Who am I? Or, maybe the better question might be, what am I? It's a question (in its various forms) I have asked myself most of my life. It is both philosophical and practical in nature, that question.
Currently, I am 63. But that is my chronological age, based upon the knowledge of the year of my birth. Somewhere in my psyche, I am only 19. Alice Cooper said it this way...
Lines form on my face and hands
Lines form from the ups and downs
I'm in the middle without any plans
I'm a boy and I'm a man
The song didn't come out until I was 24 or 25, though. But it hit me then. I was 19 when I entered the Navy. Emotionally, I stopped aging at that point. I hung onto 19 somewhere deep inside my brain. I don't think I was alone in doing that because I saw a number of people leave the military and try to return to the same point in their lives that existed when they entered. They eventually moved on, I think, or at least appeared to.
I tried. I got married, I had a son, I stuck with a job. I tried to build a man's identity. But I was never really comfortable with it. Like Peter Pan, I never wanted to grow up. So I have resisted it all my life.
Over time, I have become convinced that each of us is several "people." These "people" are important points in our lives. When around my father, I never felt more than 10 years old, sometimes only 5. It was difficult for me when I had to become almost his guardian, to look after his finances, make decisions for him (and my mother) when he became unable to.
My father was a tall man, 6'4", and he had towered over me until I was 16 and started to grow rapidly. Even then, I only reached 5'11" so he was still significantly taller. But in my mind, all my life, he towered over me as he did when I was 5 when he was more than twice my height.
With my mother I was "older", late teens maybe, protective of her. That stayed with me. It helped me when we, Faye and I, became her primary caregivers as her Alzheimer's advanced. But I still wasn't quite grown up, still not yet a Man.
I appear to be having a philosophical week...
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago