To Myself of Sixteen Years Ago

Dear 25 Year Old Me,

Gosh you are so cute. You are slim and muscular and you have the most fabulous natural arch in your eyebrows. We had some good times with your cute self, didn’t we?

Well 25, here’s the deal. Since about 1997, I’ve been in a fruitless quest to get back to you. You were my IDEAL weight. I’ve dieted and exercised and worried and cried and fretted for 16 years just trying to get that 1996 body back. That’s a long time to want something. That’s a long time to look back.

I’m slowly realizing that I will never be you, ever again. Even if by the grace of God, I do lose 50 pounds and get back to the weight of my youth, I still won’t look like YOU. Even if we weigh the same – we will still look different. I won’t look like you ever again…and I’m trying to not be sad about that.

I’m going to be 41 in a couple of weeks and I’m tired of looking back. I’m tired of being afraid to face the present and the future – I’m afraid of feeling like they won’t be as good as the past once was. So my dear 25, I’m afraid I have to let go of the dream of you. I have to let go of the fact that I won’t ever, EVER, look like you again.

If I lose enough weight to resemble you, I still won’t BE you. No, I’ll be 41. And 41 – well she’s got a lot going on…she’s got big plans for this next year. 41 has a hot husband and great kids that she wants to focus on. 41 is spending more time with old friends and making new ones as well. 41 is smarter, more patient, and definitely funnier than you were. And 41 is working really hard to get her mental sh*t together so she can get rid of this extra weight.

So consider this a goodbye letter to the dreaming and wishful thinking that I will ever be you, 25.  I can’t charge full on into my 41st year if I’m still holding hands with you. You were awesome 25, and I will always be thankful for you, but now it’s time get to know 41 and see what she’s capable of doing.

Sincerely,

Me

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13 thoughts on “To Myself of Sixteen Years Ago

  1. Wow! OK, I know I’m basically a stalker, reading about your life and struggles and loving your honesty and candidness but really, you are beautiful now! Then…who’s really beautiful at 25? How can you be truly beautiful when there’s so much to learn? 🙂 So much to love…so much to experience? 🙂 And that picture at the end of the post–use that for your book! 🙂 It’s a great one!

    Thanks for sharing your life. I’ve found so much courage and strength and truth in your words.
    Cheers, Katie 🙂

  2. Beautiful post! Beautiful you!

    Although thin, I would not want to go back to my 20’s mentally or emotionally. I cry for that messed up girl. I’d go back if I could use my wisdom now to change things, but other than that, forget it. I’d rather be my fat-working-on-healthier, happier self.

    • Oh I wouldn’t want to go back and live in 25’s head either. She was confused and had zero self esteem, but at least she looked good in a swimsuit!! If I could put my brain now in her body…that would be all right with me!!

  3. That is a great current picture of you!

    I am having more problems accepting my ‘aging’ self than my overweight self. And I’m not looking back 25 years. I looked less wrinkled just two years ago. I wish it didn’t bother me, but it does.

  4. Such an insightful post. As a person that doesn’t like to look back and inevitably does, this was very inspirational. The idea that we are who we are today, is sometimes challenging to accept, and it is nice to hear about embracing it with optimism!

  5. Jill, I’ve been mulling this one over for days now. You are dead on. At 25, I was cute and thin and in great shape. Since then, these hips have brought forth three of the most amazing people on the planet. This oversized chest has nourished them. (TMI, I know.) This pudgy belly has lacked attention because I’ve been spending my time on things that will last. So yesterday I gave away every piece of clothing in my closet that was smaller than size 8. I’m never going to fit in them again, and I’M GLAD ABOUT IT. It was incredibly freeing. Thank you, Jill.

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