Lately I’ve been in a very reflective place. I keep looking back at old times and thinking about who the old me was. I’m sure you’ve been there before. Reliving old times and self loathing over things that we used to do or something we did.
I find myself looking back at myself and hating who I was. Memories have been flooding back of me in middle school, high school, and even last year, and I can’t stand to think about who I was. I wasn’t a bad person by any means but I’ll be the first to admit I was cringey, extravagant, and obnoxious. I wasn't someone I would like at all now. I’m fact if I were to meet my past self right now, I’d probably avoid her at all costs. She’s someone who’s dumb, irresponsible, impulsive, and all over the place. I hate even just thinking about the past years.
However, I learned something in my acting class actually. We had to look back at our old self, from our first memory, to elementary school, to high school, and all the way up until last year. The experience was dreadful at first, but then you learn to look at your past self. I realized I was in a totally different place of my life, with less knowledge, different circumstances, surrounded by different people, and experiencing new things. Who am I to judge myself for that?
I made mistakes that I regret, and did things I’d rather forget, but you have to realize that we all did things like that. We all have regrets and things we don’t want to remember. But the cool thing about it is, those things don’t define us. We are not our past self.
As long as we learn and grow from these experiences, then that’s what counts. That’s all we can do. We mustn’t judge our past selves, but come to accept them for who they are. Those people are no longer us, but learning to love them despite their flaws is a beautiful and very powerful thing. It’s taking away power from the dark parts of ourselves that promote self hatred. It’s a step towards loving and accepting who you really are.
So to the past version of me: I forgive you, I accept you, and I love you. You will not be that person forever. You’ll move on and learn new things. You’ll become a much smarter, more aware, and more loving person. I’m sorry I have been judging and hating you for so long. I’ve learned to love you now though. Everyday you’re making one step forward towards becoming the person you really want to be.