That strange moment of timestopping enlightenment when you realize that you actually had no reason at all to feel inferior to a particular person and your glimpses of intuition were right.

I can’t help thinking of a friend from university whom I believed at the time to be supremely experienced in all things male – that she was gorgeous, fun, brilliant, outgoing and cool all contributed to this “authoritativeness”. So for some time I proceeded thinking that her attitude was the sound one, even though her relationship that I knew of, I’d classify as highly emotionally abusive today; even though turns out that her next guy was really depraved; and her criteria for “dreamboat” was satisfied by banter and a band… In other words I’d always felt that she was rather hedonistic in her tastes, but chalked that down to a lack of sophistication on my part. And then, this summer I had the most unexpected feeling when she came to visit. I felt like she wanted to confess that she looked up to me. If not always back then, then in retrospect. Nothing was expressly said, but we humans tend to speak with so much more than words alone… It was a real surprise, which on one hand gave me validation; but on the other, also regret – that I’d doubted myself, my feelings, my worth – and I wondered how much time I’d lost.

Which brings me to one of the points that I learned the hard way last summer of turmoil, that actually I’m still learning. We are the only ones who can set the rules by which we live. There simply is no other way. Call it instinct, inner voice, a divinity, but that “compass” truly is the only thing that can guide us – for it is only if we heed that that we can be free of doubt and remorse.

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