I can't quite get over how much has changed, and how much happier I am. I've lost a few good people over the past year, but gained so many more.

I enjoy trying to learn things from these new people around me, these new people that I respect and partly admire. They teach me things about myself. Putting yourself in new situations, trying to achieve something, and then reflecting over your accomplishments and actions gives insight on what kind of person you are and what you need to work on; I like that a lot, even though it's often difficult to be honest with yourself and face mistakes.

But enough about that. Mostly, I'm just grateful for the recent realisation that I'm emotionally extricated. Finally. There's no more regret about whether the right decisions were made or not. I know I wouldn't have been able to try any harder or give any more than I did, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to handle or stand the feeling of confinement, denial and self-doubt that permeates all those memories. Oh, there were many valuable things worth treasuring. Very many noble, beautiful intentions. Which were clung to just for the sake of an ideal, or at least that's what it feels like now. And this ideal wasn't questioned, it wasn't up for discussion, it wasn't open for scrutiny, so I guess when reality came it just crumbled.

I've changed the way I think of ideals, too. I've gone from seeing them as untouchable and omnipotent - almost holy - to seeing them as very stiff and brittle constructions. Those are negative connotations, and that kind of "ideal" is indeed dangerous, and unsustainable.

Ah yes, and whatever this new thing is, it feels much freer, much more enjoyable. I hate to compare them, it's not fair at all, but I can't resist. Perhaps it always feels like this in the beginning; what do I know, it's been a long while. In any case, I love the combination of both airiness and belonging at once, and I'm all excited. And, most importantly, I'm not a mentally deranged maniacal cocktail of hormones. Yet.

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