One of the many topics we came across was the ways in which past relationships and friendships remain with us in the present. We talked about friendships that had gone sour and how, resolved or unresolved, they leave their mark. Whether that be in a lesson for future friendships or the fear of what can not be controlled. We shared about how past romantic relationships led us to offer differing advice on blooming relationships. And the ways in which those past failures come in to play in current relationships.
So then I got to thinking. This would mean that I am comprised not only of who I am today but also who I was yesterday. Or ten years ago. And I carry with me all the past triumphs and failures of all those Emilys who came before this current Emily. The glories. And the scars. And when I meet someone, well then I meet not only the person they are today in this moment but also the person they've been before. Whether they choose to reveal all those that came before or not. And in choosing not to reveal those, they are in fact, revealing something. That perhaps there was something that left them so very scarred as to feel that sharing that would cause me to dislike who they have become.
I think maybe if we remember all this, we might treat each other and ourselves a bit differently, no?
Sandra Cisneros, one of my absolute favorite authors, wrote about this in a short story called "Eleven." She wrote:
"What they don't understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you're eleven, you're also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven. Like some days you might say something stupid, and that's the part of you that's still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama's lap because you're scared, and that's the part of you that's five. And maybe one day when you're all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you're three, and that's okay. That's what I tell Mama when she's sad and needs to cry. Maybe she's feeling three. Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. " (You can find the whole story here.)
I think today I may have been nineteen for a bit. Which certainly is not my finest self. Slowly I'm working my way back to twenty seven.
Thoughts? I'd love to hear them.