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In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni” — “We go wandering at night and are consumed by fire.”

I love palindromes. Numbers cement themselves into my memory via sometimes complex calculations from seeing or creating palindromes. As “Happy Palindrome Day” skittered across the internet and Facebook, I realized how often Life is like a palindrome.

Things in my life have changed since the summer full of The Oat Project tasks (2007), yes. My marriage is done, I’ve had two different jobs, I’ve gained experiences I could never have predicted. (My daughter is now 13–OMG!!!–not 7) But as I daily face the earthshaking effects of the death of my mother and sister-in-law, and of months of helping Mom through the end of cancer, I have definitely fundamentally changed…but in so many ways I haven’t changed at all from that girl from six years ago.

In the original, unedited manuscript, I see a girl who was so naive, so inexperienced, so much in her own bubble. I have affection for her, but I often shake my head at her assumptions and wishes. I thought by now, “living outside the box,” I would have life all figured out, be wiser and more savvy. But in so many ways, I’m almost as naive, just as trusting and optimistic, and definitely just as clueless. Many of you see me as a “wild child,” an example to you all of how to be wild in the midst of everyday life. But really, at the end of the day, I’m more like that girl six years ago than anything else.

Is this good? Sure. Am I glad to realize this? Sure. Does it feel absolutely shocking? Yes. Dang, I thought I’d be Different. Instead, in many ways, I am a palindrome.

Love and hugs, Jene’

 

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