She’d had misgivings about returning to town. Would she be able to be herself or would she simply be a shadow of whatever she saw portrayed around her? At first she found she did become a shadow of those around her . . never her true self so never wholely satisfied.
You could see it in her eyes, the longing to let go and the fear of rejection. Then one day she began to simply be herself . . terror gripped her as the shadow faded . . but she was still loved at her job . . and she eventually found a place to live where no one judged.
As she let go of the shadow more and more her smile brightened. Yes, there were still people and places that tried so hard to make her feel less than she was . . people who needed to put her in her place . . look her up and down then snicker, giggle and point .. but she was now free . . and they didn’t matter any more.