The other night, someone said to me that they wondered what I was like before my mother died.
I didn't know how to answer the question.
Have I changed in the past 10 months? Certainly. Would I have changed over the last 10 months, regardless of the loss? I think so. Maybe not the same way, but people have a way of evolving, like it or not.
Maybe it's a question best posed to my friends -- at least those who have known me for some time -- seeing as it's hard for me to really see the difference from the inside. But sometimes I feel the difference -- it's as if I stopped being one version of myself in the early morning hours of February 7. Sometimes I feel older and more serious -- but not all the time. Sometimes I feel more inclined to stand up for myself, since my mom's not around to (1) do it for me or (2) push me to do things. And on a more noticeable level, I'm sure I'm a little more quiet, a little more closed-off, a little more cautious, a little more introspective -- and a whole lot more sad.
Still, the two changes that I am most certain of are that I've become less inclined to believe that things always work out in the end -- they don't -- and that, no matter what, I am capable of picking up the pieces and moving forward. Still, those are lessons that I'd rather not have learned, given the cost.