At what point do we stop trying to reinvent ourselves?
Recently, I’ve been communicating with an old college friend, a person I haven’t really spoken to in about two years. What joined us in the first place was a mutual love of our ability to communicate with each other: openly, excitedly, and for great lengths of time. And yet, merely two years (or so) later, as our paths grow towards each other again, there’s trepidation on both ends – have we changed, beyond the point that we can relate to each other anymore?
I had to eventually step back and call myself out. Why am I so worried? Perhaps because these fears are rooted elsewhere? Are we both concerned, perhaps, that our connection was more situational than anything else, and now the situation has passed? Who knows. This is an issue in my life that is gonna take some more dealing with.
But in the meantime, it’s interesting to think about the idea of reinvention. Everywhere I turn, it seems as if there are people in my life reevaluating and actively trying to change some part of themselves: religious exploration, romantic attachments, physical appearance… It’s as if we feel stagnant if we aren’t treating ourselves like a work in progress. But at what point do we step back and let the masterpiece BE?
I think about my parents. For 24 years, they have presented a remarkably stable presence in my life, as two people who are 100% content with themselves and each other. Are they freaks? Or is our generation different? Do we all reach a point where we can be confident that an old friend will, the second time around, meet the same person they knew back then?