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?
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!