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Written for Challenge #17 - Maintaining the Basics over at [info]fictionland . 

Warnings:  None, although it may seem a bit whiny.  This is also written in second person, which is only the second time I've ever used that point of view in my fic.  O.O

Disclaimer:  Surprisingly enough, this one is mine, all mine.  Original unnamed character. 

Author's rant:  This is the third time trying to post this puppy.  LJ kept eating the fic information even though the posting screen showed everything there.  Whyyyyyy LJ whyyyyyyy do you hate me so much????

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You spend your days working and your nights wondering how you got here. It's not a bad life. You're not un-happy and you're not starving. But you're also not happy although even that implies something stronger than the vague dissatisfaction that plagues you and exhausts you. Your life has devolved into endless, never-changing routine - something you swore would never happen to you - and you still don't truly know how it happened.

You spend a lot of time thinking about who you used to be. You spend a lot of time wondering who you are now. 

You used to look at people, meet their eyes, smile, talk to them no matter who they were. Now you keep your eyes down, your steps brisk - important person on important business - no time, no interest. You wonder sometimes about the stories you've missed - the interesting people who are living those stories. You mourn sometimes those ignored opportunities to make someone else's day a little better. You regret your inability to reach out in friendship, even if it's a friendship that lasts only as long as it takes you to smile and walk past.

You talk to the family at the home you left behind. You hear about birthdays and anniversaries, holiday feasts and children's accomplishments. You hear about family gossip and feuds and funerals - and wonder sometimes at the price you've paid for the choices you've made. You've drifted away from the family that nurtured you and you don't know why you don't have the energy to reach out to them, to hold on to them. You think of the people you've lost, the people you still miss, the people you still mourn. You regret you didn't make more time for them - that you didn't shift your priorities while they were still here. You hope they know what they meant to you, even if you didn't show it enough. You hope they're at peace. You hope they'll welcome you when you see them again.

You used to be alone but not lonely. Now sometimes the loneliness overwhelms you even in a crowd or in those all too rare intimate moments. Being alone never used to scare you - now you wonder how long it would take before anyone noticed you were gone. Who would look for you. Who would care.

Part of the price you've paid for the choices you've made has been the loss of the hopeful, open way you once approached your life. It's something that seems gone forever.

But then some days - some days - you lift your eyes as you walk. You're an ordinary person with no business at all. You're curious - you look people in the eye, you smile at them, you talk if they want to - and you listen to what they have to say. You remember - you honour - the person you used to be - perhaps even the person you may still be......

If you're prepared to make different choices.

If you're prepared to pay a different price.


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shirleyann66
shirleyann66

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Quotes

"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need...fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little --"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

-- Susan and Death in Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

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"And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based."

-- Lord Vetinari in Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

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They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.

-- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

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As a wizard, it was something that Ponder had only before encountered in acorns: a tiny soundless voice which said, yes, I am but a small, green, simple object - but I dream about forests.

-- Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

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In the 24th century, there will be no hunger. There will be no greed. And every child will know how to read.

-- Gene Roddenberry, as repeated by Jonathan Frakes in the documentary How William Shatner Changed the World

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We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way.

-- Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Hard Way from the album Come On, Come On

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Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want.

-- John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change from the album Continuum

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Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow."

-- Mary Anne Radmacher, as seen in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Tales to Inspire

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I never loved the soldier
Until there was a war.
Or thought about tomorrow
'til my baby hit the floor.
I only talk to God
When somebody's about to die.
I never cherished freedom
Freedom never cries.

-- Five for Fighting, Freedom Never Cries from the album Two Lights

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It may sound absurd: but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed: but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream

-- Five for Fighting, Superman (It's Not Easy) from the album American Town

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Had a dream last night took a time travellin' ride
Back to my childhood where those monsters reside
They snack on innocence and dine on self-esteem
But I like to be in touch with what makes me scream
Vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost
These are the things that terrify me the most.
No alien, psychopath or MTV host
Scares me like vampires,mummies and the Holy Ghost.

-- Jimmy Buffett, Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost from the album Fruitcakes

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"I want to believe that... the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us... as part of something greater than us - greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen, to what's speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves."

-- Fox Mulder, The X-Files from the episode The Truth, pt. 2
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