Sunday, January 27, 2013

Me, Then and Now

would you ever be friends with your younger self?

emily at imperfect prose posed this question, and I've been contemplating how to answer it.

She asked if, at 32, she could be friends with herself at 16. I'm a lot older than 32, so it's been a lot longer since I was 16. My initial response is yes. 

I think back, trying to remember what I was really like at 16, and memory's fluidity interferes. What I think I remember of her is this -- she enjoyed school, she loved to sing and drive with the windows down. She was just catching the acting bug and was amazed that people thought she had any skill. She put on a good show of being okay, but inside she felt like an imposter most of the time. And she was awfully judgmental. Value in a another was measured by how many times they attended church each week, and what church they attended. No drugs. No drinking. No swearing. Good grades. And yet she saw good in some who didn't fall within those parameters. 

I fear that now I would see her as a self-righteous snob. I'd like to think I would be able to see beyond all of that -- to see the fear and self-loathing. That I'd be able to reach out and help her in some way. But maybe I'm just transferring or mis-remembering.

Thirty-four years was a long time ago. Who knows. So much as happened in the ensuing years. But here's what I do know, that 16 year old me wanted desperately to be seen and liked for who she really was. She really cared about her friends, and hoped, so very much, that they cared half as much about her. And she was searching without knowing exactly what for or even where to look.

linking up with imperfect prose


  1. II liked you then, and I like you now. Some things don't change after 30+ years.

  2. aw i love these photos of you, friend. and i know. i was pretty full of myself back then too. we always think we know more than we do, don't we? :)


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