If you were to ask whether your high school self would be proud of your present self, what would the answer be?
The reflective question came up as my boyfriend and I were driving in the car this weekend. He was feeling a bit down about his overall life achievements, but I thought the criticism, though understandable, was a bit misplaced.
It’s so easy for us to get lost in the comparisons, to constantly feel that our lives are not as glamourous as our friends who are publishing white-faded hipstergram photographs on mountain hikes or in far-off, exotic locales; that our lives fail to measure up to the resumé-bursting achievements of our classmates who share their latest job promotions or school acceptances; that our lives are somehow emptier compared to those couples who share their latest couple-y adventure to Disneyland, Europe, the café down the street.
Those are just some examples of experiences from which comparisons may be drawn, but this is not a call to denigrate the achievements and happiness of our friends. Rather I think the question originally posed serves as the beginning of a discussion point that we, too, have our own significant achievements. Whether marked and memorialized by social media or given the recognition of our peers, the personal achievements we each hold are things to be proud of, to personally recognize and acknowledge in terms of growth and maturity.
And so, I think it could be beneficial to ask ourselves of this question every now and then… Because I think that many of our high school selves would be surprised at how our present selves have turned out. Because I think that many of our high school selves would be proud of who we are today. Because the reality is that many of us have gone through so much in the years since high school–and perhaps that journey is enough in and of itself to be celebrated.