Saturday, April 09, 2016

Frazier Said It: “I AM Things.”

"You could be a lot of things. I am much older than you are. I AM things.” ― Frazier

I recently ran across this quote from the TV show Frazier. Say what you will about that character’s pretentious and childish views, but sometimes he has a flash of self-awareness that can challenge us all.

Middle-aged Frazier was talking to a young woman who was more than twenty years his junior. After a whirlwind relationship he probably thought would make him feel young again, he told her he was no longer inclined to explore every possibility in life with her. His previous choices and experiences had shaped him. He was acknowledging he had already spent years becoming, and trying to force himself back to the beginning was not a good idea!

“I AM things,” he said.

Not long ago a friend of mine asked rhetorically, “How did I get here?” She was looking around at her life, her current landing place, a little disconcerted, I think. She had met her many responsibilities year after year, and then circumstances changed. She wondered just how she had reached this particular point. I don’t know everything in her mind and in her heart, but based on my own experience, I wonder if she felt as though she had been on some kind of spaceship at a docking station, but then zoomed into another universe at warp speed.

I have sometimes asked myself how I got where I am, especially as I watch younger women live out their lives, but with a slightly different question at play: What if I could have become . . .? How I finish that sentence could be another post.

Maybe the answer to both questions—“How did I get here?” and “What if I could have become . . .? —is the same: “I AM things.”

Maybe we shouldn’t look too long at where we are, but say to ourselves, “Wow, here I am at a foreign and little bit scary place. Somehow, I didn't expect to be here, but I can’t go back. Besides, I already AM things, things that make me who and what I am. I can live the life I am meant to live by building on the things I have become. I can celebrate becoming in the past, and look forward to becoming in the future. I can embrace what’s good about the things I am. And what is not good, with God’s help, can be changed.”

You might be only twenty, middle-aged like Frazier, or "of a certain age." But if you said to yourself, “I AM things,” rather than the at-times-understandable “How did I get here?” or “What if I had become . . .?” how would that change your outlook today?

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