The Prosperous Heart: Creative autobiography ages 5-10

1. My creativity was sharply stunted and confronted when presented with a coloring book my second day of kindergarten. I had never, ever colored before, and my teacher said something I didn’t quite understand about “of course she’d be a special needs child.”

2. I felt creative when I would sit at the kitchen table and paint, or copy pictures of roses from Better Homes and Gardens by hand, achieving an almost exact replica of the pictures. Or when I’d try to make doll chains that always ended up abstract and unintentional.

3. I wanted to please everyone and be the very BEST and happy while I did it, and be happy at it. I had no idea that for me, pleasing everyone and being happy were mutually exclusive.

4. In my household, creativity was allowed and encouraged until the age of 13, at which point the process of suppression and stifling began for fear creativity would lead us to somehow enjoying sex.

5. I wished that I had the kind of parents that didn’t stigmatize girls in sports. I was a very physical child, and if I’d been exposed to softball, soccer, etc. I would have developed core social skills that I still don’t really have — that absence has cost me in the workplace and elsewhere since “win/lose” is still a hard concept for me to grasp. Also, the lack of sports exposure meant that I was the easy stranger to target in junior high because so few kids had really been exposed to me.