Earlier this week I found myself rummaging through my strong box in search of one of my kids birth certificates. The process of gathering the few hundred documents the motor vehicle department requires in order for him to get his driver’s license is my least favorite task as a mom. As I searched, I realized two things. First, my system of keeping important papers organized is atrocious. A great gap exists between how organized I like to think I am and how organized I actually am. The fact that all the papers are in one location is notable, however I always seem to have trouble finding what I need. Second, going through my important files is like digging up a time capsule.
My quest to find what I was looking for became a trip down memory lane. I did find the birth certificate, but only after I came across one of the most hilarious and equally horrifying things I could imagine. I found the file that contained my expired driver’s licenses. We all know that DMV photos have a well-deserved reputation for being awful. Once I got past the horror of the goggles I had on my face, I could not help think about how much I have changed over the years.
The concept of change is something that most of us can understand regardless of our life experience. Seeing the photo got me thinking about the process of change that happens we each experience our own journey through the years. Sure, I look different. We all do. Remember the 80’s? Once I stopped laughing I stopped to reflect on all of the ways I have changed, mostly on the inside. Obvious changes notable include a new hair cut or color or a home renovation. I have been on this earth for 44 years. While in some ways I am the same, in many ways I am a very different person than I was in my teens or twenties. Maturity and life is the ultimate instigator for change.
I realized that for the majority of my life I was not aware of every single change as it was taking place. Life happens and we all have business to take care of. What about the changes that begin when a child becomes a teen or when a young adult goes out on their own for the first time? How about the change that happens when people become parents. Sure, the way life looks changes, but how does this change us on the inside? Not all are obvious or visible in pictures.
The subtle changes that occur in each of us as life happens is something that I am fascinated by, especially in the past 5 years. Yes, many noticeable changes took place in my life, but I am still in the process of recognizing just how much there has been. I suspect that my situation did kick up more dirt than would have been had I not come out. However, I also believe that my personal growth would have been transformed regardless of whether I discovered I was gay or not. Our potential and journey to personal growth is independent of our socio economic status or sexual orientation.
Our goal should be to embrace the ebbs and flows of life and to pay attention to the way our lives play out until we take our last breath. This is a very lofty goal, but it is an important lesson to remember. We should be plugged in as our life unfolds and always strive to make progress in the areas of personal growth and understanding not only who we have been, but also who we hope to become. My becoming was not always a pretty process. I have the slide show to prove it. If you want a good chuckle take a look for yourself. Dawn’s Slide Show. I have viewed this many times and am still trying to figure out why it took me so long to figure out I was a lesbian. Better late than never I guess.