Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman once said, “You are under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.”
Even though our internal sense of self may feel permanent, our personalities and identities remain in flux for our entire lives.
This persistent change is even happening at the physical level: Our bodies are constantly replacing their cells, which means you are biologically a different person than you were yesterday. It only makes sense that you would be emotionally different too.
Joshua Rothman discusses this phenomenon in his New Yorker essay “The Art of Decision-Making," where he points out that discovering your personal growth is an essential part of the human experience. He paraphrases a paper by philosopher L. A. Paul: “Part of being alive is awaiting the ‘revelation’ of ‘who you’ll become.’”
Since everything around us is constantly changing, we must regularly change directions in order to grow towards the person we aspire to be.
By navigating these course corrections over time, we learn who we are and who we're becoming. And those "revelations" give meaning to our lives.
Virgina Woolf said it best in To the Lighthouse:
What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.