You really don’t know who you’ll be after any stretch of time. The things that are important to you change: Your needs, your habits, your tastes.
When I consider cities I’d like to live in now, one of the things I consider is whether it has any museums or galleries. That is something that was never on my check list before; I wasn’t a museum-wandering person before. I didn’t know that standing in giant, ornate spaces was something I’d find comforting. Even those museums that are full of shrines to empire and colonialism have whole floors and wings of affirming things. (I bypass the white men in the first floor paintings of the National Portrait Gallery entirely and head straight to the 3rd floor where there is a glorious panoramic Mickalene Thomas waiting for me. Also there is an original Carl Van Vechten portrait of James Baldwin and an extremely realistic nearly life-size oil painting of Toni Morrison; I always put my face very close to that one, though I’ve neglected to remember the painter’s name.)
Now that I’ve discovered them I can’t imagine not having at least a dozen free museums in my area to choose from. Then I remember the years and years I went without having those kinds of options and think that I am being cute, acting as if they are so important all of a sudden. But why can’t they be? Why does it matter what I wanted before if this is what I want now? I feel some pull toward those old desires, as if abandoning them is a betrayal but what kind of loyalty is that, to stay tethered to an idea of yourself even when it doesn’t fit anymore? A loyalty without love, only duty. Sounds like something I could do without.
I don’t want to become a museum of my old desires, & things I used to like…
I want to be alive and growing.