You get to a new place in your life and you feel good. Proud, even, if that's your style. Your shortcomings seem less glaring, and you're willing, for once, not to beat yourself up for them every time it occurs to you. Then the shine wears off, and you get used to where you are, and the flaws suddenly jump out of the mirror at you. You have two very poignant conversations with people-you-love-but-can't-say-it-to-them (does everyone have those?) and you have to will yourself not to be flippant. And it's extremely difficult, because you've changed, you're better now, but you don't know how to be that better person with them; you only know how to be this sillier, mock-y person that you are no longer. And you feel the weight of it hanging between you, between your words.
It's hard sometimes not to be physically demonstrative with people. It's hard not to be verbally demonstrative, too. I need constant reinforcement, repeated reaffirmation. I need to know that certain people think I'm special. A good-sized weakness, it's true.
On more than one occasion I've been told that I'm good at making people feel as though they know me, when in fact most people never get to know me at all. One of my goals in recent years has been to stop paying attention to the feeling that I have to be "on" for people. Lots of that has fallen by the wayside, but the right situation produces that Pavlovian reaction. This is me culling. Weeds choke a garden, I hear.