Saturday, December 3, 2022

Now and Then


             Now...                                                                      Then...

What a journey! I’m getting real and showing you a snapshot of my life now (2022) versus back then (2013 - the worst time in my life). There’s so much more of me NOW: more curves, more brunette, more wrinkles, and more health—physical, spiritual, and mental. I’ve gained more strength, more boundaries, more confidence, more love, more laughs, and more grace. But there were some definite “mores” back THEN too: more blonde, more sickness, more tears, more pain, more loss, more fear, and more thigh gap. 

Sure, maybe I’d take back a bit of that thigh gap and trade a curve or two, but honestly, I’m pretty amazed at who I’ve become. I try not to dwell  too much on the past and the time lost due to those events, but something about these two photos—taken in the same place, during the same holiday week 11 years apart—made me reflect.

The blonde woman on the right was gearing up for the fight of her life, unaware that within weeks, everything she knew would be gone. She had no idea her health was failing, leading to a medical crisis that would last three years. She didn’t know she’d become a single parent, starting a new life on her own. She was holding onto hope, believing in commitments and promises. Her ability to comprehend loss was limited… but she learned.

Since those days, that skinny blonde went back to her roots—quite literally (brunette joke!). She learned a lot, though it wasn’t quick or easy. I never want to repeat those life lessons, and no one understands the price I paid more than I do. I didn’t deserve what happened, but when I look at the plump brunette on the left, I see strength earned through battles fought. Not all battles were won, and scars still show from time to time. The victories often look different than I imagined. I lost a lot but gained a life I could never have dreamed of. Some of it is a trade-off, and I know nothing is ever an even trade. Mostly, though, I am MORE! I am EXTRA and proud of it. Ultimately, I have the best win: knowing that those who couldn’t handle the “then girl” could never handle or be worthy of the “now girl.”