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Identity: the World of Make-Believe that Shaped Me



Joined: 4/13/2014
Posts: 3
KL51607
Two parallel worlds shaped me: one, a suburban creation of apple pie and beige apparel, and two, a shifting universe of princesses, warrior lions, and wizards.
As the middle child sandwiched between a fantastical older sister who took to writing magical realism in her spare time and an engineering younger brother who spent hours building pixelated brick castles on Minecraft, I never experienced a lack of creativity in my household. The three of us were musketeers, only stronger, brighter, and generally better; we became rangers roaming Middle Earth or mermaids shooting through Atlantis; sparse clusters of young birches in the neighborhood park became ancient Elvan forests while swimming pools full of grandmothers taking underwater aerobics transformed into deep-sea kingdoms. We took turns storytelling; stories involved everything from characters mutating into dragons (symbolized through Lego pieces) to cliff diving (jumping off a sixteen-inch-high sidewalk). Even as plots changed however, our roles never did. In role-playing I somehow always possessed a bow and arrows, performing gravity-defying flips with a ball-gown still in tact. I wouldn’t compromise the ladylike warrior in me.
I didn’t realize it as a little girl, but the games we played: the way I would have the power to swoop in and save the day, it affected my mindset more than any female empowerment speech. Unconsciously, I developed the potent belief that I could really “save the day”. In all of our countless adventures, whether through wild playground terrain or sinister makeshift sofa mazes, I relied on my own strategy, quick thinking, dexterity, and luck to win the game. The three of us, we banded together, fighting back-to-back against ogres, leopards, and thieves. And of course we conquered; as a team, working with each other as equals– I knew we could always prevail.
If I dig deep I can still excavate the lasting impacts of our make-believe world. When I picture my future, sometimes I see a husband, and sometimes I don’t. Yet one condition never changes– I’m working. I’m independent. For those imaginary adventures allowed me to glimpse a perspective different from the one the real world often portrays, and I know I never need to compromise. My life is my own, and I’m fortunate to live in an age when a woman does not have to ride to a success on the arms of a man.
Today, although much older, the three of us still reunite to enter our make-believe universe. The seasons orbit, characters alter, and landscapes morph, but some variables remain constant. My sister still wanders off into fantastical territory, as she currently ventures into the seas of mythic fiction, while my brother persists in his Hogwarts phase. As for myself, I always loved the “good ‘ol mundane” moments of life, and I find ways to make activities like grabbing a coffee or playing a tour guide into detailed stories with riveting plots. After all, those tales become the stories of our lives, which I believe have the greatest plots of them all.
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire StageofLife.com editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Identity essay being selected as one of our top 10 essays for the September 2014 writing contest. Our editors are still voting on the winning essay, and if your essay is selected, we will contact you directly via your registration email and we will post a comment on your essay.

To view all the results of our September 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after October 30th:
http://www.stageoflife.com/Writing_Contests/WritingContestWinners.aspx

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 3:29:59 PM
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
I would like to congratulate you for your Identity essay being selected as a Runner Up Teen Essay for September 2014.

To view all the results of our September 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after October 30th:
http://www.stageoflife.com/Writing_Contests/WritingContestWinners.aspx


Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 8:19:00 PM
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