Sleep. It is a beautiful thing. It’s a necessary part of life. However, sometimes sleep simply isn’t possible. There you are, lying in bed all cozy and warm as your eyes begin to slowly close. Your mind starts to drift off into dream land. Your body relaxes and your breathing steadies to a slow and even pace…but suddenly, it happens. Monsters. There they are, creeping up the edges of your bed. Slipping under your sheets, they slither and slide all the way up to your ears. As your mind begins to fall asleep, the monsters begin to whisper. Doubts. Worries. Fears. All of your anxieties race desperately around head, clouding your thoughts with images of depression, loneliness, and fear. You sit up; panic fills your heart. Are these the monsters from your childhood? The ones that hide in your closet? The ones that you always begged your parents to chase away? No. Sadly, these monsters are worse. Much worse. Why, you may ask? It’s simple, really. It’s because these monsters are real. Worry is the monster who will make you obsess over decisions and the choices you make. Doubt will make you feel as though you aren’t good enough. Fear will stop you from accomplishing your dreams. All of these monsters lead to the biggest monsters of all: depression and anxiety. These monsters will not only haunt you at night. They will hunt you down even when the sun is shining its brightest. These monsters are cruel. They can make even the happiest of days dark and gloomy. They’ll push you to the floor and then kick you while you’re down. But wait! What’s that over there? There’s a light. A light so faint that, at first, you almost miss it. But it’s there. Shining bright even in the midst of all this darkness. Hope. Love. Peace. These things are coming. These things can scare away even the worst of monsters. They get brighter and brighter until you are overwhelmed with sheer joy! The monsters have fled back to the deep, dark depths from wince they came! There is once again a feeling of peace and relief in your heart and soon you begin to drift off to the wonderful world of sleep. So what lessons can be taken from this? Some of life’s scariest monsters are the ones that live in the darkened corners of your mind. While worry, doubt, and fear are all apart of this crazy thing we call life, they should not be the only thing that consumes us. There is hope, there is love, and there is peace to be found. You just have to find that tiny speck of light in the distance. Don’t let your doubts, worries, and fears pull you into the suffocating world known as depression. There is a way out, but it’s up to you to find it. Reach out for it and hold on tight. Never let go of the love, the hope, and the peace, for it will guide you back to the light. Hold on to the promise of a better tomorrow, and never again let those monsters take control over your mind. So when the sun sets on a long day, and your mind slowly slips into a deep sleep, push away those monsters for good and never let them come crawling back again.
(Inspired by The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer)
A Trip to Trinity
By Lindsey Plemmons
Our story begins in the town of Dublin,
Where we find our ten characters all a shufflin’.
The tour bus to the library has arrived,
And all of the passengers pack inside.
To the Trinity College Library they all will go.
Oh what wonders they will bestow!
These unlikely passengers have gathered together,
And are soon all seated on seats of leather.
Although they are all somewhat different,
They’ve come to Dublin with a similar interest.
The library holds many wonders unknown,
And all of their minds will surely be blown.
The tiny tour bus is packed nice and tight,
As the passengers prepare for an interesting sight.
Sitting near the front is a high class scholar,
An educated man who will do anything for a dollar.
Dr. Hinkle is this man’s professional title,
But to friends and family he goes by Michael.
He’s snooty and rude and strives for attention.
He’ll do whatever it takes just to get mentioned.
Back home he is known for his awards and his trophies,
But to be quite honest he is awfully lonely.
Not many people like him because he’s so rude,
This constantly puts him in a very bad mood.
Although he is educated and smart as can be,
His stone cold hard is absent of all glee.
His journey has brought him to Ireland because
He wants to gain knowledge to earn more applause.
Across the row from our snooty scholar,
Sits a young Irish enthusiast named Dr. Strahler.
She has recently graduated with a major in Irish Studies,
And now she is traveling to further her discoveries.
She seeks neither fortune nor fame,
And does not really care about broadcasting her name.
All she truly cares about is furthering her studies.
She never really wants to brag to her buddies.
To visit this library was her biggest goal.
She felt as though this trip would make her whole.
Her excitement is evident in the way that she smiles.
Her heart is joyous like that of a child’s.
To grow in her knowledge is all that she wanted.
She does not believe that her wisdom should be flaunted.
Sitting behind Dr. Strahler is Professor Peek.
His personality is dreadfully bleak.
As a professor at Mars Hill University,
He teaches a course on cultural diversity.
His students find him very bland and boring.
He constantly gets on to them for their snoring.
In class all he does is drone on and on,
His students will agree that he’s not very fun.
Like Hinkle and Strahler, he’s come to gain knowledge.
He wants to be a better teacher at the college.
Knowledge, however, will not fix his style.
His students will never find him to be worthwhile.
Although he is a teacher, he’s not very good.
What good is a teacher if you can’t be understood?
Near the middle of the bus sits a girl with red hair.
Her eyes are dark blue and her skin is quite fair.
Oversized glasses sit upon her freckled nose.
Her sparkly flip-flops reveal her pink painted toes.
She claims to be a nerd, who loves to read books,
But all she really cares about is having good looks.
Her name is Christina; she’s cute as can be,
But reading is not her specialty.
Not once has she read a book cover to cover.
Yet, she likes to pretend that she is a book lover.
The glasses she wears do not have real lenses.
She only wears them to attract more attention.
Why has she come to Dublin, you may wonder?
She was invited to go by her book nerdy mother.
Sitting next to Christina is her mother Alexis,
Who is reading a book on her bright green Nexus.
She’s a booklover at heart who loves to read.
If she could, she would, read in her sleep.
The lenses in her glasses are real as can be,
For if she didn’t have them, then she could not see.
The sweater she wears is plain and gray;
Her hair is pinned up with lots of hair spray.
The glasses she wears are simple and sleek,
Not like her daughter’s, the “wannabe geek”.
She invited her daughter to go on this trip
In hopes of giving her a small little hint
Of what it truly means to be in love with books,
And that life is not just about a person’s good looks.
One row over from our friend and her daughter,
Sits Ms. Brach, the librarian, sipping her water.
Similar to Alexis, she is reading a book.
She’ll read anything that has a good hook.
Recently widowed, she wanted to get away;
She’s hoping that this trip will take the pain away.
A simple woman of about sixty years old,
She hopes to find books with stories untold.
She sits alone for she is quite shy.
She would rather read than tell a stranger hi.
Her eyes are dark brown and her hair has turned to gray,
But nothing can take her sense of adventure away.
This trip to Trinity has been her life’s dream,
And her happiness is evident in the way her smile beams.
Sitting in the back, away from the others,
Is a handsome, healthy and insanely happy couple.
With their arms interlocked and their fingers intertwined,
This cute little couple is annoying mankind.
They kiss, they coddle, and their baby talk is overused.
Their public displays of affection can be considered quite rude.
However, their behavior can only be deemed fair
For they were just married and love is in the air.
Mr. Malory is a construction worker who builds nice homes;
Too bad he cannot afford to actually live in one.
Mrs. Mallory is a hairdresser at a beauty salon
But her paycheck isn’t enough for her to live on.
Together they gathered every penny they had
To take this trip, but their savings were quite sad.
So they rallied up their friends for sympathy and cash,
And soon they had built up quite a large stash.
So here they are together on their honeymoon in Ireland,
While Mrs. Malory sports her teeny, tiny diamond.
Giving them a funny look while glancing down the row,
Marcus Mann turns his head to avoid their show.
A man of twenty-five, he’s living day to day
Because his “career” is currently on delay.
An artist he is, or so he believes,
His art can be quite difficult to perceive.
He sells his art to people on the streets
And hopes one day to be a part of the elites.
Although he is not very good, he believes he is great,
And thinks that he is following his fate.
He has come to Dublin with one simple goal;
He hopes that this trip will help make him whole.
His grandfather Sheldon has invited him along,
And he hopes that he’ll find a place to belong.
Grandfather Sheldon is clever as can be,
But he didn’t finish school past the age of three.
From a poor family, he was born and raised,
But his wisdom and wit are something to be praised.
His luck was changed when he entered a contest.
He gave the answer to a simple request.
A trip he was awarded to the town of Dublin,
This experience overall had been quite humblin’.
He decided to invite his grandson along,
Because he never got to see him, so what could go wrong?
He was exited for this trip because he had never been
Out of his own country with neither family nor friends.
So together they all went on this tour bus to Trinity,
Oh what wonderful sights they all soon shall see.
Please excuse me while I go on a quick rant.
As an introvert, I have a huge problem. I have become a human doormat.
One of the most difficult things for me to do is stand up for myself. I say yes to everyone and everything, even if it will only hurt me in the long run. When someone criticizes me, I sit there and take it. I apologize for everything, even when something isn’t my fault. This is my problem. This is the issue that I must face everyday. I am constantly letting people put me down, walk all over me, and treat me as if I am not important.
Well, not anymore. Today is the day that I learn to stand up for myself. I am so sick and tired of people always trying to tell me what I’m doing wrong. Why can’t someone, just for once, point out something good about me? Why can no one see the side of me that strives to please and works hard to help as many people as I can? I am not worthless. I am not someone who should simply be taken for granted. I will no longer let people take advantage of me and then leave me hanging when I try to get some help in return.
So often, people like me go unnoticed and unappreciated. If you’re reading this right now and thinking, “hey, that sounds like me!”, then listen up. Stop what you’re doing. Stop letting people take advantage of you. People like us have an problem. We don’t like saying the word no to anyone. We let people walk all over us. We listen to other people’s problems and offer up helpful advice, but never have anyone who will do the same for us. We are thankful for everything that we are given, but we never receive the same gratitude from the people that we help.
Here’s the thing: It’s wrong; It’s unfair; It’s time for it to stop. If we don’t stand up for ourselves now, then when will we? For so long, people like us have been used and then thrown away like everyday, ordinary trash. People run to us when they need something, and then leave almost as soon as they came. Although it is wrong for people to treat us like that, it is actually us who is partly to blame. After years of never standing up for ourselves, people have just come to take that as who we are. Because we never complain, they continue to do it. For once, if I could actually build up the courage to take my life into my own hands and stand up for my own rights as a person, then maybe, just maybe, people will begin to actually treat me as if I’m a human.
So here we are. We are people. We are human beings. We have feelings, wants, desires, hopes and dreams! Why should we let other people walk all over us? Why should we be taken for granted? It’s time to stop. It’s time to take action and start putting our feet down and saying no. No longer will I let anyone else tell me who I am or what I need to be. I know who I am. I am a child of God. I was created in his image and so were you! God put us on this earth and he gave us all a purpose. If we are constantly living in someone else’s shadow, then how will we ever become who God truly wants us to be?
Today is my day. Today is your day. Today is OUR day. We will be silent no longer. It is time for us to stand up for ourselves. Everyone has a voice, and it’s time that ours are heard.
I am not an doormat, and neither are you.
What does it honestly mean to be an introvert?
Does it mean that someone is depressed or anti-social? Or maybe it means that they are stuck-up and rude?
Recently I was asked why I had chosen to become an introvert. Wait. Go back and reread that part again. Why had I “chosen” to become an introvert? Let me take this moment to explain something to anyone who may be reading this. As an introvert, I often enjoy spending my time alone, whether it be reading books or just simply relaxing on the couch. I love to take long walks by myself in order to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Writing is the most efficient way for me to communicate my thoughts and feelings because I have a hard time expressing myself verbally without talking too fast, stuttering, or stumbling over my words.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderfully small group of incredibly close friends, and I could honestly not be any happier. When I am with my close friends, I can talk and chat and laugh and joke around….all of the “extroverted” things that most people do not think I am capable of.
What most people don’t realize is that introversion is not something that someone just all of a sudden “chooses” to be. It’s a part of who I am and I cannot simply change that. Being an introvert in no way means that I am depressed. I am perfectly happy with my life and myself. Of course, I have some insecurities about myself, but then again, who doesn’t! Being an introvert simply means that I find solitude in being alone. I don’t need huge groups of friends to make me feel better about myself. I never feel the need to attend crazy and raging parties in order to have a good time. My tiny tight-knit group of friends and maybe a small outing every now and then is truly all I need to feel happy and satisfied. After a fun “get-together”, there may be a couple of days where you don’t hear from me, but that’s only because I need some alone time to refuel. And you know what? That is perfectly okay.
I will not apologize to anyone for being an introvert. I will not apologize to anyone for embracing who I truly am. Don’t criticize me or belittle me for who I am. Just because I choose not to make small talk, attend parties, or speak out does not mean that I can’t. Trust me. When I need to express my feelings to someone, or I have to attend a party and make awful small talk with people that I hardly even know, I can do it with no problems whatsoever. However, don’t expect it to be a regular thing. I may not enjoy small talk, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy talking about my passions. If you could actually take the time to get to know me, you might discover that there is more to me than meets the eye.
One of my favorite quotes about being an introvert is simply this: “The funny thing about introverts is once they feel comfortable with you, they can be the funniest, most enjoyable people to be around. It’s like a secret they feel comfortable sharing with you. Except that the secret it their personality.”
I am an introvert. I did not “choose” to be this way, nor do I wish that I wasn’t like this. I am happy being just the way I am. God made me with his perfect design, and God does not make any mistakes. So if anyone ever wants to know why I am an introvert, the person to ask is not me. I do not know why God made me this way, but I am not one to complain. I did not choose introversion; Introversion chose me.
I am an introvert, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.