"My Essay" by Sebrina Dement- Semer

Dandelion fluff wishes blew through the air on the breath of a girl who could not help but dream. She was a girl who used her imagination to bring felt wings and mesh skirts to life. That girl would cut wild grass, mahogany trees and exotic starfruit out of paper and scatter them across the room just to create an indoor rainforest. She would look at the stitches weaving together the fabric of reality, running her hands along every thread. That girl loved the shape of the world beneath her fingertips. This was all that my four-year-old self needed. As time passed, other children forgot the fantasies and dreams of their early youth; mine only grew.

As I matured, my imagination has evolved from innocent dolls and games to more elaborate illusions brought to life straight from the fibers of my dreams. I thought up several imaginary friends while in middle school, and by the time I entered high school I was dragging seven children of various species into class with me every day. Everywhere I went, I had to hold their clawed hands and respond to their every crying need. Not a moment would pass without one of the older serpents biting the younger hipogriffs, and I would have to stop my work to tend to the brawling creatures. Of course, no matter how much work it was, whenever one of my monsters brought back a new friend or playmate, I kept them, and so my family grew.

My creations loved when I told my friends about them. They would listen eagerly as I detailed each of their histories. My afternoons were filled with my babies clamoring for attention, so I would lure them on field trips with imaginary cakes and sweets. It wasn’t long before teenage dragons were constantly berating me for not paying enough attention to them, despite my also having school and family engagements. Fafnir, the fussiest of my characters, demanded I make him famous, so I wrote him a book: a book of adventure with fire and deep caves, where humans use monsters to make textiles. Both my imaginary and real friends loved it. Soon, each member of my tribe worked with me to make stories to share with the real world.  

School became an outlet for my stories. My digital media class assignments were answered with animations of packs of singing panda angels. Creative writing homework brought forth short stories of fire foxes hiding from humans in the undergrowth. My art projects transformed into vast murals of winged serpents flying through gorges and canyons trying to return home. What were once merely stuffed animals supplemented by childhood wonder have now become dreamworld creations that write my stories with me.

The fantasy world that I had envisioned was budding into life, but it wasn’t enough. I need my dreamland to be more than just friendly conversations and school assignments; I want my dreams to be seen by the world, so others can see the joy and mystique of the monsters that once lived only in my head. The fantasy land that lies just out of reach of those who cannot dream is one that I always have been, and always will be, inspired by. I created a world I wanted to see using my art, my words, and my imagination. This world I made, and am still making, is one that is meant not just for me, but also for those who dream. I want to make movies, books, and games that other people can enjoy. I want to grab the arms of my friends and throw them into the clouds I float on while sleeping, and I want to create a world where anyone can look up and see nothing but wonder in the empty space.