I am not the person I used to be. To me, at least, that is apparent. I was once the person who didn’t care if she spoke a bit to loudly, if she made a scene, if perhaps she even “talked to much”. I made decisions on the spur of the moment without considering anything other than how I FELT about them. Perhaps those things aren’t actually considered qualities but, that was who I was. So, it was ok. I was perhaps, quite naieve. Strangely, despite everything I have seen, all that I have been through in my not yet 30 years on this earth, I have always been naive. It so rarely occurred to me that people may not be genuine, that everything should not always be taken at face value.
I am not that person any more. Perhaps it is being a mother or getting married, moving to a new country, or being immersed in a new culture that has changed me. Perhaps it is simply the act of growing up, or perhaps even the constant strain of money worries and the stress of managing a household of five people.
Whatever it is I have changed. I am drawn, now. I am cynical, and bitter. I mock and I am scornful. I do not trust people. I try not to raise my voice in public because people “will talk“. I don’t cause a scene because it will make me look bad. I try not to say very much to people I am not more than mere acquaintances with, and I find myself abruptly ending a conversation with people I know because I am afraid they will think I talk to much. I apologise to people for even speaking in the first place.
I saw a woman walk out of the grocery store the other day. She had Gray hair, messily pinned atop her head. Her mouth was set into a cement frown, and wrinkles creased her forehead. She looked like a woman who has been beaten down, slowly but steadily through the years. A woman who has no hope, no laughter, no peace at all left inside her. And I stopped in my tracks, and I saw myself in 30 years.