I’m 35 years old today. I’ve sat here and stared at that number for a little while, trying to figure out how I feel about it. On one hand, it looks ancient. I’m halfway between my 20s and 40s – how did that happen? On the other hand, it looks like I’m still a spring chicken. It all depends on which lens I’m looking through – my past or future self?
Because, of course, I still feel like I did when I was 15. Same insecurities, fears, and yes – heartaches. I still feel as lost and as confused and have no more answers than I did then. Is that something I should admit? Will I feel like this the rest of my life? Probably.
You might know that I’ve been thinking a lot about Krista Tippett’s interview with Maria Popova. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the transcript. But there’s one part in particular that I’m thinking about today:
Link to interview
“It’s so strange how we’re able to carry forward this mystery of personal identity even when our present selves are so different from our future selves and from our past selves most of all. I think a lot about this question of, what is a person? Am I the same person as my childhood self? Sure, we share the same body, but even that body is so different. It’s unrecognizably different. Our lives are so different. Our ideas and ideals are so different. And to me, this question of what it means to be human is always a question of elasticity of being. It’s never an arrival point, you know?”
Even though I feel the same in so many ways, I agree with what she’s said here. If I traveled through time and walked into one of my high school classrooms, would I recognize my 15 year old self? Most certainly. What would I say to her?
Besides the few tropes that we would all say to ourselves, I’m not sure. I think I’m scared to write anything because it would be the same advice my future self would give my current self.
Read more – even if you think it’s too smart for you.
Write more – even when the words feel so out of reach.
Think more – even when it all feels so out of your league.
Be vulnerable – even if you feel like it’s something you should have figured out by now.
Easier said than done! Here’s to another year of reading and vulnerability in this space and in my life. Thank you all for sticking with me through my ramblings and half-sought thoughts. It’s meant more than you can know!