I sometimes struggle with healing from my past. Past mistakes, friendships, relationships, or even past versions of myself. And what I have found is that we are always a little bit of each of those things…forever. Not necessarily in all the cringe worthy ways, but if you think about it, we are always growing from our past versions. Whether it is the past version of yourself from a year, a month, a week, or even a day ago. I like to think of each person’s life like a plant, every plant has different needs and different ways to care for it, but the base line care is pretty much the same. You water it, give it sunlight, and repot it when it’s outgrown its first container. People are like this too – everyone starts somewhere, needs a level of nourishment, and care – and eventually we outgrow where we started. A lot like plants, we will always have our roots, the evidence of who we once were, forever attached to who we are today.
My past self has made some foolish decisions. Hell, sometimes my present self does too – no one is perfect! After trial and error, most of the time I have learned to notice, grow, and improve from those choices. Some decisions lead me to stick it out with friends that were no good and stay with jobs that were sucking the life out of me. And others were questionable personal decisions, like trying not to eat to fill the fantasy standard of beauty. Oppositely, some were positive decisions to take chances on myself, choose what I wanted over what others wanted for me, and love who I was at every stage of life. These decisions were rarely self taught, and a lot of times they were inspired by way of example. I would see someone taking risks and choosing to live life in vibrant colors, and I would decide I wanted to live life in vibrant colors too.
Speaking on the spectrum of decisions, I have and love tattoos. They are beautiful expressions of what people want to showcase to others without words (although sometimes tattoos are words). Occasionally they are self explanatory, while other times they are special to only the one person who has them. I like the ones that are significant in some way, the ones that have meaning beyond the tattoo itself. All my tattoos have meaning, but I happened to get one that I no longer felt in love with a few years later. After thinking long and hard about it, I decided to get it covered up. The process of getting it covered up was weirdly therapeutic, I was changing something that was thought/meant to be permanent. I was changing something because I made the decision to.
Lately, I have become more aware of the power of decision. Our daily lives are so saturated with advice and FOMO, that sometimes it’s hard to make a personal decision without someone else’s approval. I now acknowledge the power of jumping off of my past/present self today and everyday to be a better version of myself. Every day is a clean slate to change and make waves.