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  • RIP Mac 1991 - 2020

    My dear,
    My beautiful one.
    Oh, how I wish to feel your touch again.
    To hear your sigh as you pass through the door.
    To look, just once more, into your crystal eyes.
    Oh, how I wish that I didn’t have to wish.

    Macy Fluharty

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  • Macy shared a letter in the Group logo of Magical MomentsMagical Moments group 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Happy Birthday, Lauren!

    In a world,
    where silence is comfort.
    Because words may be beautiful,
    Or be made to hurt.

    In a world,
    Where speaking is scary.
    Because things get twisted,
    And the truth can be a rarity.,

    In a world,
    With the world at its fingers.
    Where connections are made,
    Between complete strangers.

    In a world,
    Where voices are silenced,
    We are given a gift,
    Where even the small can triumph.

    In a world where we’re unsure.
    We’re unsafe. We’re unhappy,
    A world has been built,
    Where we can unseal reality.

    In a world that has spent,
    So much time on itself,
    Thank you Lauren,
    For giving us this escape for our growth.

    Macy Fluharty

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    • OMG Macy, this is so beautiful. Thank YOU for being part of The Unsealed. And sharing your heart and wisdom with me and everyone else. You are an amazing person and writer and I am forever grateful that The Unsealed brought us together. Thank you so much for your beautiful words. <3 Lauren

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  • A Lifetime Of Comfort Zones

    To write about leaving my comfort zone I feel I should first talk about how my comfort zone was created. A handful of years after I was born my grandparents took over the responsibility of raising me. I grew up on a farm in a traditional household with my grandfather working all day and coming home to dinner on the table and news on the TV. He made the decisions, and we lived in his house. That being said, my grandmother shaped me… She taught me to be kind and to try to understand and offer help. My grandparent’s lived complimentary, somewhat separate lives, that intertwined throughout the day. She was subservient, quiet, respectful, and this is the world I was raised in.

    Growing up, and even to this day, the go-to description of me seems to be “Nice and quiet”. Which is true, I am very guarded. In my early childhood I heard a drunken man scream at a woman almost every night and that made the young lady in the next room learn that keeping your mouth shut keeps you safe. Even after he quit drinking that fear lingered inside me for so long. One time when I was a teenager, we were arguing about something and he lifted his hand to open a cabinet door and I flinched, he was confused. And rightfully so, he had never hit me or even threatened to, and he didn’t know the fear I associate with conflict. To this day I find safety in recluse. My anxiety loves to avoid confrontation, and that’s best done by staying quiet.

    Where had being quiet gotten me? It led me into a couple of dangerous relationships while simultaneously tossing my dreams into the wind. In a way, leaving my ex-fiancé was leaving my comfort zone because I left a relationship that mirrored one that I already knew. But I had been living in that “comfortable” space for decades and that environment can be deadly. Footsteps of bruised and battered women led me to my best friends so I could create a sanctuary. To a life where I can be a little louder and my smile can grow with the comfort knowing the people that truly love me are right here. I lived a life I was meant to in my hometown, a life of exploration, and finally achieved my goal of leaving home.

    Even that comfort zone was easy to leap from… so many people don’t leave the area around my home of 500. It’s a dream, but more often than not it doesn’t become reality. If it wasn’t for my grandfather, who once scared the living daylights out of me, I would still be there. He recognized that I needed more than what the eastern shore had to offer and when I asked for help, he gave it. Our relationship has transformed ever since. I moved to Music City in 2019 and with the help of my late boyfriend I created a new comfort zone. When Mac passed away, I delved into psychology and experimented with my career, eventually coming back to the restaurant industry I had been so happy in for 15 years. In 2022 the Tennessee GOP began their slate of hate, and this is when I started finally to challenge my comfort zone.

    In the past had been to Black Lives Matter protests but that was the extent of my advocacy. I went from 10 to 100 by joining an LGBTQ+ rights organization and going to the legislative plaza twice a week. This was a new world to me, I needed to learn the logistics of how our legislature works while also trying to make connections with people in different non-profits organizations; this was a learning process that my anxiety is still shaping around. On top of that my grandmother’s teaching to help when possible shined through. The Tennessee Equality Project helps people understand harmful legislation put forward in our legislature. In 2023 the Tennessee GOP introduced over 20 discriminatory bills, and I testified against 3 of them. I used my writing skills and understanding of psychology to fight for human rights under 2 minutes to the faces of the evils that created the legislation. A bill attacking gay marriage, a bill allowing teachers to misgender/bully students, and a bill allowing teachers to deny implicit bias training with no adverse action even if the school previously required this training. It became clear to me that the southern government was not only attacking the LGBTQ+ community but specifically children. Making the decision to testify against these bills was easy, it was the testimony itself that was hard.

    Quiet and nice needed to transform into loud and stern. The days I testified in those committee rooms were nerve racking. I had my speeches typed onto paper and those papers was shaking as I held them. My heart was racing, and I felt hot, my anxiety was taking over… “RETREAT!” … But I didn’t, I couldn’t. Because my grandmother taught me to help when and how I can, and that one of the best ways to help our community. Sure, my grandmother showed me how to be quiet, but she taught me to speak when necessary. I apply this almost daily… when I go to an organization meeting or event, I look for an organizer to connect with. I reach out to people when I need understanding or help. I speak first now and that has never been comfortable for me.

    Leaving my comfort zone in the beginning of 2023 was the hardest push away from a safe space I had ever forced myself into. I have had to realign my understanding of life and take on challenges that I thought were left in my high school halls. I’ve pushed my anxiety to its limits and if I hadn’t of done that I would not be where I am today. Fighting against legislators who are harming our youth, fighting for a myriad of human rights like it’s a full-time job, learning how to better shape an inclusive community, connecting with organizers so I can stay involved… then connecting those organizers with others to expand their causes. I have left my comfort zone many times throughout my life, but this leap feels to have paid off the most.

    Macy Fluharty

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    • Macy, I am sorry for some of the things you were exposed to as a child and also for the loss of your former boyfriend. I lost my ex and it can be really tough. That being sound, I love how you went from nice and quiet to loud and stern. I love that leaving your comfort zone meant finding your power. And I love even more that finding your power…read more

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  • Thank you, I appreciate it! I really enjoyed writing this and reflecting on the advocacy I’ve been doing and the situations I have found myself in because of it. 2023 has been an exhausting year, I’m glad I’m a little more prepared for the next legislative session!

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  • Thank you, I appreciate it!I wasn’t sure where this was going to go when I started it, I ended up crying when I read it back to myself lol. I’m glad you could relate to parts of my letter and that you seem to be doing what is making you happy as well! <3

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  • From One Macy To Another: Hang In There

    Dear Teen Me,
    Hey! Look at you, so young, timid, unsure… don’t worry, it doesn’t last forever. You will age, and through your next few years you will fall and get up. And again, you will fall and get up; some of the times you get back up it will be thanks to your friends… tell them you love them more. You don’t understand it now, but you truly love your friends.

    As you age your timidity will alleviate. But boy will that take some time. You’re going to have to strip away at your understanding of… everything. You’re going to experience just about everything you’ve dreamt about, worried about, and wondered about; it’s not how you think it will be. Your heart is going to get so broken, more than it already has been. More than you can imagine right now. I’d say prepare for it, but there is no preparing for some of the pain you’re going to experience. But you know what… you always get back up.

    You may be a little unsure, but you’re resilient. And that resilience is what will make you thrive. Those people calling you a dreamer only helped strengthen your ground. You’re getting out of that small town, you hear me? It’ll take longer than expected but you do it. And that’s when you blossom!

    The idea of leaving the country for a big city? Done. The wish to learn how to help people by studying them? On it. The need to inject yourself into social justice? Doing it, finally! Your hope to be recognized for your art? Working on it. Something to call your own. Check! The hope that you can push past your insecurities… ehhhhh. You’re getting there; there’s a lot of layers to that. But the things you’ve been doing, the people you’ve been meeting, the words you’ve shared… it all adds to that process. You’re pushing yourself and it really is paying off. What did Dr.Schmitt say? Sometimes you got to fake it till you make it.

    Things look small right now, you only have so much perspective. But you and I both know, you’re not small. You don’t do small… you can appreciate small, but you weren’t made for it. There are people in your ear, important people to you, telling you it’s too much. Making a joke of your ambitions and that is pushing you down; just as it’s meant to. You hear them say you’re not good enough, then those words turn into self-doubt. Don’t let people do that to you. That’s SO unfair, you yearn to learn. But once you’re told you’re not good enough to learn that, or fast enough, or smart enough: that’s when that doubt externalizes and it’s only doing you (and the world) a disservice. You’ve got a lot of potential, your heart is in the right place, don’t let your timidity and their negativity affect your progress. You’ll figure this out when it’s almost too late, but lucky for you, it’s never too late!

    Right now, you’re worried; worried that at 30 you will not have lived a life. Let me tell you right now, you’ve lived more than a life. You’ve lived an adventure… one for the books! And we’re only halfway through. We’ve only covered the personal stuff: first loves ending, guardians dying, young love perishing in front of you… literally. So much of what you will experience will hurt, but it’s a good thing you’re resilient.

    Remember: that resilience will help you thrive. It will push you to take all those leaps that you held back on. It will force you to look at your boundaries and make some important edits. And by doing this you will live out those daydreams. The protests we’ve participated in, things we’ll learn, connections we create. It’s all adding up to the very life people told you was impossible to lead.

    Listen, at 30 you’re not exactly where you think you’re going to be. But guess what, most people aren’t! And what’s even better, you’re taking the right steps. You’re BASICALLY where you thought we’d be. Hell, there was a point we didn’t even think we’d be alive right now. So no, you’re not exactly living the dream… but you are learning how to live it. We’re on the way and it’s intimidating. Just hang in there, you’re halfway through then you’ll see what I mean.

    I hope this letter reaches the right me in the right place at the right time… in case there is another that needs to hear this. You’re doing great.

    With love and hope,
    You

    Macy Fluharty

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    • I absolutely love this. I felt like I was reading some of my life story too. You did it! You made it! We both did and that is something to be proud of. I am glad you took a chance on yourself, really its the only one that counts! Great job on this piece! I wish you all the best.

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      • Thank you, I appreciate it!I wasn’t sure where this was going to go when I started it, I ended up crying when I read it back to myself lol. I’m glad you could relate to parts of my letter and that you seem to be doing what is making you happy as well! <3

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    • Macy!!! You are such a good writer. That fourth paragraph is brilliant. And yes you are strong and resilient. Never listen to anyone who doubts you or your ambition. People doubt your ambition because of THEIR lack of confidence or ambition. They don’t think they can reach the stories so they assume you can’t either. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. You…read more

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  • Be the change, they said.

    Be the change you want to see.
    Sounds so simple, huh?
    Do the thing, leave your mark, benefit each other.

    But they never said how it’s done.
    What steps to take.
    Hurdles to overcome.

    There is SO MUCH research,
    it never really stops.
    My rights, your rights, their rights.
    Some pyramid we all fall off.

    There is a lot of running around,
    many capitol steps.
    Just for your voice,
    to be silenced and stripped.

    There are connections you need to make,
    and that’s overwhelming.
    When your heart starts to race,
    and the situation feels overpowering.

    There are technicalities to keep in mind.
    And boundaries you can skate…
    So long as you stay true,
    and use that truth to fight hate.

    There are lies to decipher,
    using even more research.
    Plus, those connections you’ve made,
    progress can emerge.

    There’s energy to expend,
    and worry that you carry.
    So, take time for yourself,
    eat, relax, be merry.

    Be the change you want to see,
    even when it frightens you.
    Devote your time, take that step,
    and just keep walking through.

    Macy Fluharty

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    Voting ends July 31, 2024 12:00am

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    • I love this line, “use that truth to fight hate.” I used to say if you live your life the right way you will always be empowered by truth instead of in fear of it. Because the only thing more powerful than the powerful, is the truth! Macy, Your poem clearly reflects your strength, courage, and power as well as your truth. Thank you for sharing and…read more

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      • Thank you, I appreciate it! I really enjoyed writing this and reflecting on the advocacy I’ve been doing and the situations I have found myself in because of it. 2023 has been an exhausting year, I’m glad I’m a little more prepared for the next legislative session!

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  • The Change I See In Us

    The Change I See In Us – By: Macy Fluharty

    Decades ago,
    When I was young,
    I dreamt of a world,
    Living as one.

    A world where we all,
    Lived a balanced symphony.
    And decisions were made,
    From a place of empathy.

    I thought of a time,
    We could coexist,
    You do you, and I me,
    And that’s it.

    But now what I see,
    Is a world in pain.
    And a life of love,
    Dying in vain.

    I see people attacked,
    For merely existing.
    And others pushed down,
    In effort to extinguish.

    What else do I see?
    I’ve seen the people rise.
    I’ve seen change begin.
    I’ve heard voices amplify.

    And so what will be next?
    I’m not quite sure.
    But what I hope for,
    Is that our joy will endure.

    Macy Fluharty

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    • I love that you put your childhood perspective in this poem and followed up with what the world is and how we are in the midst of change. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Macy, This is so creative and so well done. It really highlights the pain and hope you have for this world in such a beautiful and poetic way. I love how you ended it.
      And so what will be next?
      I’m not quite sure.
      But what I hope for,
      Is that our joy will endure.

      I hope joy wins out too. I believe it will <3 Lauren

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