Don’t you love when you stop what you’re doing and notice you’ve accomplished a lot? I can squeeze in a whole day before noon – and let’s cut right to the chase – daily life can be a lot of work so it’s good to knock it down.
Besides my usual routine, yesterday I had to scan nearly 200 pages of my former medical records one slow page at a time, for my new – old – medical team. I’m going back to doctors I saw a long time ago, before I moved away. And sheesh, those 200 pages were only the records from the previous three years.
It’s easy to take for granted when we stay settled in one place and our life remains compact. As simple as we want to make it, it’s not easy to move, although I have embraced it over and over as a opportunity to recalibrate, welcoming fresh starts as a vital part of healing from whatever wounds I may have. Clean slates are refreshing.
But this was the first time I moved back to someplace I’ve already been. I didn’t try to or plan it, it just simply worked out. I was thrilled of course and had some expectations which without a doubt were normal. I assumed I would see people who never left, whose lives just went on peacefully while I was participating in my own ongoing drama. I tried not to think about going back in time to a life that used to be, but how could I not?
Then it occurred to me. In the years I have been gone I have moved in and out of three states, gotten divorced and remarried, my children have grown up, I have changed my name three times, my hair color a lot, I’ve lost an internal organ, grew and removed a (thankfully) benign breast mass, gotten glasses, become a professional writer, I am not the same.
When I look in the mirror sometimes I don’t even recognize myself. I still feel like me I guess, a little bit, but the image continues to change. Which I just decided should work in my favor. I realized as I was scanning all those records, I have actually reinvented myself. And not just once. Then I started thinking – do we all do that anyway? Is that just part of steadily (or not steadily) advancing through our lives?
When I go see my old doctors they probably won’t recognize me at all. Will I tell them it’s me and throw in a “how have you been all these years?”
I saw a story about past lives online as I was contemplating my old-new self. It said “the question isn’t who are you, but who were you?” This of course was relative to examining lifetimes. I believe in that, but it seems I’ve had plenty of lifetimes in this very one. Then it asked a fundamental question. “Why are you here now?”
“It is best not to trudge through the remnants of a distant past, slogging through random moments in order to discover little gems from bygone eras. Rather it is good to know that somewhere buried in your subconsciousness lies the memories of pivotal moments which have shaped your personality and have guided you toward the lessons that you are encountering in this life.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s about making peace with our past.
Don’t you love when when you stop what you’re doing and notice you’ve accomplished a lot?