that, I would have collapsed and become a chair rocker on the front porch for the rest of my life. When I say belief in myself, I am not talking about simply the kind of self-confidence that helps me down an unfamiliar staircase alone. That is part of it, but I mean something bigger than that: an assurance that I am, despite imperfections, a real, positive person; that somewhere in the sweeping, intricate, pattern of people, there is a special place where I can make myself fit. It took me years to discover and strengthen this assurance. It had to start with the most elementary things.
When I was a youngster, once a man gave me an indoor baseball. I thought he was mocking me, and I was hurt.