Throughout my life I have changed my views multiple times. Is it because I’m wishy-washy or is it something else?
Life experience has a tendency to change one’s mind about things. We meet people, we read more, world events disturb our old outlook, and we go through our own personal traumas. We evolve.
At least, I do. Do you?
Someone recently accosted me regarding a joke I made about people being so ridiculously touchy suddenly in this current political landscape we find ourselves in. Now I was tempted to use the word “attack” rather than “accosted,” though I don’t want to exaggerate this thing, not that one word is so much less effective than the other. Some have called me overly sensitive and melodramatic, and they might be right because everything I experience is to the Nth degree. For example, there are people who enjoy books, and then there is me, falling in love with books and their authors on a regular basis, and the same thing occurs with songs and the singers who belt them out. Similarly, while I do get annoyed, my initial reaction is often a burning hot anger before I take a moment to breathe and realize whatever set me off may not be quite as devastating as it first seemed.
So as I was saying, someone recently accosted me. It was a woman I used to know years ago when I was young and wounded but naive at the same time. Back then I was super touchy myself (even more touchy than I am today if that’s possible), and she apparently still is. You see, I used to agree with her politically but no longer do. Perhaps I took her comment to heart more than I should have, but it felt like an accusation, a “what’s happened to you?” sort of jab.
What’s happened to me? Allow me to explain. I’ve lived and learned. I’m human, and I’m ever-evolving, a work in progress. To tell you the truth, I hope I continue to evolve until the day I die. I don’t ever want to stop learning and understanding. I want to fill my head with knowledge and forever work to improve myself. I want to stop reacting and start listening, take a moment to apply common sense, empathize with both sides of the coin.
I want to evolve until there’s no more evolving left to accomplish.
So attack me if you will for changing my mind, but if we all walked through the journey that is life without transitioning from ignorant to wise, close-minded to open-minded, and from blindly reactive to thoughtful, then what is the point?
Perhaps one day this old friend will also evolve. Perhaps she won’t. I can only speak for myself when I say I’m a work in progress, like my current manuscript that I chip away at every day, adding more, editing more before editing again and again until it’s as polished as it’s ever going to be, and then I’ll edit it once more.
Am I polished yet? Not even close. I am and may forever be
D.M. Miller is the author of the interfaith “Heart” series as well as the poetry collection, Dandelion Fuzz and memoir, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity. The product of an interfaith marriage herself, Miller’s work explores the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry and love. See her books on Amazon.