Over this weekend past, I underwent a lot of change.
Truth be told, I secretly underwent a lot of change when I wasn’t paying attention, and last weekend it all came out.
I have this inner lake. Vast, dark, still waters. Epiphanies and important things and events will sometimes plop in and make ripples, and the sands at the bottom shift. It can be moments or days before I feel the shifts.
Last weekend was very shifty.
I gave my ratlings up for adoption. I’ve always considered myself an animal person. I wanted to have lots of cats, rats, birds, fish, maybe even a dog or two. But at some point, that shifted. The pets I had became too much. Given that the ratlings were also terrified of the cats, and I couldn’t spend enough time with them to soothe their fears, I realized the best thing to do was give them up – even though it broke my heart.
My identity shifts. I am no longer an animal person.
I babysat my sweet adorable toddler “nephew” overnight. He was his sweet adorable self and we had a lot of fun (and a lot of baths). But by the time his parents picked him up, I was utterly exhausted. At one point, he was screaming his fool head off because I had to change his diaper. He was screaming and screaming and wiggling and wiggling. I said, “Darling, if you hate having your diaper changed so much, being still makes far more sense. If you’re still, I can finish much faster, and we can get back to playing much sooner.”
I realized I was talking to someone much older than he. A toddler doesn’t communicate like I do, like my pre-teen son does. And it frustrated me severely!
After I finished changing him, I sat back on my heels and watched him continue to scream and thrash. He was so caught up in his protests, he hadn’t realized that I was finished. I watched, he screamed. After a moment, he rolled and found that he could move, so he stopped screaming – immediately – and went on his merry way. I continued sitting, breathing deeply. I felt different, more clear.
My identity shifts. I no longer want more children.
We think of identity as static. We are who we are, and that rarely fundamentally changes. Sure, we tweak. We grow. We make adjustments. But we rarely, if ever, make changes in the who-we-are part of who we are.
But shifts in who we are make us more real. More clear. More open and more honest. Acknowledging our inner shifting sands brings us clarity and hones our knowledge – not just of our selves – but of the world around us. Because we are our world. Our change brings change.