Number one child and I were having a conversation last night about life and change. I was explaining to her that I wasn't the same person before children as I am now, specifically referencing her as she is the aforementioned number one child. She immediately got upset, thinking that she had somehow negatively impacted my being. She is a tender and anxious child who wants to take care of everybody's feelings. So, I tried to explain my philosophy that after many events in a person's life you become someone new - sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. I believe that once it happens, you can't ever go back. Think of when you found out about where babies come from ... there's no coming back to childhood once you get that little nugget of knowledge. I remember the day my Mom sat me down to explain the mechanics involved. First I laughed, thinking that she was pulling my leg, then I was thoroughly disgusted - you have got to be kidding me, I told her. Why on God's green earth would you let one of those things (i.e. a penis) near your sacred private parts (i.e. the holy grotto). Trust me, she said, it's messy and not any fun anyway. That's a mother supplied nugget of information that changes you forever, too.
The big things do it - births, deaths, buying a house, moving, school, a new job, new people in your life. The little things do it, too - the first time you taste pork cooked the right way, a marvelous book, a new song by your favorite artist, the first kiss, a perfect cup of tea. There's no going back to the person you were before those experiences. Problems come when you think you're the same after the event, like those people who have a child and want to live without fully embracing the change and the responsibility that comes with your new roommate. In this example, I'm not saying you're supposed to stop having fun, but you have to put their needs first and figure out how to work yours into the equation. Otherwise, you're making a future ax murderer or at the very least someone who will ship you off to the old person's home when you slow down. Think "Cat's in the Cradle," my friends, and you'll know where my mind is going.
As I mentioned, sometimes these events will not change you for the good. For me, most obviously to you gentle reader and the people I live with, my Mom's death was a major diversion through the yellow wood. My sister and I have discussed this ad nauseum. We're broken, rent. Time most certainly does not heal all wounds, and I don't know if it's supposed to. The passage of time might make it easier to provide the illusion of distance and repair, but only if you think of time as linear - onward and upward. Good on you, if you have that skill set. It's not one of mine. I feel like I'm corkscrewing back and forth through a sine and cosine wave. And maybe that's what a traumatic change does to a human. I'm sure therapy helps some people, and medication helps others. And if I couldn't get up and go to work, or pay the bills, ensure the trains are running on time, then maybe I would and should exhaust those options. My doctor, who refuses to provide pain medication for relief from my consistent back pain, is more than happy to write me a prescription for an anti-depressant. Will it make the world colorful again, less gray, I asked? No, she said, it'll help you deal with the sadness. I declined. Maybe I'm supposed to experience the sadness, find out who I am after I get to the other side. Maybe it's an ocean away.