My life became a cautious mosaic, slowly taking the form of a shabby mixed media - shattered glass among cool, round stones and tentative, interrupted strokes of inoffensive color. I couldn't see myself as much as I could feel myself in the angles and corners and lines. I was well hidden. Unrecognizable.
I was unfamiliar even to those who knew me best. It wasn't that I was afraid of getting hurt, of losing more than I had already lost. I wasn't trying to hold them at arm's length or be evasive. The truth was, I didn't know who I was, and I was afraid of being defined by who I wasn't. By what I didn't have. By all the tears that I had cried and the catalog of dates that told me who I could never be. By remembering with predictable, cyclic accuracy all I had lost.
I decided I could do better than that. I could handcraft the life, the person I wanted for myself. I could be my own artist, and I surrendered myself to the creation of a Julia who was too smart to attach, too independent to want to, and so secure as to be untouchable. I wasn't interested in allowing myself to wait a single second longer for something I was convinced I could walk up and take.