"What are you afraid of?" The question asked as I stared. Finally I typed in my reply, sending it to my blog.
"I'm afraid of standing up for myself and other people. I'm afraid of letting people know who I am. Don't make these your fears too. I'm just a coward."


8. Eight

October 16, 2012

Dear Autumn,

I don't mean to curse, I really don't (sorry Lord), but holy shit. During these couple of days, people like Malcolm and Jake (who was this other guy who bullies people) got in trouble, leading to suspension for three days. It could've been more, believe me, they deserve more, but that was a start. The teachers finally noticed. The other students who were involved got detention, but I didn't mind. People like Kyle and I were really glad. 

It all happened when Malcolm and Jake were bullying this kid in the middle of the hallway. One of the kids told the principal, and the kid who told him told me that I inspired him to stand up. That was the most heart-warming thing anyone has ever said to me. After that, on the announcements they got sent to the office. 

The school is organizing a club for students to speak their minds, for students who feel like they're bullied or depressed. Finally the school noticed.

Speaking of Kyle and I, we have actually grown to be the best friends the last couple of days. Sure enough, we had the same music tastes and we had a bunch of things in common. I make him laugh some days. Knowing that I could make someone laugh feels good. I glow. No, not literally, but some days I feel like I'm glowing like an angel, the weight on my shoulders no more.

My tumblr blog is working out really good. I would get hate, but really, they were anonymous so I would just flick them off and set them as a bad example. Here is some questions and some answers, just because I'm really proud of my blog and how it gotten developed.

Q: I love you so much! You're such an inspiration. How did you stand up for yourself when you got hate? 

A: Aw I love you more! And thank you :) <3 I stood up for myself when I found out that the people who were hating on me weren't worth it. Sure, it brought me down at times, but I lifted myself back up again 'cause life is all about falling down and getting up, like learning how to ride a two-wheeler bike. :)

Q: I feel really depressed. I feel like I have no one to talk to, and it just keeps building up inside me and I feel useless and hopeless and I always feel tired and really - what should I do? :(

A: I felt like that once. There are types of methods that help people. Of course, there is venting with actual people which is probably the best option, since telling people is good, or you could write. You could do something that you love to do to take your mind off of the pain (Not drugs or cutting though! Really bad :( ), or you could just cry and let it all out. That's good. I'm not the best advice-giver, but I know sometimes the phrase "stay strong" doesn't work. Just try to be happy. If you can't, just remember you're someone's sunshine. I love you, I love you, I love you. Don't forget you're loved! :) <3

Q: If you could describe three words about life, what would you say?

A: It goes on.

Q: How are you so happy all the time?

A: I'm not. But I think about things I'm thankful for, reasons to be happy, think about solutions to the sad problems, and that's how I feel giddy again. I don't even know, but each person has different methods to make them feel better and that's mine <3 x

This whole experience made me think about a bunch of things in a new perspective, like depression. Before I thought it was just sadness, but it's more than that. I also put bullying into a new perspective. When I saw Malcolm come out of the principal's room, I saw a hint of regret in his eyes. Could he have possibly been bullied in the past too? 

And of course, there was the blog. I never really knew much teens felt this way. I never knew how just giving advice or giving them a link to something would make them feel better, let alone save a life. There were so many things I never really thought about before, how things affected the world. Even the littlest things could either make or break someone. All those things start with words.

Take Malala Yousafzai, for example. She started a blog just like me for woman rights, and that gave her consequences, but still, just doing that and helping made her famous.

There was also Martin Luther King Jr. I have mentioned him in an entry before, I recalled, but I didn't state what he did. He was best known for promoting a cause in civil rights. He made the "I have a dream" speech, which today is still very inspirational.

He was assassinated on April 4, 1968. No, not murdered, since murder is the term for normal people, but assassinated. His actions started with words too. Same with Nelson Mandela. 

These people were so inspirational and they helped with words. They changed the world for the better with their words. Like me. Like Kyle. 

But it's not just about the words, it's about our actions too. Words usually come before or after the actions, like the time Rosa Parks didn't sit in the "black" part of the bus. Or the time when I stood up to Malcolm and that guy who tried to make out with me. 

Words are unique. Words are special. Words could bring a person up or tear them down. Words could do all sorts of things. Words are . . . words. There's no other explanatory way to say that. 

My journal is really short right now. I have like one more page left before the end. Pretty sick, huh? It's amazing how on the start of October 16 to the end of September 16 had been pretty big on me. I made a blog, got bullied, got published in a magazine . . .

If anyone is reading this right now, just know that words do affect a person. So instead of letting them down, lift them up. Tell them a corny joke, or perhaps tell them that they are loved or that you're here for them, 'cause maybe that's all they need. Love. And one of the many acts of showing love is by using your words.

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” --Nelson Mandela

With happy endings, blogging and making a small difference in the world,

Elizabeth Joy.


(A/N I'M DONE WITH THE BOOK! Writing this book made me realize that sometimes words do hurt, and that I should be careful with them (: I hope you enjoyed this book and influenced you as much as it influenced me. <3 I love you guys SO much, and good luck to everyone who's also entering the Malala competition :) )

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