“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” – Albus Dumbledore
Throughout my life, many different people at many different times have told me to stop living in the past because before I know it my whole life will have flashed before my eyes and I will have been too busy focusing on things that have already happened to enjoy what is to come. The thing is, no matter how many people tell me, I just can’t help but constantly fixate about the person I used to be.
It’s a character trait I wish I didn’t have – it means I hold grudges longer, think about bad things that happened longer, and I honestly think it’s part of the reason it took me so long to get into recovery with my depression, because no matter how much I tried I couldn’t stop fixating on the things that made it worse. While I can proudly say I’ve been in recovery for three years, and I am actually the happiest I’ve ever been, I still can’t stop myself looking back with longing at years gone by and wishing I could be that person again.
The weird thing though, is while I want to be that person again, I also want to be the person I am now too. It’s like I have the old me and the current me in my head absolutely battling it out to achieve happiness with myself.
I’m very lucky at the moment because I live in my dream city, I am so in love with the most incredible guy, and I have a good job with nice people and I wouldn’t give any of those things up for the world – I just want to make that clear. But I think my obsession with the past is rooted in a deep disliking for myself and my looks. All my life I’ve wanted to be thinner and prettier – I could never see what was in the mirror when I was younger and so I’d constantly compare myself to other bloggers, to models, to my friends, to people on the TV. I was so desperate to be liked and to succeed and the frustrating thing is that now when I look back at that girl I would give anything to be her again. To be two or three years younger with my hair before I chopped it all off and the figure I had before I moved out, and the bank balance I had when I had no rent to pay and no responsibilities.
While back then I compared myself to these famous faces, now I’m comparing my current self to my old self as well. I’m constantly looking at old pictures of me and wondering how I could lose weight to be back to that size again, constantly cursing myself for cutting off my lovely long hair when I was heartbroken last year, and constantly lamenting the state of my bank account and cursing myself for not being better with money.
While everything else in my life now is perfect and I wouldn’t change it for the world, my relationship with myself is going from bad to worse and this is something I’m determined to work on this year.
See I’m spending so long looking at old blog posts, analysing my body to see where exactly and how much weight I’ve put on and looking at old vlogs and realising how much confidence I have lost, that I’m actually forgetting how to be happy with my current self. And however much I dislike her, unfortunately she’s the one I have to put up with – I can’t go back to old me because she doesn’t exist anymore aside from in the pictures I’m so constantly looking at.
The funny thing is though, when I actually take a step back and really think about it – old me certainly wasn’t any happier with who she was. She still wanted to lose weight, she was still striving for success and recognition, she still wanted more money – but she was also still living at home, she didn’t have her own place yet and she certainly wasn’t in love. She was miserable and she felt stuck in a rut with her life. Sometimes it’s good to remember the old times, but it “does not to to dwell on the past and forget to live” as the grass isn’t always greener.
I could quite easily move home. Get a job in my hometown and live rent free with Mum and Dad again. I’d have disposable income for all the clothes I wanted to buy and I could come and go as I pleased with absolutely no responsibilities but would I actually be any happier? Of course not – how could I go from living in London to living back at home? How could I leave Joseph and all of my dreams behind?
The answer is, I couldn’t. And that alone tells me that no matter how much I long for the girl I used to be, I have made exactly the right decision in becoming the girl I am today, and no matter what as long as I keep striving to achieve my dreams I will one day become 100% happy with myself.
Jacket: Zara | Top: Zara | Skirt: Urban Outfitters | Shoes: New Look | Cap: Ace Vestiti*
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