Today is my 27th birthday. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I’ve changed in the last decade or so, and it reminded me of this post. So I’m sharing it again.
Sometimes I wonder if 10-year-old me would be proud of current me. I look at the morals and the opinions I had as a young girl and wonder if I’ve lived up to the standards I set for myself back then. Did I become the wonderful woman I always envisioned? Did I make myself proud? Or did I become a monster in the eyes of that sweet little girl? I truly wonder what 10-year-old me would say if I were able to meet her.
Then I remember that 10-year-old me was a goddamned idiot.
10-year-old me wanted to be beautiful and rich. 10-year-old me wanted a horse named Stardust and a pink and purple convertible. She didn’t care about anything else. 10-year-old me used to cry herself to sleep at night because she thought she was ugly and didn’t think she’d ever get married and a million other things that were completely dumb. 10-year-old me cared about the things that everyone else said she should care about. She never wanted to improve herself to greatness or to change the world. She never saw all the amazing opportunities that she had– only those that she didn’t. 10-year-old me didn’t pride herself on goals met or feats accomplished. So 10-year-old me would probably cry if she saw her future because (spoiler alert) she never did get that pony.
I don’t care what 10-year-old me would have thought. In fact, I’m glad she would have hated this future, because if I had lived up to her standards rather than the ones I chose to reach instead, then could I really say that I’ve gained anything in the last 15 years? If the goals of a 10-year-old had turned out to be my crowning achievement… well, let’s just say I’m glad I grew up.
Now, 16-year-old me was closer. She was pretty awesome. 16-year-old me stopped crying herself to sleep at night and stopped worrying about how her life stacked up to those around her. 16-year-old me was able to hold her head high and was nigh-undefeatable. Seriously, that girl was indestructible, untouchable. She was amazing. And it’s all because she discovered something that’s accessible to everyone, if they dare to look for it…
Oh, were you going to say confidence? No, not confidence. No 16-year-old girl has a firm grasp on confidence. No, she found the thing that would eventually lead to confidence: Black Makeup. Lots and lots of it.
See, confidence is a hard thing to attain. Everyone uses different things in place of it until they finally have a strong enough hold. Some people find it through sports or relationships or friends. Me? I found black lipstick and suddenly I was able to look in the mirror and I didn’t care what everyone else thought about me. Suddenly it was myopinion that mattered– and in my opinion I was goddamned awesome.
16-year-old me figured it out. She’s the reason I am who I am today. Because while 10-year-old me wanted everyone else to change the world for her, 16-year-old me realized she was going to do it on her own. And she did. She’s the reason I’ve never failed. Ever. As far as I can tell, there’s never been a goal I set that I didn’t somehow reach. There’s never been a time when I told myself to set my standards lower or to give up.There’s never been something that I wanted that I didn’t fight tooth and nail for. I might not be a millionaire. Hell, I might not even be able to pay my propane bill sometimes. But I stopped blaming the world for it when 16-year-old me stepped up to bat. There’s a lot of things I could blame society for, but I don’t. Because I’ve been the one fighting my fights all the way up to where I am now, and 16-year-old me swore that I am not going to let someone else take credit for what I’ve done. Not even my mistakes.
You see why 16-year-old me was awesome? Yeah. She taught me a lot. I don’t need the black makeup anymore, though. Spend enough years with your head held high, and eventually it gets used to being there. So I don’t really use the props these days. But sometimes I still make sure I look amazing on those days where I’m about to fight a war (figuratively speaking).
And that’s where 16-year-old me and Current Me stop being the same person. 16-year-old me would have hated that that last part was figurative. 16-year-old me wanted to lead revolutions and tear down corrupt organizations brick by moldy brick. She thought that the right color of eyeliner and an awesome pair of boots was all you’d ever need to get everything you wanted out of the world. She sure as Hell didn’t think you could fight those battles at the front of a classroom while wearing a flower-print cardigan.
16-year-old me was also pretty stupid.
So if 16-year-old me looked at 10-year-old me with disdain, and 25-year-old me is well-aware of how dumb 16-year-old me was… then what will 35-year-old me think of Current Me?
Hopefully, I’ll think that I’m stupid. Hopefully, I’ll continue as I always have– and make sure that everyday I’m slightly better than the person I was the day before. Hopefully I will always be stupid, so that Future Me will always be just a little less stupid, and we’ll just keep going like that. Hopefully I never get to the point where I don’t think I’m stupid anymore, because the day that I am content with who I am now will be the day that I stop working to improve who I will be. Every step of my life since Elementary School has been made with the idea of being something more than who I was. And I haven’t failed myself yet (despite what 10-year-old me might think). Every day I wake up and I promise myself I will be more than what I was yesterday– and because of that I’ve accomplished more in 25 years than some people accomplish in 80.
It’s okay with me if 10-year-old me never expected this life, because 10-year-old me couldn’t even comprehend how amazing she could be. And 16-year-old me might have had an idea, but she was misguided by hormones and daydreams. What’s important now is what Current Me has planned.
So, watch out Future Me, because right now I’m dumb and blind and filled with ideas. But I will get to you. And every step between here and there is going to be freakin’ awesome.
Because Little Girl Dreams………………………………………Aren’t Everything