I was trying to forward a message to my email from my Facebook messages just a moment ago, and stumbled across this snippet from 5 years ago. It was a journal entry written for one of my favorite classes at Belmont. I love coming across sweet little memories like this!

Journal for September 21st, 2007

Lauren Elizabeth Maus

“Everything you can imagine is real” –Pablo Picasso

My vivid imagination has become my best companion, and no, not in a weird schizophrenic way. When I was a little girl, I was often unable to sleep. I was too terrified of the unseen, ominous creature lurking somewhere in my room, so I would try to think of anything to distract me. My imagination created monsters so real, I swore I could feel their fire-laced breath and hear their hideous snarls even as I pulled my flowered sheets tightly over my head. At first, I would simply try to conjure up delightful images to ease my mind, but those too-quickly vanished, and the cold fear soon returned. It took very little to frighten me, very little to send my mind whirling into an abyss of fear. I realized that simply trying to think of random, happy things wasn't enough. I had to devise something else to ease my fears.

The stories started small... I remember that the first "bedtime story" I ever told myself was about a girl in a pink dress and all the lovely pets she owned. I fell asleep that night, feeling safe and content, and thinking nothing about those age-old bedtime monsters. After that, the stories grew longer and grander. They even began to spill over into my daytimes hours, as I would sit at the kitchen table drawing the characters I had created the night before, lovingly rendered in crayon. It soon happened that I couldn't wait to go to bed at night, whether to revisit beloved characters or create new ones.

Though at first my imagination plagued me with fear, I eventual found the key to unlocking a world of imagined wonders. Maybe thats why I've developed a love of reading. Discovering new stories, places, and characters comforts me, just as my own stories comforted me and help shoo away the monsters from my room all those years ago.
AuthorLauren E. Kaufman