There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged
to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. - Nelson Mandela
through all this hubbub of getting back into routine of living our new life here, i haven't sat still long enough to process the major life changes that have been going on. i've been trotting along and suddenly it hit me while burning cds the other night. or should i say morning (i do my best work in the wee hours). i've been dusting out iphoto and clearing some space on the hard drive. i couldn't help but smile upon discovering these two similar self portraits; four years apart. it took these two photos to make me stop and think for awhile. about who i was and who i have become in this short span of time. it's funny to think, little by little, i am turning into the future me. i like when life does that to you; wraps you up from a long race to remind yourself about who you once were and who you are now.
same place. same girl.
same awesome office building in salt lake city.
same favorite brownies from the judge cafe.
different complexion (california vs. idaho sunshine).
same style of peter pan collar blouses.
different cameras (both loved and abused).
same handy camera strap.
same size (giant) bag. one size fits all (my stuff).
same finicky hair. was brunette, now back to blonde.
(looking frazzled from those days of taking the bus.)
same me who likes it pulled away from my face for work.
same funny hopeless eyebrows.
same crooked smile.
different fingernails. more excited to paint them now.
seemingly a bit more comfortable in my own skin now.
(even though i can no longer squeeze into that yellow H&M blouse.
am still keeping it however. same sentimental me.)
and i still love (and wear) that green cardigan.
best christmas gift from husband.
same loving amazing husband.
who knew we had a whole adventure lying ahead of us?
as i look at these photos; i see the ocean of experience the young me is about to embark on.
the girl in the mirror wonders about careers, location, and settling in and babies and raising a family and churning out a homemade business and where it will all lead. she has lots of plans, little direction. she is suddenly taking lots of pictures and wonders about the future. she wants the answers now. she is not unlike the present-day me who would like to see life in buffet form; all the options out in the open. she was a working girl; staying up late and blogging up a storm (i had so much to learn!). not much has changed in that arena. she had no idea she was about to become a country mouse for three years. she was still missing california. she did not know how awesome idaho could be, the lifelong friends she would meet or the new tiny spud she'd hold every day in that little apartment. she didn't know what idaho winds were like or how many snapshots she'd take of the whipped cream clouds. she didn't know about roadtrips with sunglasses on and baby in tow.
she was fearful of change yet impatient about real life hurrying up and getting started. she listened to jimmy chunga every morning on the radio. not necessarily because she liked him. she took the bus every day and applied mascara when it stopped at the university. she had just learned the recipe for dan's soon-to-be favorite chocolate chip hobbit cake. (she will be making it for the rest of his life.) she tried to do too much. and she didn't even know about pinning yet. or twitter or facebook. myspace never tempted her. she was easily excitable, eager to please, and happily in charge of planning the fiestas every month at work.
she wore scarves and an ipod and a giant bag everywhere. she did not worry about naptimes or feedings, diaper bags or nursing bras, sleep-training or potty-training. she was confident; but naive to all that was right around the corner. in a few month's time, she would have a stack of books on her nightstand. she was about to find out what pregnancy feels like. she would learn the happiest news on christmas eve and never feel the same again. feeling those first kicks of motherhood is a new sensation. i wish i could tell her how much joy that baby boy brings. but she will see. those are things you cannot begin to explain. some things must be felt. and much later, the girl in the mirror would know the feeling of losing a pregnancy. gaining new empathy for loss and sadness. she would know what it means to feel real sad and broken. i wish i could tell her how to prepare for it. but that too was a learning curve only to be fully understood by experience. she would meet friends who made her stronger. she learned new love and happiness in the now. she would see a husband graduate, pass the bar (yay!), become a real lawyer and a father all in a year's time. wow. writing that now opens my eyes to his own learning curve. there is such beauty in remembering how God has a plan (far better than one we could devise on our own); that His path steers us right where we ought to be.
same girl. same city.
same me. new me.
new lessons in my heart.
same wonderings of what is to come.
life is good / oh how good it is to remember.
remember what you've been through.
remember what makes you strong.
remember where you've been and who you are.
remember where you are going.
remember / you. can. do. this.