Dear Past Versions of Me

It’s a little awkward meeting you like this. We’ve been together literally all of life, but yet we are like a bunch of strangers thrown together at a dinner party none of us wanted to attend.

I know I have caused this tension, this weird energy between us. Every new “something” – new year, new month, new week, new day even – it seems I try to shake you off and be better than you. I’ve always believed strongly that I need not compete with anyone other than you, my past self. To a large degree, I still do.

That being said, I have come to realize that I’ve been entirely too hard on you. I have looked at you with so much disdain and picked apart everything I didn’t like about you. All the things I didn’t enjoy about being you. All my resolutions for growth have placed much emphasis on what I wish to change about you. I have placed little value in the laughter in the middle of the night with good friends. I almost forgot about all the flutters in your tummy when your crush smiled at you. What about all the mini-concerts you put on for an audience of dolls and teddy bears…girl, Beyonce had nothing on you!

I think about the strength it took for you to endure your first heart break. To this day, I see you fight tooth and nail to never let your pain make you bitter. I admire that about you. I learnt that from you. I carry it with me and I don’t want to ever let it go.

I respect how you’ve come into your own personality and learned to just ‘be’.

I love how you handle disappointments. You cry it out, learn your lesson, and keep it moving, whether that means trying again or moving on. I love how hopeful you are.

Also, past me, you are so beautiful. I’m so sorry that I never saw it then. I’m sorry that I allowed you to feel “less than” because of some ideal that a magazine sold to me. I appreciate you so much because I am able to love myself now, because you have shown me that everything I believed that you were, was a lie. I can now stare straight into the eye of my many imperfections and still see something beautiful.

“New Me” is in love with the friends you made. “New Me” appreciates the lessons you suffered to learn so that I could be who I am today. You are not some embarrassing ex that I don’t want anyone to know about. You are not something or someone I’m trying to get rid of. Please know that every time I “reinvent” myself or try to do or be better, it’s not to denigrate you or your experiences. I could never be anything that I hope to be without everything I have learnt from you, as you. I am this tall because I stand on your shoulders. You are the road that got me here and I appreciate the journey.

To all the past versions of me – insecure me, shy me, hopeful me, heartbroken me, silly excuses me, fat me, skinny me – I love you all. I honour you. I thank you.

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