Blog /Transition Age Youth Writing Out! Part 2
One of the fantastic aspects to working at PEERS is our values. Although PEERS is not an age-concentrated organization, we have a fabulous transition age youth program called TAYi (Transition Age Youth Initiative). TAYi serves youth at risk for involvement in the mental-health care, foster care and juvenile-justice systems. In honor of our values, we have asked the youth in our program to blog about their experiences or what keeps them well. Thank you for taking the time to read our youths' posts!
TAYi Coordinator/WRAP Lead
Holding down a job, internship, apartment, etc. while going to school and dealing with everyday life can be very stressful at times. To help stay above it all and keep from feeling overwhelmed, I like to have some “me time.” My “me time” consists of things that allow me to relax and refresh from everyday stress of going from one responsibility to another. My favorite “me time” activities include: sleeping in on Sunday mornings, getting away on little trips (even if its just to a nearby friend's house that I haven’t seen in a while) and good ol’ retail therapy (if my pockets are up to it). A few more things I enjoy doing include: journaling, working out, eating chocolate, going to places with a nice view, getting a change of scenery and nature walks (I know, it sounds cheesy but it is actually pretty awesome.) There is also great pleasure in doing absolutely nothing but lying around. Balance is the name of the game!
Having time to myself for these activities relaxes me because they are done out of pure recreation. There are no grades or performance evaluation I have to worry about. No deadlines, set rules or boundaries to follow. I am free to do as I please! Taking out some time for myself keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. It also gives me something to look forward to. Speaking of anticipation, I can’t wait until this weekend where I will be utilizing some “me time” by going on a mini road trip to visit friends and family in LA. I am so excited to switch up my scene and be around loved ones I haven’t seen in a while. I haven’t even left yet and I’m already starting to feel a sense of joy and relief. I don’t get to have "me time" as often as I’d like to. When I do, I am reminded of how a little bit of space and self- care can help refresh my spirits.
I never thought this day would come, the day I go and choose my prom dress. Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to dress up like a princess. I didn’t have a Quinceañera so prom was my only chance. I looked online excessively before even going to the mall. I was so excited to find the dress I wanted. So, I was at the mall with my friend and I see a prom dress store. I walked in and picked out a lot of dresses. I was having problems with the zipper on the first dress. I peeked outside the dressing room for help. I saw all of the other girls with their moms helping them out. I wanted to call out to my friend, but she was on the other side of the store. I tried on the next dress and ran into the same problem. I just needed help. I finally got into one by myself and went outside the dressing room to the mirrors and I loved it. There was just no one else there to love it with me. All of the other girls had their moms with them to tell them they looked wonderful. The woman who worked at the store told me I looked great just to convince me to buy the dress. That day made me sad. My mom passed away years ago. I didn’t have anyone to tell me how breathtaking I looked. I didn’t want to even go to prom anymore. I started thinking of other excuses of why I shouldn’t go: it was too expensive, I didn’t have a limo, or prom was on a Friday. Then one random day, my sister said that she wanted to buy me the dress. So I made plans with my sister to go to San Francisco the next day to find one. My sister, my niece, and my cousin all went with me and I was excited again. The first dress I tried on was the perfect one and all of them thought so too. That’s when I realized that my mom was there. She was my sister! My whole family has raised me. They are who keep me well. They make me feel better even when they don’t even know that something is wrong.
By Erica Thompson
Inspired by the film "Red Tails"
Wherefore thou Black Jesus
I am hidden in darkness
negro the spanish word for black
Why do you call me a Ni---r?
Don't you know its offensive
I am black and beautiful
I fly fighter airplanes
I survive the Germans
Schwartz the German word for black
I am not an Afrikaner
I am a human being
Thank you for taking the time to read our youths' posts! We welcome comments :)