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As for living for one’s self: It was a revelation to me to find this hole inside my being, that my own soul was creating to escape from itself. I still do not know why, except that our instinct as children is to imitate those around us. In Rand’s terms, I was doing exactly what Peter Keating is doing: trying to eliminate the “I”. It is one thing to act as though independent, and entirely something else to cease referencing others. The “others” used to play in my mind most of the time – in the form of dialoging with myself using their words and logic. Yesterday was one of the first complete days that I realized I had almost never thought of anyone else – except in terms of their value to me – or what they thought about me. Yes, this is new to me, in the degree that I mean it now. It is so peaceful, sometimes I just lay back on the stone railing at the Piazza della Signora, and fall asleep there for a little while.