"We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves." ~Lynn Hall
As I was driving home today, I was remembering the panic a friend of mine had when he was coming up on his 30th?? birthday. When I asked him what he was worried about, he said, "I won't be relevant in the MTV polls anymore!" Those polls only really focused on viewers from age 17-29.For me, aging has been a process of unfolding and discovering - I am changed in some ways, but I relate to the idea of becoming more clearly myself. Roby died right after his 29th birthday and I couldn't imagine what I would do without him as a 30 year old, a 35 year old, 40 year old. When he died, I was lost to myself - he had been sick and so our eating habits had changed, our social circle had tightened up. I didn't know what kind of food I liked, what kind of movies I liked, what kind of music made my heart sing...I saw everything through his eyes. Every day we had was a miracle and we never knew how long it was going to last, so I just kept experiencing life with him, through him, until I couldn't anymore.
Now, I am not afraid to say what books I like or if I liked a movie or and actor or to show a preference for an ethnic restaurant instead of one that serves American food. He didn't hold me back - he just shone so brightly that sometimes, it was easier to just stare into the light instead of always trying to shield my eyes. I don't regret a minute of it - but I think it gave me a true view of this BECOMING. I am not so changed from who I was. I am just more confident. More comfortable. More Jean. As Dr. Seuss would say, "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."