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  • The times I felt most safe as a child were times I was alone. Those were the times I could do what I wanted without modifying myself. Those were the times I could be who I was without anyone else's drama. Those were the times I could be someone else in my imagination, alone with the books I devoured. Those were the peaceful times when everything in the world, my world, was okay. I still feel safest when I'm alone.

    If I'm honest, I'm not good at forming close bonds, or letting people into this private world I inhabit. I never really wanted to let people in. I am close to my family and have good friends but I keep a distance between my world and theirs. Boyfriends have always been transient, never destined to spend too much time alongside me. I used to think I just hadn't found the right person. Now I wonder if that wasn't a choice. Sometimes I push people away.

    People like me. I'm nice. I'm fun. I can speak to strangers. I have a broad acquaintance of people who are pleased to see me, but I've never fitted in completely. I like the arty people, the misfits, the other ones who don't fit in a mould. I like to be around people and share time with others but I know I don't do that enough. I'm probably a different person to every group of people I spend time with. The real me lives on the inside of that woman others see, and sooner or later I retreat to my private space and become myself again, pottering about, dreaming my dreams and writing my words and doing my quiet thing. And I feel safe. But I wonder sometimes if I should spend more time with people. Let them see me more. Perhaps that's what writing is. It's a way for your inside to be seen without having people see your outside. No judgement. No need to fit in. Just words on a page that are me for anyone wanting to read them.

    So I write and I muse alone, I spend time with ideas, then I socialise as one of the myriad of people I become when I step outside my door. And all these things are me and all these things are not me. And that's okay. Maybe some of us are just built that way.
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