Change becomes you
Being the same person over time is not about holding on to every aspect of your current self but about changing purposefully
By Kevin Tobia
‘Six years have passed since I discovered that my son was using drugs,’ wrote Vincenzina Urzia in Anthony and Me (2014), a memoir of her son’s drug addiction. ‘I was really sad all the time and devastated, not to mention how worried I was about his wellbeing. My son was not the same person anymore.’
This is a puzzling idea, for someone to become ‘not the same person any more’. The phrase smacks of philosophy – perhaps even obscurity. Yet it is simultaneously apt, capturing the emotive sense of no longer recognising someone whom we once knew. Many have witnessed someone they loved change so profoundly that the person remaining seems an entirely different one.