Thursday, October 31, 2013

Am I Who I Was?

Time passing inspires a bit of reflection on things and people gone by – it’s inevitable, isn’t it?

In my own case, I live in a slow land, so there’s a bit more time for reflecting.  And of late, I’ve reconnected with folks from various stages in my own past – e-mail, FB, lunch get-togethers on a recent trip back home and even the forgetting of my fellow high-school classmates (who didn’t invite me to the reunion, forgetting that even though I have moved quite a bit, my mother still lives in the same house I lived in way back in high school) – all these connections draw me back to different stages in my life, from high school through seminary.

Most days, I’m not much of a look-back kind of gal.  My kids remember details from our lives together that have long ago slipped my mind.
Me with Judge Handlan - early 1980's

So it’s a rare treat and challenge to look back and see myself in the eyes and hearts of others with whom I was so bound once upon a time.

The question arises: am I who I was?  And if not, who have I become?

Some answers are obvious; some obscure; some, I suspect, I’ll never know.

Some life lessons are apparent:

1. Nothing is forever.  All those times, those epochs of my life, seemed at the time to be the endless horizon of what my life would be – but horizons are tricky things and every thing does pass away, sometimes with startling suddenness, just as often like the proverbial thief in the night, but slip away they do.

2. Things and people actually do change.  We’re not the same – not as each other and not even as ourselves.  There’s enough resemblance to connect, but change is integral to the body human.

3. For my own part, I am nicer than I used to be.  Much.  Which is not to say that I am nice – far from it.  But it’s a journey and I’m good with that.

4. I wouldn’t go back even if I could.

5. It’s okay to be forgotten.  I’m just not that important.  And that too is okay with me.

Some lessons aren’t so obvious:

1. The child I was still inhabits this old-lady skin and she can take me by surprise sometimes – usually in a good way, but not always.

2. High school is nothing like real life.  Never was, never will be.

3. We are our families and yet we are not.  Mysterious, that.

4. Some people, as well as some things, are better left in the past.

5. The ever-shrinking list of those who were there, those with whom we share the memories, is, all by itself, a cause for sadness, as the ones who can know and understand the scrapbook of a life gets smaller and smaller.  Telling is not the same as remembering.  Sometimes you really did just have to be there.

Am I who I was?

Yes.

And no.

And that’s okay with me.

1 comment:

  1. You will always be my friend....and I'm okay with that

    ReplyDelete