Sika Degbo, Prioritizing Friendship

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While growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, going to school and having a set schedule made making friends something I didn’t have to put work into. I met people at school and we would hang out, do nothing, and get into some harmless trouble to pass the time. It was so easy.

Alisa Banks, Origins

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Germany – a girl is outdoors playing. In a few minutes, the playground will clear when a birthday party is announced. The host informs the girl that she’s not invited. She returns home. Later, the girl peers over the dining room table as her mother cuts out a length of flat fabric covered with drawings and pins what will be sewn into dresses for the girl and her baby sisters. Sometime later, the girl’s dad sits at the same table, this time covered with newspaper, and fills areas of a board outlined in shapes and numbers using a paintbrush and oil paint from small containers to reveal an image.

JoAnna Mak, What Happens to a Dream Abandoned?

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As a kid, I was spontaneous, taking on “big” projects at my imagination’s whims. I was inspired by what I saw around me, and sought to imitate what I admired. At four, I set my sights on emulating the storybooks my parents read to me, sagas I eagerly memorized and devoured. Armed with a limited vocabulary and pink colored pencils, I made my first venture into the world of novel writing.

Leslie Marsh, Bound & Blended

I’m quite sure I was born with the urge to create. Like most of us, I drew, colored and painted as a child, moving on to pottery, macramé and other tactile arts as a teenager. My grandmother was a prolific seamstress, and I used to draw patterns that she’d incorporate into quilts. She also inspired me to do my own stitching handwork. I helped paint sets for the theater crowd in high school and always thought I’d go to art school.

Except I didn’t.

Rachel Schlotfeldt, Unlearning Literature

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My journey with literature, consuming it with the intention of eventually crafting it, has been a process of unlearning. As with most things in my life, there came a point where rather than accept my instinctive attraction to narrative and absorb its allure, I ran away from it. Afraid to proclaim myself as literary minded, not willing to allow others to perceive of me in its light, I feared that if I willingly vocalized its intoxicating and cathartic qualities it would somehow become external to myself, dampening the quiet intensity it burned in me.