You’ve Come a Long Way, Champ

For the past few days, I’ve been undergoing the arduous task of individually editing every single one of my blog posts. Yes, it was a major pain in the butt, but it also forced me to reflect on how far I’ve come in the last two years—on many fronts.

While looking through old posts, I could have easily let embarrassment overcome me—some of my posts were downright hard to understand, some were pointless, and many of the thoughts I felt worthy of sharing and how I chose to craft them were steeped in inexperience. But along with embarrassment came surprise at how different I feel now, and then I found a pang of appreciation for the person I am today, all the more.

Reading through and deleting old posts may have been as cringe-worthy as listening to a recording of your own voice, but it was also humbling and proved to be a rewarding practice. Since my first post, I’ve become a better writer, I’ve gained skills not in place when I first started; and I’ve learned ho to hone and own my voice.

Just like Facebook’s memories feature, every photo and anecdote I read left me astounded at how far away these moments felt: how much life I had experienced in-between them. It got me thinking about what it means to be present—and just how much I still don’t know. 

It’s easy to judge your past self with the mind you have today. But all that shows is growth. Rather than looking to the past with spite or anger or frustration, realize that you have the power moving forward to do things as you know best. Moving forward, you control how you want to act, speak and show up.

Looking through my posts, I was shocked to find little to no evidence of my wishes, my hopes, and my dreams. Now I realize they were probably always there, just hidden within unclear sentences and gobbledegook, stunted by longing and striving.

These memories also reminded me that all good things take time. It’s so easy to become frustrated with your current state because you have a vision for the future, but expectations and longing robs us of the chance to get there, naturally, and trust that with that vision or goal in mind, all you have to do is the next best thing for you.

We are often forgetful of the past, dismissive of the present and impatient about the future. Our brains are tricky things, and our state of mind last year is impossible to return to, making it easy to forget where you came from, and just how far you’ve evolved.

Take a moment to remember where you were a year ago, two years ago, or five. You’ve changed, right? Now imagine where you’ll be in another one, two, five years.

Be kinder to yourself, have some patience, and give thanks to your little brain — because it really ain’t so little. You’ve come a long, long way, champ.

Photography by Gundula Blumi

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