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My Girl On the Bus

April 26, 2022

I have a soft spot in my heart for teens and young adults. Their’s is a weird and tricky time of life – you’re not a kid anymore yet you’re not experienced in adulting either. And today’s youth have the added burden of a pandemic, environmental uncertainty, and school shootings. Being a teen right now is TOUGH.

Matt Richtel, in his New York Times article “‘It’s Life of Death’: U.S. Teenagers Face a Mental Health Crisis” (4/24/22), says:

“In 2019, 13% of adolescents reported having a major depressive episode. Emergency room visits by children and adolescents…rose sharply for anxiety, mood disorders and self-harm. And for people ages 10 to 24, suicide rates leaped nearly 60%.”

Richtel goes on to point out that a “severe shortage of therapists and treatment options” adds to teen’s mental health crisis.

I pray that Cue Cards for My Happier Mind can be one element to help stem that shortage.

I created Cue Cards initially for my sons, aged 17 and 19, in the chance that they might need them. But as I was writing the cards, my imaginary audience was a girl sitting in the back of a bus on her way to high school. I imagined her feeling lonely and off-kilter. I could see her scrolling on her phone trying to distract herself from the dread of the day. I imagined that my girl had come across Cue Cards (which are all available to view for free on this website).  And so I wrote each card to my girl-on-the-bus in the hopes that she’d know she wasn’t alone. In the hopes that a card would ignite a little light in her, a gleam of hope, a tiny chuckle, a gentle “a-ha”. And that over time, on those morning bus rides with Cue Cards flickering on her phone, she’d get a little stronger, a tad happier, find a tiny bit more resolve, feel love, notice beauty… And that the trajectory of her life would, by shifting a centimeter or two, feel more like the life she deserves.

If you know a teen, would you let them know that they can come to this site any hour of any day? Here they will find my best attempts – as a fellow traveler through feelings of sadness, dread, and despair – at offering light and love.