I heard somewhere from some unidentified source that you are an entirely new person once every seven years. The idea is that every single cell in your body is different, or rather, new, every seven years. For me, and I imagine as with most Americans, this concept carried very little significance until the third and fourth cycle of regeneration. This thought is based on adulthood legally beginning at 18 years of age, and prototypical American culture allowing young adults to extend their parental dependence through their early 20s via undergraduate studies.
In retrospect, I believe that my life was relatively stable by 21, though the term stable may not be accurate. At the time, I remember feeling like a leaf blowing in the wind. Though it was not a particularly comfortable place, I now realize that I was actually a young leaf, one that was green and hydrated. As for the blowing in the wind, it was really more like a floating in the wind, but I was extremely eager to be firmly planted somewhere … fast.
During that third cycle, and the beginnings of the fourth, everything seemed to be progressing in the direction of being planted. Then the tail end of the fourth cycle brought a terrible, terrible wind. By 28, everything I had hoped and planned was redefined, and I found myself engaged in a painful renewal process under conditions of sheer duress and an absolute lack of alternatives.
I was stripped of everything that was old and familiar, and I landed somewhere else entirely. At the very beginning of the fifth cycle, I was a weathered crumbling leaf being ripped and flung about by a cold dry wind. I suppose this might be considered the final phases of maturation, or perhaps it was more of a focused study on the solitary aspects of true independence. No matter the nomenclature, it was not and is still not a pleasant process.
Currently, I am in the middle of the fifth cycle, and everything around me is in fact entirely new. I look at photos of people that I consider as part of my support network (part friends, part colleagues), and their entry into my life are all relatively recent. The people prior to my fourth cycle have virtually disappeared, save a lingering few whose lives I witness via social media and nothing more.
I am … or have become even more so … a solitary figure. I have always tended to be a solitary person mostly by circumstance, and only sometimes by choice. It just seems strange that my cellular regenerations have made me more and more alone. Or have I simply purged myself of people that were detrimental to my internal growth, and I had previously surrounded myself with confining characters?
I am not quite sure about any of these musing, but I feel an odd sense of external happiness. To put it simply, I like the way things are in my life. Each day does offer some kind of purpose, but internally, I feel a type of depressed anxiety. I don’t feel particularly lonely in my quasi-solitude. I am involved in a committed relationship that has varying levels of co-dependence that is more dictated by a given situation rather than psychological need. If anything, it would seem that I am progressing on a truer course than I was during the third cycle. However, the internal warmth and feeling of safety is absent in the midst of this fifth cycle.
Does this mean that I am now truly jaded? Or perhaps I am being overly cautious and not allowing myself to internally recline in a more relaxed state of confidence? I don’t have anything that would even begin to lead me to something that looks like a partial answer to these questions. I just hope that by the end of the fifth cycle, and just prior to me staring down the sixth, this maniacal wind will finally cease, and I will have finally planted roots somewhere. I pray that somewhere is close, incredibly close, virtually exactly where I am now. I don’t think I can handle another wind with any measurable degree of ferocity.