I’ve been living apologetically. Trying not to move about too much, take up too much space, make too much noise, laugh too loudly, voice my own opinions. Keeping my elbows tucked in, out of people’s way, being polite, being good, being right, not being wrong. Saying what I should be saying, doing what’s expected of me. Adapting. Fitting in. Flattening my awkward conspicuousness, suppressing, hiding, smiling, in order to belong. Even editing my own thoughts and desires. Burying myself so deep, I don’t even remember who I am. Because surviving was most important. The first task at hand.