What a Difference 10 Years Makes

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This 10 year photo sharing thing… Let me tell ya… There’s been some people talking about applying filters and shit. There is not one single filter on any of these photos. I don’t even know how to do that. This is real, authentic me.

I look at these photos of myself, 10 years apart and think, ‘who is that woman on the left’? WOW! I look old, tired, fat, you know, all those things I could tell myself. But you know what?

10 years ago she was tired: tired of life, tired of being beaten up by life, tired of having life happen in unexpected bad ways, tired on the inside mentally and physically. She was depressed. She felt unworthy in so many areas of her life, She beat herself up daily while trying to smile on the outside. She cried a lot. She had panic attacks. And here’s something most people don’t know, she was cutting herself because the pain she was feeling was not enough to get through the pain of her son who had robbed her, who was on drugs, who was homeless because she had to do the thing that no parent wants to do and kick him out for stealing, hitting her, and trashing the house. Who was she to be happy? She always felt like other moms were judging her for being a horrible parent, after all, her son was on drugs and homeless. She was a worthless mom, who had failed her kid, and was failing her step-daughter when she said one night while playing a board game, that she was tired of living in a sad house. That’s the woman on the left.

Looking at the photo on the right, I look younger and happier. I may know how to apply makeup on better, but there’s no filter. Just genuine me.

The woman on the right has taken a road less traveled by many to get where she is today. Although life has given her a lot of trials, tribulations, and some trauma, she has refused to play the victim. She fought to come back. She fought hard! She’s not perfect, far from it. She’s learning and growing every day because personal growth doesn’t stop, EVER. She’s happy on the inside. She’s confident. She feels loved. She is capable of loving. She doesn’t feel like the failure she did 10 years ago. She doesn’t judge people based on the ones who’ve hurt her. She knows that others are capable of making their own choices and they don’t necessarily reflect on her, not even her kid’s decisions. She knows that everything happens for a reason and there’s a lesson in everything. And some things are meant to be shared to help others.

I’m proud of the woman on the right. She’s a fighter, warrior, survivor, a success. She may not be the version of success you think of but she is successful.

I am me.

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