Life Talking to a commuter buddy today about her siblings, it occured to me I've never really faced up to being an only child. She was talking so candidly about her problems and all I could say was 'I don't really understand the dynamic' - which is true, no matter how artifical it sounds. When you're an only child you assume that your brothers and sisters would be your best friends - there when you need them, always someone to talk to. But over the years I've realised that actually there can be a lot of pain and heartache involved. You'd end up loving and hating them for the same reasons. It's easy perhaps to say that suchandsuch a friend is like a brother or sister to me, but I've found that no one can be that close - once the family front door is closed there isn't much you can say or do. This essay seems to have grasped most of the main points. I do feel like I have had to make more of an effort in social situations - I can be introverted and a bit of a loner if I need to be (and lately, well...) - and I have met only children who find social interactivity really difficult. But for me it's a default setting - I much prefer the company of others - you can learn more about the world from talking to someone than reading a book at times - which is exactly what happened today when I spoke to that commuter buddy. QED.

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