I was getting dressed for a formal event recently and as I put on my outfit, which I took great pleasure in choosing, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I smiled as I recalled a memory. When I was a little girl, I used to watch my older female cousins getting ready for events and getting all “dolled up” as my family called it. I was in awe of them… their beauty, their fashion sense, their maturity, their womanhood. I thought ahead to when I would be a grown woman and could carry myself like that, wear sophisticated clothes, and attend formal events. As an adult woman, wearing nice clothing when the occasion calls for it has become the norm. That got me thinking about all of the things I dreamed of when I was a little girl and imagined myself being or doing as an adult woman. There are many things I longed to do when I was “old enough” or when it became socially acceptable to do them.
For example, the younger version of myself dreamed of driving a car someday. I got my drivers license when I was 16 years old and have loved driving ever since. (I come from a family of Italians who love their cars and driving, but that also comes with a love of speed so I often set the cruise control to avoid getting speeding tickets!) I also dreamed of being able to drink when I finally turned 21. Of course, that day came and went, and now I enjoy drinking socially, especially wine (living right near California Wine Country has its advantages!) and craft/microbrew beer (I am married to an Irishman who loves his beer and instilled that love in me too over our years together).
I also would imagine myself falling in love and getting married, traveling to amazing far off places, and being financially stable (yes, I did think about that at a young age as my mother instilled in me the importance of being a strong independent woman that could support myself financially!). But there were some things that I just didn’t think to wish for, but now I realize are so vitally important and only come with age and maturity. Like having the wisdom of years of experience and formal education under my belt, feeling sexy, confident and secure, and accepting and appreciating my body — often feelings that a young girl doesn’t get to experience, and sadly, even many grown women too.
What this little glimpse into my past taught me was that we probably wished for many things when we were younger that we now just consider par for the course. And that’s just the way it is. But take a moment to remember what you wished for, or hoped to do or be when you grew up into the woman you are now. It is pretty powerful! It may help you to appreciate the woman you are now rather than wish for your youth again. Yes, being able to stop the clock and not age anymore would be amazing… and superhuman. But that is not in the cards for any of us. What we can do is appreciate that where we are now is pretty darn good. Maybe you are actually living the dreams that your younger self longed for. Maybe you had some big life dreams and they came true. Or perhaps other types of more subtle dreams came true. Like being a fashionista and wearing gorgeous sophisticated clothing, having a life long love affair (what little girl doesn’t wish for that?!), being a “smart cookie” that excels in your business/career, or just having the self confidence and security that the younger version of you hadn’t grown into yet.
Take a moment to look at the woman you are through the eyes of your younger self. I hope you love what you see.