“Be good and you will be lonesome.”
― Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World
Funny that my parents didn’t tell me that being lonely and feeling cheated was a consequence of the rules they laid out for me. But it was where I ended up. I, like many women before and after me, tried to be perfect. The bar for us, you see, is set at perfection, and if I was anything less (and I always was), it meant I was bad. I was constantly striving, putting myself second, wanting to at least seem what I wanted to be.
I ingested the rules and they became part of me. The age when I did this was pretty young, because the childlike equation I had in my head was clearly something straight out of a fairy tale: Following the rules = happiness. I thought somehow that rules were made by wise people who knew best, and didn’t realize until way late that most of them are just a form of mob rule.