Do you ever stop and think about how different you now compared to how you were 5, 10, even 20 years ago? There is a shift in the thinking the longer time has passed versus the shorter time has passed.
When we think about how we were when we were little, there is much more of an understanding on how much we have evolved and endured much change – some necessary, some unnecessary. If I recall 20 years ago, I would be about 8 years old. Within the time I was 8 years old to now, I have gone through quite a huge, and expected, metamorphosis physically, mentally, and spiritually. When I reminisce on all the stupid things I said or did, I am much more forgiving towards myself because I was only a child indulging in “childish things.”
If I think about it, by the time I was 8 years old, I had already gone through four moves because of my father’s job. That is in and of itself a very tiring experience. In hindsight, I am so grateful and thankful for the moves, for I believe they have contributed to how I am today, but at the time it was very difficult to always make new friends and essentially “start over.”
Fast forward to 10 years later (or 10 years ago – however you look at it), I am 18 years old. No longer a child, but on the cusp of adulthood and womanhood. I was just about to graduate high school and enter college, and later in the year of my 18th year, I would have my first experience of big love, which I would later come to find was glorified infatuation. From the age of 8-18 years old I had undergone puberty, grades 3rd – 12th, and many love interests, with one steady high school boyfriend. I had developed many friendships in this time period. And if I am being transparent and honest with myself in terms of who and how I was as a person, I was sort of mean. I acknowledge I was mean to my mother, sister, my many “guy” friends who I treated poorly because of how I had been treated by guys in the past, and just to people in general (even if I wasn’t mean to their face, I was mean behind their back). Even though I am grateful for this time of transition in my life, and my 18th year was the year I started practicing yoga, I was what you would call a toxic human being. I know this may seem I am being too hard on myself, considering I was a teenager and going through many hormonal changes physically and psychologically, but this just proves my point about my first sentence in this article: The shorter amount of time you have allowed to pass in your life before you reflect on it, the harder you are on yourself during that stage of life, and the more lenient and loving you are to yourself the longer time has passed.
As I sit here and begin to reflect on my life from 5 years ago, I was 22, almost 23, years old, straight out of college. I remember I felt like a huge failure months after graduating in December 2011, considering I had just graduated from one of Texas’s biggest universities, the University of Texas at Austin, and I had no intention of using my degree in Early Childhood Education. From 18-23, I had grown up a lot emotionally. I had been through the most emotionally taxing relationship I have ever been in. From there, I went through another relationship, and after 2 ½ years, we ended things. Once I took a break for a few months, and with no intention of ever dating in the foreseeable future, I started dating my now husband, who I thank God for every day to this day. Also from the time between 18-23 years old, I had grown up a lot. I had become more independent financially, mentally, and learning how to apply critical thinking skills kudos to my college education. I became a nicer person, and though I was lost, I was grateful I was starting to deduct things, or potential paths I could have taken, from my life. I was starting to have a voice, and think for myself.
From 23 years old to now, I think I am hardest on myself. Though I am now a married woman with many achievements and goals met, I have the highest expectations of myself because of the things I know. It took me a long time to get to where I am today, to become the person I identify as. And although I have the least to say about from 5 years ago to now, with last year being the best year of my life (in terms of planning a wedding, wedding festivities, getting married, and completing my yoga teacher training course), I have the most to reflect on.
You see, the other thing about time is as you get older, it moves faster. When I think about how fast or slow time passed in a day 10 years ago, and how working a 6-hour shift at Fossil (where I worked from 16-22) just dragged on, an 8-hour day at my current job flies by. It’s scary and wonderful at the same time, the concept of time.
Going back to last year, 2016, that has been the most valuable year of my life so far. Besides getting married to my dearest friend, I have learned a lot of bad, ugly, yet wonderful, brilliant, and beautiful things about myself. I have learned that I can self-sabotage a good situation out of fear. I have learned to acknowledge the destructive thought patterns I was allowing myself to obsessively think about. I have learned I find comfort in allowing myself to feel like the victim sometimes. I have learned we are more than our mind and our thoughts (if we are able to control our thoughts and train our minds, WHO is doing the controlling and training over them?), we are the Atman, the soul. At the core of everything, we are beautiful, loving, nurturing, inspiring, wonderful, brave, sensational beings. We have the potential to love big and change the world.
With that said, and my point I am trying to make, I encourage you to reflect on your time spent here, and learn to be loving to yourself at all stages of your evolution, especially in the present.
God bless and Namaste,