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Ice, Water, Steam

The Daily Post Writing Challenge

For this week’s writing challenge, take on the theme of H2O. What does it mean to be the same thing, in different forms?

This prompt keeps invading my thoughts. My first response was that whichever form of H20 I am depends a lot on my mood. The truth is, however, the more I thought about it, the longer my perspective became. While I’m sure I have brief moments of jockeying back and forth between forms, in stepping back, I see a pattern for my whole life.

Birth to early teens: I figure I spent most of my time being steam. Opinions aren’t formed yet, haven’t seen too much of life, easy going was pretty much the mood of my early years.

Late teens to early thirties: Life began to condense. As I crawled out of my family nest and got acquainted with the world at large, I turned into water and did a lot of flowing around other people, other activities, places, jobs, new family. Not yet sure what I believed for certain, I was pretty open to new experiences and  accepting other people for who they were, what they believed.

Mid-thirties to early forties: All those experiences consolidated into one hell of a large block of ice. Collections of opinions, routines, beliefs, values, things other people constantly butted their heads against. And you could NOT melt me come hell or high water because I KNEW I was right and my way was the only way.

Late forties to late fifties: I’d had enough experiences by then to realize there are two sides to every story. No one is always right or always wrong. Especially me. This was a thawing period for me. The water began to trickle again.

Early sixties and beyond: The water that began to flow again around others and encompass new ideas,  is heating up once more. As I’m relearning to accept people for who they are, make the best of bad situations and the most of good, my value system and beliefs have shifted accordingly. The misting process has begun where I feel as if I’m becoming lighter and more natural with life in general, more like I was as a child.

Will I come full circle and make it all the way to full steam again? Yeah, I think so. For one thing, life is a whole lot more agreeable when you finally figure out you’re not infallible. It has a way of taking the arrogance out of your soul, a way of leveling the playing field with others. Now I look forward to hearing opinions that aren’t necessarily mine, meeting new people with lifestyles vastly different from what I’m used to. Life ahead feels more like an adventure and not so much a constant roller coaster of H20 forms. Life’s a circle after all, and I’m really glad I can see my old stompin’ ground up ahead again. It makes me feel more like the me I used to be.
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