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My name is Tasmin. I am a biracial woman who lives in Columbus, Ohio. I went to Marysville High School and graduated from Denison University where I majored in Dance and minored in English. I currently work for The Huntington National Bank and spend my time off reading, writing, going to family gatherings, and playing with my two year old Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund mix).

This year was going to be the year of positive change. I turned 30 at the end of January and I was looking forward to exploring and experiencing this new decade that I had entered. Unfortunately the plans I had made for myself were somewhat derailed when a close friend of mine died. It was in those silent moments when I felt the loss the most, that I also felt the strongest love. I was immersed not only in condolences from text messages to phone calls, but in frequent drop-ins at my home. And while his death was heartbreaking I will be forever grateful that it brought those of us who had lost contact back together.

It was in a group chat with former friends from my college days at Denison that the idea of starting my own blog began to blossom. I forgot how much I missed intelligent dialogue and debate.  That is when the idea for a more dialogue based blog came to formation. I didn’t want just a forum where my opinion was the only one being read. I wanted a forum where others could share as well. A place where individuals could come and speak their mind freely without worry of being attacked from others. Social media is a powerful platform that if used correctly can influence great change. The problem I face these days with it however, is that not everyone is willing to have an informed and respectful conversation. People would rather be on the defensive to any other opinion than their own, that the dialogue at times just crumbles.

I’ve spent a lot of my life listening to others opinions and never truly voicing my own. It wasn’t until I surpassed the age of 25 that I really started to find my voice. What I have to say matters. My “truth” (as I like to call my life) matters. It may not coincide with yours, but it’s just as important. All of our truths are. I’ve found my voice in a time when social injustices are happening everywhere. In a time where there are more people needed to stand up and fight against those injustices. I’ve been silent too long and no longer will stand to be silenced.

With that being said I realize now that my friends death wasn’t entirely negative as I had first felt. In some ways it brought about very positive things in my life. I’m closer than ever to those family and friends that I’ve known for years. I’ve reconnected with those friends that I had lost. I saw (from his death) how the power of treating others with love, respect, humanity, and dignity could bring people from all walks of life together. I realized how much love there is given to me in my world. How many people in my life will come through when I need them the most. But most importantly I found a platform for my voice and I’m hoping for others as well.

So here is to another year of life, love, laughter, hope, and change. For who are we becoming if we remain stagnant.