If you ask me when to decide who you are, I will tell you this.
I was recently reading Things That Are, essays by Amy Leach. In “The Wine of Astonishment” she describes how to identify some of the tiny creatures that live in water. A portion of one line jumped out at me, practically grabbing me by the jaw:
Best to wait until the vernal equinox to decide who someone is—after sun crosses equator and rain softens ground and warmth splinters ice and impassiveness . . .
I stopped for a moment and immediately thought about you.
Sometimes I think about you in terms of what you are not likely going to be, either by the things you avoid or maybe are not proficient at like some of your peers. Conversely, I look at the things you do like to do and the patterns you’ve already etched, and I just as much think about you in ways of who you might one day be. It’s not always a conscious practice, or even a fair one. But perhaps all parents do this to a degree, trying to catch a glimpse of the future person their child will eventually become after several years of living and learning and loving.
When I read that line, it jarred me. It’s simply too early to decide. Maybe that time never even truly comes for humans, using myself as an example. Are we not always becoming and refining, sorting and shaping? Do not the external factors around us come into play along way? The answer to all of these is yes, of course, though some rough outlines of a silhouette will eventually take form. So I’ve decided I will wait. I will wait until your vernal equinox comes to pass, if it ever does. And in the meantime, I will just enjoy the person you are right now, the one right before me.
Copyright (c) 2016 Kristen M. Ploetz
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