I often find myself reflecting on all the embarrassing, dumb, and ridiculous things I've done, felt, and said in the past twenty years and sometimes the embarrassment of it is too much to handle.
When I think of how caught up I was over a guy who wasn't worth my time, or when I made an absolute fool of myself in class the other day, or how I thought I was so cool in middle school for hating one direction, I cringe. I think to myself "oh my god what was I thinking, I'm so much better of a person now." But when I think these things, I often forget the person I'm casting such harsh judgement on is me.
Everyday we grow, learn, and change as people. The person I was yesterday is not the person I am today. Every time I make a choice, I change as a person. However, something I've come to reflect on recently is that just because I have learned and changed as a person, does not mean that everything I thought and felt in the past was not valid.
When I get mad at myself for being sad over someone who wouldn't give me the time of day, I'm invalidating the very real and intense emotions I felt in that time. Though the situation might not have been as deep as I thought it was in the moment, what I was feeling was, and I shouldn't discount that. Instead of brushing off the emotions I've felt in the past as ridiculous and dramatic, I need to feel these emotions, accept that I felt them, and grow from it.
For most of my life, I thought growth meant condemning the person you used to be and moving on. But what I have begun to realize recently is that growth is so much much. Growth is loving and accepting past you, even when she didn't, and learning to be okay with her.
I've made my fair share of downright stupid decisions in my lifetime, and a lot of the time it's true, I don't think before making them. But, that's not to say that the person who made them (me), didn't make them for a reason. Retrospection is helpful, to a certain extent.
When it comes down to it, I made the decisions I made. Instead of regretting every decision I've ever made and every word that's ever come out of my mouth, I'm learning to respect my past self. She is after all, me. And if I can't treat my own self with respect, how can I expect anyone else to.