Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been (And, Yet…)

“I’m ready to be sure I never become that way again
’cause who I am hates who I’ve been.
Who I am hates who I’ve been.”

-Relient K, “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”

April has not been easy.

In fact, I dare say it has been one of the more challenging months (though 2013 isn’t off to a great start as it is). But there have been moments.

Moments I wanted to freeze and live in; revel in.

The concert where I watched my favorite band in the whole world singing the words I’ve retraced in my mind over and over again, in the venue where my eyes have filled with tears and my heart has swelled with emotion.

The day at the park with my favorite person in the world, where she laughed with glee as we hung upside down and I pushed her on the swing. Where she grinned and was the true definition of a child, with both fear and fearlessness, with amusement and a sparkle in her eye.

The day at the theme park with my friend. The conversation in class where all we did was laugh.

I almost want to take those moments and pause them. I want to wander around within them and remember every detail, to trace them over until I know them backwards and forwards.

I think of the past few years as the end approaches, and I can honestly say that there is a part of me who hates who I’ve been in the past; the girl who sat alone. The girl who didn’t tell anyone she cared or show any indication of caring, unless you were a child.

The girl who was closed off and angry, and nursing old wounds that were still stinging.

And, yet, I am proud of that girl.

She changed.

She’s still a work in progress, she’s still fighting parts of her that don’t know how to be, but she’s changing.

That’s the beautiful part about growing up.

We change.

Our feelings change, our looks, our priorities; all of it changes.

There will always be aspects of who I was that make me cringe, that fill me with feelings of disdain. But in order to be who I am today, I had to be that girl.

In order to be proud of who I am, in order to appreciate who I am becoming, I had to be that girl.

I believe it to be the same for everyone. There are very few people I know who like who they’ve been in the past. There are even fewer of whom I know that are proud of every little thing they’ve done, and every part of their past.

That’s the duality of human nature–of growth. I don’t know. In many ways, this is just me rambling, trying to make sense of all the things going on in my head. But these are the thoughts that plague me throughout the day; the musings that leave me staring off into space.

Do we utilize who we’ve been to better who we’ll become?

Is it possible to have gumption without being someone in the past who we aren’t proud of?

The biggest (and probably most important) question that rolls around in my head frequently is whether or not the person we’ve been is the reason we put up our walls? Is it because we don’t want anyone to see the hurt that was once there? Is it that we don’t want anyone to know of where we’ve been or how we earned our stripes?

It’s difficult to be proud of the past, but when I think of the difference in myself from then to now, I admit, I am proud.

Who I am hates who I’ve been. And, yet, who I’ve been has shaped who I am.

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