Punctuated Equilibrium

I had a happy childhood… didn’t I? Yes, I did. Contextually happy. But I can’t say for certain, because I am not what I was. A rat cannot remember what it was like to be a fish – although they share much of the same genes.

My evolution happened through punctuated equilibrium. It was not gradual. Well maybe it was, but like a staircase rather than a ramp. Events happened – they hit me, changed me, shifted me into a new species. Evolution involves death, which I have experienced only metaphorically (and indirectly), but the principle is the same. Survival of the fittest. Latent traits, shoved to the fore, points of impact, reshaping, reforming, reinventing.

Leaving home, quitting uni, love, full time work, poverty, the death of a friend, releasing the inner writer, parenthood, finally finding my ambition.

I am not who I was. I am not what I was.

All of this inspired by Exile on Main Street, the Stones album released in the year of my birth. Nostalgia is painful, strange. The days of carefree youth (was I ever ‘carefree’?). I remember happy times, I remember excrutiating times. I don’t remember which occurred with greater frequency – because I am not who I was. Contextually happy. As now.

2 minutes after writing the above, the song ‘Happy’ started playing.


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