I found out today that an acquaintance from high school is very ill, possibly dying. It's actually the second time I've suddenly lost a friend from that time; the first was about three years ago. What surprises and amazes me is that while my relationships with the two people were incredibly different, all the same things came flooding back. The memories of who I was then, the comparison of who I am now, became a steady stream as if someone had just unplugged a pipe. And oddly, a lot of my thoughts weren't so much about my friend or my acquaintance as the other people who knew them, and who they might have grown up to be.

The Druidcraft Tarot version of the Six of Cups illustrates it here: there's a part of old identities that do stay with us no matter where we go. The rough, awkward times especially, the times when we were first sorting through all the unpolished knobby bits towards figuring out who we really are. You see it in sitcoms, the joke about how the polished, accomplished person used to be "really awkward" as a kid. A little part of us may always worry that we are who we were, not who we become. If things were especially awkward and painful - as a lot of childhood often is - then we might worry our accomplishments are even a sort of mask under the "real thing".

I was told once that everyone has a story, something about their experience, their own unique world, that transforms them and leads them towards their purpose. I'm inclined to agree. We aren't just our present. We're our past, slowly taking the first steps into the light, forming the imperfectly perfect foundation of what we're going to be. We're our future, looking back from a lifetime of experience, able to see our moments of fear as blips on a radar of evolution. We're alternate roads, things we might have done - or not done, or feared to do - that turned us into different people. Our life is a constant road of evolving, changing, becoming, regressing, and becoming again. We are such brilliant beings. And we contain multitudes.

Everything we are now is a little bit of who we were. Everything we were is a bit of what we're going to be. And it is all important. Every single sad, awkward bit. Every bright, triumphant moment. The roads we've traveled are a part of us, even when we think we've left them behind. But that's all right. In fact, often, that's the only way it should be.

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