I just took the trippiest little jaunt down memory lane. I spent the last hour reading journal entries from ten years ago. It’s amazing how intensely you feel things when you’re just starting out. I sat and read and remembered so much. And I shook my head at the little girl I was a fair amount of times. Current me just wants to reach back and shake old me and tell her that some people aren’t worth jumping through hoops for and that forgiveness doesn’t have to equal forgetting. But mostly current me was overwhelmed with a wave of affection for old me. Old me was making a lot of mistakes and doing a lot of silly things, but she was also falling in love and making memories and dancing sparkly dances. Sometimes I look back at myself in such a damning way, feeling so stupid to have made the mistakes I made, but tonight was different. Tonight I remembered myself and it felt kind of healing. I remembered the girl who was broken to pieces over her first love choosing someone else and who went a little crazy then, but I also remembered the girl who had stars in her eyes and still knew with complete certainty that she was going to be someone special. She felt everything so profoundly that every single day was full to the brim with life. And that’s where my affection for her comes from. She may have made poor decisions on occasion, but she also made some pretty solid ones now and then. She exemplified loyalty and forgiveness, probably to a fault, but she really believed that friendship could overcome insurmountable odds. And, despite all evidence to the contrary, she was sure that happily ever after would find her.
I may have messed up, but it seems to me I wasn’t such a bad kid after all. After all this time spent in self-flagellation, it’s a real relief to look back and know that it wasn’t all bad. To know that nothing was ever that simple. Even at my worst, I never completely wrote off my future self. Old me never stopped believing in the healing power of dancing and kisses and swinging on the swings and, y’know, in spite of everything, I’m kind of impressed with her for that.