this post was written in response to a prompt for a writing 200 class at George Fox University.

my childhood was: frilly dresses and ballet buns on Sundays, proper tea parties with Nana on the daisy-specked lawn, princess stories hidden in the pages of pink-spined books.

my childhood was also: catching minnows with grubby hands in a shallow stream, trampling through overgrown trails like a wild-child, smiling with s’mores-sticky fingers and dirt-smeared cheeks.

It’s hard for me to talk about how being a female has influenced my lens of the world (and my writing) because I’ve hardly ever given it thought. I was raised to be a lady, certainly, but that often coincided with being raised as a human: someone who could feel deeply and achieve greatly.

I write about connection because it’s what makes me feel human. Families, because I can’t ever thank mine enough. Memories, because they’re forever in my veins. But sometimes, I also write about achievements: the time I took a lone red-eye flight to Georgia to begin a journey towards adulthood, the way it felt to cross the checked finish line after 13.1 miles of running through Seattle’s streets, the award I got in ninth-grade that whispered to my heart that maybe, just maybe, I was half-way decent at this writing thing.

The need to feel connected is what makes us human. So is the desire to succeed. I find my place somewhere in the middle of these pulls, but it’s most beautiful when they work hand in hand: when achieving something leads to connecting, or when connection is an achievement all on its own.

But maybe that’s just me making a convoluted web out of what was a simple ladder prompt.

emma grace

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