This is quite logical, at the heart of it. Thinking of my life at 16, and now at 31. I’m the same person, certainly. But my hair was paler, my skin was darker. I was thinner, with different priorities, goals, expectations. A freedom that only teenagers don’t know they have. But there were things I always knew. I always knew I’d move out of the country. I always knew I’d have kids one day, etc.
There’s plenty of things I know about myself. But 16 year old me wouldn’t recognize me now. I don’t live in the outdoors anymore- so my outward appearance reflects that. I had no idea how brown my hair was. Is that not terribly odd? Not to realize your own hair color? But then, I didn’t know I had curly hair until I convinced my dad that (as a preteen) I was fully capable of brushing my own hair, my stepmother did not need to do it for me. Once it wasn’t brushed and blow dried into a Farrah Fawcett-esque fluff, I found out my hair actually had some fantastic curl to it.
And then, last month I cut it all off. It’s gone! Actually, I’m pretty sure my husband has longer hair than I do now. But I love it. And it’s brown. Who would have thought?
I used to just tear through libraries by devouring the classics and fantasy section, author by author. Lately I’ve been asking for recommendations. Your own literary choices speak quite a lot about you. The world you live in, the dreams you have, the dreams you wish you had. So I post up for my friends and family, and read books that they love, too. I don’t always like them. But it’s always interesting. Currently I’m reading The Left Hand of Darkness. The prologue really nattered on, but now that the novel has actually begun, it seems promising.
But how is this different, really? Everyone grows up, lives change. Appearances change with age. What’s really so different that I’ve startled myself into spending far too long writing a blog post that really is inconsequential?
I figured it out yesterday, after realizing that I need another hair cut, because my super short sassy ‘do is overgrown. I looked at the woman in the mirror and realized that yeah. I’m about 40 pounds heavier than 15 years ago. I’m saggier, thanks to two kids. But you know what?
I love this woman. Everything about her. Even the anxiety attacks that are now rare, even the picky and mildly obsessive tendencies about food, the social anxiety, the hermit tendencies, even the silly insistence that casseroles are awful. (But lasagna is good.)
I’ve finally decided to forgive and love myself. Awesome.