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Don’t Trash the Old You

October 16, 2012

I was chatting with a friend the other day and I was telling her about certain things in my life that I’m not entirely happy with. She encouraged me, saying “You just have to think positive, you can’t let people get you down.” And then she said, “You have to create a new you… the kind of person who has exactly the life you want.

I know she was just trying to be supportive, but the phrase “new you” bothered me. It suggested that the “old me” wasn’t good enough or that my current self is someone I need to cut myself off from, like a toxic relative or friend.

I don’t want or need to create a new me. I love me. I honestly and truly do. If other people don’t like me the way I am… oh well. There’s the fucking door, whoever you are.

Like every other human on this planet, I do not have an ideal life. There are certain circumstances in my life that I wish were different, but I would never want to change the fundamental person I am. If I could magically change the circumstances in my life that I’m not entirely happy with, would I? Of course I would. But it doesn’t mean I want to discard anything about myself now. It wouldn’t change who I am inside. I would still be the same person, and I think that person is pretty damn cool.

I have no desire to jettison my “old” self. I have no desire to create a “new” me. I would love to manifest an “Ultra Super Deluxe” version of me, which is simply an amped up version of the amazing person I have always been (and please don’t mistake my self-love for arrogance… I am not arrogant. We are ALL amazing people and we simply need to acknowledge that.)

So many of us believe that because there are things in our lives that aren’t working the way we want them to, it makes us failures or losers; that there is something defective about us that needs to be trashed and that we need to create a whole new being from scratch. Our size is a perfect example of that. Many of us have experienced pain and difficulty, in one way or another, solely because we are fat. But even if I had a magic wand that would suddenly make me thin (and thus, acceptable to the mainstream) I could never discard my history, my weaknesses, my failures, my regrets, my unachieved desires. They are a crucial part of me. Even if I were thin, I would always be a fat girl.

I say embrace your so-called faults. Hug your failures. Love your fears and sadnesses. Don’t hate them. Don’t make them your enemy. What we consider our weaknesses or failures are actually incredible teachers, guiding us to where we want to be. Respect them, love them, and thank them. Make them your allies, not your enemies.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2012 9:23 am

    Excellent post. Besides, it’s largely impossible to entirely rid yourself of your flaws. You can subdue them, but they’re always there, just waiting for a stressful moment or a spontaneous express. I’ve wished myself into a new me most of my life because I lack, shall we say, interpersonal relationship skill. But if I had those better skills, then I wouldn’t be the same weird, imaginative person that I am now. And even when I fuck up, I still like me and I’m done wishing myself away. That’s not living.

    Peace,
    Shannon

  2. vesta44 permalink
    October 16, 2012 10:48 am

    Great post! What I keep reminding myself, on an almost daily basis, is that those parts of my life that I don’t like are just like all the other parts of my life in the past that I didn’t like and would have given anything to change at the time. But those things in my past life are what made me who I am today, and even though I still have faults and imperfections that I’m working on, I’m a good person and I like who I am now. The parts of my life that I would change, well, they’re probably teaching me more lessons that I still need to learn in order to become even more who I really am – even if that is still perfectly imperfect. As that Aerosmith song says, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” It’s a journey I’ll be on until the day I day, and I’ll be learning, growing, and changing every moment of it.

  3. vesta44 permalink
    October 16, 2012 10:49 am

    Crap, I meant “until the day I die”, wish we had an ‘edit’ feature for comments.

  4. Bookeater permalink
    October 17, 2012 12:22 am

    I grew up desperately wishing to be somebody else– and wasted a lot of time and energy that could have been spend developing the positive aspects of who I actually was. No amount of wishing ever turned me into a tall, thin, graceful, blond, blue-eyed, optimistic, thick-skinned, neurotypical, normatively-gendered extrovert. So now, I’m concentrating on how to be the best fat, clumsy, neurotic, genderqueer nerd I can be.

  5. The Real Cie permalink
    October 31, 2012 6:14 pm

    I don’t like that phrase “new you” either. I may not utterly love myself, but there’s some stuff about me that’s pretty cool, and I don’t want to get rid of it.

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