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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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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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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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Beautiful, Strip Away the Labels

Y O U .  A R E  .  N O T  .  P  R E T T Y You are not tall You are not ugly You are not small - You are not white You are not black You are not slow You are not 'fast' - You are not loose You are not uptight You are not out of mind Nor are you out of sight - You are not skinny You are not fat…or phat…or fatt You are not sexy You are not 'all that' - You are not the sh*t You are not a b*tch You are not a stepping-stone A building block A some-thing to own - You are not classy Nor are you last season You are...

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