Tuesday Tunesday: Somewhere I Belong

Since starting this blog, one of my main goals was to address mental health, and I’ve been really candid about sharing my own ups and downs, much of which started, unsurprisingly, when I began my freshman year of high school (what is it about that age???). I was experiencing so much and wasn’t quite sure how to cope until I found unhealthy strategies that weren’t really helping me properly cope or heal, namely self-harming. Thankfully, I didn’t stay there long, and to this day, I firmly believe music is one of the things that pulled me from this darkness. It was one band, in particular, that helped me put into words what I was feeling inside, helped me know that I was not alone, helped me find somewhere I belong.

Last week, Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, succumbed to the demons that plagued him for so long, the very same demons he helped save me from. I’m still processing and mourning such a deep loss, and as an adult who largely grew up with him and his bandmates, I know I can never listen to those albums the same. Chester left this world without a suicide note because, if you listen closely to those lyrics, every painful and angst-filled song was one. We found peace, understanding, and even hope within each album. And while I’m so thankful for what Linkin Park did for me and so many others, I only wish Chester had, too, been saved. I don’t know what support systems Chester had, but I hope you know that if you ever find yourself in the darkness, please look for the light. Seek help. Tell me. Tell someone you trust. You don’t have to walk this road alone. I promise.

In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Now, to honor his work and legacy, here are five (plus two LIVE bonuses) of my favorite and most meaningful Linkin Park songs from their earlier albums. #RIPChester

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Kermit Says: You Should Go & Love Yourself

 

 

During my junior year of college, I took a course called “Representations of Women in the Media.” It was such a transformative experience that forever changed the way I interacted with what I watched and listened to daily. Like most twenty-year-olds, I merely consumed media, ingesting it in all of its forms without thinking twice. The problem here is that when we ingest it, we also internalize it, whether we realize it or not. Media plays such a huge role and shapes how we view ourselves, this world, and others. If we’re not careful, we can emerge with a limited and stereotypical worldview, pick up some destructive habits, and develop low self-esteem. Now, today’s post is starting to sound a lot like a sermon on media literacy, but that’s not the point, at least not entirely. Part of the point of this story is that after I learned to be more critical of what I was consuming in print and visual media, I decided to make a documentary as my final project for the course. I got a group of my closest friends together and asked them a series of questions about what they were seeing and how it was affecting them. The biggest point of this all, however, was what I learned in the end…

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Dear Kermit: Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

Happy Tuesday, friends! You know what time it is: it’s time for another Dear Kermit… podcast (finally). Today’s post is not a response to anyone’s question, but perhaps a piece of advice from myself to myself. I’m sure today’s post will touch on topics we can all relate to at some point or another: heartbreak, fear, pain, trust, (dis)honesty, self-love, self-worth, self-doubt, and the terrifying idea of new beginnings and budding relationships (yikes). I hope this podcast speaks to someone in the same way I hope it will help me. What a great reminder that any external love has to first come from within. If you don’t love yourself, who will? 

Kermit Says: I’m Here For You

I love the holiday season! It’s a time when folks can go home, reconnect with family and friends, and reflect on both the challenges and blessings of the season.

But with so much happening in the world, it’s also pretty easy to see how and why the holidays can be a time filled with great sadness and pain. It can be a time when people don’t feel cared for or loved. A time when people feel lonely, poor, discouraged, inadequate, and depressed. We get so bogged down by the negatives and the crazy cards that life can often present that we lose sight of what really matters, we lose hope and faith in ourselves and the world around us. We forget about our own well-being and the well-being of others. Don’t.

You may not feel loved, but you are because I love you.

You may not feel wealthy, but you are wealthy with the riches money can’t buy.

You may feel lonely, but you’re not for He is always with you.

You may feel inadequate, but you were made in His image and are destined for greatness.

Don’t give up or let this holiday season get you down– let it build you up instead.

And if you ever feel like you’re by yourself and need someone to talk to, someone to bring you good tidings or give you peace, comfort, and love, I’m here for you.

Love, 

Kermit

Kermit Says: Rise

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I’ve got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.


No matter what happens, where you are,

where you go, when you stumble, when you fall,

what people say, what people do, what people think,

what people feel, what life throws your way…

When the weight of the world is on your shoulders,

Always remember your purpose…

Always remember your worth…

Always remember who you are…

Always remember whose you are…

Get up, dust yourself off, and fly. Rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

Stand tall and be your most authentic self

Be braver,

be stronger,

be smarter,

be brighter,

be bolder,

be better than your circumstance!

Live your life like Dr. Maya Angelou:

fearless and phenomenal

(and don’t forget to help those along the way.)

Kermit Says: Be Bold

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1RCUQCZ

As an English teacher, I’ve written this post with the idea of being interactive because, like in my classroom, this is not about me—this is about you. So, if I ask you a question, just give me what you’ve got, okay? What does it mean to be brave?  Now think about this next question: who are some brave people in your lives? Think about these people, what they’ve done, and how their actions align with your own definitions of bravery. Feel free to post your answers below! 

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