Quarter-life crisis or continued exploration? I couldn’t say.
By which I mean, re-creation.
I realized recently that I’ve allowed myself to stagnate. I felt somehow I had finished developing as a person–I knew I would never stop growing, but I assumed there were things I had figured out, things that were finally fixed.
Like perhaps I’m a paint by numbers, and while there were still a lot of spaces waiting to be filled in, I had the core of the picture complete. I knew who I was.
That is, at least, until I didn’t.
There’s a dent between the “I” I was before and the “I” I am now. Life batters us. Damages us. We try (and sometimes we succeed, yet sometimes we fail) to rebuild ourselves, but no matter how close to perfect our handiwork comes, we’re never quite the same as we were before. We change. Piece by piece, part by part, cell by cell, until we are all unrecognizable. But bits remains. Bits will always remain–in our appearances, perhaps, or our temperaments possibly–but in time we become someone different. Someone new.
It’s this tide going in and going out that’s the journey of our lives. Through sorrow and joy, through love and disappointment, each instant shapes us for the next. We are a function of powers beyond us, yet we cannot be differentiated–nor can we be integrated. What leads us is all that we have. There is no other relation.
Metaphor aside, where do I stand? In this moment, I am more than a man sitting before a screen, typing furiously upon a keyboard abused by his hands. Nor are you–my audience, a reader, a friend perhaps, or even a stranger–just a person behind a computer or on the other side of a tablet or e-reader. You are whole, as I am whole, and the missing pieces are not quite missing, but not yet discovered, not yet chiseled from this form we call our bodies.
I’ve come a long way, yet sometimes I fear I haven’t come at all.
There’s few books on my “favorite books” list when you look at my profile on Facebook, at least for the number of entries present. Half of them are authors, for I tend to find individual books lacking in some way, small for the best of them, to be considered favorites, but an author presents a body of work, where the shortcomings of one are augmented by the facets of the others, so that all the areas I wish could be fulfilled are done so, and thus they have become a favorite in my eyes.
One of the five stand-alone novels (for the other four “books” are more appropriately book series, namely Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians) is Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carol (the other four books are The Thief of Always by Clive Barker, the Princess Bride by William Goldman, What is Mathematics? by Richard Courant, and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, which wasn’t a phenomenal book, but I liked what it represented and what it idealized).
Before reading Through the Looking Glass, I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and I must admit, sadly, that I didn’t find the latter book nearly as much as the former, which is actually the latter, if you’ll kindly forgive my inversion of sentence structure, since it did me little good here.
My point in mentioning any of this is that, although Alice has gone through a mirror, that plane of which we’ve learned reflects flawlessly, she doesn’t at all reflect very much through it, does she?