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It’s another day of that post-sleepless night haze, the not quite with it-ness that lingers as you sit at your desk, trying desperately to make it through without collapsing. There’s something different though, rumbling through the low-level background noise, typing and phones set to vibrate that you can somehow hear just as loudly as their ringtones.

It’s something you only feel when you get back in touch with old friends, the metric you hold up of what you’ve done since the last time you saw each other. You hope you’re a better person than you were, so that they can be proud of you. You realize you’re still the same asshole with nicer clothes and a better story. You realize too, that they don’t care, and they accept you all the same.

So, you exhale, releasing the pretense of what you imagine yourself to be, somehow better than everyone’s expectations of you. But you’re not. You might be your best self, but that descriptor has no meaning to anyone but you. Best is an illusion. All you have is this moment, and it’s beautiful.