Free Choice: Myself(s)

We Heart It | Get lost in what you love, author unknown. “Animated Gif about Girl in Hair by Hotter than Hell.” We Heart It, 28 June 2018,

As a kid,

I used to imagine that I would sit in a room with myself(s).

Older and wiser, they would take time

Out of their busy schedules

To talk.

Ten enters.

She nods and stays silent.

It isn’t over for her yet, either.

She is here the same as I,


 They would file in,

And make themselves at home.

Filling the room with the same

Flowing from child to woman.

I only recognize pieces of each of them.

In comes Twelve.

She notices the two of us,

And launches into tales.

Tales of friends, and sleepovers,

And all things we never captured.

Each of them a subtle change,

Skin falling differently,

On the same bones.

Atop the flesh lay ever more complicated arrangements.

Starting with smeared on neon lipstick,

Then kohl rims and glitter,

Packed on till the eyes are red.


Thirteen and Fourteen enter together.

13 has never had it better.

14 has never had it worse.

Fifteen distances herself from both,

Unable to look back until the future.


The final woman enters.

An amalgamation.

She is Seventeen.

Shutting the door behind her,

In the frame I catch a glimpse of Eighteen.

17 turns to me.

She asks if she’s what I imagined.


In my chubby fingers,

I hold out my favourite doll to Seventeen.

Does she want to play with me?

I have had this idea kicking around in my head for awhile. The idea of “this to shall pass” has always affected me; I wanted to meet the versions of me for which it had passed. I want to physically see that over came the present.

When I was younger, I had what appeared to be childhood anxiety, but it continued on. I can remember being comforted by being told that it would all go away, that I felt this way because I was young.  So, as I aged, I became increasingly more afraid as the stress would leave, only to back in a years time. Even now, as I am admittedly at the best state I’ve ever been, I always know it could return. The goal is to be ready when it does.

My intention with this piece was to give my childhood self what she wold have wanted. I’ve met all the versions that she had yet to meet, so I can describe them to her.  The left side of the page is focused on imagination, of my young vision of playing dolls with myself(s). The right side is dedicated to how I truly was at the ages listed, in other words, reality. The paragraph dedicated to Seventeen and Eighteen is on the left because now it is still imagination, yet instead of a past vision, it is my current imagination taking over. It is the Seventeen looking at the Eight’s dream and responding. The last piece is centered, as it is the melding of the two, imagination and reality.

(I should also give credit to Liza Makarova, as I am borrowing her technique of switch sides while writing.)




Gif: We Heart It | Get lost in what you love, author unknown. “Animated Gif about Girl in Hair by Hotter than Hell.” We Heart It, 28 June 2018,

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6 thoughts on “Free Choice: Myself(s)

  1. Claire Bo Bear,
    Why are you just now coming to AP? I mean, you certainly would flourish just about anywhere (like a cactus of some sort) but I’m oh so happy that you’re in this class of ~interesting~ individuals. I love this piece so much. Your such a clever bean and I am certainly in awe of your creative skill; tell me, how do you conjure such magic in that beautiful head of yours? I look forward to your future blog posts.

    Much love,

  2. Thank you so much Ibukun!

    I honestly didn’t join AP out of fear, and I’m still afraid. Your praise and encouragement is so valuable to me, as I still have no idea what I’m doing. As for magic, my advice is to not fear the personal. A large portion of my writing has an element of myself in it. To me, it is the ultimate “write what you know.” I’m learning to be more open in my writing as well.

    I can not thank you enough for your comment!



  3. Dearest Claire,

    I did not know how much I needed your creative writing in my life and now I feel like I have missed out on something so incredible in these recent years. Your first blog (that I also commented on, whoop whoop!) made me feel this way but now I’m just overwhelmed with the feeling… I know I should comment on someone’s blog that I haven’t already, but I cannot read this blog and not say something.

    Wow. I sincerely love your poem and am enamoured by its creativeness, but also its ability to take me into your world. I feel as though we all look back on who we used to be, miss some parts of ourselves but are also glad some are gone. It has only been 16-18 years of life for the students in AP, but we have all undergone such change as to who we are as people. Before your blog, I never thought what it would be like to be in a room with my past selves… I wonder if I would cry at seeing 7 and want to fight 11 to the death.

    This is also why I love your poem – it has made me contemplate who I am and who I was. The most impactful writing is the ones that stick with us, and I know this will stick with me… I have no grows to give you, honestly. I tried very hard to find one…

    As a final parting, I would like to thank you so much for writing this.


  4. Thank you so much Elissa!

    I really hope I’m not being redundant… but your praise is so meaningful. I really see you as a fantastic writer, student, and mentor. To hear this from you is so uplifting, and I kind of happy screamed as I read this. Thank you again and again!



  5. Dear Claire,

    Wow. While I was reading your poem, I could imagine it being acted out as a monologue on stage. The way you so fluidly transitioned to depict the contradicting parts of an individual’s life overall enhanced the mosaic-like nature of your poem, and you as an individual.

    Knowing you since your youngest of years, I have seen you grow and switch between multiple phases – from your peppermint lotion and knitting times to the denim jacket, bright lipstick version you. The way you wrote this poem, almost through a third-person lens, portrayed your growing wisdom and how you have come to terms with yourself where you can now sit and reflect on what it took to reach where you are today. For this growth and the satisfaction that you have acquired – I congratulate you will love and hugs, Claire-bear 😊.

    Specifically for your writing, my favourite line was, “Each of them a subtle change, skin falling differently, on the same bones,” as it encompassed that concept of passing time, as we never really realize how we’ve changed, at least physically, until we see a picture of our past self with that smoother skin or that imaginative twinkle in the eyes. Also, your adoption of the switching sides formatting style added to the creativity behind your poem and made it a lot clearer and easier to visualize as well.

    In terms of improvement, I really do not have much to add to the overall content of your poem but would suggest making the first stanza centrally aligned just like the last section. Since the first part is introducing the left and right of the poem, I think it might add to the unity of your poem if you place it in the center as well.

    Overall, I absolutely loved your piece, Claire, just like the “Body” piece that you wrote. The way you have grown as an individual and a writer has been beautiful to witness, and thus I encourage you to continue on with this mindset of growth and acceptance and I will always be by your side as you venture on this journey.

    Preet 😊

  6. My dearest Preet,

    I am so glad you read this, as you and I have known each other for so long. I’m really glad you got this. You have a beautiful, lyrical nature to your writing (and nature) that I try to emulate, so getting a comment from you is so uplifting. This means a lot coming from you! Thank you for sharing your kind words with me!



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