every day, it seems as if the ground shifts under my own self-perception:
I gain new entries to the endless encyclopedia of memories and fears and observations.
but it demands a title change, a fundamental recognition of transformation.
yet, the events, the plot, your recognition of my change languish in their similarity.
sometimes it feels as if I’m an adult to myself and a child to the world.
I’ve become markedly different, but every change is invariably internal:
I carry few of the society’s determined milestones for growth.
my perspective is in constant flux, my life relatively stagnant.

there’s this moment when you’re talking about something,
and you step back to realize it’s completely unknown to your actual experience.
there’s the secondhand life we live in literature, music, and all the other entertainment we care to create,
but the actual presence of the moment,
in all its transience and fragility, is still a mystery.
you can’t capture falling in love and rewind it on a television set.
we may believe we’ve created life by proxy,
but the substance of life, the sense of significance we feel ever so often
is entirely uncapturable.

so, while I realize my own encounters with the world have been so limited,
with vast swathes of the human experience I have never trod,
I still see my own personal terrain changing shape day by day.
I’ve become a sort of narcissistic professional — well trained to understand myself.

yet, one fear/hope/idea lingers with me:
when we venture out to connect with some small part of world,
when we become an adult in the eyes of all,
do you lose yourself?
by which, do you lose the self-concept your isolation from the greater experiences of life allowed you to create?
can we only truly know ourselves when we are not forced to change? to adapt? to experience?
is stagnancy necessary for understanding?

Post written by AnneMarie Caballero

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