I have spent the last year thinking a lot about my past. I think it is only natural to think about past successes and failures as we get older. It is also only natural to think of both the good and bad times. After all if it weren't for those good and bad times, we would not be the people we are in the present. Also, the good and bad times of the present mold who will become in the future.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about whether people can really change. More or less whether I have changed. What about me is different than say 15 years ago -- 10 years ago -- even 5 years ago? I remember that I used to not like me very much. I didn't like my face, my hair, my wardrobe, my location or anything around me. My guess is that most people at that age don't like that much about themselves, but that they probably have the skills to hide it better than I did. I often wonder whether people then knew how miserable I was in my own skin.
I like to think that I am a stronger person than I was 15 years ago. I have grown to love me. I learned about 10 years ago that I had to learn to love myself before anyone else would. It took a while to make the transition from the small town girl that hated herself to a woman that actually liked what she saw in the mirror.
I look at those around me and wonder how much they have changed in the last 20 - 15 - 10 years. What drew me to them in the first place? What caused me (the me of then) to like them (the them of then)? What cosmic forces drew us together as friends? What traits did they possess that meshed with the traits I had? More importantly as I have become the person that I am now ... have they remained the same or have they also made minor or major changes in personalities?
If I met those same people now, would we be immediate friends or would we be just mere acquaintances? Or ... even worse would I not want to be around that person at all?
In any case, I am so glad that those that knew me when I was a girl that hated myself stuck it out until I could become the person I am. I am glad that I can look in the mirror and be satisfied with how things turned out. As a teen, I was extremely self conscious. I never really wore shorts because I was terrified that people would see my birth mark. I always wore my hair up because I didn't want people to realize I had no clue how to fix it.
Oddly enough .. the "birth mark" is gone .. though a nasty scar is in it's place. I do not care whether people see it. I do not care if people see the scars on my stomach or the PICC line that's in my arm. I do not care whether people think I'm 13 or 32. (at least today .. ask me tomorrow and it might be a different story). I don't care if I show the "scars" of my heart. The scars of pain .. the scars of joy and the scars of everything in between.
I might as let everyone know the Jennifer that I found inside a long long time ago. She's the one that people say "There's only ONE Jennifer." :)
As for the future ... it can only get better. :)