid, artful pieces of work that perfectly capture what it’s like to feel and live openly and freely.

Mental Health Check In

Mental Health Check In

September 10th was World Prevention Suicide Day, and we are soon approaching World Mental Health Day on October 10th. However, I can not help but think about the anxiety/depression that creeps in on an individual when suicide becomes the only option they feel they have left.

I have struggled with both anxiety and depression on different levels since I was young. It’s almost as if they feed on each other. I have also had a series of suicidal thoughts at some point in my life.

Anxiety is crippling, and depression makes you feel like you are sinking. It’s not even enough to describe them like this. Each person who has experienced anxiety and depression can probably give you different adjectives that portray their experience.

There is an array of things that can cause crippling and sinking. It could be trauma, loss, abuse, rejection, rape, and so much more. This is definitely a sensitive topic for many. Many people tend to shut people out when they experience Anxiety and Depression. They feel hopeless. It’s as if you are in this bubble that you cannot get out of.

Some days are better than others. Society tends to stigmatize mental health and attribute it to other factors while disregarding core reasons why someone may struggle with their mental health. It is disheartening because that leaves room for people to work on their own and cause them not to speak.

I would like to challenge you and the people you have around you. Make a habit of taking the time to review your state of mind after each day. Journal your thoughts, speak to an older person, or even a friend, try to integrate yourself into a community that holds you accountable. But don’t do life alone. Human beings were made for relationships. You are not alone, and you are loved dearly.

Yours truly,