I often see things that talk about making our younger selves proud and, most of the time, those younger selves are portrayed as much younger. Predictably so, I’m all about this. I love picturing my seven-year-old self with a “blank book” from the craft store, writing and illustrating stories about a family who studies natural disasters. I would love to tell her that people now pay me to write.
The idea of looking back to look forward is charming and wholesome. It’s a good reminder of where we came from and where we’re going. There is a holy innocence of childhood where possibilities feel endless and holding onto that into adulthood feels sacred.
I love things like this because, frankly, I do think that 7-year-old Liz would be really proud of me. She’d recognize me immediately because I still have a favorite stuffed animal. She’d be in awe of all the libraries I’ve visited and documentaries I’ve watched. And she’d think it’s cool as heck that I have a shelf in my pantry dedicated to having all the materials to make cookies at a moment's notice.
Yes, 7-year-old Liz would love me.
But so would 27-year-old Liz.
Perhaps we needn’t look so far back when it comes to self-appreciation. Perhaps we can start a little closer to now.
If the one year ago version of me was looking at the October 2022 version of me, well, past me would still think it’s cool that I eat a lot of cookies and read a lot of books. But past me would also be blown away at what 365 days has done. At what we have done.
It’s fun to look at the big picture. It’s encouraging to know you’re making Little You proud. But don’t let that stop you from seeing what Slightly Younger You sees. Chances are, they’re pretty proud of you too.