Oftentimes since my dad died, I have reflected that I feel like I am not the same person anymore. Something is different— all things are different. Maybe instead of being multiple things, it’s one significant change, like putting on a set of glasses with terribly strange lenses that you can never take off. Everything looks different now.
The other day while I was meditating, I had that thought— I want to be that person again. I want her back, that more-naive girl who had a dad, who had always had both of her wonderful parents. All of her perceived (rather untested) strength. Innocence and ignorance. For all her half-hearted searching, she was barely scratching the surface, yet perceiving it as depth. Like a girl up to her neck in water, thinking it deep, but just ahead of her is a drop-off into the fathomless ocean. Girl, you have no idea.
And this time, for the first time, I thought, No, I can’t have that old me back. That’s water under the bridge now. I can create the new Katie in any way I want, but I can’t have the old one back.
It was a heartbreaking thought— that loss of myself on top of the loss of my dad— but it was also a releasing thought, the final closing of a door and at the same time, a fleeting glimpse of the uncharted land through a new window. A ringing of a bell.
And now, now and then, I am turning this over in my head. Who is this new person that I want to be? What creative, active, and self-loving habits does she have? She’s a person who listens to herself and stays open and vulnerable, yet protective of her precious self as well. She also takes refuge in the parts of herself that are still constant, that will never change.
Yes, there is still sadness and loss here. That does not stop good from happening. Destruction does not prevent future creation; it makes creation unavoidable, if we are to go on.