For my blog post this week, I decided to take a look back in time and see what has changed since I was 10 years old. It was 1999 when I was 10 years old and since that time I could have had another Bat Mitzvah, which right now makes me feel a bit old. So 13 years ago I was a 10 year old girl growing up on Long Island with my parents and now I am 23 year old girl (some may say woman) living on Long Island with my parents. This statement above kind of sums up my entire theory which is, as much as things change, they also stay the same.
Now, obviously, many, many things have changed since then, because biologically speaking, they had to. I got a bit taller, my hair changed color slightly, I filled out a bit, and then there is all that other fun stuff that just happens through puberty and age. All of you are probably thinking, well, those are obvious things, but a lot more has changed hasn’t it? To answer this most simply, yes a lot more has in the general sense; I know a lot more now than I knew back then, I have experienced way more since I was 10, and I have dealt with more stress and emotional situations than I probably ever thought possible when I was a kid in elementary school. So okay, you got me there; all of this has in fact changed in the past 13 years. However, it is important to remember, that although all of these “factors” have changed, there is something that will always just stay the same; who I am as a person.
Let us travel back to 1999 (or possibly 1997 or 1998, forgive me on this, all those years can sort of blend together when looking back), when I was in Mrs. Hirsch’s classroom, playing with my classmates in the back portion of the room, working on some activity. As with all classroom activities, all of the kids somehow form into smaller groups, mainly sticking to familiar faces or friends of theirs. When we all segmented into our smaller areas, I heard a girl from another “group” say to someone working in my area “ugh you don’t want to work with them, come over here and work with the cool kids.” So, I know what you are all thinking, wow that girl was rude. I thought this too, but what I distinctly remember more about this situation was me thinking to myself, “I don’t know what that girl is talking about, I am a cool girl, I have a lot of friends, and I don’t have to say things like that to get people to fear being socially not-accepted and be on my side.” So there it is, the thing that hasn’t changed at all, and will possibly never change. To this day, I still have that same outlook on myself and I suppose on life. I have always been confident enough in myself to know that most times, what other people think doesn’t really make a difference, and it’s more about how you handle the situation and learn from it.
To further drive the point home, I have some other examples of some character traits that are still as present today as they were 13 years ago. When I was 10 years old, I went to sleepaway camp completely alone and made a ton of friends I still see regularly today. When I was 18 years old I went to UMass alone, didn’t know a soul, but made a ton of friends I still see regularly today. When I was 20 years old I went to study abroad in Barcelona on my own and made a ton of friends that I see regularly/keep up with regularly today. When I was 10 years old I took sculpture classes and painting classes and now at 23, I still color in coloring books and draw doodles on paper.
When I was born I slept with stuffed animals. When I was 10 I slept with stuffed animals and now, at 23, I still sleep with stuffed animals. I think you all may be getting the point.
So I think in summary, as much as things change, they most definitely stay the same. If I could tell my 10 year old self one thing it would be, “don’t change a thing…..but maybe you didn’t need to dress like a tomboy for quite so long J.”