The other day, in a discussion about a friendship, I found myself talking about friends I have on Facebook now who knew me when I was a teenager. We haven't been in the same room in 25-30 years but they know a me my friends today would not recognise.
In another conversation with my mum the other day, she was commenting on my chameleon nature, how whenever I enter a new group, or new environment, I take on the characteristics of that environment. As she put it herself, when she picked me up from a coach line, or airport, she could never be sure if she'd be picking up a someone in a floral dress with brown spiral curl hair and hiking boots, or someone with a sleek black bob and dress in clothing better suited to the 19th century (she calls that my 'goth period', although I never did do the goth thing).
I have been many people over the past few decades, and to me those people often seem like other people - previous incarnations of me who are nothing like me essentially. I feel as if I have lived at least four lives. But I have to remember all those people, what they went through, what they learned and why they changed, because if I don't, I might find myself reliving the past and that is something I absolutely never want to do.
I do not romanticise my past. I never want to be 18 again, or 26, or 37, no thanks, those days are gone.
I sometimes wonder who I will be next.
I want to work in academia, and I look at other academics around me - especially now that my desk is in the sessional's room, I look at how they dress and the expressions on their face and I'm not wholly sure I want to change to be like them. I want to do what they do, but can I really change that much? I don't know...