Tag Archives: empowering

Part of Me by Katy Perry

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How can you hate a girl that not only walks to her own beats but shares them with the world? This is an empowering song from Katy Perry that can be related to a break-up OR recovery! It’s all about a fresh start and staying true to yourself. Just read the lyrics and interpret it through your own story. You may find a deeper meaning like I do.

Lyrics:

Days like this I want to drive away
Pack my bags and watch your shadow fade
‘Cause you chewed me up and spit me out
Like I was poison in your mouth
You took my light, you drained me down
But that was then and this is now
Now look at me

[Chorus:]
This is the part of me
That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
This is the part of me
That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
Throw your sticks and your stones,
Throw your bombs and your blows
But you’re not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me
That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

I just wanna throw my phone away
Find out who is really there for me
‘Cause you ripped me off, your love was cheap

Was always tearing at the seams
I fell deep, and you let me down
But that was then and this is now
Now look at me

[Chorus]

Now look at me I’m sparkling
A firework, a dancing flame
You won’t ever put me out again
I’m glowin’, oh, whoa
So you can keep the diamond ring
It don’t mean nothing anyway
In fact you can keep everything, yeah, yeah,
Except for me

[Chorus x2]

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The Streets of New York

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“This is a powerful collection of photos that truly reflect the outcome of drug use in on the streets of New York. While the pictures speak a thousand words, the accompanying descriptions shed more light on the individuals stories— although its more like a darkness. Chris Arnade is an inspirational photographer whose courage and curiosity drives him to meet hundreds of people who are suffering with addiction, poverty and what is typically seen as poor life decisions such as prostitution. You can visit his website to view more of his heart-breaking and thought-provoking work.” -Enjoy, Robyn

Chris

Chris

Chris Bishop was drinking in front of a liquor store when we met. A resident in the local homeless shelter, he told me the following: At the age of 13, Chris killed his father, stabbing him with a knife after a childhood of abuse. He spent the next 18 years in correctional facilities. ‘When he was drunk and mad he would hold me out the apartment window and threaten to drop me to the street, eight floors below. He beat me and my mother all the time. I have been drinking ever since. To forget.’ When I asked how he wanted to be described, his eyes teared up and he said, ‘I am human, like everyone else.

Vanessa

Vanessa

Vanessa, 35, had three children with an abusive husband. She ‘lost her mind, started doing heroin,’ after losing the children, who were taken away and given to her mother. The drugs led to homelessness and prostitution. She grew up on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, but now spends her time in Hunts Point, ‘trying to survive every day. Just doing whatever it takes.’ She was standing on the cold street corner looking for business, wearing only flip flops and smoking with her two friends. When I asked her how she wanted to be described, Mary Alice jumped in and said, ‘She’s the sweetest woman I know. She will give you the shirt off her back, if she has one on.

Beauty

Beauty

“Beauty, 21, was born and raised in Oklahoma, and was brought to New York City by a pimp who promised her she could ‘make some mad money.’ She has since had nine pimps. ‘I have been through nine nigg*s. Got my first black eye from one, another punched me in mouth, but this guy is good to me.’ Her mother was an addict. ‘She started using crack. That’s when it all started, the walls started coming in on me. Now she is incarcerated. I can’t blame my mom, she’s my mom. I smoke weed, but not crack. I don’t like that peppermint burning smell. I want to get out of this stuff, but I am scared. I guess I could stop at any time. Some of the guys tell me I could be a model. Money wise it’s good, but otherwise, fuck Hunts Point. Maybe I can become an RN, or go into childcare.’ When I asked her how she wanted to be described, she said, ‘I’m a good person. I don’t like to see anyone down. I like to make people happy.'”

Luis

Luis

“I call him Luis, but I am not sure. Luis is unable to do more than mutter a few words, often breaking down in tears. He refuses to go to the local shelter or methadone clinic, sleeping instead in various spots, spending his waking hours bumming cigarettes and panhandling in front of bodegas. I worry that my pictures put a happy face on addiction. Photos cannot capture the pain, suffering, and destruction wrought by heroin, crack or in this case, whiskey. Sometimes it requires smoking a cigarette with a sobbing incoherent drunk to truly remind you what loneliness and addiction can do.”

Clarence

Clarence

“The ‘brickyard’ is a vacant lot on an otherwise industrial side street in Hunts Point. It’s where many of the local addicts spend their time, gossiping and smoking. They bring their carts filled with what they can collect to sell to the adjacent scrap metal shops. It’s where I found Clarence, who has lived for 40 years in Hunts Point since moving from North Carolina as a teenager. I spoke with Clarence, a former truck driver, for a long time. He told me all that his addiction has wrought: job loss, homelessness, health problems. Never once did he sound angry, bitter, or depressed.”

Sonya

Sonya

“Sonya lives on the top floor of an abandoned building with her husband of ten years Eric. They left Rhode Island in pursuit of drugs, settling in Hunts Point five years ago. Eric said, ‘This is the only reason me and Sonya are in Hunts Point, because this is literally right now the best heroin in all of New York City.’ Sonya left her husband and family after being turned on to heroin by Eric. ‘I wasn’t addicted to drugs until my 30s. Before then, I was a normal person, meaning I wasn’t a fucking junkie. I lived in Rhode Island and had a family. I was a soccer mom. I always kind of knew I was a heroin addict. I always knew not to fuck with heroin. I always knew it was the drug for me. It just makes you feel good. And when you’re feeling bad, having a magic button is kind of a great thing. Unfortunately the magic button is also a stupid button because it comes with a lot of consequences. I am happier in some ways than I’ve ever been in my life. But I’ve lost so many things. I want to get out of my addiction but in some ways it’s made me grow a lot. And I think I know now how to live more than I ever have.'”

Supreme

Supreme

“Supreme saw me taking pictures and asked to be photographed with his dog Obama (yes, Obama). I asked him why he was giving the camera the finger, he said, ‘Thats for people judging who I am.’ I said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘A doped up junkie.’ I told him I post the pictures online and write a short description. He said, ‘I ain’t mind people knowing what I do or who I am. Its me.’ Supreme and I chatted awhile more; despite the finger he was happy to talk.”

Egypt

Egypt

“Egypt, 38 and homeless, was 14 when her mother, an addict and prostitute, put her out on the streets. She has been working the streets, in the Bronx, addicted to heroin and crack, much of the time since. While telling me her story, she started crying. She was high, having just shot crack. ‘Mix it with lemon juice. If you do it with water you will be fucked up. Abscess, dead.’ She noticed a beat up alley cat wandering. ‘That cat’s how I feel. I really do. I didn’t come out here to fucking cry. See, that cat needs a hug. I get that. He wants somebody to love him. Saying, ‘Don’t touch that,’ is like saying not to touch me.” I apologized for making her cry. She said, ‘I didn’t cry. There’s no time for crying out here. If you cry, you’re a pussy, and you can’t let them do that to you. You can’t let them see you cry. You can’t show your weakness. I’m a cancer. You scrape us off and we come right back. But we’re curable. It’s only as hard as you make it. If you think you can change, if you know you can change, you can. If you set your mind to something, that’s what’s going to happen. You have to want it. You can’t have someone else want it for you.'” Original Images and Descriptions by Chris Arnade.

The Fight by Sia

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Sia is a strong vocalist and extremely unique. Undoubtably, her voice reflects off her lyrics too. This song is about strength, love and hope. Its so uplifting and upbeat. The lyrics are below:

We are born, we are born (repeated multiple times)

We are born
Without a care
As we grow old
Become aware

As we grow tall
Begin to falter
We want to know ourselves
Give love to all

But we falter, yes, we are human
Yes, we anger, we feed the hunger
Yes, we push through, just me and you

We made it through the darkness to the light
Oh, how we fought yet still we won the fight
Oh, yes, we stand together

A fantasy for you and me
Though beauty lies in reality
No need to fear, the truth sets us free
We’re all looking for love and harmony

But we falter and yes, we are flawed
As we play victim with such conviction
And we play bully, both you and me

We made it through the darkness to the light
Oh, how we fought yet still we won the fight
Oh, yes, we stand together

Took it day by day, worried we would fail
How we flailed and we wailed and we screamed in pain
Take it step by step, we could not forget
The wounds we felt, how we screamed for help

And the dark, dark nights when you held me tight
And we’d wait for light to rescue us
Oh, we were distressed, now we’re nothing less
We are strong, we are blessed, we are united, yeah

We made it through the darkness to the light
Oh, how we fought yet still we won the fight
Oh, yes, we stand together

We made it through the darkness to the light
Oh, how we fought yet still we won the fight
Oh, yes, we stand together

The Fighter by Gym Class Heros

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This is a song one of my counselors at rehab showed to me and the girls. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it just as much as we did! So empowering 🙂

Follow the lyrics:

Just waking up in the morning
And to be well,
Quite honest with ya,
I ain’t really sleep well
Ya ever feel like your train of thought’s been derailed?
That’s when you press on – Lee nails
Half the population’s just waitin to see me fail
Yeah right, you’re better off trying to freeze hell
Some of us do it for the females
And others do it for the retail

But I do it for the kids, life threw the towel in on
Every time you fall it’s only making your chin strong
And I’ll be in your corner like Mick, baby, ’til the end
Or when you hear a song from that big lady

[Bridge]
Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya’ll?

[Chorus – Ryan Tedder]
Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life ’til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me,
This one’s a fighter

[Verse 2]
And if I can last thirty rounds
There’s no reason you should ever have your head down
Six foot five, two hundred and twenty pounds
Hailing from rock bottom, loserville, nothing town

Text book version of a kid going nowhere fast
And now I’m yelling, “Kiss my ass”
It’s gonna take a couple right hooks, a few left jabs
For you to recognize you really ain’t got it bad

[Bridge]
Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya’ll?

[Chorus – Ryan Tedder]
Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life ’til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me,
This one’s a fighter

Everybody put yo hands up
What we gonna do (hey!) [x4] y’all?
What we gonna do (hey!) [x3] y’all?

If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up)
And when your bones can’t take no more (c’mon)
Just remember what you’re here for
Cuz I know Imma damn sure

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life ’til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me,
This one’s a fighter

‘Til the referee rings the bell
‘Til both ya eyes start to swell
‘Til the crowd goes home,
What we gonna do kid?