Day 286 – Looking Back
For everyone who believes they will never and can never change: open up a photo album and jump back in time.
I did this today as I began to open and unpack boxes in my new place. I pulled albums out trying to remember the photos I would find inside.
Having not seen what is in these boxes for two years I had totally forgotten and could not recall what photos I had placed in the albums I found. As soon as I opened them up I remembered, however. I also questioned why I had picked the photos I had placed in the album. Most of them had a rightful place in my memories, but there were some photos that made me question what I had been thinking at the time. It was quite a laugh.
Looking back over these photos I recalled times when I thought the person I was at the time was who I would always be. For example, at one stage I was really into grunge music. While I still enjoy grunge, I’m completely addicted to dance music now. At the time, when I loved grunge music, I hated dance. I didn’t ever believe I would like dance music. How things change!
In addition, I noted the identity crisis I was having in most of the pictures with bad hair and even worse clothing. I remember thinking I had a great sense of style at the time. I guess I did in one way – my style was mine and I was doing what I wanted rather than following the most popular trends.
Seeing myself at these fixed points of time in the past I was glad I had changed. I was grateful for all I had been through and experienced. I was thankful for impermanence which allows me to grow and move on from the person I was in the past who wasn’t necessarily the wisest person I know.
Impermanence is difficult to accept and live through for most people. I definitely struggle with impermanence every day. Yet, without impermanence I’d still be a laughing, happy baby or a morose, black-clad teenager. Impermanence gives us a chance to learn and grow from life’s lessons. Impermanence keeps the world turning round. My only questions about impermanence now are:
What will I think in ten years time when I look back at this photo (below) taken of me two years ago? Will I laugh at my fashion sense? Will I wonder how I could survive the level of happiness I lived through at the time? Will I question what I was thinking regarding my career, my life and my future? Will I still have the same Buddhist beliefs? Will I be a similar person or completely different? Will I still be here?