Liked Are You the Same Person You Used to Be? by Joshua Rothman (The New Yorker)

The passage of time almost demands that we tell some sort of story: there are certain ways in which we canโ€™t help changing through life, and we must respond to them. Young bodies differ from old ones; possibilities multiply in our early decades, and later fade. When you were seventeen, you practiced the piano for an hour each day, and fell in love for the first time; now you pay down your credit cards and watch Amazon Prime. To say that you are the same person today that you were decades ago is absurd. A story that neatly divides your past into chapters may also be artificial. And yet thereโ€™s value in imposing order on chaos. Itโ€™s not just a matter of self-soothing: the future looms, and we must decide how to act based on the past. You canโ€™t continue a story without first writing one.