Accepting Past Versions of Yourself

Be kind to past versions of yourself that didn’t know the things you know now.


Growing up, you go through a whole lot of phases.

I’ve spent most of my life avoiding pictures taken of me in the past. I was a chunky kid, and I had a really intense emo phase somewhere in middle school. Going through my dad’s facebook photos made me cringe.

I lived in fear of someone finding an old picture and having blackmail against me forever.

Now, I know each phase of my life was representative of the growth that got me where I am today.

Even my emo phase was an important phase of my life

I remember wanting so badly to look like a girl I saw live streaming when I was maybe 12 years old.

She had bright, neon green hair and thick black eyeliner around her eyes. I thought she looked so cool

Photo by Memento Media on Unsplash

Even though it was probably toxic how dark and depressing the atmosphere was, this phase taught me something about self-expression. Despite the subsequent teasing after I showed up to school with bright red hair and raccoon eyes, I learned having a little creativity in my appearance was OK.

Now, it brings me joy when I see young girls with this style. It’s cool kids are still having an emo phase.

The point is, even the embarrassing points are a sign of growth. You explore different styles and subcultures, and learn something about yourself in the process. It’s super important to accept these moments as something good that makes you better.

Those versions of yourself needed love

When I was in elementary and a little chubbier than the other kids, I truly hated myself. I was so young, and yet I was comparing myself to every other girl in the grade.

Despite the fact I was very smart, taking classes well above my grade level and reading at recess, all I could think about was how I looked compared to the other kids.

I spent a lot of time avoiding images of elementary school me at all costs. I wish I could go back and give her a hug. These insecurities weren’t forever, but the toll they took on my mental health were. 

I’m no longer embarrassed by those images, not only because I’m older, but because I love the little girl that’s in them. I know she was smart, and just a little insecure about her appearance.

Honestly, a little baby fat is normal, and totally adorable.

Even if you were less than perfectly attractive, remember the person you were when you were most insecure. You likely had a lot of great qualities, but focused more on the less than great ones. 

Show your past self a little love!

You’re constantly going through new phases

time for change sign with led light
Photo by Alexas Fotos on

Next year you’re going to be a very different person than you are today, and that’s great! We’re always growing and changing.

Pre-Covid, I was a little social butterfly. I was always socializing and going out with my friends, looking for the next super fun thing to do. Mid-Covid, I realized I was super okay with the changes going on. I felt a lot more authentic spending time with myself.

I started reading again, and fell back in love with words. 

Post-Covid, I know that a good balance of friends-time and me-time is just perfect. I still see the people I love, but I have a whole lot more time to focus on the passions I was neglecting just to be seen as a fun person.

Change is great, and every new phase is a step in the right direction towards your most authentic self.


A former scene kid (and proud of it)

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