Highway Lights In Motion
There’s been a song on the radio lately, with the lyrics:
“I used to sing about love and stuff, maybe cause I want it so much, but I’m not who I was.”
(Brandon Heath, “I’m Not Who I Was” iTunes link Amazon link lyrics )
Very recently, I gave in and joined Facebook. There’s a lot I can say about that (and don’t you worry, I will) but maybe the first thing to hit me was the reality of establishing contact with people who, until now, were essentially part of my past.
They had gone on with their lives, I had gone one with mine. When we had crossed, years or decades ago, the intersections might have been pleasant, encouraging, life-giving – or they might have been abrasive, tempest-tossed, fraught with misunderstandings. Now we’ve “all grown up” as the saying goes. At least, my first thought and hope is that those I’ve contacted have matured as I have, that there is not some long-held grievance out there against me. Of course some of this is silly thinking: I don’t remember nearly as much what these people did as what I did; it is probably the same for them; And even what is remembered I wouldn’t hold against them now. We all make mistakes, and most of us grow, learn from them, change for the better.
Another thing that struck me this morning: I don’t “do” memories. I don’t live in the past much, nor look back. In fact, I don’t remember most of my childhood before age 10, and I’m not sad about this at all. (It is something I don’t care to remember anyway.) But I do greatly value the many wonderful people I have met, known, and cared for over my time here on earth. I’m just not a person who spends much time remembering or reminiscing – at least not anymore.
I have been looking to the future lately, realizing it is important for my children that I have a clear vision. For me, looking forward also requires looking back. I began to see how decisions (both mine and others) shaped my path through life. I realized that I’m not who I was. I’ve changed, grown up, moved on. Yet so much of who I was still remains in various ways – habits, old goals unfulfilled and unforgotten, even reactions to certain smells all come from where I came. I can’t move on from things in my past by ignoring them.
How have you changed? Who are you now, compared to who you were?