When I think about the youthful me, I wonder what she would make of the 42 year old version of herself. To be honest, that felt too enormous to contemplate, so instead I started by thinking about what I wanted to re-own of the 18 year old me. Which weirdly, then led me to find found this photo.
And it was while I was looking at her I realised I missed her a lot. It’s not just the ability to get away with walking down the local high street in nothing but a crushed velvet bodysuit, a pair of Doc Martens and my leather jacket…oh and a cheeky smile. No, it’s more than that. I miss her ‘couldn’t give a shit confidence’, I miss her ballsy attitude and her conviction that everything would work out ok.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I can’t go back to that place – too much has gone under the bridge for that. Besides, I have no wish to return to the confused, hormonal mess that I was, but there are definitely bits I want back, and I think that’s happening on a level I’d not realised before, as I move through to acceptance of my childless lifestyle.
I’m starting to feel the unwillingness to compromise returning, and a drive to do something meaningful, making sacrifices to get there. I’m re-owning my honesty, although I now am able to temper the brutal truths with a layer of empathy that wasn’t there when was 18. Which, on the plus side, means I’m able to avoid talking myself into so much trouble…at times.
But what I really want is that feisty fearlessness back. That really would be the holy grail for me. Sure, I ran headlong into some stupid situations because of it when I was 18, that being older and maybe wiser, I wouldn’t do now. But I know I have some of it still and I can feel the dormant fearlessness stirring and coming back to me.
Knowing this, I think the 18 year old me really wouldn’t have been proud of the rather wet, apologetic and overzealous people-pleaser that I was at 32. But, I’ve got a feeling, she would definitely like the ballsy 42 year old version that has overcome a hell of a lot of shit to be here and is now standing up for herself again.
So, I guess my question to you would be, what would you re-own from when you were a younger person? If you can’t think or draw a blank, do what I did and find a photo that really makes you connect with that version of you. Ask yourself – if I could wrestle back any of those qualities what would they be and how would they be worn on me now?
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