Even after I had basic hygiene and social interactions more-or-less figured out, it still took me a long time to find my people. I had friends in high school and in college, people I had things in common with, people I connected with, people I felt close to—but I never felt like I truly belonged anywhere until I got a post-college job working in a bookstore.
Thankfully, even during the loneliest of my lonely years—CURSE YOU, FIFTH GRADE—I always had books. More specifically, in books, I found my people long before I found them in real life. These were the girls who kept me going, who reminded me that I wasn’t alone, who gave me hope that someday, somehow, I would be accepted for who I was, that I would be comfortable with my peers, that I would be comfortable with myself.