So I found this crumpled piece of paper...
from who knows how long ago, outlining what I will NOT do. And the things it listed just made me realize how much I have grown. Many of those things are not problems anymore (though, in some cases, new problems have taken their place). And if they are still slight problems, the real root of the problem has abated a little. Namely: my insecurities. Most of the things on there are either product of my past insecurities or the worry about them (when they really are so insignificant) which illustrates more insecurities.
Its funny. Just reading the list brings me back to that place of self consciousness and insecurity. I can feel how restricted I was. I remember worrying about those things and I did not realize how much wasted energy I spent on being self conscious until it was gone. Granted, I do not think I wrote these lists on a daily basis. This must have been from an especially self critical day where I needed to get it on paper so I could feel like there was something I could do about it. I won't give you a full list of what I had written down (maybe you'll disagree and think I still have those problems). Regardless of if you think that, it doesn't matter. The important difference is my acceptance of myself and my quirks. And how much I have grown and rid myself of those traits that hindered my progression.
I'm at a point now (and it will probably change next week!) where I am feeling pleased with my progress. I look back on who I used to be and the work I used to do and I definitely have improved. A friend mentioned to me the other day how he had a theory that we just don't realize how bad things are when we are going through them. That last year seems so bad and high school even worse than that, but in reality the present may be just as bad, only we don't realize it until its past. He then went on to say how he should probably have a more positive outlook (or something along those lines--hopefully i got that mostly right...)
I was confused by his thoughts and then I realized it was because that is not how I think of the past. I don't usually think of it as bad or good, but more as different. I look back on high school and think of the good and bad times and also how much I have changed. Then I think to last year and how much I grew from where I was in high school (this one actually floors me--the change is definite). And then from last year to this year how much more I know and how much I have changed and grown.
There are always good and bad times, thats a given. What makes the difference is if we are continually growing. Learning, working, improving. Working to a place of self worth and self love--easier said than done, I know. Only once I've reached a place of freedom from self judgment and deprecation will I be able to get out of my own way and just live.