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A Desert in the Oasis (Part I)

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Once upon a time there lived a young lady who was a nomad. Her name was Jasmine and today was her birthday. It was more significant than any other birthday because Jasmine had reached the “age of maturity” and therefore certain protocols had to be observed. Today was the day she prepared to separate from her entire family. Based on their nomadic culture Jasmine was required to become fully independent no later than two moons after this particular birthday. Over the course of her lifetime her family had relocated every five years, this fifth move...

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Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown

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  I could not believe it had already been a year. Time had flown so quickly. As I sat down for hair and make up I flipped through my photo album on my iPhone. Gosh, I was stunning. I had an angelic face, a slender gracefully toned body which I had showcased in cultural attire, bathing suits, and all kinds of high end clothing. My smile was perfect too. Although I couldn’t really take all the credit for that, or my body if I was being honest, but it was mine so therefore I was the...

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall

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The mirror hanging on the wall in the hallway is haunted. It has a voice. It says things every time I walk past it. It says things every time I pause in front of it. It never stops saying things. Sometimes these things are minor, “You know you’re not a lipstick person, are you sure you want to slap on that Ruby Woo today?” Or, “Why so serious? Crack a smile every once in a while.”   Other times it says things of greater significance, “What are you even getting dressed up for today? You should have...

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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 Audition for a New Life

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Natasha was nervous. This was unusual for her. Her palms were sweaty, her make-up felt like it was caking and her armpits were prickly. She had given countless presentations to boardrooms full of corporate execs. She had commanded the room and convinced those of the worth of what she was saying. She could accredit her extreme career rise from intern to junior associate in record time to the fact that they bought into almost every pitch and presentation she made. The company recognized Natasha's talent, increasingly gave her more responsibility and as she succeeded and progressed...

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It’s Your Party – DJ If You Want To!

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I had lost control over my own body. My limbs were betraying my initial intentions. It seemed I no longer had a say over an activity I had scheduled myself. Without realizing it my right hand reached out and impatiently tapped the speed button. What had begun as a run at the speed of '8' was down to a ‘5.4’ and getting lower every few seconds. I silently encouraged myself, “You can do it girl. You’re strong. You’re fast. Tired? What’s that?”   Yet body betrayed me further. My heart pounded in my chest and my legs...

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A Mile in Her Shoes

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Navigating to the Finish Line I was practically sprinting down the street. I was in a hurry. Dodging puddles left behind from the morning rain I weaved through passersby and tourists who didn’t really seem to have a particular destination in mind. I on the other hand did. It was graduation season. Everywhere I looked there were purple robes hung carelessly over the shoulders of carefree students, stuffed into their handbags, slung over their arms. The mood was carefree and celebratory. Individuals called out to one another and strangers wished anyone with the purple cape ‘congratulations!’   The...

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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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Patience My Dear: Your Bus is Coming

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It was 6:35 p.m. on Market Street in Manchester. I was sat at the bus stop waiting for the 62 that would drop me a quarter mile from Granny’s house. I had a lot of bags and very little patience. I had been out all day and just wanted to get home, have a bowl of rib and dumpling soup, and relax. The West Indies was playing India that evening and I had promised Grandad I would watch the cricket with him. I had things to do and the bus was already 7 minutes later...

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Square Dancin’ My Way to the Top

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I don’t remember what class it was, but somewhere during my pre-teen days we were taught to square dance. You must understand that my middle school class consisted of 26 students, with about 18 countries of origin between us all. We were a diverse and spirited young group, with teachers who introduced us to all sorts of off the wall things – including square dancing. I liked excitedly screaming out the “do-si-do” (pronounced 'dough-see-dough') part, but generally disliked square dancing.   Besides the fact that I abhor organized dance, I think I particularly disliked this one because...

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