Carmen Deoganis (electra310) wrote,
Carmen Deoganis

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A Man Came Up To Me And Said 'I'd Like To Change Your Mind'

So it turns out the first thing I needed to do upon blowing the dust off my old LJ was to set all the old entries to higher security until I've allowed myself a chance to come to terms with the me of 8+ years ago. Continuity of consciousness is such a weird thing, isn't it? You feel like the same person from day to day, but when you look back over a course of years, the past becomes an undiscovered country, full of a mysterious person you don't necessarily understand anymore. (It probably does not help in this case that I tended to post in my LJ when I was feeling particularly extra, which gives me a slightly skewed perception of my old self.)

The funny thing is, I've been doing this with my diaries and journals all my life, writing out my feelings, coming back later and cringing at myself, resisting the urge to DELETE FUCKING EVERYTHING, and eventually forgiving myself for who I used to be. I'm talking all my life too, my first recollection of this phenomenon is from the early nineties, where my ever so worldly ten year old self took it upon herself to go back into the oldest entries in my diaries, from back when I was still learning to write, leaving snarky comments about how dumb I was as a small child in order to prove how much better I was now. In turn, my thirteen or fourteen year old self went back and struck through all those annotations, ashamed at what an asshole my ten-year-old self was. Reading that old diary now is a real trip back into my own head.

If there's anything I've learned from the experience, it's that I must not go back and rewrite my own history, no matter how uncomfortable it makes the later me. Sure, I cringe over my thirteen-year-old self's angsty song lyrics and angry screeds, but she was me and I am her and how do I understand thirteen year olds now if I let myself forget her? How do I have patience with know-it-all college students if I erase my own college years and pretend I was never that way? I really just need to sit with myself for awhile on this and let myself remember who I used to be.

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