When I was twelve, my family was living in Santa Fe, NM. At the time, I wanted nothing more than to become a famous actress. There were auditions for a horror movie that was being filmed in the area, and I convinced my mother to bring me to the auditions. I was cast! I was to play a juvenile delinquent who slashed car tires at a drive-in and then got attacked by a zombie. It wasn’t meant to be, because the movie lost its funding. We moved a few months later, and I became active in community theatre and school plays. As I got older, I realized that I did not actually want to be famous – the pressure of wanting the people you actually know to like you and accept you can be stressful enough. Gaining the approval of strangers just seems too daunting a task to try and uphold forever.

As for a more recent claim to fame, I would have to say my suitcases. I like to paint vintage and/or retro suitcases with funky, colorful designs and am working on learning how to re-upholster the insides. Every time I travel, the baggage check personnel make a big fuss about my unique suitcases. Once, when flying out of Las Vegas, one man held up my bag and showed it to all the people around, announcing that this was a bag that would not get lost. Everyone turned and stared at me, I blushed the shade of a ripe apple, and I nodded sheepishly when total strangers came up to congratulate me on my luggage. Nope, I don’t think I do want to be famous.

Jenifer, 33, New York

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