As I watch the colors in my cup of coffee swirl, I longingly remember a time when life was so simple. My 9 year old self would be deeply disappointed in the vanity slave held captive by technology that she’d grow up to be. She’d feel downright betrayed by the amount of time and money I invest in things that would never matter to her like make-up and hair. She’d laugh in my face at the opportunistic relations I have the nerve to call “friendship”. And if someone told me to ‘either stay out or stay in’ the way my grandmother used to yell, my younger self would never believe that I would opt for the latter. I was told that it was foolish to compare myself to and seek validation from an entity within me that had not yet experienced life. But is it?
I stood for things back then. I remember feeling so one with nature, (as it was the place I spent most of my ‘playtime’ after-all), that when I found out the damage pollution was doing to our planet, I immediately went on a recycling kick. I didn’t have to ‘ween’ myself away from drinking squeeze-its or using styrofoam cups in the way that I have to ween myself off of meat now. Right and wrong were right and wrong and I stood by my beliefs firmly. If I witnessed a classmate being bullied, I defended them… not slyly disappeared into the crowd afraid of what might happen to me if I dared. I showed off my poetry, stories and drawings with absolutely no regard for what others might think because I was sincerely doing it to self express… not for some sort of commercial gain. My ambitious nature had me participating in every athletic from basketball to tennis to ice skating and everything in between. Not to be slim but because I didn’t shy away from competition the way I do now; I enjoyed it. My morals and values were clear and I didn’t need society to determine them for me… I just knew. Because it was all based off of how EYE innately felt.
Now I feel so inveigled by all the drastically different surroundings I’ve had to readily adapt to over the years that my sense of self has completely diminished. Instead of experiencing growth, I feel like I’m regressing. So why is it foolish to yearn for the person I used to be? Especially when she was just so much… better.
A lot of people think that we get better with age, but I think that maybe we were already born perfect and complete. And over time, the harsh realities of our world plagued us with self doubt and stripped us of the innate confidence and child-like wanderment we came into this world with.
Are there any characteristics that you used to have that you wish you still possessed? And then, how do we reverse all the conditioning that made us rid ourselves of that? Because at this rate, there won’t be a trace of myself left in a few years.