Bittersweet symmetry

It just occurred to me that there is an interesting symmetry to my life. I was kicked out of my home at a certain age. I tend to keep my age to myself, because I have suffered from ageism, in part because I was a minor when I was forced to live on my own (a couple of times, actually). At any rate, at a certain age, I was no longer living with my mother.

That is substantial, because my mother was the only consistent thing in my life. And at some point, that was no longer the case. Directly correlated, I am sure, is the fact that the same thing happened to her, but at an earlier time in her life. It is kinda sickening and beautiful that we fulfill these weird programs we are given during our formative years. One would not be faulted for thinking that the more observant of us would be able to break these cycles, but I would posit that we are actually more susceptible to following our direct ancestral paths. Allow me this moment of arrogance in asserting I am observant; it is kind of my thing.

At any rate, at a certain age, I was on my own. And when my age was double that, I had a child.

We spend our youth looking at the face of our parents. Our caretakers have this mystical place in our lives. As has been studied in the past, they are our stand-in for the god-figure. They are our all, and our primary motivation is to please them.

I know this from experience and child development classes. What I didn’t learn until just recently was that genetics have their own psychological toll.

I spent half my life studying my mother. I spent another half learning who I was. And now I have another person that looks like my mother. Now that we are at the stage of development where Emma is testing out different ways to emote, playing off the energy and reactions of the people around eir, I see her more and more.

It is a fascinating experience, and I will admit, I may be addicted to it. It is not an everyday experience to feel the tightening of one’s chest as one’s brain breaks causality and superimposes childhood memories onto the present in real time, while also being tempered with a flood of peptides and absolute love for a person I barely know, but nonetheless want to spend the rest of my life with.

I can’t help but wonder if this was the experience my mother had so many years ago. I am my grandparent. My parent is my child. We are all the same, and we are making the best of what we’ve been handed.

Awe and wonder can only begin to describe what I feel.