Dropping in today is Louder Than Words author Hannah Westberg, a girl who's experienced a life of drugs, cutting and mental illness.
GIRLS! YOU HAVE A VOICE! USE IT!
Many people try to stifle us, call us 'bitch' or 'Hilary' for stating an opinion, but mainly, we tell ourselves that we don't have the right to speak up. I wrote my story from the perspective of someone whose wisdom extends just nineteen years. I wrote a book about real issues because I experienced them, not because I studied them. People seem surprised that I have any story to tell at such a young age. I wasn't sure I had any right to speak with authority. However, the freshness of these memories might make this point of view more valuable. Even as a teenager, my voice is valid.
If you don't stand up for your values, no one else will. I don't claim to know everything, but I stick to what I believe in. I go to raves and shock people with my sobriety. They say, "What are you doing at a rave if you're not on drugs?" I reply, "Having a great time!" I fight against racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks no matter how mixed the company is. Recently, a coworker told me, "Congratulations on getting hired. Good to have another white person around here." After I reported it, I felt pressure to divulge their identity and get them fired. Instead, I held my ground and asked that my company give sensitivity training. I volunteer. I protest. I'm a vegetarian who will talk your ear off about politics. I get labeled a straight-edge hippie feminazi. People are annoyed by my convictions. But if I didn't have them, I wouldn't be me.
What are your beliefs? What are your values? How can you better stand up and fight for them?
Use art. Join a cause. Start a movement. Speak up. Be the change you want to see in the world.