“The idea of becoming an anonymous nun came to me much later. In that period of my life, I felt different from my brothers, and other children. I never saw the world as they did; to me, things and people tended to become transparent, and dreams and stories in books were more real than reality. At times I had moments of terrifying lucidity and believed that I could divine the future and the remote past, long before I was born; it was as if all times were occurring simultaneously in one space, and suddenly, through a small window that opened for a fraction of a second, I traveled to other dimensions. In my adolescence, I would have given anything to belong to the boisterous clique that danced to rock ‘n’ roll and smoked behind adults’ backs, but I didn’t try, because I knew I wasn’t one of them. The sense of loneliness that had plagued me since childhood became even more acute, but I consoled myself with the vague hope that I was cut out for a special destiny that someday would be revealed to me.”

— From Paula by Isabel Allende



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