My husband and I had the privilege to see Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts last weekend. We had an unexpectedly amazing time that I suppose only the Beatles could induce. The group took the crowd on an adventure through time beginning with the Beatles playing the Ed Sullivan Show and ending with their phenomenal final album, Abbey Road.
We laughed, we sang, we watched the mostly older crowd smile and tear up to the tunes of an iconic group who simply claimed to “get lucky” as a band. The groups’ resemblance in physicality and sound was remarkable, and I felt incredibly lucky to be able to hear music by the Beatles played live. Even though I consider the Beatles an important part of my past—when I defined myself—I certainly couldn’t go see the real deal in concert. For this reason, we felt grateful and even more enthused than planned.
As I sat there listening to the second half of the show—the Beatles psychedelic Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—I had a feeling about my former self, my future self, and my current self. This kind of life experience allowed me to form a revitalized viewpoint on life and the many shifts we make from one self to the next. We often have little preparation or awareness until we play our own retrospective.
Since that moment during “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da,” I have pondered the freedom and carelessness that comes with youth. Powerful, often defining, moments are unscrupulously blended with immaturity and drama. This stage of my life happened in my teens and twenties—a time when I was studying to become a teacher, meeting my husband for the first time, moving constantly, getting married, exploring my career, meeting and loving fantastic people, and most importantly, finding myself and what mattered.
I don’t have many regrets, just noted events that provided learning and growth. I grew up with my husband, rather than alone. We got married young, and yes, it can work if you want it to. We had and probably always will have a unique influence on each other based on this choice.
Enter my thirties. I became a mom at thirty. Most things changed but some stayed the same. I started to appreciate things differently and also began searching for that “next thing.” We wanted a home, wanted children…wanted that reality that most of us seek. We found it, and respect that our lives have greatly changed, but we feel luckier now than before. Well, most of the time. It’s like our former selves are alive within us and come out from time to time; yet, our new selves are fuller because we have more to live for, and more reason to be our best selves.
So while I miss my former self from time to time, I appreciate the self-control and introspection that I gained—not just with time—but from motherhood. And for the first time in my life, I am content with my current self.
The inevitable changes that life throws our way feel more pronounced when a new life suddenly inhabits the space and energy that you worked especially hard to create. So I work to embrace the many selves that each of my family member’s inhabit, and shift to, day by day, which will only grow.
I actually look forward to my future self, when my son hopefully sings his current favorite song to me—what he calls his favorite “Beat Bugs” song, “Here Comes the Sun.” And I wonder from time to time if someone will still need me or feed me when I’m 64. Then I look at my boys and put myself back in the present, fears dissolved.