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Life might be easier if I was less heart. Maybe I could step on a spider instead of chasing it around, catching it and letting it go outside, and then, in winter, fretting that I’ve probably killed it anyways because how will it find anything to eat under all that snow? Maybe I could finally stop feeling guilty for not buying my sister a Christmas gift in the year 1996. Maybe I could read all the way to the end of Where the Red Fern Grows, or watch Legends of the Fall or listen to Adele without ending up a soggy, tear-stained mess. Maybe I could stop taking everything so personally. Maybe I could not like someone, and just be okay with that. Maybe I could like someone and not feel their every misstep or sour luck as if it were my own. Maybe I could accept that people change and love ebbs and flows. Maybe I could figure out what I want without considering how it will impact everyone else. Maybe I could meet someone interesting and not immediately fall in love. Maybe after visiting family I could feel like I hugged everyone enough. Maybe I’d be less lonely, less easily hurt. Less easily fooled by my dog. Life would probably be simpler and less messy. And overall, I’d probably be happier and easier to deal with.

I was once told that I have a thin skin. The woman who told me that was my boss and she was criticizing me. I was too sensitive for restaurant work. I had to toughen up. I’ve tried, but it’s probably never going to happen. And I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

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