People go bald. They turn gray, gain weight, get sick, get skinny, get married, have babies, grow up.
I was looking through some pictures tonight on Facebook (I am totally a Nosey Nancy), and I was struck by what aging does to us. This is not the first time I have felt this way while looking at friends' pictures on Facebook. I am quite sure that lots of other folks have felt the same way looking at my pictures.
Our bodies change, our lives change. In most cases, does who we are change? I don't think so. (See: why I have not married the dudes I have not married.) I think things about us change. I think that's inevitable as we grow, we hurt, we risk, we lose, we win, we love...but I think that at the core, we typically remain the same. I'm struggling to find an analogy to more accurately illustrate what I'm getting at here, and I'm coming up empty-handed. I'm not sure there is one. Hm. Maybe chemistry. Chemical changes vs. physical changes. A physical change is an alteration to a substance's external properties, while a chemical change forms a completely new substance. I think who we are - that's our chemical makeup. What we look like, where we live, where we work, that's our physical makeup. Maybe what I'm suggesting is that physical changes can occur in spades and never truly alter our chemical makeup. That's not always true, not for every person. For the sake of this blog, let's pretend that it is.
A woman that I am privileged to know told me recently that she has learned the secret of surviving criticism and opposition. She told me that she knows that nothing anyone says will ever change who she is. She said it with such conviction that, even though I have heard some form of that sentiment over and over again, I really stopped to think about it. And I've been thinking about it ever since then. It makes me feel free. Giddy, almost. I want to be that convinced of who I am and my worth as a beloved child of God, that I can let all the other words just fly around overhead. My friend literally used that metaphor. She said, "Those words, they're just flying around, just words up in the air, that's all." I'm telling you, this woman, she is a book waiting to happen.
I don't really have much beyond that. Just the thought that I can be okay with who I am. You can be okay with who you are. No matter where I live, or where you live, or where either of us works or whom either of us has or hasn't married. No one can threaten who I really am, or who you really are. I'm okay, you're okay. We're all okay.