In her mind-bending meditation on what makes you and your young self the same person despite a lifetime of changes, philosopher Rebecca Goldstein pondered the philosophical conundrum of our “integrity of identity that persists over time, undergoing changes and yet still continuing to be.” Psychologists, meanwhile, have demonstrated that we’re woefully flawed at predicting the priorities of our future selves. Even so, Joan Didion was right to counsel in her classic essay on keeping a notebook that “we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.” But the most confounding thing about our relationship with the evolution of our own selves is that we tend to romanticize our youth even if we don’t find the versions of ourselves that inhabited it “attractive company” at all. This conundrum is one of the many human perplexities Meghan Daum, one of the finest essayists of our time, explores in The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion (public library) — a magnificent collection of personal essays examining “the tension between primal reactions and public decorum” and aiming at “a larger discussion about the way human experiences too often come… Read full this story
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How We Become Who We Are: Meghan Daum on Nostalgia, Aging, and Why We Romanticize Our Imperfect Younger Selves have 269 words, post on www.brainpickings.org at December 9, 2014. This is cached page on Movie Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.