No One Else Can Play Your Part

Today the co-founders of Exquisitely Geek would like to take the opportunity to participate and promote World Suicide Prevention Day. This year To Write Love On Her Arms has created a campaign "No One Else Can Play Your Part" to celebrate National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). The title of this campaign is so powerful and most importantly true.

People, no matter who they are, matter. Everyone's story is significant.

Here is a quote from the campaign's website:

"We sincerely hope you believe this idea to be true, this possibility that your life is priceless. We hope you have people in your life who remind you just how special and significant you are. We hope you have friends who serve as characters in your story, folks who remind you that your story is worth fighting for.

We're hoping that you might join us in bringing this message to people everywhere. Whether you have 10 friends or 10,000 followers, we all have some kind of influence. Our hope is that this campaign - these words, this design - might lead to life-changing conversations. The TWLOHA story has been one of people connecting with hope and help by talking about things that aren't usually talked about. Too many people feel alone. Too many people feel invisible. 'No one else can play your part' is meant to tell people that they matter, that they're not alone, that there is still some time to be surprised."

To help meet the goals of this campaign we would like to tell the amazing things about our "Part" of this community and the great things about each of us. By taking sometime on this day to explore the things you value about yourself we will all be helping this campaign make a big change around the world, but also in our own individual lives. 

Name: Ashleigh (A2-D2)
Hometown/Homestate: Louisiana
Educational Background: I attended University of Louisiana Lafayette and the University of North Dakota studying Education & Art History.  
What did you want to be when you were younger?: When I was younger I was pretty sure that I would become an artist living in a loft in some big city like New York or Chicago with no children and a fabulously independent lifestyle that everyone would be jealous of! 
What is one life event that you think defined your character development the most?: When I was eleven we had an "incident" happen in my family. Within that moment two things happened to me. Firstly, I realized my need for the truth and ownership. I was convicted with the idea that no one in my family should lie about what happened and what was going on. It also deterred the trust I had in many people. 
How would you define yourself now?: The moment above one of the first moments that I realized I would live a life that was full of conviction for fair judgement and honesty. I have spent most of my life searching for equality for all and making sure I can provide whatever may be needed of me for the people I love. I am the quintessential "mothering" figure. 
Most influential person in your life (dead or alive): The most influential person in my life was my Maw Maw. She was a nurse for over 50 years, born and raised in a coal mining company town in West Virginia, and the matriarch that sheltered me from the flourishing destructive ideas that often filtered into my mind. A lot of the "mothering" qualities I see in myself today are qualities I distinctly remember admiring in my Maw Maw. 
If you could travel back in time, what would you tell your 15 year old self? That I would be better than what I could ever imagine. The gaping hole I felt in side of my heart and soul would now be the size of a pea. Always there, but distinctly different. I would be a mother, a teacher, and archivist, a loved one, and all of the things that I was at 15...I just didn't know how to appreciate being a sister, daughter, nerd, fictionist, or a comforter. I am more valuable than I believed and I am even more so today. 
What are you excited about that is upcoming?: To be really honest, I'm most excited about everyday. Everyday is something new and I feel honored to be able to see more of them. 
What's the last thing that surprised you?: The last thing that genuinely surprised me was when Seven of Ten announced her pregnancy. I felt like an Aunt in an instant. I have no nieces or nephews so I'm looking forward to watching a special little person be brought into our Exquisitely Geek family. 

Name: Alice (Seven of Ten)
Hometown/Homestate: Louisiana
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Speech/Theatre, Masters in Theatre History
What did you want to be when you were younger?: I was ready for this independent lifestyle where I'd live in New York and basically conquer the world!  I wanted to be the "big boss" of an arts group (slightly ironic, huh?).  I had visions of living with friends as we split apartment rent near central park and judged the tourists as they walked by.
What is one life event that you think defined your character development the most?: When I was in 7th grade, all of my living grandparents died.  My maternal grandmother died, two weeks later, my paternal grandmother died.  Then a year after that, my grandfather died. (To be quite honest, I'm not sure if that's the order because I've blocked a lot of that year out).  The first death was sad and a bit overwhelming.  I was seeing men (and women) in my family who I thought were invincible cry and feel pain over the loss of my grandparents.  The second death hit me hard, I started to truly understand that people won't stay around forever and that there was no silver lining to this gathering.  I got so tired of people telling me "they're in a better place." I didn't care; they weren't here.  By the time the third death and funeral occurred, I was numb. I didn't cry, I didn't flinch when people started reminiscing about what occurred when and where, I didn't feel like I was actually there.  These events made me question a lot about life, afterlife, and purpose.  Though I don't pretend to have all the answers, I can say that my current views stem from this moment.  I stopped taking things at face value; I began researching made me become an adult - quickly.
How would you define yourself now?: Right now, I would say that I am a student.  Not in the sense that I'm still going to school, but that I don't have all the answers.  What I'm working toward is seeing the inherent worth and dignity in every person.  I'm also working on living each day (not just surviving).  My favorite quote right now is: "Drop and give me Zen! Drop regrets, drop limiting beliefs, drop resentments, drop doubts, drop worries."
Most influential person in your life (dead or alive): At this moment, I would have to give a big vote for my mom.  Since I was born late in her life, many of my relatives died before I really got to know them.  My mother has always been that lifeline between my relatives and me, and I've learned so much about my heritage and the strength that I hope to embody through her example and stories.
If you could travel back in time, what would you tell your 15 year old self?: Stay this mellow. Please.  Soon you'll be overwhelmed with deadlines and this overwhelming desire to exceed everyone's expectations.  You'll actually be working - daily - to just let go and to live in the moment.  Hang onto this feeling of endless days and knowing when "enough" and "your best" don't have to be synonymous.
What are you excited about that is upcoming?: Can you be simultaneously excited and scared?  Right now that's how I'm feeling with the new family addition expected in January!  I'm not going to lie that I'm vacillating between excitement and "oh, dear, this pre-baby to-do list is gigantic!"  
What's the last thing that surprised you?: I would say that The Captain is constantly surprising me recently with his excitement over our first child.  I knew he would be supportive and excited, but just the other day I got a text from him linking to an article about the greatest things about Daddyhood!
Today, we would like to charge all the readers of our blog to think about the things that have created their "part" in the world. What makes your part so special? What makes you valuable? We can assure you that you are. Maybe you just need to take a moment to evaluate and appreciate who you really are. We encourage you to post the things that you think of on your FB, Twitter, and Instagram. Throughout the day you can also check in with our FB, Twitter, and Instagram (A2-D2 & Seven of Ten) to see how we are playing our part. Make sure you include images, words, quotes, and the hashtags: #NoOneElse14 & #exquisitelygeek. 
And as always, stay exceptionally chic & exquisitely geek. 

Exquisitely Geek

Welcome to Exquisitely Geek! We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please subscribe, to the right, to receive email updates on the blogs posts! We hope to see you again soon - Seven of Ten and A2-D2

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