Today I saw a photo that took me back over 20 years. It was an old friend, Mark, and his son. In the photo, his son is about the age Mark was when I knew him back then. It was like looking back in a mirror and seeing the 'young' version of the Mark. It was striking. As I told Mark, it literally took my breath away.
I went through my photo folders and found pictures of myself from back then and over the years. Family photos, candid shots, pictures sent to me by friends, and such. How did all this time pass without me feeling it? I can see the changes, but inside, for the most part, I still feel like the same person. And for the most part, I think that's a good thing.
I still laugh at the same dumb things, like when people fall down or say the word 'screw'; I just can't help but giggle. I still love the ocean and feel at peace when I can see and hear it. I have been blessed to have stood on many different beaches around the world since then. I still get teary eyed when I sing The Star Spangled Banner (which is why I never do) and I can't hit the high notes in "Anyway You Want" it by Journey - but that doesn't stop me from still trying. I still talk way too much, love to argue, and love to give my opinion.
But then I think of the changes, the little things that have made a big change in who I am and who I've become.
Like learning to be able to say "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry" are more important than being right.
Falling in love was great, but growing in it and passing it on is what makes it worth while.
I let go of my fears and the freedom has lead me to some amazing adventures and people.
Anger hurts me more than the person I'm angry at, so I've learned to let go.
I have never compromised who I am, no matter what stood against me, and I've learned how strong I truly am.
So I look back at the photos again and I love who I was and I miss the long flowing hair, but I am happy with the woman I've become. The mom, the wife, the employee, the bestfriend, the Godmother, and the many other things that I am now - they couldn't have been imagined by the girl I was back then. It's even more than she ever imagined or hoped for.