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Happy Birthday to Me – A Tree Is A Tree Is a Tree

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A few weeks ago it was my birthday. I did not tell my friends, I did not post pictures or words. I did not celebrate myself or invite others to do so. I did not make any sort of deal about it, because I was ashamed. A year had passed and I did not feel like I had enough to show for it, so I tiptoed around the momentous occasion. Facebook reminded me as did other platforms, but I hoped no one would remember and not too many did.   When enough time had passed and the...

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My Single Story (Part 2): Weathering Storms and an Awareness of Silver Linings

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  We arrived in Cleveland, Ohio and to my surprise another snowstorm awaited us. Slightly less snow, slightly less wind chill factor, but still cold as I don’t know what. Not exactly the warm welcome I had anticipated on the first day of the rest of our college lives.   We were directed to on campus parking, assigned our dorm rooms on the 11th floor, and began the arduous task of moving bin bags to bedrooms. We settled in to a smaller and less glamorous space than in Iowa and went in search of food. We were tired,...

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The F Word

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Event after event Opportunities after another And so the story went From one decision to another   I wish the knocking would stop Every time I get up I wish the confidence remained Then I would be willing to try again   But I find the curious case Of when I set about a new endeavor The knocking gets louder Once I move outside the known perimeter   Then my temperature rises As I leave my comfort zone It's so uncomfortable I'd much rather be left alone   The application lay before me I entered the first few fields But then began to calculate The odds and the yield I heard my other colleagues say The application was competitive Those planning...

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The Passionate Pursuit of Purpose

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Tears cascaded down her heat-flushed face. She felt her throat constrict as her tummy did backflips. She tried to repeat the mantra over and over again, stuttering as she spoke softly to the silent room: “It doesn’t matter what they call me, it only matters what I answer to.” “No one can make me feel inferior without my consent” “I will not let the world tell me who I am.”   Yet all she could think about were her aunt’s parting words: “You will never amount to anything." "I wish I had never wasted my money on you." "What are you even doing...

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