I saw a post the other day in a parenting group about a woman comparing a recent picture to a picture from 10 years ago. She was upset by the changes and was beating herself up. This got me thinking about my life and who I was 10 years ago vs. today.
First of all, I know society’s harsh “norms” are deeply rooted into this person’s subconscious and therefore causing some serious conflicts. I have felt this myself and I am sure you have, too. In this blog, let’s step outside of who society thinks we should be and explore who you were and how you’ve grown.
10 years ago, I was a newlywed. My husband and I were just starting our journey of marriage. I won’t say it was any different than when we were dating but there is just a slight difference between living together and being married. I was a different person then, a people pleaser, didn’t set healthy boundaries, thought I was clear on what the future would hold, more naïve than I realized.
In 10 years, my greatest accomplishment is that I became a mother, 3 times over. Looking at the person I am now, there is so much growth and healing that has taken place it amazes me.
I have learned to make sure I am happy over others. It is no longer about pleasing someone else to spare their feelings. If they are triggered or hurt by what I choose, then they need to work through that, not me. I no longer take on that responsibility.
I have learned how to set healthy boundaries to ensure my family is safe and healthy, boundaries I never would have imagined 10 years ago. I am stronger, I can stand up and speak out. I don’t think I had much of a voice 10 years ago, or, at the very least, I was afraid to use it.
I have learned what resilience truly is. I have experienced wading through the journey feeling like I was floundering just under the surface. But then the tide turns and I find myself floating through the journey, sailing across the water and enjoying the ride. That is life, it ebbs and flows.
I have experienced love in ways I never understood and, to be honest, still have a hard time fathoming. The love from my husband is unlike anything I could ever have imagined. The unconditional love from my children solidifies that this journey was the one for which I was made. I am their safe and sacred space. They have taught me so many things and have healed me in ways I don’t think I could ever put into words.
I am nowhere close to who I was 10 years ago, and for that I am thankful. I look back at her and am happy with who I was, but my journey has changed me. That is what is supposed to happen. I won’t be the person who is typing this blog for long. My journey will change me yet again, and many times after that. I am still that woman from 10 years ago but a better and older version of her, one who has lived fully and who looks forward to much more.
So, look back. Be grateful for who you were; for the naivety of your youth, for being unaware of what your journey would hold. But don’t long for her, wishing to be that person again. You can’t be that person because you have grown, you have seen, you have lived. Celebrate the now and someday you will hopefully look back at and think, “Wow, I had no idea then what was in store for me!”