Love for all the selves.
The past present and future have a weird relationship with each other, making your past present and futures selves also have a strange, at times strenuous relationship with each other. We hope our present self is better than our past self, and our future self is better than our present self. A journey of self discovery and self improvement and self realization, one that is always forward, never looking back.
I have seen an ongoing conversation about the “glow up” or the current version of you watching videos of the old version of you, or two pictures side by side praising puberty for it’s blessings. All with this underlying embarrassment for our past selves, someone we can’t believe that we were. How did we think those things? Wear those things? Say those things? Do those things? Gross, cringe-worthy, disgusting.
I haven’t posted anything on my Facebook since I was sixteen, it holds my middle school and early high school self. I would sometimes pull it up, tipsy with a friend to laugh at how I made a video to Lil John’s get low or contrasted the fuck out of my pictures. I cringe at my side bangs and outfit choices and melodramatic status updates sometimes including Train lyrics. She is ridiculous and contradicting and immature, But damn, that girl was trying. She was trying to be creative and be herself, and I have to realize how hard that was for her. I can’t make fun of her, I can’t hate her, she is me. How could I not give that person love, and in the same breath demand self love of my current self?
I thought about loving my past self first, forgiving her for all the blunders she made because she really didn’t know any better. Loving her for being so brave in such small ways that I overlook now. I can see that currently, I have that perspective. And that is the perspective that future me will have on me now. So here we all sit, more together and more one and more the same person than I might have previously wanted to admit. They are all me, I want to give love to all of them so I can feel it now, and not someday in the distant future when all of my skins have shed and I’m the butterfly I long to be. I’m here now, I have been here, and hopefully I will be. It’s a complicated relationship, but it’s one I’m in forever.