I am the oldest of four children and we are all four years apart. Seriously. Our parents were school teachers which was isolating in its own way and being middle class and Black in America, yikes, so much social pressure and then move us to the suburbs and like I am one of we can all be counted on one hand Black kids in a suburban high school. Needless to say my experience of childhood socializations was on the outlier side of things.

So I learned to enjoy my own company. The experience however painful and scarring has made the past few months not so much painful, but dangerous as it is so easy to revert to behaviors I have had to fight through and against: physical exercise, eating well, sleeping all day, keeping the phone on mute. I have some awareness of when this isn't good for me, on the other hand, I have learned to like me.

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Veteran Cat Servant

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