Monday, January 27, 2014

"Everything is Going to be Okay"

“Don’t worry; everything is going to be okay”
They always said that to me
Every Counselor
But they don’t even know half the story
They don’t know how I truly feel
What I was going through
No matter how long I talked
They never understood
My situation
Always moving
Never a place to call home
I was always somebody else’s girl
Self destruction
Should I kill myself?
I didn’t have a structured family
I moved out early in life
Moving around
The anxiety I felt when they said
“It’s okay; you can call this place home”
I knew I couldn’t
Because everywhere I went something always bad happened
Pack up my bags
Leave abruptly
Nothing was ever permanent
I was a free spirit
Yet wanting a place to call home
Somewhere I could feel safe
A nice family who greets me when I walk in that door
“Don’t worry; everything is going to be okay”

Homelessness is a real status in today’s and yesterday’s society. One would only hope it wasn’t part of tomorrows. We see the homeless on the street and turn away because of the label they wear. In reality society has told us “bad” things about the homeless so we would turn our heads away. The less unfortunate are just like you and I but with a different story. A much harsher story. We as a society have to look through our own eyes and look beyond what our family and the media tells us. We could take homeless people and give them a place they can call home if only our eyes were not shielded by what others say. There is hope; we just have to look in the right places.


What: Labateyah is a housing organization for kids 18-23.
Where: United Indians Youth Home
9010 13th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
Contact Info: (206) 781-8303
Fax: (206) 781-7239

What: Shelter for people ages 18-25
Where: Basement of the University Temple United Methodist Church at 1415 NE 43rdStreet
Contact Info: 206-632-1635 between 8:00 and 8:30PM and ask to be put on the list

Another resource is Teen Link. Teen Link is an anonymous phone line and online chat service that is there to listen to you and provide a lot of community resources.Teen Link is for teens and answered by teens.Teen Link has shelter resources and other services for basic needs. The phone number is 1 (866) 833 – 6546. The line is open every night from 6 – 10 P.M. If you prefer to chat visit Chat is available all week. There is hope and we are here to help you find it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Living on The Steets

“Now everyday that I walk out of my building I see homeless people sleeping and chillin’ on the steps to the apartment that I live in…We’ve come to accept the homeless as a part of our landscape. The money the government wastes could provide them with a space place to eat and sleep. But we cease to see that our own country is based around war, power and greed. We’ve got families on the street with nowhere to go, and the concrete’s the only place they have to call home.” - City Don’t Sleep, Macklemore.
With weather like todays, it worries me that there are 500-2,000 homeless youth in Seattle on any given night. It’s a terrifying reality that many youth in Seattle and King County face. In fact, there are more than 1.5 million children and young adults trying to survive on the streets of the U.S. today. More often than not, they did not choose to become homeless, but were forced to leave their living situation for a number of reasons. Understanding homelessness is hard; it’s a complex issue that occurs in every socio-economic and racial group in America. For some reason, there is a misconception that homeless youth are homeless by their choice, which results in a stigma against the population. However, many homeless youth leave their homes because of a combination of abuse, family problems, or other circumstances that lead them to feel unsafe at home.
"Now every face tells a different story, a different message. Now how can we judge the book when we don't know the beginning. We don't know what turned 'em to the bottle , or started injectin', we just see dirty clothes and another bum beggin'…We don't want to face it…Now think about your home, and the place that you sleep. And the homeless, who only have the concrete."
As a person who has never experienced homelessness, I can’t tell you what it is truly like, but I can speak on my growth as I learned to interact with folks who are experiencing homelessness. The homeless newspaper "Real Change" is sold outside of my work. I see people become uncomfortable when they encounter a homeless person. I see people shut down. They avoid eye contact and rarely offer any response to the vendor’s friendliness. As someone who interacts with the vendor on a daily basis I have learned the impact of a simple smile. That is how it started for me, by simply offering a smile and a “hello” as I walked in to work. Conversations soon followed, and I could notice myself becoming much more comfortable with their company. Now when I see others’ discomfort, I realize how common these feelings truly are. Personally, I believe that my connection to someone who was homeless has given me a greater insight and confidence when confronted with the issue of homelessness.
"Now if you wanna see change, then throw your ones in the air. You think the system that we're livin' is not fair? You wanna see change, then put your ones in the air. Now point it to the ground, 'cause change starts right there… Now point 'em to yourself, 'cause change starts right there"
If you are looking for more information about youth homelessness, local shelters or drop-in centers, etc. the phone worker will be able to answer your questions and provide information. Here are some examples of youth shelters in the greater Seattle area, and their websites.
  •  Youthcare:
  • ROOTS young adult shelter (18-25 years old):
  • Friends of Youth:
If you would like to talk to someone about anything, big or small, Teen Link is available to you. We're completely anonymous and confidential, and the line is answered by trained teens in King County. Our phone number is 1(866)833-6546. You can call Teen Link every night (6-10pm) and have chat available through our website ( on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Procrastination.... the epidemic of "i'll do it tomorrow"

As second semester approaches and many of us are preparing to go back to school, now would be a good time to cover the modern day epidemic of procrastination. Procrastination is the human method of avoidance: to procrastinate is to do whatever you can and as much as possible to prevent you from doing work that eventually has to be completed. Procrastination comes in many forms, but the majority of humans today use the internet as their main form of delay. For me, procrastination consists of browsing Facebook and Twitter, posting on Tumblr, taking photos, drawing, reading, laying on the floor, eating, and blogging.

The Procrastination Cycle by chibird

Unfortunately, the only cure for procrastination is yourself. You just have to focus (…I know, it’s a really hard concept, but eventually, you’ll just have to put everything else aside and do whatever it is you need to do.).
 Keeping one’s focus is like building muscle—you have to practice and try to improve your concentration. That said, you also don’t want to overdo it (it’s just like strength building, so don’t push yourself too hard at first).

So how can you begin your new focusing regime?
  1. Turn off the internet. That’ll work, right?  Right. So when I’m writing a paper, and I need to cite a few internet sources or look up a definition, I have a slight problem. So, don’t turn your internet off—just be sure and try your hardest to stay away from distracting sites and social networks.
  2. Work in increments: keep your focus for twenty minutes or so, then take a five or ten minute break. Use a timer to keep yourself on schedule. Grab a healthy snack and fill up a bottle of water to help keep your focus for the next twenty minute increment.
  3. Some studies have shown that listening to calm and relaxing music can be beneficial to studying and working for longer periods of time.
  4. Work in a quiet, comfortable area. I work on my bed and at my desk; both of which are very comfortable for me.
  5. Move around. Other studies have shown that movement can be particularly beneficial to studying and working. I don’t like to walk around while I work, but I’m quite fidgety at times, so spinning chairs work best for me.  That being said, I do know some people who run on a treadmill while they read or study for a math test and that seems to work perfectly for them.
Find your own methods and focusing tactics to make 2014 the best and most productive year yet!

If you need some help staying focused or want to get all of the stuff in your mind out so you can concentrate on what you need to do, Teen Link is always a great place to vent or just talk it out. Teen Link is an anonymous, confidential phone line for young people that is answered by other young people. You can call Teen Link by dialing 1(866)833-6546 or chat on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday by visiting the website Teen Link is open from 6-10pm every night.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How To Fall In Love With Yourself: The Me Challenge

“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi

“You are fat”.
Three words that came out of nowhere. Three words that were said without an after-thought. Three words that had irreparable consequences on me.
From that day, I was haunted by those three words as they represented my biggest insecurity: my body.
Whenever I slipped on a pair of jeans I wondered if they made my bum look bigger. Whenever I slipped on a skirt I would always tug it down to cover my jiggly thighs.
“You are fat”.
Three words that made me love winter because summer meant shorts, dresses and bikinis.
Clothes that didn’t really work on my body.
Or at least that was what I thought until I learnt how to love the rolls of fat around my sides, how to love my legs, how to love my body and in essence how to love myself.
I know it sounds cheesy. Trust me, I have read all those blogs and magazines. I have heard all those inspirational speeches. I have scrolled through endless Tumblr and Instagram pages filled with motivational quotes. And I have thought to myself how useless they were because at the end of the day I was still “fat”.
But then I tried to follow some steps, to really learn to embrace myself, to let go of those petty criticisms and suddenly “you are fat” became meaningless to me. All the power those words held over me was suddenly lost and they returned to simply being three, small words.

So here is some advice that worked for me. That will work whether you are worried about your race, religion, sexual orientation, the acne on your face, your shyness (or in fact just about anything that can make you hate yourself).

1.    Don’t try to be Perfect
Perfection is an illusion and is unattainable. While you should always do your best, even if it is not “perfect” do not consider what you do a failure. As warm and fuzzy (and cliché) as it sounds perfection is just the way you are and the way you do things.
2.    Don’t compare yourself to others
Nothing good comes from comparing yourself to others. In fact studies show that through comparison, your self-esteem is lowered and therefore emotions like depression, envy and jealousy are more likely to develop. Instead of comparing yourself focus on your own strengths and realize that you are in fact awesome.
3.    Say “NO!”
If someone wants to do something you do not feel like doing: say no! You do not always need to agree with what other people want to do or ask you do to. Your friends will not hate you if you say “no” and if they do then that means they were not really your “true” friends. Do what you want to do- what you feel comfortable in doing. If you feel like you are doing something just to please someone, then you should not be doing it.
4.    Treat yourself like you treat others
The kindness, trust, love and appreciation you show toward your best friends and family should be the same kindness, trust, love and appreciation you show towards yourself. According to research presented in The New York Times, people who treat themselves like they treat others score higher on self-compassion tests in comparison to people who do not. This suggests that accepting our imperfections can be the first step to better health.
5.    Look at yourself in the mirror
This may sound silly to you but try to look at yourself in the mirror every day and admire yourself. Compliment yourself on how you look and give yourself time to take in all of you instead of always trying to hide who you are. By doing this you prevent the image created by others to manifest you. If you believe in yourself, the person in the mirror will believe in himself or herself.

Learning to love yourself is similar to learning to walk. We start by taking a couple of small steps and then we fall back down to the ground. But then we get back up because that moment when we were standing on our own two feet felt so incredible that you would be crazy not to want to experience it again. Once we get back up we learn to know ourselves and know our limits. When we finally learn to run, walking seems so easy. We realize that no greater power can be found than the power that we find in ourselves through loving, listening and respecting who we are.   

On the road of self-love we can encounter many bumps. In these moments
a friendly face or voice can always come in handy. Talk it out with someone you care about and who cares about you.
And remember organizations like Teen Link (866-833-6546) are always ready to lend a friendly ear.

So I challenge you to start showing some love to yourself and to realize that you are a very special human being.