A couple of years ago I was visiting my beautiful high school friend, Heather, in Canada. We were strolling through a balmy, mozzie-filled Saskatoon evening when we turned a corner and literally walked into the quarterback of our high school football team.
You guys, I went from 50 to 15 in about three seconds flat.
So did he.
It was weird. I definitely wasn't flirting (Hi beautiful husband who reads my blog and already knows this story!) and neither was The Quarterback.
Still, I could feel all the years fall away in one big WHOOOOOSH and there we were, back in high school. Except we were 50. Have you ever had this happen?
It was exactly what one of my favourite writers, Mary Laura Philpott, captured in this crazy-sweet drawing. We carry around all the versions of ourselves.
For me, I carry the little girl reader, the high school cheerleader (Go, Lions!!), the grad student with her cool jeans and serious novels (Go, Mustangs!!!), the young English teacher, the exhausted mummy overseas raising babies, the copywriter / business owner and now the novelist.
Sure, I look 50. But I feel every age I've ever been.
Do you feel that way, too?
All the versions of ourselves that we carry can get heavy. It's tempting to pretend that we never were that person, or made those choices, or ran full steam ahead into those traps. But we are, and we did.
I used to want to ditch a few Previous Catherines (permed hair and leg warmers, anyone??), but now I believe it's important to embrace every one.
So I take a deep breath.
I pat all my little lions.
I tell them I understand why they acted the way they did.
And I do this:
Accepting all the versions of ourselves (young and older, light and dark), sprinkling a little compassion and heading back through to self-love -- that's what I do now. I hope you do, too.
Enjoy your beautiful weekend!
PS. More fun stuff for you:
- My friend, Tara, wrote this awesome blog post about our ability to change.
- Mary Laura Philpott's blog is here. She's charming and funny and smart-as-a-whip.
- And yeah, I'm still baking (compulsively). Let me know if you want this recipe for orange cardamom biscuits...I'll pop it on the blog for you!
- Next week I'm heading over to America to see my sisters, Cookie, Dar and Rena. (And also some new soul sisters; you can see what they're up to at Brooke, Kristen, Katie, Julia, Alicia and Natalie.) Let the fun begin!