Thursday, October 23, 2008

Existentia... what was I saying again?

I'm a young mom. I'll admit it. I wonder sometimes if my kids would have been better off with a slightly older mom, one with slightly more life experience/maturity/etc. It certainly would have been different for them.

I know it would have been different because I often look back on things I've done--ten years, one year, one month--and realize how differently I'd handle the situation now. So I know I've grown, changed, and matured, all hopefully for the better, each step one layer closer to unshelling that gem of a person inside.

My question is, then, is there really a gem hidden inside? That is to say, is the some solid person under there that I will eventually find, dust off, and set free to conquer the world in all her wisdom? Do we ever reach an age where the curve of our maturation has settled to such a point that we are no longer really changing at all? Or is this process of unshelling one that will continue until we run out of shells, only to find nothing there at all (which, I assume, would correspond nicely to our transition to the next frontier: "Oh, I see, I'm all out of material. Restart, please!")?

The reason this question has been weighing so heavily on my mind of late is the ever present ELECTION we are all enduring. I'm for a particular candidate, who, while wholly qualified, has much less experience than the other, also wholly qualified, candidate. But when people bring the discrepancy between their two experience levels to my attention, I just don't really care. "I know," I say, "but O**** does have experience, and he will have lots of help in office, and I can't imagine that at their stage of the game it will make that much difference anyway."

But it all depends: have they both either reached or come close enough to that inner gem, or is one only halfway through that unshelling process that the other has worked the rest of their life to complete? And if that one is farther out, will he regret these big decisions that he makes? Will we regret these big decisions that he makes? Or, then, is it just as likely that the more experienced fellow will regret things too?

Okay, so I'm full of questions, existential questions that seem too circuitous to manage, to big to fully comprehend. But it's about my regrets too. Will I ever reach a point where I stay the same? Or will I constantly be shifting, changing, growing, right to the very end? Because that's a nice thought too, in that I can also be improving (and, trust me, there is obviously lots of room). But my kids weren't really meant to be some guinea pig experiment thrown in the mix.

Sigh. Double sigh. And now it's time for chocolate. Because of all the things I've looked back and wondered over, eating chocolate never seems to be one of them.


Melissa said...

I hope the chocolate did the trick.

regina♥ said...

i think we never do stop developing, learning about ourselves. maybe till our brain dies.

Vickie J said...

OK, just had to comment on this one. I firmly believe that we never stop changing, growing, learning, examining new attitudes. Each life event changes us in some ways. I have even (gasp) changed some long-held beliefs as a result of this process. How sad it would be if it were otherwise. Just my opinion.