How Birth Control Saved My Life

Pink birth control diaphragm
Art by Kirsten Hemrich 

My body wasn't always my worst enemy. Growing up, I didn't love my body, but I also didn't hate it. I was learning to understand it, as much as a young teenager can try to understand her body. In seventh grade, I started getting my period, and things were as they should be. My body was doing what it was supposed to be doing.

At some point, things changed.

I Miss My Old Anxiety

Forehead with sweat bead dripping down
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

A deep pit in my stomach. I checked the time on my phone every fifteen seconds, waiting for the perfect time. The perfect time to ignore down the rapid beating of my heart and the sweat that began to form under my arms; the perfect time to decide, “fight or flight?”. I picked “fight” every time, because I had no other choice.

I convinced myself I had no other choice.

What is a Transition: A Letter from the Editor

Road sign reading "Change Ahead"
Art by Kirsten Hemrich 

Ah yes, the beginning of a new school year. This is it, the year we finally use our agendas. The year we tell that person we really like them and want to make him, her, or them a plate of meat, cheese, and stone-ground mustard because that’s how much we care about them. The year we tell our parents to get off our backs and START LIVING! But I digress. Let’s be real, this usually never happens. The transition from summer to fall is nothing new. It’s usually filled with a bunch of empty promises we make to ourselves with no real tangible outcome.

Asli Sona (Real Gold)

Gold necklace spelling the name "Marwah"
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

I wear my gold nameplate necklace every day. It has a constant, reassuring presence on my body. Below my throat and above my heart. When I feel overwhelmed or nervous, it becomes a place to rest my hands, a touchstone to recenter myself. When I order coffee, I hold it out as I spell my name.

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Letter From the Editor