The thought that came to me in the shower this morning was nothing incredibly profound but as I woke up and scrubbed the sleep off of my face, I reflected back on all the different "Me's" I have been over the years. The little kid in preschool and elementary school. The boy at summer camp each year. The pastors kid at church. The 'growing up too quick' guy in middle school and the teenager I was in high school. The sports teams, different churches, circles of friends, early college years and different jobs that I have worked. My time served in the Navy, from boot camp, BESS and A-school, to the different duty stations and boats. Who I was and the man I have become when I finished my contract and received my discharge. The guy that came back to Kansas City. The person I was when I lived in Charleston, SC or Chicago, IL. All the different spaces and places I have lived in and the hundreds, if not thousands, of people I have met over the course of these three decades.
All these various people met and knew me. We all shared things in common despite all of our differences. Our lives rubbed shoulders and the activities, words and hours shared helped us to define ourselves and each other. We all received and traded parts of ourselves and in that exchange learned about each other and struggled to define just who we were, who we wanted to be and who we could be.
If we went back to all those different places and had the time to meet again all of the different people that knew us "back when", I wonder what that would look like? The changes and choices we have all made have grown us up into different people now, but in many ways, that same spark or energy that illustrates or illuminates us as people, as individuals, is still there. Time, years and life change us all, to be sure, but we are still ourselves. We just expand, grow and adapt to what we know about ourselves, each other and what we seek as important at those times in our lives help frame the picture of who we were and who we are now.
What would all those people say? If I could ask them, or someone could ask for me, who would they say Daemon was? Who is he? Could they fit that into a sentence? What has their experience been? Was I a good person? What was the best thing about me? What would you have told me then but never did? What would they tell me now?
The funny thing about time is...it never stops. It keeps moving us all, each day, slowly into the future. I have seen myself the elusive and slippery quality that time can have. As I age, things do seem to be speeding up. Months turn into years and before we know it, so much time has passed us by. People, relationships, community and friendships can be the same way at times. We share the moments we have together. Some stick around, due to the nature of the relationships, friendships, family, choices and circumstances we share, but eventually we all pass each other by. The impressions and pictures we leave with those barely known can look vastly different than the daily journey that some of us share together over the years. The subtle changes don't seem as drastic or as altering when spread out over a long period of time, but for those who haven't crossed paths in years or decades, sometimes the effect of time, aging, life and maturity can be shocking.
I woke up as myself today. I have done so for the entirety of my life. I hope to do the same tomorrow. But this me is different than the one yesterday. I am just too close to it all to see the minute changes. What Me am I now? What Me am I becoming? What Me will people see today? Which Me will they remember long after we both have gone our own ways?
The best one possible, if I have anything to do with it.