Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Then and Now

I was about thirty years old when we lived in a big, old house. It was a full two storey place with a full, walk-up attic. So it was pretty high at the top and needed painting, but I didn't then and still now don't love ladders. Fortunately, neither did my neighbour, but he was an old hand who knew enough to order scaffolding rather than use a ladder to paint his place. When he was done, I continued to rent the stuff for mine. Although I didn't exactly love the scaffolding either, I could tolerate it ... and could even pretend for the benefit of the camera that I was confident and happy up on the roof, and I was actually doing okay to be honest. On the other side of the house, I even managed to replace the eavestroughing (gutters) all by my little, old self, and for those who know me that's a remarkable feat.

As I contemplate these old pictures, I am struck by the fact that I am a different person in them. I think that as we, or at least I, go through life, we think of ourselves as the same person now as we were then, only modified slightly. However, seeing the scaffolding and me on the roof and also looking pretty darn young in some of the old photos that I've been sorting through, I am now thinking that it's more than that. Perhaps, we're not simply modifications of our former selves but somewhat different beings, the one evolving, or perhaps mutating from the other, of course. I don't know if that's quite what I mean to say or how I mean to say it, but I imagine that you friends understand what I'm driving at.


KGMom said...

I do know what you mean. There is, however, one constant--DNA.
We change, our skin cells shed and renew, our hair waxes and wanes, body fat shifts position, our minds expand and contract. But our DNA remains the same.
With or without scaffolding!

Heather said...

I once took a workshop that was based on Myers Briggs, that was a little out there and new-agey, but it left me with a few ideas that made sense. One of them was the idea that all of us live 2 life stories, and that somewhere around 30, we switch to our second life story. The life stories all fit within 4 categories that were something like caregiver, warrior, sage and... my mind is drawing a blank on the 4th one. It was certainly an interesting idea, and since I was about 35 at the time and had noticed the ground shifting fairly recently, it resonated with me.

thailandchani said...

I believe we go through several transformations in a lifetime.. and we do become different people. The past is shed like snakeskin... and left behind.

That's not such a bad thing. :)


Anonymous said...

Sometimes these old photos seem not only to depict a different self.. but even a different life. I feel that, with a little introspection and time spent on personal insight, spiritual growth and wisdom do truly come with age... one of the few perks to the passing of the years. :-)

Ruth said...

Younger or older, I would never have climbed on that roof for any reason!

Mary said...


I am not one who loves heights and I will have to tell that story on the Remember When meme. lol But Dad always recruited me when it was time to replace the roof. He did have to help me off the roof onto the ladder, but guess it was worth it. I didn't mind being on the roof or going up the ladder to the roof. It was the getting off that I dreaded and feared.

That said, I think that as we age we go through different stages and yes, we morph and evolve. I am not the person I was at age 20 or 30, or even 40. Each decade seemed make a difference.

Take care. I hope you and Cuppa are both well and how is ND?


Paul said...

I like who I am now better than I liked who I was then. Hope you're having the same experience and find you're both different and better.

Woman in a Window said...

I do get this. Actually, I was just exchanging comments with another blogger how if I look closely inside of her I can just see the corner of her former self. We are different people and yet the culmination, how can this be? Some things defy logic, like a very human being on a very high roof. (I really liked this one!)

Pearl said...

yes, life shifts us and we shit life. I figure a lifetime is 4-8 years from peak of "person" to who one is next. All skin cells replaced, thoughts shift too.

Pearl said...

stage of life is factor too. so far as myers briggs, I haven't got the same personality type any of the 3 times I took it.