top of page

Endless = End + less

Written by Emily Wu | Edited by Stacey Dubreus

Trigger Warning: Suicide, Death, Grief, Abortion

When looking at the word "endless," immediately I made out the number "11" in the very center of the word. Whether it was coincidence or planned, as this is the 11th issue of Charcoal, I wanted to play around with that number. That led to the creation of the equation, and ultimately title of this piece: endless = end + less. At its core, endless is made up of two words, end and less, both of which have somewhat negative connotations. But, when joined together, you get endless, a word that introduces so much opportunity; a word with a much more positive connotation. 

In this piece, I asked fellow Charcoal staff members to submit a two part story. The first being a time where they had to deal with something difficult. The second, what good resulted from that bad start. Why? Because, at the end of the day, we can only truly embrace and appreciate all the good experiences if we've fought through all the bad ones.

For the purpose of the piece, readers will not know which two parts go together. I want readers to pick anywhere to start. Each sentence is connected to the middle, meaning they are all connected to one another. So, when you pick one, follow the line and choose your own path; choose your own way to read this piece because there is no one way to read it. I want to highlight how we all have an endless amount of stories to tell, and there are endless amounts of ways for you to control your story and your life. If you ever choose to come back and read this piece more than once, choose a different start point - in other words, you are also the author of this endless story. 

Thank you to the Charcoal staff members that took the time to make a submission. Your vulnerability and effort is what makes this piece possible. 

I realized I was already surrounded by people who love me. Friends, family, and peers. It made me find value in myself as an individual.

I got to work in one of my dream jobs over the summer and spend valuable time with my family and friends back home. I rediscovered some of my passions and did a mental rebuilding of my identity and confidence.

In middle school, I had to pick up English as a new language so I could be “normal” like the rest of my peers.

Through dance and the BU Filipino Student Association, I am able to communicate how I feel. I just focus on the lyrics or the beat of the music. 

It was an extremely busy day, and I had just missed the train; the next one wasn’t for another 30 minutes. I ended up missing an important meeting, leaving me devastated and stressed. 

I can’t force people to understand me or what I make. I learned how to be unapologetic about myself and my ideals. I put in 200% and things fall into place.

There was a time I was alone, physically and emotionally, after being reliant on others for love and connection. 

Seeing him walk again showed progress. I realized how grateful I was to see his old self again. 

I went to the beach and realized just how vast the ocean is. The ocean is so vast that we have no place for it, but it makes a place for itself. The ocean is what we call a beach, and we love the beach. The beach is where I go when I’m struggling with my place.

After finally accepting my outer beauty, I began to question what made me beautiful other than that. What value do I have besides the way I look?

There was a time where I felt that I was only capable of being second place to others. I felt like I did not have any friends who I could rely on or confide in. 

My brother got a dog, and somehow she brought my family back together. During Christmas, we were having dinner together, laughing and enjoying life again. We were finally healed. I was experiencing happiness again. 

I was struggling a lot mentally - I was navigating how to handle problems with my family, getting to school, and feeling good about myself.

I changed for the better. I changed my whole personality, and the way I act and maintain relationships. I feel good about spreading positivity. I empathize with others.

I began to question who I was becoming and my personal identity. I knew I was going down the wrong path, but I had already lost control and did not know how to turn back.

I was working on a big project with personal significance with someone I thought I could trust. During the process, they betrayed me, telling me hurtful things that made me question my self-worth and my place within my community.

After experiencing a death in my life, I felt extremely disconnected from my family who I relied on as my support system. We were all struggling, but the feeling of inability to help one another made it even harder. I felt like I could never get back to the way things were before, like I was stuck.

I wasn’t excluded, but I still did not feel like I fit into my environment. The person I acted as was not me, and I blamed myself for it.

I realized how much I enjoyed being in my own presence. I was rediscovering myself, leaving behind the worried thoughts about how I would be perceived by others.

I was in denial; she told me she was pregnant, but that meant nothing to me. I invalidated her, yelling at her, saying “I NEVER WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN.” I hated her for trying to force me to stay. When she stole under the counter abortion pills that summer and hospitalized herself, I began to live with the guilt of ruining her life because of my own naivety. The miscarriage she forced nearly killed her.

Through that same solitude, I found love and happiness within myself greater than what any person could ever offer.

After taking some time for myself, I began understanding what my capacity is and how much time I need to dedicate to my own well-being. Without going through this overwhelming moment, I may not have realized that taking care of myself is my top priority.

The relationship I was in began to make me feel like I didn’t have any value. It scared me to think of a future that didn’t include this person.

I attempted to end my life once because I thought there was no place for me. 

After graduating senior year, I went on vacation with my family. I felt really good.

My father was diagnosed with diabetes, and as a result, he became bedridden. There was never a day where I didn’t break down in tears from seeing someone so close to me in that position.

When is the right time? Am I ready? I was scared to come out to my family, but I felt it was necessary in order for me to freely express myself. Even when I did finally come out, I still didn’t feel ready.

When I am with my friends, I am myself. I am not just a sexual physical being - I am an attractive individual holistically in my behaviors and thoughts.

I became overwhelmed with all the work that was piling up. I prioritized that work instead of my mental health - until I finally broke. I began reconsidering some of the commitments I made and whether or not they were sustainable for my mental health.

My friends and I would bike to the parks and cry together. The crying turned into laughter which made us dance.

I have since gained the confidence to speak without worrying about what other people may think about my accent or language deficiency.

While waiting for the next train, a lovely woman approached me and my mood was instantly lifted. We had the most meaningful and sweet conversation; I felt relieved from prior stress.

bottom of page