aging
August 4, 2003 05:27 PM

I love Alison's habit of basis her WHB posts on whatever she's reading. It introduces me to interesting books so often.

So, her last bit is about aging:

"We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves"

What do you think of this concept? Do you recognize things about you from your child hood that you have grown into? What do you hope the future brings? Have you become more like yourself and what does this entail? And, from this, what role does feminism play in all of this development?

My views on personal continuity change rather a lot.

Sometimes. I think I am simultaneously everyone I have ever been. I think I am nothing like those previous iterations. I think maybe there is some continuity of growing up and down simultaneously that I might not be completely aware of. Or that there is some part of me that was there before I was. [For more on that, read James Hillman's book about the daemon concept.] I think that it's all a matter of chance and will.

[On a side note, I've decided that the New English now no longer requires that prepositions not end sentences. It feels like a nonsensical prohibition.]

I guess what I'm saying is that no, I don't feel any more or less like myself. I am simply the self that I am. I sometimes do and sometimes do not have a sense of having developed over time.

I do realize, though, that having had certain experiences, whether by chance or by design, has some relationship to what I do today. I've written a lot about those things, and how I think they influenced me (on days when I wasn't questioning the nature of past events as causative or - better still - the concept of past and the perception of memory and time).

On less ephemeral days, I can trace the paths of all my activism. I can see significance in the toys I chose or the fact that I refused to wear pants.

On less ephemeral days, I very much look forward to aging more. My perception of myself as an adult, a young adult, makes me wonder what I might be, what greater freedom I might experience.

I would like to be a truly blue-haired old lady, for instance. It would feel like repetition and revision of a different me. One with - well, blue hair. I would like to be an elder.

But at the same time, I think - to be this blue-haired elder would also be to not be me.

This is what I think on more ephemeral days: it's a bit sad, that I won't be here, like so, in this spot, in a second. I will be something and somewhere else. Which is also exciting. And sad. And exciting.

And. Now I'm something else.

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