Thursday, January 15, 2015

To my teenage self

I'm back this week for Writer's Workshop, and here's the prompt I've chosen:

Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?


This is one of the few photos of me from ten years ago that I could find on my computer, and unfortunately all my photo albums are in boxes in my parent's basement 3,000+ miles away! Luckily for you though, I still have many of the photos from my earliest days with digital cameras on my computer, and I got my first digital camera for Christmas in 2004! I didn't take very many photos of myself of course, so what you're about to see is, I'm afraid, probably one of the most awkward photos of me you could have asked for. Brace yourselves...



Yep, that's 14-year old me, having been given a very unflattering makeover as you can see, with my hair frizzing beyond belief! So, how have I changed since then? Well, here's a fairly current photo of me, taken this past summer at the Bosherton Lily Ponds:



Now, it would be really easy to focus on the ways my life has changed in the last ten years, but I think that's all pretty obvious. So let's talk about a few of the ways I think I've changed and grown in my personality and attitudes.

I (mostly) love my curly hair.

That's right, I've said it--something anyone who knew me when I was fourteen would be shocked to hear. At that age, I always kept my hair long enough to pull it back in a ponytail, and never wore it down--my friends would actually steal my hair ties and scrunchies to try and keep me from pulling it back. But most days now, I love my hair, especially since I've cut it short! While I still may be irritated by the frizziness and fluffiness at times, I really love its unpredictability. Yes, I still sometimes think my life would be easier with a different head of hair, but I'm reminded how much I love it when I wear it straight for more than just a day--by day two, I'm bored with it!

I embrace my "secret talent"
In college, while playing a game where we had to suggest one another's "secret talents", some friends decided that mine was definitely "taking things too far"--and this is true! It's not that I don't have a verbal filter, but it seems to get toned down in social situations. I'm highly likely to put my foot in my mouth or tell a joke and only afterwards realize that the people I'm with may not share my sense of humor--like at my work Christmas dinner when I was waiting at the bar to be served and told my colleague, who I'd only met once before that night, that I just needed to "take my tits out" to get served sooner (my exact words). Only once I'd spoken did I realize I wasn't sure if he knew me well enough to realize it was a joke, and had to quickly clarify (luckily, he'd caught on). As a teenager, I was so conscious of my "awkwardness" and always afraid to say or do the wrong thing. I would spend hours replaying those moments I could have done differently, moments which, in reality, the other parties involved would probably barely remember (yet I can still remember them now). But now, I embrace the fact that "taking things too far", or letting go of my verbal censor, is a part of me--and laugh along with everyone else in these moments without any embarrassment.

I like cake.
I used to use this fact--well, the opposite of it, "I don't like cake"--any time I had to do one of those "two truths and a lie" icebreakers--and it was one of my truths. Those days are no more! I think my family is still probably adjusting to this one because I hated cake from my first birthday all the way up until my twenty-first. I don't know what changed my mind, really--I just remember trying a piece of cake at an event of some kind at college (because who turns down free food?) and actually liking it! I'm still a little picky about what kinds of cake I'll eat, but it's definitely a change! 

I think if my fourteen-year-old self met me today, she'd be jealous. Not of the cake eating thing, but of seeing someone who wears her crazy curly hair as confidently as she laughs at her own "foot-meet-mouth" moments. And if I could meet my younger self, I wouldn't tell her anything about the future and I wouldn't try to tell her anything life-changing. I would just tell her, "If you like who you see in me, hang in there--you'll get there."

7 comments:

  1. "If you like who you see in me, hang in there--you'll get there." Just love this! Keep having fun!

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    1. Thank you Carol, and thanks for reading!

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  2. It's wonderful to run across a person who actually embraces their hair! Usually we long for whatever is the opposite of the hair we actually have!

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    1. Hi Jerralea,

      I spent much of my adolescence and teenage years longing for straight, thinner hair and envying those I knew who had it, despite how many people would tell me they were envious of my thick curls. I'd be lying if I said I still don't get occasionally frustrated on a bad hair day, but on the whole I do now love my hair and wouldn't trade it if the option arose!

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  3. I love the blooming confidence and I always appreciate that person at the party who "takes things too far"...those people are usually saying what everyone else is thinking anyway! Love the photos. Pass the cake.

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    1. Thanks Kat! I see a bit of that in your writing as well, in your honesty and frankness :)

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  4. Thanks for stopping by my posts, I love reading about reminiscences of the past!

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