Let me tell you a story.
It’s a story about a little girl who grows up and is supposed to find herself, just like many stories are.
So what’s the good of hearing yet another rehashed version of every story ever? I don’t know!
But here it is anyway, take it, how you need it:
A girl grew up in an ordinary house in an ordinary forest, but she didn’t know this yet. Her eyes were not yet opened like you and me, and she could still see fairies and other magic things, flittering through the branches of her favorite, secret spots in the woods.
Her ordinary house sat next to an ordinary farm. This meant that the little girl’s little youth was full of stray cats that would appear out of nowhere, only to disappear into nowhere back again.
Her favorite of these cats was a big orange one. She chose him from a litter of kittens they found because he was the strongest. Endless summers went by, her cat tagging along beside her on her imaginary adventures.
Ponder for just a moment, on whatever days you spent, in whatever magical backyard you may have plodded through, and remember all your own dealings with beasts and people that weren’t actually there. Such was the kind of way our little heroine spent her tender years.
You may also remember, how those tender years hardened.
Was it all at once like a crack of thunder? Did it shake you to your bones? Or was it more gradual and soft, like drifting on a boat out into a lazy lake?
For our protagonist, her youth left her like a sleeking fox, stealing away unnoticed with its stolen bounty in the night. It was gone one day, without her knowing it was ever leaving. Much like the day she realized her faithful, orange cat had gone back to nowhere.
This is why we write the story of the little girl growing up, over and over again. Because in the real story she never finds herself, and we are left to wonder where it was along the long way, that we may have left ourselves too.