Sometimes it is just crazy to me what a wealth of memory we have. Memories tied to places, places tied to people and you're left riding on waves of nostalgia...sometimes exhilarated, sometimes nauseated, and maybe somewhere in between. Where did the time go? It's a reminder of the depth of life, and especially the depth of your own.
This past Saturday, I went shopping at the mall with my close friend Andrea. We walked by Dillard's and were reminded of a time during freshman year of college when we went to go try on prom dresses and take pictures for the heck of it. As we remembered back on this and stared at each other with a gleam in our eyes, we decided, "why not?". We each picked out our favorite and least favorite dresses and decided to have some fun with it again.
We somehow managed to pick out the same dressing room, and jokingly took a few pictures. Strangely enough it wasn't until we were back at our cars and looking over our old pictures from 8 years ago that I got a tangible reminder of where I had been compared to where I am now. And all of the feelings that came along with that.
In hindsight, I was really insecure and had no self-love back then. Everything I was, everything I had could be changed and in my mind needed to be changed if life was going to get to where I wanted it to be. There was a finish line, and ultimate physical beauty (and everything that came with that benefit) was at the end of it. To make it there seemed like an impossible but necessary feat.
Now, I know myself, and I can truly say that I love myself. Instead of focusing on a finish line, I'd rather focus on the present moment. I have a relationship with my body that is nurturing instead of hateful, and I have a confidence in what I do and who I am. Is that 100% of the time? No. Life isn't perfect but I wouldn't trade this grounded feeling for any sort of re-do of the past.
To say that I am grateful overall for where I am now compared to then is an understatement, but I am learning to appreciate the journey more and more. It is those memories that remind us of our immense depth and strength. We are not just that 9-5 drag, or that terrible work meeting. We are superheroes jumping off of the fireplace with blanket capes. We are the awkward middle schoolers writing notes to our crush. We are the brave ones heading off to college or a new job or a new place. We are the "new kids" trying to make friends, who eventually do make friends. Really good ones. We take risks, we excel, we love, we hurt, we breathe, we create. We try on prom dresses at 26 (or maybe that's just me).
It reminds me of a Rumi quote that I love:
Don't forget your depth, friends. Cheers to you, and to this rare day.