There is something so beautifully simple in acknowledging where you’ve come from–in hushing the voice that tells you you’re not making enough progress, that you’re not good enough, that you’re not evolving, that the “good old days” are where you belong and you’re destined to living a life in the past.
These photos are each one year apart, beginning with 2013 (top left), then 2014 (top right), 2015 (bottom left), and 2016 (bottom right). I look at each photo and it’s like I’m staring at four uniquely different but utterly inevitable versions of myself. Where would I be without my association between weight and beauty for so long? Without thinking that veganism would solve all my problems? Without the unanticipated travel, and without the depression, and without the vulnerability? Would I be who I am today, sitting in a coffee shop during my year off from school, taking a sip from a peppermint latte every once in awhile and booking flights to Hawaii for three weeks from now? Would I be happy? Would I feel any different?
Like so many others, when I really delve into the past (which is often), I feel one of two immediate emotions–regret or longing. I’ll think of a friendship that slipped through the cracks, one wrong comment and it was over before the fight had even begun–or with sincere gratitude, I’ll remember staying up laughing to two in the morning, wondering what I’d done to end up with this person, in this room, at this hour. How had I gotten so lucky? And would it be possible to freeze this moment in time and feel this satisfied and loved for the rest of my life? Because I swear, I could stay in that bubble forever–I could never experience another thing in life and be alright with how I felt in those moments, before anything was too serious and after I’d felt like I’d won the 17-year battle against myself. Wasn’t this what it’d all been leading to? Wasn’t this my end goal all along?
But when I find my thoughts turning down this path, it’s so important to take a step back–to look at why I am living in the past, why it’s so idealized, why any of those stresses or concerns that I held in those moments are, for some reason, no longer a relevant subtopic to the memory. I fall in love with ideas of moments, and that love fuels my present moment. But I want that no longer. I want my present moment to fuel my present moment. I want to believe in a better today, not because I had a better yesterday, but because I deserve a better tomorrow.
So here’s a deeply loving, kind, and gracious thank you to who I was in the past–but here is also a toast to who I am today, and who I will become tomorrow. May she be beautiful, loving, and thoughtful. May she always believe that she deserves better simply because she does.
Did I ever talk about my Trees speech because it was pretty noteworthy.
Tyler named this guy that didn’t pull out his phone for most of the show in the front row Robert or something I don’t remember exactly. His arms were crossed and he said he looked serious the entire time.
He told him that he was so happy when he finally did pull out his phone. He said he was really really proud.
Like really proud.
And then he just dedicated to the song for not-Robert and that was the entire inspirational speech of Twenty One Pilots during Trees.