Sometimes, I do the most self-centric, narcassistic and egotistical thing any blogger can do—I go back and read my old posts. Why? Well, part of the cool thing about having a blog is that I have this digital scrapbook of my life accessible 24/7, and it’s fun to reminisce. But the biggest reason is because this digital scrapbook also gives me a perfect picture of my evolution as a person. And sometimes, it’s so fascinating to go back and read what I wrote and see how much I’ve changed.
Evolution is a funny thing.
I’d say, with the exception of a small percentage of the population, everyone evolves. At some point, in almost everyone’s lives, they look back at who they used to be and think, “Gosh, I’m so different.” And for some of us, that internal dialogue happens more than once.
I, for one, am a big fan of evolution. We’ve all seen those people who are trapped eternally in their Senior year of high school. The people who retell the story of their game-winning touchdown pass for the state championships on their deathbed. The people who never grew up (either because of biological or environmental reasons, or, sometimes, by choice). And I don’t want to be one of those people.
I’m not saying you can’t be young at heart. Or that you can’t wear glitter and blast One Direction in the car at any age (guilty), but there is something so incredibly positive about maturing into yourself. There is so much pride, power and confidence in that feeling. I’ve always heard that self-assurance comes with age—and I believe that—but I think the biggest contributor to being self-assured is evolution (and we happen to evolve more the older we get). Maybe, I’ll look back at this post in 10 years and think, “Gosh, you had no freaking clue.” But I can safely say, right now, I feel great.
But none of this is the funny part.
The funny part of evolving is how it affects other folks. Maybe not the people immediately around you (because those people are right there with you through each step of your evolution), but the people in your outer circle. Maybe your best friend from college that you only see once a year. Or that family friend who held you as a baby. Maybe even an estranged family member. Those are the people who are affected the most. Those are the people that can’t seem to accept—or understand—why you’ve changed. They feel abandoned and alienated.
What I think is funny? That something that feels so positive and feels so right to you is so often seen as a negative by someone on the outside. I mean, when’s the last time you heard someone say, “You’ve changed.” and it was a positive statement? Almost never. Change can be so intimidating for folks. And I think to deal with it a lot of people (me included, although not intentionally) spin it as a negative. Oh, you changed your mind on a decision you made three years ago? Well, then you’re a flip-flopper. You’re flaky. You’re wishy-washy. You aren’t the person I thought you were. You’ve changed.
I really want to reclaim that phrase—you’ve changed. I want someone to say it and the appropriate response be “Thank you!” because it is the sincerest of compliments. I’m thankful that I’ve changed. When I think of all the things I’d miss out on if I hadn’t evolved to be where I am? Gosh, that’s sad. I’m proud that I’m growing and morphing and adjusting and becoming a new person with every new experience.
Anyway, back to the whole reading my blog posts thing—I’m definitely not the same girl who started this blog over two years ago. If I’m being totally honest, I was a follower back then. I was lost. I was writing a blog to latch onto the only picture of health I thought I knew—other healthy living bloggers. I thought their lives were perfect and shiny and amazing. They were skinny and jobless and healthy and well-loved. Going back and reading now I see so much desperation in I wrote and how I acted. I was desperate for validation.
Right now, I feel myself in the midst of a huge shift in my life. A shift toward self-validation and self-confidence and self-assurance. Maybe this is totally normal during the approach to the big 3-0, but regardless, it feels totally awesome. I’m finally getting my validation, but it isn’t coming from other bloggers. As much as I love you guys, it isn’t coming from my readers, either. It has nothing to do with my co-workers, my boss or my job. And it isn’t coming from my amazing husband, my supportive family or my caring friends. It isn’t coming from anyone else, it’s coming from within. From me feeling good about me. What a novel concept! I validate myself!
And I hope you can see (or read) that shift in the words and content here in BTHR, too. I’ve been having so much fun lately generating the content that I like and enjoy and feel good about and worrying so much less about what would make other people happy. I’m sure that will alienate some folks and make me lose readers, but honestly? If I’m not happy doing this gig, then what’s the point?
I 100% look at writing BTHR as a career. And I want to do my best at it and believe in my work, just like I do at my day job. I’m not just fishing for clicks and ad revenue (although, I’d be lying if I said the checks didn’t help out our budget), but I want people to feel good about the “value” of coming to this site. I want my readers to look at the ads on my site and think, “Hey, that’s okay, she’s working really hard to provide us with good content.” And I feel like I do that better when I’m in love with my content and I’m loving what I’m writing. Amazingly enough, it’s taken me over two years to realize that.
Sometimes I can be pretty dense.
This all being said, I’m not at all ashamed of the girl I was when I started this blog (or the person I’ve been at anytime during my 29 years). Just because I don’t believe in those things now doesn’t negate how strongly I believed in them then. It just means that’s no longer who I am. And I’m so glad that evidence of my evolution is there for me to always go back to and relive whenever I’d like.
But it does mean that sometimes, you might hear one thing from me and the might see it change a short time later. I’m still changing. I’m still evolving And I hope I always will be. Thanks for sticking around.
How have you evolved in the past few years?
P.S. Also noted when going through my old posts: I take an obnoxiously large number of photos of my feet. Apparently I’m all about giving you guys my point of view. OR I’m just too introverted to ask people to take a picture of me.