Writer’s Workshop – Compare and Contrast


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1.) Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?

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To be honest, the first photo MAY have been taken in about 2002. So it’s more like 11-12 years old. But it was a good one to show Ash and I doing a pre-selfie era selfie. Then, there’s the photo the nurse took of us mere minutes after Dakota was born in August.

The ways in which I have changed are vast and varied. I was a much different girl back then and I suppose, though I always wondered when it happened, I have become a woman in that time. In 2002, I’d been dating Ash a few years, I was graduating from FSU with a BA in English, and I had absolutely no idea where I wanted my life to go. Work? Grad school? I didn’t have a lot of motivation or even vision for the future. So at my roommate’s encouragement, I applied to CompUSA. He had recently quit so he could focus on school and he knew they needed cashiers. I’d worked a register once before: during a two week stint as a Baskin-Robins employee. I wasn’t very good at it and they let me go. The only other job I’d had before that was as a camp counselor, which is pretty different than retail.

I learned a lot working in the “real world” as opposed to sitting at a nice safe desk in a brick building on one of the most gorgeous college campuses in the country. I grew up a whole bunch in my two years there. I learned how to deal with people and not only that, but myself. I used to be a staunch believer in just that: my beliefs. And sometimes I let those stop me from being reasonable and/or putting up with something. In some situations, you have to let silly little principles go so everyone can move forward.

In 2003 I applied for the FSU Masters program in Creative Writing. Surprisingly, they let me in. In 2004, they gave me a TA-ship and I started teaching. In hindsight, this was pretty much the best thing I could have done because now, I work in that department and my degree allows me to continue to teach as well. This pretty much defines my adult career, though at the time, I wasn’t sure where it would take me.

Of course, back then, I couldn’t even see myself getting married, let alone having children. What changed in those years was my confidence. I had pretty low self-esteem and confidence in my abilities. As bad as it sounds to say Ash brought those out in me, it’s true. I had to have that approval to foster in myself those feelings of self-worth. These days, and since becoming a mother, I can do it myself. I don’t need approval to better myself. Though it doesn’t hurt to hear how awesome I am!

At the time of that photo, I’d say I was at least 60-70 pounds overweight. Though in my newest photo I am ten pounds heavier than my lightest, I am definitely more in shape now and aware of my eating habits. I run now and I know that I have to keep in shape to keep up with the kids. Back then I was pretty much on a 3 AM pizza diet every day.

I have changed in so very many ways in the 11+ years since that photo of us. It’s kind of crazy to think just how far I have come and matured. I am much happier now, I can tell you that much!

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