I heard the phrase ‘still constantly becoming’ recently when listening to an interview about the author Madeleine L’Engle and her diaries (see the link below). It immediately resonated for me. It described exactly how I feel. I am still very much discovering who I am and what I most care about. I further searched the term and found a woman online who teaches courses to help people find emotional healing. I guess that applies, too. But I loved my first impression of the phrase – of a human spirit still unfolding; still emerging; still excitedly running towards the unlimited potential inside each of us. It implies that our inner child never truly grows up. That idea fills me with so much lightness and happiness.
In general, I feel that there is an expectation in our society that older adults are ‘finished’. We have become whoever we were meant to be for better or for worse. There is nothing new for us. That our potential is finite. And there is an implication that we should move over in order to give our youth their opportunity to become all that they can be.
But I think behind this concept there is a flawed logic. A short term view of life. A scarcity mindset. Sure, some resources are finite like fossil fuels. For millennia, food was often a scarce resource for populations. Fresh water is a scarce resource for many in this world. But when there’s an expectation that older people must get out of the way of younger people so that the kids can get “all” the opportunities, that suggests that there is a finite number of opportunities. Scarcity thinking is a human survival mechanism in physical times of need. It really seems to drive our capitalist economic ideologies, too. But most opportunities, in and of themselves, are limited only by our capacity for imagination and curiosity.
There are infinite opportunities for each of us to grow more self-aware; more confident; more wise; more knowledgeable in our areas of expertise; more committed to our passions.
To be fair, there are adults who believe they are ‘done’ and that they should stand back and watch the younger generations do their thing. They have internalized a closed mindset. Sure, there is an innovative energy and optimism in our youth. But why must any generation stop learning, striving or dreaming? How dreary and sad is that world? How dangerous is that world?
Ultimately, it is each person’s choice as to which kind of mindset they live. Me? I choose to see myself as ‘still becoming’ until the day I die. I’m excited to see how I turn out! Aren’t you the least bit curious to discover who you might become?
About Eliza: she is “still becoming” a versatile and multifarious writer, a comedian and a ladies dress size 12. 🙂