Finish Writing Your Story: Project Semicolon
By: Kathryn Drey
We all have stories that we have read or heard from the second we were born until this moment. Whether it may be a book our parents read to us, one we read for enjoyment or even the ones we read for class. It can even correlate to a story we follow on TV or a movie. There is never a moment where we do not get a story. Did you ever realize that in hearing and reading those stories you are actually creating your own? Our lives consist of chapters that contribute to the greater one that is our life. Relationship? Chapter of your story. Big achievement? Chapter of your story. Injury or death in the family? Chapter of your story. Anything and everything that has happened to you is a chapter of your story but have you ever thought of the way it would end?
For many people, they live their lives day to day, week by week, never truly thinking about the way their story will end. For others, they try to end their story early. When reading a story, you are bombarded by words, phrases, sentences but do you ever pay attention to the punctuation used? You have commas, periods, exclamation points and so on and so forth but the one that is the most unnoticed is the semicolon. Semicolons are used to indicate a pause between two different main sentences that is more pronounced than a comma. See what I did there? You may think to yourself, why does this pertain to me?
The answer to that is quite simple. By simply looking around you, there are people everywhere but you may not know what is going on in their minds, what they are feeling or what they have gone through. For some, they may have tried to end their stories too soon.
Project Semicolon is a nonprofit organization that advocates for mental health wellness and focuses on an anti-suicide initiative. Project Semicolon came to light the most with the TV show “Thirteen Reasons Why”, which focused its story on Clay Jenson and his journey to find out why his friend, Hannah Baker, committed suicide. An influx of people rushed out to get a semicolon tattooed on their wrists to symbolize their connection or their support to the mental health community. The semicolon is used as an affirmation and unity against suicide, depression, addiction and the diverse mental health issues that are prevalent in our world.
I backtrack to the notion that our lives are our stories. A quote from Project Semicolon itself states, “A semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” We are all trying to make it in this world but there are factors out of our control that can affect us tremendously. They can make us feel weak when we usually are not. We can feel like the world is crashing all around us even when it is not. The thing to remember is that even when it feels as if the world is crashing, it is just a chapter—the climax if you will.
Speaking from experience, I have hit the lowest I could possibly go but what I learned from it, and what I hope you learn from yours, is that you are stronger than you think. The pain will subdue, the dark will turn to light, the cuts will fade and the memories will start to loosen their dominance on your life. It will take time. Nothing will change overnight I can promise you that but the one thing to remember is to surround yourself with the people, activities and everything else that will make you happy and make you shine in the light. The darkest nights make for the brightest days and there is so much you can offer the world. It will not be easy, but again it is just the climax of your story that will prove your strength and your ability to slay the dragon that will save the damsel in distress that is locked in the tower of your mind.
Stand with those who struggle. There are so many resources if you are feeling in the dark and have feelings of depression, anxiety, suicide and all of the mental health issues that plague our world. You are not alone. Never think you are. The person sitting next to you could be feeling the same way. You are the author. Wow will you write your story?