On Becoming

My sixth-grade science class had a pet snake named Lucy. She was a corn snake—almost butterscotch in color, with red saddlemarks down her back. She spent most of her time coiled under a heat lamp but had a knack for pedagogical disruption.

Every couple months, we’d arrive to find that Lucy had slithered right out of her own skin, leaving behind a translucent, Lucy-shaped shell. I marveled at these liberations: this casting off, revealing new vibrancy that would itself be cast away.

We undergo similar transformations, growing and shedding old parts of ourselves perhaps more often than we’d care to admit. We never really finish. There’s no milestone at which we say, “There! I’m finally me.”

[ November 2016 ]

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