I’ve heard so much about 13 Reasons Why lately. Many have asked me if I’ve read or seen it and the answer will remain, “no.” As someone who struggles with depression, this topic is not something I need to learn about, it’s something I learn to survive. I recently told my sister I was going to write my own version of 13 Reasons Why and she cautioned me on how I phrased it because people would get the wrong idea PDQ. I knew she was right. After thinking, praying, and meditating about it… the answer came loud and clear: 100 Reasons to Live.
Years ago when ENSPiRiTED Projects was a baby of a company, they ran a program in Manasquan called “100 Reasons to Live.” This small beach town had suffered the losses of several teen suicides in a short amount of time. My brilliant, creative, and compassionate cousin Colleen felt compelled to do something about it. And so she did.
She got in touch with people in the community to gain support and ran programs for the teens of ‘Squan entitled. I can remember her telling me about the program and how the teens wrote on Post- Its all of their reasons to live: everything from guacamole and puppies to family and sunsets. You could hear her passion and excitement for creating this environment for kids who had experienced such devastation. She always pours her heart – filled with Special Love – into each and every program.
I was neither a teen nor a resident of Manasquan when this program ran, but I was jealous I couldn’t attend. Even though I was an adult with a full- time job, I still craved that environment. A place where I could turn down and be myself. A place where I could build relationships with like- minded people. A place where I could collaborate and create. A home away from home.
Everyone, regardless of age, needs a place where they feel loved unconditionally and comfortable to express themselves and I am so grateful there are companies like ENSPiRiTED that cultivate environments filled with Special Love. Their Creativity Studio – opening this summer in Brick, NJ – will provide the community with classes, programs, and events for people of all ages and abilities to express and explore their own creativity.
Thanks to my personal support system filled with like- minded people, who special love me unconditionally, who I can be myself around, who support me in my creative dreams, I am still here. I don’t have 13 Reasons Why; I have 100 Reasons to Live. This world is filled with reasons!! It’s just a matter of which ones mean the most to you. Take the time. Write them down. I promise it will be worthwhile.