As Halloween is just around the corner I have been thinking about all the Halloween’s from my past. I can remember many, if not all, of my Halloween costumes. Most of these costumes revolved around princess costumes and fairy costumes, later I was Alice in Wonderland and Snow White,. One year I was a hotsy-totsy witch with a blond wig carrying a small broom and in college I was Raggedy Ann. In my 50’s I decided to be a benevolent Queen for the foreseeable future and I now wear a diamond tiara when answering the doorbell while confronting little goblins and ghosts and Star Wars’ characters at my front door. Queen Elizabeth II is 92 so perhaps I can get away with this costume for a few more years. I realize that in our lifetime we also seem to be wearing costumes. The baby costume from birth to school age, then comes elementary school and high school, next college and then as a single working man or woman, marriage, children, change jobs and more work, then often retirement, becoming grandparents and if we happen to be very lucky we become great-grandparents. Then on we go to the great biggest mystery of all … the afterlife.
I recently read an article about the Luna Moth. It was fascinating reading. The Luna Moth has six stages of their life cycle … well seven if you include their mating as adults. The Luna Moth starts out as an egg then it hatches from the egg to a larva and then 4-th instar larva to a 5th –instar larva to crate a cocoon, to a pupa leaving the cocoon behind, to a moth that must wait to dry it’s wings. The adult Luna Moth then mates.
Thinking about costumes and the Luna Moth I came to the conclusion that we really have our own life cycle and we actually do sort of wear costumes that fit us for a time in our lives and yes, we have to cast off those costumes and evolve much like the moth, to a new form … to reach our final stage, the stage that we were meant to reach since we were born or hatched as the case may be.
Looking back, I see that I have formed opinions and reached conclusions at different stages of my life that seemed right and reasonable at the time. I made decisions that were right for me in my 20’s. I knew what I thought and what I thought was right and perfect for the time and for me. I was in a kind of cocoon that fit perfectly. Then before I knew it I was uncomfortable and I started growing out of that particular single girl costume and I left the single girl behind me in the past where she belonged. I no longer belonged there. My ideas had changed. What I knew for sure had changed.
So I got married and had children. This was right and felt right. The part of wife and mother was right and this costume fit perfectly for many, many years. I had strong beliefs about marriage and children and life that were very strong and I knew exactly how people should be and how life should be and right was right and nothing could change my believes. Yet, strange as it seems this life went along for a while and it too became uncomfortable. Slowly I grew out of this stage and had to cast off another layer. My ideas that I knew were right started changing again. So one more costume didn’t look exactly like me anymore.
Before I knew it my children had grown and I was working and voila, I am a senior. I am just getting comfortable in this particular skin. Have I changed from baby, to single girl, to wife and mother, to working senior woman over sixty? Yes, a lot of things have changed. Lot’s of my old ideas and opinions have changed and some have dramatically changed. I have learned that I am not as sure or as positive about anything anymore. One big change is that I cannot and do not judge people or situations unless I have lived it myself. Let’s just say that the more I know the more I realize I still have to learn. Right and wrong aren’t as easy to figure out as they used to be when I was young and knew the answer to everything. I now see my children facing the same larva stage that I faced so many costumes or so many cycles ago.
This final stage isn’t over yet; at least I hope it isn’t over. I am just starting to fit into this particular costume and it feels pretty good so far.
Until Next Week…