Do you ever think about what it would be like to interact with your former self? Let’s say the you from a year ago, the you from five years ago and perhaps even the you from twenty years ago were suddenly standing in the room with the you right now.
How would you relate to yourself(s)? Would you know each other? Would you even recognize each other? What would you have to say to your former selves? Would you argue with each other? Would you embrace each other? Would you scold each other? Offer advice and warnings?
I think I’d have a lot of things I’d like to tell my former selves, but I wonder if “I” would listen to myself? I think we have to experience life and all it’s twists and turns to grow and become who we are currently. It’s funny to think about though. I’m not even the same person I was yesterday, let alone last year…five years ago.
This was me in either late January or early February of 2015. I may not “look” that different from then til now, (albeit my hair and glasses are different!) but trust me when I say, I am a completely different me now. Just thinking back to where I was in life last year to now, it’s startling how much I’ve changed and what I’ve learned from my experiences. I have so many things I could tell my winter 2015 self, but I know I had to learn those things on my own. Still, it’s incredible to think about how we change and grow through the years.
This is me *roughly* five years ago. So much has changed in my life since then. I honestly hardly recognize myself! On the outside, I don’t recognize myself at all! On the inside, the changes have been just as drastic. I’ve learned a lot in the last five years. I’ve become more disciplined, more focused, less fearful, less naive. I’ve become a much healthier version of me, both physically and mentally. I’m stronger, wiser and braver. I’ve been through a lot of relationship heartache, learned some valuable lessons and reevaluated my priorities. The me from five years ago would not recognize the me I am now, and vice versa.
And, then there is the me from almost 18 years ago. Setting out on our first “meet the parents” date, shortly after we began dating. I was so young then! My whole life was before me. I had so much to experience. So much to learn. This version of me had not yet experienced great loss, the concerns and cares of adult life or all of the wonders and joys of marriage. She hadn’t lived on her own, she was much more hesitant and less likely to stand up for herself. She was still learning what she loved and what she believed. She had never given a thought to calories, budgets or how to survive losing someone she loved. She’s innocent and has so much to learn.
Here is a picture of me “now”. This was actually taken a few weeks back, as I turned 40 years old. It may be a “current” photo, but in reality, I’m already a different person than I was just a few, short weeks ago. I feel as though the processing of growing & changing is such a constant motion. Since this picture, I’ve laughed & cried, I’ve learned & grown, I’ve experienced new things, I’ve read new books, I’ve thought new thoughts, I’ve decided new decisions, I’ve planned new plans. I’ve changed.
This is future me. The me of tomorrow, and the next day and the next. She is full of promise and mystery. She has the potential to be anything…to do anything. She will inevitably experience things I have yet to fathom. I hope that she has a lot of happiness ahead for her. I hope that she makes good choices and has wonderful adventures. I hope she becomes stronger, kinder and wiser. I hope she laughs more than she cries. I hope she experiences life more than death. I hope she makes an impact on the world around her. I hope she dances and sings and inspires.