Ah, childhood memories.
I enjoy looking at old pictures, notes, and artwork in a memory box that my mom gave me a couple years ago. It never fails to take me back to those days.
The quote on the front reads, ‘Angela, Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.’
Sometimes I think about how I have changed over the years.
While I have grown up and matured, I still maintain my childlike innocence and love of laughter. I still giggle, find time to ‘play’, and make jokes. I act silly and do embarrassing things. I am a klutz and it is not uncommon for me to trip over invisible objects. I am shy, sensitive, anxious, and a bit neurotic at times. Really, I was always this way.
No matter how I felt about myself over the years, my mom always saw the good (even when I was a crazy teenager and she probably wanted to disown me!).
I got my love for the written word from my mom.
I still have a love for fashionable workout clothes (oversized red tee and pink sneakers, anyone?), frills and lace, poetic dancing, tutus, and furry friends, much like I did when I was young…
Pink polka dot outfits and rollerskate performances rocked my world…
And still do…
And my love for NEON clothing lives on (much to OSGMOM’s chagrin). You can ask my mom about the time, early 1990’s, when she bought me a neon pink and green spandex outfit at the mall and I insisted that I change into it in the mall bathroom so I could wear it immediately. And it was the only thing I wanted to wear for weeks. ;)
A love of writing, inspired by my mom.
…and the realization that all of us deserve to find happiness in our own unique way.
While our personalities often stay the same, our thought processes, feelings, and actions tend to evolve. To grow we need to constantly challenge ourselves and find new meaning in things.
I used to be a bad friend to myself. While I was easy-going and loving by nature, for many years I did not show this to myself. Instead, I was very utilitarian and dogmatic. I treated myself as if I was in some kind of boot camp, constantly striving for perfection and often tripping up. When the goal is perfection you will find failures with everything you do. So I kept trying hoping some day to gain my acceptance.
What I learned is that I held the power all along to accept myself for who I was. Losing weight would not make me love myself just as it wouldn’t make me love my family or friends any more when their weight changed. I love them for who they are and that is exactly what I had to realize about my relationship with myself. Sometimes the things we perceive as faults or character flaws are things other people come to love about us.
Self-love is a package deal.
If I were to tell my younger self some things I have learned along the way they would be:
- Accept the total package and not compartments: Honour and love who you are, your personality, your talent, and all your less desirable traits.
- Repair from within: Losing weight or changing your appearance will not fix the broken relationship with yourself.
- Get rid of the chip on your shoulder: When you perceive yourself and others as the enemy, your life becomes a battleground. Instead choose love and keep the faith despite the inevitable experiences and people that will hurt you.
- FORGIVE. Yourself. Others. Often. Move on. Life is short.
- Cultivate Childhood Passions: Those hobbies you loved as a kid might be clues to your future success. As a child mine were baking, outdoors/nature, health, sports, writing, animals. When I reintroduced these passions into my life I became much happier.
- This too shall pass. With each year that I age, I am happier. if you are in a hard time, hold on. I used to think my high school days would never end (yes, I got my share of teasing!), but life gets so much better.
What ‘tips’ would you give to your younger self? Is your personality similar to how it was when you were a child?