Photo by Jase Bloor on Unsplash

Though I am a white American woman, Japanese culture has inspired my life from a very young age. My love for country began with Studio Ghibli films and Sanrio characters. I was Hello Kitty one year for Halloween. By the time I reached the end of middle school, I began reading shojo manga, magazines, blogs, and exploring Lolita fashion. I even drew anime characters and hung up posters in my bedroom. Once brave enough to try sushi in high school, it became my ultimate favorite food. I have owned a few bonsai trees. I have been to the Epcot World…

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The only thing that makes the dark of night even darker, is a blanket of foliage from above, blocking any shard of moonlight. It was the kind of blinding darkness that left me fumbling each step, desperate for a soft patch to place each step, feverishly declining. Only the faint outlines of narrow stalks of trees were discernible. Anonymous pairs of eyes watched my every move, undetectable within the canopy of foliage. I found myself running miraculously without stumble, arms out to my sides to maintain balance, as if I were running across a tightrope. Running down the mountain, dodging…

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Like many other holiday travelers, my boyfriend and I will make the nearly- painless hour long trip down I-77 to join my family for Thanksgiving dinner, before hauling ourselves back up to join his family for Thanksgiving dessert. The backseat of his SUV will be stacked high with steaming casserole dishes, aluminium roasting pans, cake carriers, and grocery bags. I’ll sit in the front passenger seat, probably with something too-hot sitting in my lap beneath a potholder, nervously glancing backward to note if anything has tumbled over, as if my observation were to prevent such a thing.

I had a…

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I’ve got a roof over my head. Although, my apartment is small enough to vacuum the entire space without unplugging the vacuum machine and plugging it somewhere else.

I’ve got food in my kitchen. Although, it’s mostly discounted meat that I hoarded during better weeks.

I’ve got clothes on my back. Although, they are from thrift stores and are starting to crumble at the seams with age.

I’ve got a car. Although, I drive it until the gas reaches E and I can’t remember the last time I was able to afford to fill it up all the way.


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I hate to use the term “addiction” lightly, so for my case, I will use…preferred daily use? Habitual dependency?

I actually grew up hating coffee, opting for Chai tea sloshed in a Walt Disney World mug that I carried with me throughout my high school classes. My love affair with the caffeine bean started small: progressing from Starbucks frappuccinos, mocha, coffee with tons of cream and sugar, coffee with a splash of milk, and finally to espresso during my college and post- college years. Up until recently, I always felt more than half asleep without my morning coffee, with another…

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I wince as I remind myself, for the twelfth time today, my two severely overdrawn banking accounts. I guess I overspent a little last weekend, resulting in piles of overages and overdraft fees. So, what did I splurge on?

Concert tickets? A snazzy new outfit? An expensive dinner?

Long sigh. No. I threw as many dollars as I could at none other than bills. I had so many bills to pay that I easily lost track of how much was too much.

Sheesh, forgive me Mr. Bank for wanting to pay YOU my credit card bill. …

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I am a scientist.

I obtained my degree in chemistry and, for a few years now, have maintained a steady, full time job in a science research lab. I run tests, crunch numbers, classify observations, and compose reports for clients to know more about the physical properties of tested materials. The most creative outlet of my job would probably be making a line chart in Microsoft Excel. I like to pick out fun colors for my charts.

For years, I have immersed myself into the world of science, fact and truth. I knew I could rely on the laws of…

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A techno jingle blares, and you sleepily reach to shut off your iPhone alarm.

7:15 already? Squinting from the bright glow of the screen, you stumble from the coziness that is your bed. It’s time for work.

This is just another day in the life for many Americans. This is routine- our days blend into the next, with little variation. Sure, minor stresses occur- pressure from work, an annoyed tone in our partner’s voice on that phone call during lunch, the indecisiveness of just what to pull out of the freezer for dinner. But somehow we have mindlessly slipped into…

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“What’s for dinner tonight?”

“So- and- so needs that report by 8:30 tomorrow…”

“Four bucks for a gallon of milk? They’re outta their minds!”

All of these thoughts popping through our heads while checking out at our local grocery stores.

The pasta sauce. The orange juice. The graham crackers. All mindlessly dropped into a plastic grocery bag, only to be crumpled up and tossed into the trash can some twenty minutes later, once all of its contents have been carefully put away, and we course through the remainder of our days, never to be given another thought.

Until it is…

Photo by Alexander Cooke on Unsplash

You may call us trash diggers.

You may call us vermin.

You may call us roadkill.

But I call the forest my home. The earth provides me with protection- an opening in a tree trunk, cozy and secure, to curl into a ball and rest by day. Away from the sunlight. Away from the predators, the hawk that guards the skies. His wings, widespread and motionless, only pulsing every few moments, with talons ready to abduct his prey.

I am a nomad, never in the same place twice.

But I roam the forest floor by night. I must eat to…

Victoria Narby

I’m a 23 year old Cleveland lady, ready to rise from survival to prosperity. I write what happens to engross my mind as I course through daily life.

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