Of a Certain Age …
In your mid-thirties you could begin to ask what kind of person you were. The first long run of turbulent young adulthood was over. So too was excusing yourself by reference to your background. Insufficient parents? A lack of love? Too much of it? Enough, no more excuses. You had friends of a dozen years or more. You could see your reflection in their eyes. You could or should have been in and out of love. You would have spent useful time alone. You had a measure of public life and your relation to it. Your responsibilities would be pressing in, helping to define you. Parenthood must cast some light.
Lessons, p. 100