One upon a time I was quiet. I listened more than I talked. I observed the room, the interactions, the people. I took it all in and learned from it.
I'm a little less quiet now but I still prefer to listen and observe than to be the Chatty Cathy in the middle of the fray.
One upon a time I was vegetarian. For 18 years I did not touch fish, chicken, pork or beef.
I now eat meat regularly and lust after a good steak - medium rare.
One upon a time I had short hair and I wore mostly black, dark blue and grey.
Now I have long hair and covet bright colours. The brighter the better.
Why is that?
When I think back on my life to this point, I don't see my past self as a stranger. When I look back I just see 38 years of me. And yet, looking at pictures and thinking about the stages of my life, my past self is in many ways very different from my current one.
Despite the changes in eating habits, hair length and colour choices, I like to think, at the core, that I am who I am. The outer shell may morph and change but what's inside is pretty stable.
Can you tell it's the first day of school in Canada? Labour day weekend just passed - the time of year when I can't help but think about new beginnings and reflect on the past. I love the beginning of September - it always feels like a fresh slate has been put before me - ready for whatever I choose to write on it.
My journey to this point has been eventful and the journey from here will most likely continue on the same path.
But it's my journey.
And I don't regret a step so far.