As people, we are all constantly evolving and (gulp) ageing. However, over the last couple of years I’ve had a realisation about this on three specific occasions:
- I had a conversation with my Grandma, who just turned 95
- I found the speech my friends made at my 21st birthday party
- I read this blog post from Kate Northrup
As Kate so eloquently puts it, the realisation is - we are who we have always been. We will change our tastes, our situations and our outlook over time but I do believe we’ll always be who we are at our core.
During the conversation with my Grandma, we spoke about her life, her experiences and what it was like to be in her 90s.
As we spoke and she transported herself back to other times - as an 8 year old moving to Australia, having babies in her 20s and 30s, becoming a Grandma in her 50s, not only could I see her current personality shining through all of those experiences, but I could also see (and she confirmed for me) that she felt like the same person in her 90s as she felt back then.
Things had changed but her qualities and essence had not.
A few months later my husband was clearing out those piles of papers we all have lying around the house one weekend, and came to find me on our balcony having a glass of pinot gris in the sun.
He started reading to me from a sheet of paper and I quickly realised he had found the speech my high school friends had given at my 21st birthday party. I had no idea I even had it.
The speech was full of funny stories from those times, very sweet sentiments about me as a person, and finished with a heap of immature sayings I was known for at the time.
As he read on, I felt it wash over me too - I was who I had always been. Sure, I don’t feel 21 anymore but I still carry those personality traits and I am still known for my love of immature humour all these years later. I don’t plan on becoming mature by the way...;)
Then came the post from Kate - she had a similar experience as the discovery of my speech, except hers was boxes of memories from her childhood.
I found the post very comforting - as life moves through different stages, we deal with getting older and the world around us changes - we can always count on ourselves and knowing we will, at our core, be who we have always been.
Do you feel you are who you have always been?