Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Personal growth and changes can be great places to draw creative inspiration from, so for this month’s creative prompt, we are going to tap into that. I’d like you to reflect on some quintessential components of your childhood–places, people, toys, feelings–and how they’ve shifted as you’ve grown up. Perhaps you can even put your finger on the moment when you knew you’d really changed–you were no longer a child or no longer had your childhood perspective.

Here are some examples: regular rides in the car with your parents versus getting your license and becoming the driver. Going to the same vacation spot or on the same family trip and then going back after something significant has changed–you’ve fallen in love for the first time or your parents have gotten divorced. Having a little kid relationship or pretend marriage to someone in kindergarten vs. your first real kiss. Going to a birthday party and being so excited for cake vs. going to your first party where there was drinking. Being babysat vs. babysitting. Your favorite toy and the moment you put it away because you realized you were too old for it. The changes in your relationship with your childhood best friend.

You probably have a lot of these moments and they may range from sweet to bittersweet to downright painful. Zero in on the one that takes your attention the most and that will feel good to create art from (and “feel good” could mean make you smile or help you work through some tough feelings.) You could combine the two moments (before/after, then/now) into one piece–a single poem, essay, comic strip, painting, or collage. Or you could handle each separately in vignettes, two poems or works of art, an old photo and a new one.

Send your writing or art along with your first name, last initial, age, and city/state to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Friday, May 18 at 6 PM EST. We look forward to seeing who you were and who you’ve become.

Last month, we asked you to envision yourself as a superhero. Here’s what you came up with…