For reasons I don't fully understand, December tends to me a month of enormous nostalgia for me. It's partly the Christmas season, as my family has pretty entrenched traditions . It's partly that there are a lot of important birthdays and anniversaries this time of year, and those always make me think to those celebrations in year's past. But I also have this intense feeling of thinking back to the way I used to be versus now.
To say I'm focused on self-discovery right now would be an understatement. While I outwardly evangelize self-care, the inverse of that is a great deal of pressure to practice what I preach. The extension from that has been...do I like what I see when I look in the mirror? Am I the person that I want to be? Am I the person that I need to be?
The answer to that is more complicated than I expected. I'm proud of the woman I am today. I fought hard to be her, against people who thought I was (mostly) too much. But I'm a grown up lady now too, who has big ambitions in work and in life and that sometimes means being a little more poised. I'm in the space where I'm trying to figure out what parts of my personality and life I cast off because they don't serve me and which I just sort of lost along the way.
What would I tell 19 year old me, in her third year of university? I'd tell her that he wasn't worth it. I'd tell her to trust her instincts because it WAS fucking mono and strep throat at the same time, and that feeling that sick wasn't normal. I'd tell her to enjoy the moment. I'd tell her the man of her dreams was actually already in her universe, she just didn't know it yet, and that he'd find her when she was ready. I'd tell her that she's capable of big things, if only she could just buckle down and do the work.
But she wouldn't listen even if I could tell her, I know, because she and I have never liked being told what to do. Ever. And that fierce independence is the core of what makes me who I am. As long as I have that, I'm going to be ok.