Past and Present Selves

I was thinking earlier today about the way I responded to things a few years ago versus the way I do now. The things I did, some silly and embarrassing (not in a public way–that wouldn’t bother me as much), some a little disappointing, some flat out naive. 

I wonder how I would say the things I said then if I said them now. Or if Now-Me switched with  Then-Me. Or even if older, wiser me could re-watch some scenes from the past and edit out the less appealing bits. I’ve neve been ashamed of myself or embarrassed to be who I am. I’m not saying that I did something terrible and wish I could change the past. This is different. More reflective, passive. Like looking at school assignments from elementary school: “Oh, Child-Me, you were so precious and naive but tried so hard to be good at this thing,” but somehow not patronizing.

I know that 3-To-5-Years-From-Now-Me could very well be looking back at this and writing something similar, or thinking it. Or maybe some more advanced form of expression and thought of which I am not capable now.

I guess the only ways to circumvent naiveté are:

A) Learn everything there is to know about everything

B) Acknowledge that there is plenty you won’t know about yourself until later and there’s not a blasted thing you can do about it.

I don’t feel the need to justify Past-Me or even really explain some of the things I did. I think the Past-Versions of my friends were different enough that they might not have perceived these things as objectionable then. Maybe there are a few things I’d like to clear up, like acting stupidly in certain social situations because of unfavourable romantic circumstances or a (hopefully subconscious) need for attention. But we’ve all done those things, right? Haven’t we? Have we? Have all my Past-Versions-Of-Friends already blogged about this very topic and lamented on how they too wished they could play a powerpoint presentation of tasteless past actions and dispel any ill will. Haven’t we all looked back and felt disconnected with who we were before?

…probably.

Time is a crazy thing. Just….crazy. Being aware of multiple times at once can be tricky. Yes, this is all connected to the whole Live-In-The-Present thing, but I’m not going there now. And how well do we really remember things? How do our versions of reminiscence compare to friends’ accounts of the same event? I have a friend who was working on a project centred around that question. 

Now I am who I am now. I am no longer who I was, and I am not yet who I will be. I guess I can accept that I’ll forever be looking back on previous versions of myself (“drafts”, if you will), and being aware of having moved forward. But I shouldn’t be criticizing them. 

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