wanna know what drives me crazy? no? okay, whatever. gonna tell you anyways. it drives me nuts when people say “oh the old me would have . . .” insert major dramatic eye roll here. let’s unpack this real quick. open up the suitcase and start taking it all out. because of this. the old you. the old me. whatever you want to call it. why are we saying that? why are we saying ‘the old me’? insinuating that the old me or old you wasn’t good enough and would have done something worse?

i am sorry. but i am here to say that the old me, the former me, the previous version of me, whatever it is y’all are calling it; that me helped make me. it isn’t the ‘old me’ okay? every single layer that i have stripped down and dissected; every piece of me that i have exposed to my therapist or to the people in my life; every ounce of who i was or am or am trying to be. there isn’t an ‘old me’ or a ‘new me’. everything i have done has led to this layer. and i can’t stand when people are so quick to judge a layer of themselves. ditching it because an audience is praising some new habit or behavior. i am sorry but nah. the bits of you are all important; old or new. the habits, the faces, the hardships, the friendships, the relationships, the lessons. all of it. you wouldn’t be who you are without all the shit you’ve been through {tattoo that on your forearm}. stop saying bye to the old you. keep her in your back pocket, respect that piece of you. don’t throw her out with the bath water. she made this layer. she paved the way. she did the hard parts so you could do whatever it is that’s got everyone’s attention. maybe you’re saying ‘bye old me, hello new me’ because you hit play on a workout video. okay cool. well the old you pissed you off enough to do it so let her be recognized. maybe you are throwing up a deuce to your ‘old self’ because you bought some organic spinach for the first time ever. okay but the old you must’ve gained some weight so you gained some perspective. honestly, i don’t even know.

but, keep your old you. she got you this far. the layers of who you are and what you wanna be are so much deeper than you think. you wouldn’t be who you are without the shit you’ve been through. and honestly, you wouldn’t be who you are without all the layers that make you.

wanna know my layers? sure. i am here for it. i have: youngest child layer, baby sister layer, anxious before puberty layer, too afraid to sleep layer, food issues layer, no friends in high school layer, failing freshman year of college layer, identity crisis layer, bipolar diagnosis layer, therapy layer, career crisis layer, grad school layer, relationship layer, grief layer, burying your best friend layer, engagement layer, teacher layer, marriage layer, responsibility layer, money problems layer, debt layer, career shift layer, grad school layer, moving layer, doctoral program layer, mental health maintenance layer, better habits layer. you picking up what i am laying down? {pun intended}. all my layers have been placed on top of each other. not a single one more significant than any other. each one possesses crucial parts to who i am and what i have done. some of them are the oldest parts of me; some are parts that are shining through the surface as we speak.

me. that’s it. not old me. not new me. just me. all my layers make up the cake. or the wall. or whatever layered thing you wanna call it. i am fully aware of how i am built; of the thicker layers; of the ones that were the hardest to frost; of the sweet ones and the bitter ones too. but i will never turn my back to what shaped me.

i was built on all that i have seen, done, walked through, trudged through, cried through, danced through and laughed through. i won’t turn away from any parts that make me, me.

not old. not new. me.

just be you. and take all the layers with you.


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