Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Man I Used to Be

I've been through a lot in my life and have seen a thing or two. Perhaps not as much as some others, but enough to have some perspective rooted deeply in the reality of this world. Middle age is a time when most take some stock of where their journey has brought them. The juxtaposition of the dusty and difficult path that we have followed versus that golden boulevard that we dreamed about as we were just starting out, can elicit more than a few sighs.

A common expression that folks will utter as they think back upon their salad days is, "I'm not the man I used to be." I too have said very much the same, especially as I have weathered some bad breaks and dark times in recent years. I have often wished that I could go back to certain points when I felt myself atop a pinnacle, and have another go. I realize that today I'm not the man I used to be. More than that, I realize that I never was the man I used to be.

Of course, that is an odd thing to say. Yet, I suspect that this is a truth for many. What I am getting at is that, at least for me, the version of my younger self that I hold in my own mind, is some idealized make-over that is far removed from the reality of who I was. Stronger, more secure, adaptable, flexible. Yet, I never was that person that I remember myself to be. Likely, even armed with a bit of knowledge of some of the mistakes that I made along the way, if I were given a chance to try it again, I would screw things up in very nearly the same way.