Rooting around through old photos gave me an idea. Here it is.
This is me, nearly 19 years apart. On the left, age 4, and on the right, age 23. Please note the evolution of my cowlick, for in my youth I vainly attempted to wear bangs, that ended up springing in various directions. I have since embraced the side-swoosh. It has served me well. I also grew into my nose. Or maybe it grew into me. Hard to say.
The interesting thing is that in my head, more often I visualize myself as the kid on the left. Maybe being an adult just hasn’t sunk in yet. I can’t say that it’s really a bad thing, because I have shared the following advice with people in regard to self-criticism: when you are hard on yourself, can you imagine telling the same thing to yourself as a child? You are still that child, after all.
When I fail at doing something, and think “god, that was dumb. You’re so stupid,” to myself, I picture that kid on the left up there standing in front of me, and saying those words to her. It seems cruel. This practice has given me great emotional healing over the years. It’s an exercise in loving yourself. And, I suppose, all the versions of yourself throughout time.