• Jill

Old Me vs New Me

Can you relate? Have you ever looked at old photos of yourself from when you were in your 20's and then found yourself standing in front of a mirror wondering if this how you thought you would look when you were the age you currently are.

I am going through this currently. Except the photos aren’t from my 20’s (I am 38). They are from two years, when I finally became truly comfortable with who I was. I used to dress the way I thought other people expected me to dress. I wanted to fit in and not break what I thought was the norm.

Somewhere along the way I lost my identity and then one day I became comfortable with myself and started to dress and look how I wanted to. The whole process became very freeing. It was small changes at first and then I took my first big leap and shaved the side of head.

I had always wanted to shave the side of my head, but never went through with it because I didn’t think it what was expected of me. Now I not only have one side of my head shaved but, I have both sides and the back of my head done. If my hair is down it doesn’t look like half my head is shaved and that is how I wanted it,but it is usually up all the time. Funny, story I started shaving my own head for cost reasons and the first time I did it I went to far up the back of my head and took a chunk of hair out. Luckily it didn’t create a bald spot and now I am growing that patch of hair back in again.

I had taken another big step when I got my first tattoo. I had always wanted a tattoo but again never thought it was expected of me so I didn’t get any. Now I have 6 tattoos and counting. Each tattoo is an expression of something important to me. My latest is a mama bear with her cub riding on her back. Now, I can always have my cub with me.

With the addition of my latest tattoo is when I really started looking at myself and wondering what old me would think of all this. Old me would definitely think it was cool, but would constantly be worried about the repercussions of doing all that. Basically, I would be worried about getting in trouble even if I am in my late 30's.

I spent so long trying to meet other people's expectations and lost sight of was important to me. The moment I said to myself, “this is my body and I am going to look how I want it to look. This is how you express yourself and show what is important to you. And if someone doesn’t like/appreciate it, than that is their issue not yours.”

That is one of the hardest things I have had to overcome is not worrying about what other people think. I felt like such a freak for so long that at the time I would have done anything to conform to what the norm was. Now I love and can be proud of who I am.