Now, partaking in online challenges and perusing through your old photos can be a waste of time, but that’s not exactly what happened for me yesterday. While it can be also dangerous to keep a digital version of everything you ever were and everything you ever made online, there are also benefits to it.
I noticed yesterday everyone was sharing photographs of themselves for the #10yearchallenge and while I absolutely enjoyed seeing everyone “glow up”, I also decided to dig up some of my own photos. Two things happened next that I didn’t entirely anticipate.
First, I have found an old mixed media piece that I did over a decade ago (a drawing on top of a photo) and it sparked so much new interest in that direction for me. I remember how excited I felt when I used to do mixed media, to combine photographs and drawings together, at the time it felt like the greatest idea ever! Why didn’t I ever give it a chance? Probable simple answer is that good ol’ self doubt and procrastination are culprits of every other little thing I never finished. How could I doubt something that made me so excited and so happy? I suffocated my own creativity for “safety” of not failing at something new and exciting.
That led me to thinking: why do I jeopardize myself? I was staring at the photo of the 3 year old me and it was fascinating to see how similar a lil 3 year old me and now an almost 30 year old me actually are, and I don’t mean the actual facial features, obviously, but the way I look at the camera, the way I smile and the way my eyes inquire at the viewer. I found it so interesting that I haven’t changed while everything that could change me happened (sexual abuse, deaths of close ones, depression etc). How could the same gaze be coming from the photo?
I have gone through so many transformations inside of me that it feels like I should be a totally different person by now. Yet like never before I feel like that little girl. I look at her and feel so overwhelmed with how sweet and adorable she is, how much I love her, how much I want to protect her and how much I want to make her proud. I’m realizing now that the earning I feel is actually the need to get back to her, all the decisions that I make to develop myself, to let go, to nurture, to get better and to DO better are always aimed to get back to her. The simple and pure little girl, just curious about the world, so giving of her love and gentle touch, so open and creative! No matter where I am and what I do I always want to be like her.
If you can find a photo of your 3 year old self, look at it for a moment and see what you feel :)