This is for everyone who feels hopeless and alone right now.

This story was originally published on The Mighty.

To the people who are struggling right now:

I first want to tell you that you are not imagining this. You are not "insane." There is nothing wrong with you. You are broken right now, yes, but you are also beautiful. You can be both at the same time.


I know right now it seems like nothing will ever be right again. I know it feels like there is nothing good left in this world, like there is nothing worth holding on for.

I know some days all you can do is sit on your bed and cry, and I know it feels like no one understands what you’re going through.

Image via iStock.

I get the crushing weight you feel in your chest, the way your stomach clenches and your hands shake, the way your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts that you can’t even begin to sift through right now.

I understand how your heart aches for no reason, how you feel numb even on the best of days.

I get how you feel alone even when you’re surrounded by a room full of people you used to be comfortable with.

I understand that you’re struggling. Because I’ve been there.

I’ve been at the point where getting out of bed feels pointless, where you want to be locked alone in your room and held by someone at the same time.

I have struggled.

And I am struggling.

And I will struggle for the rest of my life, probably.

But I’m also surviving and living and laughing, which I never thought I’d ever be able to say again.

So to the people who are struggling, I want to say that I know how endless this feels to you right now. And I can’t promise you that one day it will magically disappear and everything will be OK.

But I can say with certainty that it will get better. One day, the weight in your chest will feel a little lighter. And it’ll only take you nine minutes to get up the courage to venture out of your bed instead of 10. And you’ll want to be around people again.

And when you smile, you’ll actually mean it. I promise.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

Screenshots via @castrowas95/Twitter

In the Pacific Northwest, orca sightings are a fairly common occurrence. Still, tourists and locals alike marvel when a pod of "sea pandas" swim by, whipping out their phones to capture some of nature's most beautiful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

While orcas aren't a threat to humans, there's a reason they're called "killer whales." To their prey, which includes just about everything that swims except humans, they are terrifying apex predators who hunt in packs and will even coordinate to attack whales several times their own size.

So if you're a human alone on a little platform boat, and a sea lion that a group of orcas was eyeing for lunch jumps onto your boat, you might feel a little wary. Especially when those orcas don't just swim on by, but surround you head-on.

Watch exactly that scenario play out (language warning, if you've got wee ones you don't want f-bombed):

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