Hello. Those who have read some of my old blog posts know what I write about. They also know a little bit about my story. You can read and find these blogs here at . So I touch many topics and speak from the heart. I talk about what I know and learn. Which is a lot about violence, but I try my best to do it in a different way; to do it in an inspiring, empowering, and thriving way.
So we all have horrific, negative, tragic things that happen to us whether they are events, experiences, or stuff that just happens in life. When these things happen we say or think things like: “why, why is this happening to me?”, how you have already gone through so much, why are more negative things happening?, or question/ think other things.
I am here to tell you that whether it was you or someone close to you that has died/ been murdered, sexually assaulted, bullied, been the one acting like a bully, being beaten, or anything negative that you can think about. It has happened for a reason. Now you might think right now either:
1). She has no idea what she’s talking about.
2). What happened to me didn’t happen for a reason.
3). Or something else negative or doubtful.
I’m here to tell you that I know exactly what I’m talking about. I have been sexually assaulted, beaten by guys, been bullied, did commit the acts of being a bully, and lots more. My grandma passed away two months before I was sexually assaulted; my papa passed away two months after the one-year mark of me being assaulted; and he also passed away the morning of my first event. I believe all these things happened for a reason and I know the reasons now. I have been to rock bottom and have been through a lot in barely 16 years, but who hasn’t gone through things? That is why I am here sharing this with you, because these reasons go for you as well with whatever you’re going through.
See, we all have bad experiences, times, or things that happened to us. It’s said that about 85% of families are dysfunctional. There are a ton of statistics I could bring out, but that might take too much time. So again I am saying these bad things are happening for a good reason. It’s not to make you feel like a victim or just a survivor. Yes you need to survive, but there’s much more to it than that. This is what I'm trying to say and what my coach said:
"The goal isn’t to just survive. The goal is to make a change and the goal is to thrive in your life. The goal is to be proud of the human being that you are and where you’ve come and where you’re going to go and the things you are going to change in this world. And the only way that that can happen is if our communities become more supportive.”
— Chimine Arfuso at Create Social Change.
There are many of reasons why bad things happen. It could be that you were going down the wrong path or you could be negative about your life or to others so you only attract that. There are different reasons for different situations, but those are two reasons. What you think about is what you attract to yourself. The goal and what you are supposed to do when bad things happen is to thrive from it and help others. Become an activist and help many, because your voice and your story could be that one that could save another’s life.
See when I tell someone about my story they tell me “I’m sorry.”
You know what? I take that as an insult. Does my life look like it needs you to be sorry? I am an activist, the founder of The Teal Ribbon Project, a friend to all, a voice, and went from having straight F grades to having all A’s and one B. I accomplished all of this between the ages of 15 and 16. I turned my life around in a complete 360. I was able to do all of this and more because of some of the traumatic incidents in my life.
I don’t tell my story to get you to feel bad for me or to get sympathy. I tell you, because I hope that my story of survival and activism empowers you. I hope that all the things I have and will say empowers you, gets you to want to speak out, take action, and that it touches your heart in some positive way to get you to want to do these things.
I am thankful for every bad experience that I have gone through. I am thankful, because it has turned me into whom I am today. So for the day marked for some tragic things in my life I’m not going to sit back and be depressed. I’m going to go out and celebrate. Celebrate, because these things have caused me to turn my life from a negative to a positive. Yes, I survived. But not only did I just survive. I became an activist, thrived, and continue to thrive.
Like Biggie Smalls said:
"Damn right I like the life I live, because I went from negative to positive so it's all good." -Biggie Smalls.
Are we afraid of speaking out or talking about past or current situations? Are we afraid of what others might think or do? Well, I’m not afraid. I have been told that I’m a failure, sexual violence will never end, been doubted, and many other things. Letting negative things get to you is up to you. Am I going to let those people get to me and affect what I am doing? No, because those people who go through traumatic situations need supportive people and a supportive community. Do we want to hold others back by our words and actions or do we want to get them to thrive and become everything they want to be or do? I’m going with choice two. What about you?
No matter what you have been through. No matter how bad it might be. Other survivors and activists and I are the proof that you can come back from anything and help others too. You can survive and you can do more than just survive. I believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself.
Please don’t be sorry for us who go through traumatic events or experiences. You are just reinforcing the behavior behind the words “I’m sorry.” You are doing more harm than good by saying that. People say those words like others can’t turn their lives around. People have the power to become stronger than ever when they experience negative things.
I like to say: Life is going to throw anything it can at you. Some things you can’t avoid and you’re going to get hit, but the question is: Are you going to let getting hit keep you from living your life and being happy? No, you keep going and get better at dodging or healing from the next obstacle life throws at you. Negative things that happen to you are like a cut. You’re going to bleed at first, but it will heal as long as you don’t pick at the scab. The more you pick, the more it's going to remain trying to heal. Yea, there will be a scar, reminder, and a story of what happened, but you use that scar and story to help others heal with their cuts. Bandages won’t work forever. It will keep dirt from coming in, but your cut is going to get all soggy and raw. Let it show to the world and world accept that cut and the story behind it. For who are you to judge how they got that cut unless you’ve gotten one like it? This goes for anything you are going through in life that's negative. Only you have the power to choose if you’re going to be happy or not.
Be happy, because being happy makes you feel good. Be more unique than you already are and use your experiences in life to help others. So I hope that I was able to bring some empowerment to you through this blog. I hope that I was able to shine some bit of light upon your life or open your mind to something new. I hope that you are able to take this and some of my story in with it as well and translate it to your experience or story. I hope that this has helped you in some way. Questions or comments are more than welcomed.
I apologize, because my blogs are really long and I understand that many don't like to read a lot, but I hope you all read it! I'm trying to work on making them shorter. I'm just a 16 year old girl who likes to write and speak from the heart hoping to change the world for good. Writing is my passion and how I speak so it might take a little bit for me to get better at shortening my writing. So bear with me! Thank you all for reading this much love,
— Grace Alongi.
You can like us on Facebook at The Teal Ribbon Project, Follow us on Twitter at The Teal Ribbon, and you can also watch the videos from our first event now on YouTube at The Teal Ribbon Project. Our official website is coming soon!