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Thursdays With Dr. Sykes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Heather S., Paw Paw, MI

     It’s a beautiful place. The trees grow in every direction. They create forests that look like a woven mat of branches and leaves. The roots curl up and out of the forest floor, pointing toward the sky like delicate fingers. The leaves are never brown, but vivid red. The sky is purple and the stars always shine. In this place, I am the hero. I always come out on top, and everything always works in my favor. The only problem with this place is it’s only in my head.
In the real world, I am average. I am mediocre. I don’t have any noticeable talents, and I’m constantly reminded of this. My shrink thinks this is a self-esteem problem. I think that’s a load of s---. I’m beginning to think that if you are a teenage girl who’s not quite up to par and knows it, they chalk it up to the elusive “self-esteem problem.

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