People change. We bend, we move, we alter with time. Buffed and worn with the experiences of life, how few of us can say we are still who we used to be. Life has a way of altering who we are, without us ever even noticing, until one day we look back and find ourselves so changed as to almost be a different person.
I know i have.
I admit to being by nature quite insular. Not that anyone would notice for i have become quite adept at giving all the appearance of someone quite the opposite, being open ,warm and friendly in public. Partly due to my job i admit but also due to the fact i find society clearly expects me to be this way, an automated response in the presence of someone else. I live in a world of extroverts who like nothing better than to spend vast amounts of time with each other whilst, introvert that i am, i just want to retreat to a place and persons of my choosing. In social situations i still want to be invited to whatever events and get togethers that are planned by my peers but i want to be accepted for the fact i will rarely attend.
Perhaps i am an alien. I often wonder if my body was taken over by some other being so stealthily that i never even noticed. Looking back down the years i regretfully admit i have changed in myself perhaps more than is usual for anyone to do. Gone is the extrovert, friend loving me with a head full of dreams and a whimsical wish to meet prince charming and be wed. Happily ever after turned into happily never at all. Whilst i admit to being much more of a realist than ever i was before, i still find buried remnants of the person i used to be. Yet cynicism clouds my reality, not in a way as to make me grim and dour but certainly enough to change my expectations from life.
”Do you Amanda take……..to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
Yes once that was me. Even after one bad experience i still clung hopefully to the thought that prince charming was out there. Waited, confident that any day soon i’d be swept off my feet, that all the storms in my ocean had been worth the weathering and for a while i was. But somehow fate decided that shipwrecks and sinking were on the cards for me until one day my battered little boat was bobbing the horizons alone. I determined, however, that i should be the kind of person to never carry my baggage along with me.Weighing me down as i plodded my way doggedly through life, smiling despite it all. Yet for all my determination i find perhaps i carried more with me than i realised, coloured by lies and mistrust into a person who suddenly didn’t need anyone. Strong, independent and solitary yet in contrast still upbeat in spirit.
So there you have me. Independent, strong minded and decidedly cynical with a touch of ironic and at times self deprecating humour. I do not like to need people, a fact which has frustrated male friends and partners alike. Men i have found in general like to feel needed and i admit i have a touch of this myself, yet i find myself unable to need in return. I am careful to surround myself with those people i want to have around me but i am careful not to let myself need them.
Needed but not needy.
Yet over all this a gilding that makes me acceptable to society. I’m branded a nice girl, helpful, kind and thoughtful and for the most part i am. But hidden beneath is whats really left of the sum total of my years. However hard we try we cannot escape some elements of life experience that we shall always carry with us. Miserly with trust my circle is small in some unconscious attempt at self preservation. Perhaps life will change me some time in the future, perhaps i shall not always be as i am or perhaps this is how i am destined always to be.
Turning my attention back to the screen i wistfully sigh as Jane Austen’s Emma comes to a tearful realisation that she does indeed love Mr Knightly and i muse upon the fact that perhaps all is not lost of me after all. However unwanted i still seem to have that softness inside that keeps me human.
People change. We bend, we move, we alter with time. Buffed and worn with the experiences of life yet perhaps more of this is under our control than we realise. Trust may not always be as misplaced as sometimes it may seem and damaged inflicted over turbulent years can often be repaired leaving the way clear to finding ourselves again.
I know i’ve changed. Have you?