I’m aware that I have a small following but this post (although I love writing pieces for others to enjoy) is mainly for myself to process some thoughts. It is probably going to lack a clear structure, but here goes…
I have just taken my make up off after a long day. We have just started socialising again (Covid, for future reference) and it’s ruddy exhausting! Not to mention the fact that I’m raising one two year old and another inside my womb. That’s pretty tiring too!
I decided to use a fabric, Alice band to keep my hair back. As I looked at my reflection, I was reminded of my wannabe ‘boho’ days. I was in middle school and looked up to a family friend, Naomi, who was the epitome of awesomeness in my eyes. She used to wear sarongs over jeans and somehow rocked it. As imitation is the greatest form of flattery, I searched my mum’s wardrobe for some similar accessories and started to put together my new, bohemian, beach look. I went one step further, though. I had a beige, fabric belt that was supposed to accompany a favourite maxi skirt of mine. It was a couple of inches thick and tied up in two parallel knots. It’s quite hard to describe. Anyway, I decided that bohemian Emily would experiment with this scarf and turn it into a really cool piece of head gear. Despite taking up the majority of my head, I tied the beige belt around my hair and wore it to school. I can distinctly remember being in a music lesson and having to keep re-tying the head band/belt because it wasn’t made for this type of accessorising. I admire the confidence in my past self!
Anyway, going back to my evening routine as a 27 year old. I looked at myself and experienced a strange feeling just looking at my reflection. Without my glasses on, this piece of fabric closely resembled the bohemian garment from almost two decades ago and I looked through myself at the girl who had no idea that she’d grow up so quickly.
It’s never struck me before. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to live a beautiful life thus far. I had the pleasure of a wonderful childhood where I rarely wished that my circumstances would change. I experienced what I feel every child should: the innocence and pleasure of living life in the moment. I had no fear of the future, no sense of time speeding up, and certainly no thoughts of my body growing old and my mortality being a thought that cropped up every now and again.
I wanted to do something with this wave of emotion. I could let it pass by, blame it on the hormones and rush to bed. I really need the sleep. Or — as you have found this — I could try to make sense of these feelings and turn them into something positive.
It’s scary, realising you’ve grown up. Whizzing through school, University, marriage, children…how on Earth have these huge life events flown by? Savoured? Mostly. Flown? Certainly (and unexpectedly).
However, this is my way of combatting the slight panic I feel at the clock ticking: gratitude. Oh, and a little dose of self-encouragement because I don’t often silence the inner critic.
What a wonderful life so far! What a privilege to have experienced so many of the things I uttered as a child, hoping for and not really grasping the joy of. To my present self: well done! You’ve definitely aged a bit but there’s plenty of life left in you yet. You’ve passed some huge milestones but you are living your dream! You’ve proved your strength through some really tough times and have maintained some of the wonderful qualities that made you such a brilliant child.
You’ll probably stare at your reflection many times with the same sense of confusion and mild panic. Where has the time gone? Why do I have grey hairs already?! How are my children (X) years old?! The list goes on.
The crux is this: combat the confusion with gratitude. Don’t forget the encouragement. You’ve come so far and you’ve got a long way to go. You may not be so focused on personal growth but it happens anyway. Life — in all its beautiful, messy glory — happens. You are a credit to yourself and your Creator. Well done and keep pressing on to the goal set before you. It’s the only prize worth fighting for.