In high school, I was an athlete. I had long, curly hair, a slimmer face, and was overall about 30 pounds lighter than the junior-year college student I am today.
Want to know how I remember exactly how I looked four years ago?
Because I happen to, in my free time, play a little game with myself called “let’s look at old pictures to make Emma feel bad about herself”.
I play this game a lot.
And I always lose.
I was skinnier back then, I didn’t have any threat of a double chin, my hair was long, and I still had a body of an athlete.
(I also, like many of our high school selves, had a regrettable eyebrow situation, but we won’t talk about that now!)
And now, when I look at those pictures, I get hung up on how I’ve gained weight. I make jokes about peaking in high school. That’s so sad, right!?
But I’m working on it. I’m working on telling myself how far I’ve come. I mean, at least now I have decent eyebrows, a better sense of style, and a flourishing college career!
I have gotten further than I ever thought possible on my body positive journey. When I see old pictures of myself, I have to tell myself that I’m not the same person that I was. I’m older and wiser and stronger and smarter. I’m not that semi-lanky girl wearing the smiley-face-printed leggings to class anymore (although those leggings did provide me with a bomb Halloween outfit last year). I’m not the basketball player with the curly side ponytail.
And it’s not just me. All of us have changed. No one looks the same as they did four or five years ago, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is the tendency that we as women have to compare ourselves now to our past selves, because that’s an unfair comparison.
People can change so much in a few years. We can have different mindsets, different goals, and be on totally different paths. Sure, maybe we’ve gained weight and our body types are totally different.
But we have years of wisdom, strength, and maturity on our side.
(And now, probably better eyebrows!)