Prompt for new beginnings

Traditionally, the onset of September brings to mind the return of school. While teachers and parents scramble to make sure everyone is prepared to hit the books, there can be a feeling of absence and loss to anyone who is either no longer part of that demographic or whose child has departed for college. Fortunately, most students have a map to help them navigate their way through their college careers, but the rest of us may feel as though we’re not quite sure where our feet will land next.

Finding oneself at a crossroads can be especially difficult to traverse when there is no set course. In this post- and current-pandemic landscape, uncertainty is the word of the day, every day. Suleika Jaouad, author of “Between Two Kingdoms,” may know this better than anyone. After chronicling her survivorship journey after battling leukemia in her bestselling memoir, Jaouad was diagnosed a second time with the disease during the pandemic. Prior to this second diagnosis, and at the beginning of the pandemic, she created The Isolation Journals, “an artist-led community and publishing platform that cultivates creativity and fosters connection in challenging times,” as a way for people to work through the isolation of the pandemic. As Jaouad continues to write and paint her way through her days, she encourages others to do the same. Each week, the creative community of over 100,000 receives a writing prompt. The latest prompt (#209) by Garth Brown, is to “Chronicle your first attempt at growing up – at wrenching yourself free from the familiar and throwing yourself into something new…”

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, a prompt might be just the thing to kickstart yourself down a different path. When did you last throw yourself into something new, of your choosing? How did it turn out? Whether it’s starting a new hobby or entertaining a new goal for your future, all it takes is one step in a different direction. In “The White Album,” Joan Didion opens with, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” We all have room for more than one story during our lifetime. The library’s shelves contain multitudes of unique perspectives to browse for inspiration. Our varied line of programming offers outlets for creativity, learning, and connection. We want to know, what will your next story be?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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