43×365: 79 Marion

Your illness is not you, although it pretends to be. It took over, insisting that its needs be met before yours, that its interests be discussed before yours. It drowned you out until you almost forgot who you were.

I understand that now.

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43×365: 78 Girl Whose Name I Have Forgotten But Who Made an Impact on Me Nonetheless

I thought you must have felt superior because of your advanced degree. Reflecting, I think, if anything, you felt intimidated that I didn’t need one to do what you were doing. Most likely, though, you simply wanted to finish the project and move on.

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43×365: 77 Elizabeth

Although I couldn’t articulate it, I clearly and viscerally was embarrassed by your mediocrity. You should have done better and been more or not even tried. Reasonable assessment or not, fear of being like you pushed me far. I am ashamed of that.

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43×365: 76 Jill

I don’t blame you for pulling away. I was embarrassed afterwards that I hadn’t realized it would be too much to dump on someone. I wish I’d been able to tell at the time, rather than only knowing when you avoided me later.

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43×365: 75 Adele

Most of us were engineers or scientists, releasing our creativity only in our spare time. You stood in stark contrast, having chosen to study at a real art school. I wish I hadn’t let that intimidate me; I would’ve enjoyed knowing you better.

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43×365: 74 Dawn

Your youthful, silly sweetness belied the maturity of your situation: married to a middle-aged executive, working towards management, expecting a child. I found it confusing. Now I see it is a natural response of an exuberant young woman to a life moving forward.

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43×365: 73 Anne

As a manager you were uninspiring, so I was surprised and pleased at the gifts you gave me when I moved on. As I gained experience I realized how much thought you must have put into them, books not being common going-away presents.

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43×365: 72 Peggy

I thought you were weird. Maybe you were. Maybe you were bored. Maybe you were messing with me. It’s conceivable that you thought that I needed to lighten up a bit, and at that point in my life, it’s conceivable that I did.

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43×365: 71 Alec

I was interested in the material but put-off by the amount of time you spent chatting irrelevantly about Asia. I may have let that affect the amount of work I put in, as I certainly didn’t do as well as I should have.

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43×365: 70 Kathryn

It was before I learned that one couldn’t always take words literally. I felt wronged by you, and at the same time, unreasonably guilty. Although I discovered later that this was a pattern for you, I occasionally feel an uncomfortable twinge about it.

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