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One phrase continued to repeat itself in my head as my hand danced furiously over the page -- it's okay. Anything I write is okay, because this is mine, these are my thoughts, and only I can say if they're good or bad. It's okay if my opinion of others is not always glowing. It's okay if I admit I am afraid or in pain or angry for reasons I would never share for fear of being labeled as petty or judgmental. It's okay to feel , and it's okay to document those feelings and attempt to figure them out. I really need to find the balance between what I think I should be doing in terms of family obligations, what I'm willing to do, and what that means about me.

After I'd recorded two pages worth of self-revelations, I sat, spent, in my chair, and stared at the undulating flame. A few minutes later I returned my journal to its home, and with a quick puff of air, extinguished the candle. I inhaled and smiled as the smoky perfume filled my nostrils, and then went to bed.

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