You know that quote, the one that says something along the lines of that you must grow to be the kind of person that a younger version of you would be proud of? Well, now you do. And I’m glad you do because that is the exact topic of conversation today.
When we’re young, we think we have the world in our hands. We think we’re invincible and we haven’t yet been tainted by what others think about us- at that point, we still haven’t changed to please those around us nor have we any clue that we’re supposed to.
Then suddenly the years start passing by, and we begin to be under the scrutiny of what seems to be everyone, always getting judged for mistakes we didn’t mean and decisions that may not have been made on our best days. We begin to change small, precious parts of our persona to please others, to make them feel more at ease or to try to make them like us. We contort who we are because it seems like that’s the only way we’ll receive validation from those around us, becoming softer where we were once harsh and jagged and a little harder where we were once soft. Sometimes, when we’re incapable of actually reaching what needs to be changed, we just cover it with layers of fake happiness or anger, throwing what our environment expects or wants from us on top of it instead of what we ourselves actually have there.
Why do we do that? Why do we change ourselves so drastically for those who surround us? Why do we make ourselves into someone we’re not when it’s only pain for us and often won’t change what those around us think of us? Many years ago we were pure, whole and unfazed by what others thought, and those parts of us we so often try to change today were the parts we loved the most, the parts that we would show off more than any other. What would that version of you say to you today, looking at you and seeing how much you try suppressing to please those around you, changing into someone you’re not for people who don’t even deserve you?
You must live for that kid- the kid who knew what they wanted and was shamelessly and irrevocably themselves. The kid who took no shit from anyone because they weren’t afraid to just be their own person- perhaps they did learn and grow a little and know better than once upon a time, but that kid is still somewhere inside you, and you can’t just ignore them. They’re not only persistent but also right, and should be allowed to come out.
The relationship you have with the kid you used to be is not one that’s obvious or one that comes up in everyday life, but it exists somewhere inside you, and you can’t just ignore it. It’s a part of you, no matter how suppressed or hidden you convince yourself it is, and embracing it might very well be one of the best decisions you may ever make in your life.