I wish I could say I was the type of person who woke up every morning, sipped a nice cup of tea and wrote in a journal. I’m not. I try to be, sometimes – but that lasts for a week at most. Last night, I found an old journal of mine, from 2015. Only ten or so pages were written in.
I read this journal last night. Good lord, was I dramatic. Maybe I still am? But beyond it being dramatic, I couldn’t help but want to give 21 year old me a hug. Homegirl thought everything was her fault.
I apologized often in those ten pages. I’m not really sure what I was apologizing for (I wasn’t very good at details, clearly), but I often wrote things like “I am sorry for the way that I am.” I also wrote a lot about what I needed to change about myself.
It broke me to read this. I’m 24 now. I’ve been on this earth an extra 1,460 days and I think I’ve learned a decent amount since then. I’ve learned I don’t need to apologize for who I am. My personality – my humor, my quirks – they’re who I am. I’ve learned that my sensitivity isn’t always a detriment. I’ve learned that it’s not my fault all the time.
20 year old me felt ugly. I was not yet comfortable in my skin. I still yearned for what my body had been when I was sick, at times. I put so much of my worth into my appearance, and because I felt so terribly about how I looked, I valued myself at nothing. I recall 20 year old me was still showering in the dark at times, to avoid seeing myself.
While I was saddened to see the state of who I was at that time, it also made me proud of who I’ve become since then. My self esteem, for one, isn’t squashed anymore. I believe in myself, and shit man, that’s all that you need. I recognize my faults, but I also can recognize my strengths. I know my worth.
I wonder, if in five years, 29 year old me will read this blog and cringe. Will I recognize myself anymore? What will have changed? What will remain the same?
My question to you is: what would you tell 20 year old you? As for me, I would tell her to keep her head up and to truly, deeply, love herself.