After reading Debbie’s xanga entry today, on the self, I remembered something I’d meant to write about earlier but hadn’t had time to do this morning.
While I was lying in bed at two am, unable to fall asleep, I recalled an episode in LM Montgomery’s Emily’s Quest, in which Emily opened a letter she’d written to herself at fourteen, to be read when she turned twenty-four. (For the text, go here and go to Chapter XX, I, or search for the word “fourteen”.) The letter asked in naïve, eager terms whether Twenty-four had accomplished all the amazing things Fourteen expected her to, etc etc. Naturally, an embittered Twenty-four had not accomplished those things and was sad about her lost innocence and sense of possibility.
I started to think about my high school self and was amazed at how much I’d changed. Forget fourteen and twenty-four–I’ve changed so much in just these last four years, and in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the start of my time in college. I’d never taken the time before to think about these changes. In high school I was obsessed with fashion and makeup, but I thought I was fat and I was constantly hoping for beauty by these artificial means. I would never have imagined how confident I’d become in four years. I would not have believed what deep and sincere reverence I could have for my body, nor how comfortable I could feel in my own skin, literally as well as figuratively. I now think I’m more beautiful naked than I am with clothes on (though I attribute this to not being able to afford clothes that will celebrate, not change or camouflage, my shape). I would never in a thousand years have believed I would voluntarily stop eating most kinds of meat. People who knew me then probably still can’t believe it. In my euphoric infatuation with Erik, I never envisioned the kind of true love and companionship our relationship would blossom into, but now I’m constantly amazed at our partnership. Every time I think this is as good as it gets, it just gets better.
So many things have changed in my life, but I believe I’m still the same person at core. I tend to think that it’s only the outer limits of my self that change, but I don’t think they move because I change as a person. I think their mutations come because I’m always discovering new ways to express my true self, always finding that the boundaries can be pushed just a little farther, always seeing more clearly just what I’m capable of and what I’m willing to do. I still believe in beauty, truth and love, for example, but I’ve gained a bit more experience about what those things are and what they can mean, and I’ve become less shy about standing up for these beliefs. At the most basic level, at the very heart of my being, I’m almost exactly the same person as I was at age six (which I firmly believe is the age of my inner child, keeping in mind I was always old for my age). Well, everyone’s a little screwy in middle school; I count those years as an aberration. ;b It’s all the nebulous outside parts of my character, like what I wear or the friends I have or whatever, that change all the time as the process of self-exploration continues. Which is wonderful. Wouldn’t it be boring to live with the same person for your whole life? As Octavia Butler wrote in The Parable of the Sower: God is change. I must believe this because I’ve mentioned it before! Seriously, though, I think I really am starting to understand what a great force change is, and how vital.
currently: waiting for Erik to arrive, playing Text Twist and thinking about food and life (food = life?) and being happy
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]