The Girl in the Bubble

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A story about believing in yourself and making your dreams come true, no matter what challenges you come up against.

This book was written one page at a time in July, 2018. I do a different daily art project every month — follow along on Instagram
@mollyampersand.

Are you on a hero’s journey and seeking the kind of support the witch offers the girl? I’m a creativity coach and I love supporting heroes like you! Learn more at mollymcleod.com/coaching.

Reading time: 10-15 Minutes

Some of the concepts in this story are inspired by principles and tools from the Academy for Coaching Excellence


Want to hold the book in your hands and share it with your friends and family? Order a hand-crafted print copy of The Girl in the Bubble!

**Currently in pre-order. Books will ship September 2018. If you need a copy sooner, email me and I can arrange it!**

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There once was a girl who lived in a bubble. 

She loved her bubble very much. It had everything she needed — or so she thought. 

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Her beliefs, thoughts, and ideas were very precious to her, and she kept them close at hand so she could admire and protect them.

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She recently started hearing rumors about spikes that were popping out of the ground and bursting people’s bubbles, but she was unconcerned. 

They seemed very far away.

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One day she was admiring one of her favorite thoughts, her dream to be a great adventurer one day — she loved to imagine what it might be like, the stories she would tell, the glory she could bask in.

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She didn’t notice the spike she was drifting toward until it was too late, and she tumbled out of her bubble and into the unknown. 

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She quickly gathered her thoughts and beliefs into a bag. Looking around frantically, she noticed a witch wandering by. 

“Please help!” she cried, “I fell out of my bubble and I don’t know how to get back in. Will you show me the way to where the bubbles are?” 

“I do not know the way,” said the witch. “But I’ll help you find your own path.” 

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“Which way do I go?” asked the girl. “I don’t see any paths. I wish there was a map. What if I go in the wrong direction?”

 “Sweet child, take a deep breath,” said the witch. “Are you willing to take one step at a time?” 

She closed her eyes, listened to the wind, and held her hand out to the rain. “I like the way the breeze is blowing. I’ll start there,” she whispered. 

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As they walked along, the witch noticed the girl seemed distracted. “What’s that you keep looking at?” the witch asked. “Oh, well, it’s my dream,” the girl sighed. “I’ve always wanted to be an adventurer, but now I’m not so sure. It’s much harder than I thought it would be, and I feel scared and cold and nervous.” 

“It sounds like a dream that’s been important to you for a long time. Why do you want to be an adventurer?” the witch replied. The girl looked up. “Adventure stories were always my favorite. Brave heroes going on epic quests, fighting demons, and bringing justice to their communities. I just love how inspirational they are, courageously venturing into the unknown!” 

The witch smiled. “And what exactly is it you’re doing right now?” The girl hesitated. “I’m... heading into the unknown, on... an adventure.” “And that would make you...” The girl smiled back. “An adventurer.” 

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Out of nowhere, a colorful flock of flying creatures whizzed around them. The girl reached out toward one in awe. “What are these little guys? They’re so cute! I want to keep one as a pet!”

“Careful,” cautioned the witch. “Those are Lessons, they can be feisty and unpredictable. They might be good company for awhile, but they’re not meant to be tamed.” 

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I still have no idea where to go,” sighed the girl. 

“Why don’t you ask that man over there for support?” asked the witch. 

“Him? He’s just a useless old man, I doubt he’ll have anything helpful to say.” 

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“Maybe you need a different perspective. Try on these Green Lens Glasses,” said the witch. 

The girl looked skeptically at the glasses, slipped them on and turned back to look at the old man. “Wow!” she exclaimed. “That man is a hero! I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.”

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“Excuse me, sir. I lost my home and I’m looking for a new bubble. Do you know where I can find one?” asked the girl. 

The old man laughed. “A bubble? Why would you want to live in a bubble when you could live in a boat, a balloon, a bell, or a beehive? Bubbles are boring.” 

The girl was flabbergasted. “I’ve always lived in a bubble, I never thought about living anywhere else.”

 “There’s a town on the other side of that mountain where you’ll find all sorts of dwellings — you might be surprised what you can make into a home,” the old man replied with a twinkle in his eye.

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As they walked toward the mountain, the girl fell behind. The witch called to her, “Is something slowing you down? Your bag looks awfully heavy, are you sure you need all of that?” 

The girl huffed and puffed as she took another step. “It’s... all my thoughts... ideas... beliefs... I need to keep them... close.” 

The witch raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure about that? Let’s take a closer look at what’s inside.”

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The girl hesitantly opened her bag of thoughts and beliefs, and sighed heavily. “I just... really miss my bubble. It was so comfortable and warm and safe — I really didn’t think there was any other way to live.” 

“And what do you think now?” asked the witch gently. 

She thought for a moment and looked up at the mountain. “I’m curious about what the old man told me about different kinds of homes. I’m... excited to see what else is out there!” 

“So my little adventurer, what’s next?”

She smiled. “Let’s climb the mountain and see what’s on the other side.”

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As they strolled up the mountain, the witch noticed the girl seemed to have more energy. “What does it feel like now that you’ve left your bag of thoughts and beliefs behind?” she asked. 

“I feel so much lighter!” the girl replied. “Like anything is possible. I can’t wait to see all the homes I might find in this new city. Maybe homes that are really beautiful and spacious, or homes that could fly even higher than I could in my bubble. I’d love a home that’s really soft and cozy, a home that would make it easy to travel far and see amazing things.” 

Her Lesson flew in loops around her in excitement. 

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Humming merrily along the path, the girl didn’t notice monkeys sneaking up on her, and they suddenly attacked. 

“Ack! Where did these monkeys come from — ouch, stop! — and why are they so mean?” 

“You’ll never find a home as good as the bubble!” they shouted. “You’re not clever or brave enough for this adventure!”

“No!” she retaliated, “you’re wrong! Get off!” She struggled to fight them off as they continued howling.

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The monkeys wouldn’t stop pestering her and she slumped down in resignation. “Maybe they are right,” she mumbled. “I might not find a home as good as the bubble. And I still don’t feel brave enough to do this.” 🐒

The witch sat down next to her and asked gently, “Are you more interested in being worried about not finding a home as good as the bubble, or being a brave adventurer on a journey to find the right home for you?”

The girl sighed and cracked a smile. “I am a brave adventurer. Why won’t these monkeys just shut up about it?”

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“Listen closely, my dear,” said the witch. “You’re doing something very challenging that you’ve never done before, and I can see how important it is to you. You’re finding a new home! And I’m so proud of you for how far you’ve come. It’s totally normal for monkeys to be sneaking up on you with doubts and worries. In fact, the monkeys tend to get louder and more obnoxious when you’re getting close to something big.” 🙊

The girl looked up and smiled. The witch held out her hand, “Here, take this compass. It will help you harness the monkeys — they’re just trying to protect you, and when they chatter you’ll be able to refocus on what’s important to your heart.”

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With her new compass pointing the way, the girl strode confidently down the mountain. She wasn’t sure what she would find next, and she knew monkeys could still pop up and stoke her worries and fears at any moment. 

Nevertheless, she trusted that her heart would guide her towards her vision for a new home. 

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As they walked into the valley, they came to a fork in the road and met another traveler. 

“Howdy!” he said. “I’m headed to the other side of that hill to find myself a new bubble to call home. Where are you all headed?” 

The girl’s pet Lesson hissed at the boy and flew in irritated loops around him. 

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The girl thought she heard monkeys in the distance, but she quickly looked at her heart compass. She couldn’t tell exactly where it was pointing, but it definitely wasn’t pointing down the path that lead to the bubbles. 

She sighed and told the boy, “I’m heading to the town in the valley to see what other kind of homes there are and find the right one for me. Are you interested in joining me?” 

“What? No!” cried the boy. “Why would you live anywhere besides a bubble? That would just be stupid. See ya later, losers.” 

The girl rolled her eyes and continued down the path, as her pet Lesson snuggled around her neck in contentment. 🔵

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The Lesson, resting on the girl’s neck, woke up from a nap and seemed increasingly agitated. The witch noticed and told the girl, “It might be time to let the Lesson go.”

“But I love it!” She protested, “it’s so cute and sweet and it’s helped me so much.” 

“What has it taught you?” asked the witch. 

“It’s shown me that doing things that are new and scary can be a good thing — I’ve learned so much about what’s possible in this journey over the mountain.” The witch nodded. “And once you’ve learned what there is to learn from a Lesson, it’s best to thank it and set it free.” The girl sighed, and held her Lesson up high so it could fly away, then waved goodbye. 

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She could see it — on the horizon, her future was waiting for her. 

She took a moment to pause and think of all she had to be grateful for: the witch, for being her generous guide and gracious coach; the old man, for opening her eyes to the possibility of different homes and pointing her in the direction of this town; the monkeys, for helping her clarify what she really cared about; the boy looking for the bubble, for helping her realize she had grown beyond bubbles; her Lesson, for sticking with her on the whole journey; and for herself, for trusting her heart and being willing to be courageous. 

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As the girl walked into town, she quickly felt overwhelmed. The first house she saw was a treehouse. 

“Wow!” she said. “I love how high up it is! It would be so fun to climb up there, have a great view, and swing from the branches. The tree is beautiful, but I don’t want to be stuck in one place — I want to be able to take my home with me when I travel. I guess a treehouse isn’t for me.” 

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The girl strolled through the town’s port and noticed many different types of boats. 

“Ooh, a boat could be fun to live on, I could travel all over the sea on so many adventures. But it might be isolating, I want to live somewhere that I can be around more people. I’ve really enjoyed getting to talk to people on this journey and I don’t want to be alone anymore.”

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She was starting to feel hopeless when she stumbled upon
 a castle. 

“Oh my gosh, how regal and epic! That looks like a place an adventurer might live. And it’s got so much space, I bet the people who live there have a lot of fun running around together. But I really do want to be able to travel with my home. A castle would be fun to visit, but I don’t think it’s the right place for me to live.” 

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The girl wandered aimlessly through town, feeling lost. 

“Should I live in a beehive, an igloo or a hut? Should I live a rocket, a moss mound, or a weird abstract sculpture? I don’t know. Nothing seems quite right. I’m not sure I’ll ever find the perfect home.” 

A monkey hopped up on her shoulder and whispered, “You should probably just go back to a bubble.” 

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The girl walked back to meet the witch, feeling confused. “There are things l like about all these houses, but none of them seem quite right. What do I do?” 

The witch replied, “What do you like most about them?” 

“Well, I know I want to be able to travel in my home, I loved the views from the treehouse and how high up it is, and the castle seemed spacious, epic, and fun — and had room for a whole community of people. I don’t think a house like that exists! I’d just have to make it up myself!” 

The witch laughed, “Well, what if you made it yourself?” “I... could make my own home? I COULD make my own home. Whoa.” 

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“Okay, so it could be, like, a big ship,” she said, “lifted up by a balloon, with a big propeller and some wings or something, multiple decks with a great view, some rope ladders and swings, and lots of bunks for people to sleep. Yes! That is where I want to live! How could I make that though? It sounds like a lot of work...” 

The witch grinned, and told her simply, “You can do it with support.”

The girl set to work on putting together plans for her flying home ship: she got advice from the sailor about how to build the rigging, borrowed rope ladders from the tree man, and learned how to sew flags from the castle dwellers.

Asking people for support was hard at first, but she quickly saw how enthusiastic everyone was to help her make her dream a reality. 

And so, after many months of hard work and lots of support from her friends, the girl finally set out in her new home. A few friends were so inspired by her that they decided to join — the treehouse dweller also loved being up high, and had never even thought about making a flying home. 

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As they rose higher into the air, the witch came to give her a big hug. “What have you learned on this journey? What do you want to acknowledge yourself for?” the witch asked. 

“I never could have imagined this is where I’d end up,” the girl replied. “There were so many times where I didn’t know what would happen next and I just kept going. I didn’t let my fears and worries stop me, and resisted the temptation to go back to the Bubble even when it felt like the safest and easiest thing to do. And I’m so glad I did, I couldn’t be happier with my new home. I know there will still be challenges in the future, but my heart compass will always point me in the right direction.”

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As she flew over the land looking for her next adventure, she recognized the place where she first popped her bubble — but it looked different. 

“Wow!” she cried. “The spikes that popped my bubble were really thorns on a rose. When my bubble popped, I could only see the thorns, I was so focused on how painful and challenging it was to suddenly lose my home. I had no idea something so difficult could be connected to something so beautiful.” 

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The girl in the bubble was no longer the girl in the bubble. At first, she wasn’t sure what to do now that she had created her new home and manifested everything she dreamed about. 

But as she explored the land looking for adventures, she noticed that there were still many people falling out of bubbles. She realized she was uniquely positioned to help them, and decided she would dedicate her life to supporting other people to find the homes they would really love. 


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Are you on a hero’s journey and seeking the kind of support the witch offers the girl? I’m a creativity coach and I love supporting heroes like you! Learn more at mollymcleod.com/coaching.