Memories of times, circumstances, and people from our past are tricky, especially if three decades have passed in between.
We hold memories frozen in time, a permanent canvas we have affixed through the paintbrushes of our truths. We seize in our timeline circumstances and people, giving them attributes we still think hold. How they spoke, behaved, or looked, we hold in our mind as if time had not transpired.
Whenever I connect with a person from my past, my memories collide with theirs, forming and amplifying my affixed canvas with their own brushes of paint. The painting takes a more expansive view with new context, hues, and realities. What they remember, how they perceived me and their experiences add to the memories, giving me a glimpse into new perspectives.
Not surprisingly, the image of who the people I knew them to be at 15 or at whatever age our past selves had crossed, crumbles as well. Physical attributes might remain, but whatever image or memories of who they were, are but a mirage when looking through the lens of the now,
Questions of genuine change come to mind when I think of all this: how have we ourselves have changed without ourselves considering the passing years? Are we the same deep inside? Are the fears, insecurities, awkwardness of our youth still lurking on the surface, holding us back from becoming the better versions of ourselves? Physical appearances wane but, at the core, can people change?
I know I am not the same person from my youth or even from three or two years ago. Along the way, I have confronted fears, hang-ups and have faced life circumstances that have shaped who I am at this moment. Still, the journey continues. Lots of work to go.
I appreciate my coffee mate for sharing his past and present self with me. I am honored and grateful for his honesty in letting me into a window of his life as he confronts personal and emotional challenges. The upward stream we all face in the journey of life can become part of our core and what can as our cataclysm for change, a change for the better.