In retrospect, I realise that you have been with me my whole life, your presence looming large. And if I'm truly honest with myself, your warnings preceded every disappointment, every broken friendship. In doubt, I often pushed you aside, allowing my eyes to see only what they wanted, and my ears to hear the dismissive chiding of others that you were 'just my imagination.' In my teenaged and young-adult thirst for approval and acceptance, I could not receive your messages.
But now that I've managed to piece the shards of my life back together, I value you beyond measure. No longer do you have to pummel me over the head in warning against harmful people or situations; I now hear your whispers plainly and waste no time in finding the nearest exit. You are now my doorkeeper, my trusted sentinel, and even in times when all seems to be well on the surface and against your wisdom, I'm willing to put my hand in yours and stand apart from the crowd.