by Lucy Mellor
“Looked in the mirror, I don’t know who I am anymore;
The face is familiar, but the eyes,
The eyes give it all away”
-James, Out to Get You
Everything I see touches me, and changes me in a million minute ways and refuses to let me be the same. No matter how subconscious or brief, it leaves the ghost of itself behind, and from this I create who I am, formed from every aspect of life I’ve seen or heard or tasted.
I clamour for more of the things that tasted nice on my tongue, which in itself changes over time as I ever so carefully evolve into someone new: ongoing, always. Like eating a bowl of Tesco own-brand granola, I cherry-pick my way through, keeping the bits I like and holding them close to my chest, letting the rest fall behind.
In time come things that are shiny and new, and what I once held dear is put down gently on the ground, for I loved it but I’m ready to leave it behind. Resistance is futile, and why would I try it, when every day I could wake up and experience the world slightly differently, as the previous day leaves its unique impression on my mind while I softly sleep.
I’m excited to see the person I will be tomorrow, and how she will approach the world and the problems it presents. I’m constantly changing, and renewing myself until the slow, gradual process of time turns me into someone new. Some things speed up my transformation more than others: major life events that leave a mark like no other and after which I could never be the same.
I barely recognise myself from a few years ago, such has been the impact of university and an eager jump at a chance to completely reinvent who I am. I don’t regret it, and I don’t look back wistfully, for even if I were sad that I’m not the person I used to be, I can’t be her again, and so cannot bring myself to live in a state of mourning for a girl who died at some point along the journey.
But, however unfortunately, and it is unfortunate, living this disconnected double life of home and university constantly forces me to confront the person I used to be, as for six months of the year I wake up in her bed and look at her things and use her toothbrush.
I’ve long since moved on, but have no choice other than to live a pretence when at home I find myself surrounded by people who I have less and less in common with, and understandably so, for they didn’t bear witness to the transformation I went through when challenged by a newly rich atmosphere, one arguably better suited to who I am now.
At home I regress, and whilst it may be comforting for some to be faced with the familiar, I find myself growing regrettably impatient at being forced to go backwards. One could argue the importance of looking back and taking notes from the past, even if only in order to prevent a repeat of past mistakes, of accidentally becoming someone you used to be rather than going forwards, but I’ve come to realise that life is invariably too intoxicating for me to waste careful seconds on scrutiny and analysis of times gone by.
Far more worth my minutes to focus on the here and now, lest something slip by that may have unforgivingly changed me for the better.