Why I Don’t Believe in New Beginnings

The truth is, we start over all the time because we have to

Ramou Sarr
Human Parts

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Photo: Rika Hayashi/Getty Images

WWhen I was a tween I would write fake profiles of myself for young women’s magazines. In each of them, I was some kind of wunderkind who had managed to survive a broken—but not too broken—home and leapt through the depths of despair—but not complete tragedy—to be an award-winning actress, a published author, a director, and the best damn talk show host you’ve ever seen, all by the age of 14. In my fantasies I was an anomaly. The YM headline read, “Inside Ramou Sarr’s Teenage Dream” in bold pink font. Seventeen magazine named me one of the coolest teenagers in America. Baby tees flew off the shelves after the Teen People writer opened her piece on me with a quip about my “walking Delia’s catalog” aesthetic.

I love this image of me: A chubby 11-year-old in Sally Jessy Raphael glasses writing pages and pages in a Mead Five Star notebook of a fantasy life created based on her endless consumption of media and pop culture. And I’m proud of her, of me, for being able to use my imagination that way. I feel lucky not only to have felt safe being that vulnerable, but also to have had access to the time and space to write those stories. They were never used to embarrass me so if anyone ever found them they were kind enough to let them be.

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