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“i can’t believe you’re going to be an architect and a director” she said. he was the gravity defying physics of a romanesque ceiling, and i the subconscious unease of one point perspective. we were two parallel lines that converged; crumbling infrastructure, a box office flop, a facade and a spectacle, us. he wanted to be an architect and i a director; but parallel lines can’t intersect — not really — and i was never good at math. so he settled for his father’s practice and i grew from the cracks in the walls; a verb built upon the rock, risen from the nouns i used to be. now, i build my own box offices and i weld my own wings; ancient temples weren’t worth anything until they were ruins, anyway. “self reliance is greatest art,” she never said. but she was right all along. — ABBY HALEY / PARIS, FRANCE

I was guilt. The kind of guilt that would leave you sick to your stomach. I was sadness. The kind that left you feeling empty and numb and isolated from everything and everyone. I was fragile. Any touch or word would break me. I was easy. I gave too much of myself without getting anything in return. I was broken. Those I gave too much to, left me with a gaping hole hard to patch back up. But I was also fight. The kind of fight that didn’t want to feel broken anymore. The fight that wouldn’t let herself be walked all over. The fight that wanted to be free from the isolation. So, who have I become? After the holes began to repair themselves, who am I? I am still fight. The fight to keep fixing myself each day. Allowing myself to be vulnerable and capable enough to feel sadness without letting it consume me. I am also strength. The strength to wake up in the morning when sleeping feels like the only good option. I am powerful. I use my voice and will not sit back and watch myself be taken advantage of again. I am secure in the person I have become. I work as a team. Mind, body, and soul, we are one. — HAILEY THERRIEN / ENFIELD, USA

You can’t expect yourself to be ‘on’ all the time. Sometimes, just making your bed is enough, remembering to eat breakfast or getting a good sleep. This piece is about celebrating one’s daily wins, and getting up every morning to try again. — MICHAEL WEBSTER / MONTREAL, CANADA

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