You will be a different person by the end of this post.
A podcast I listened to recently spoke of how ever-evolving we are as individuals. Not only in the sense of maturation with habits and priorities, but also physiologically. Our cells and neurons shift and adjust to their environment continually. Logistically speaking, your body will be different by the end of this two-minute read.
Follow me down this rabbit hole and let’s see if you come out the other side in a similar state of mind as I did.
My driver's license expired in May of 2020. Everything was shut down. Naturally, I forgot about it until recently when a cashier or someone similar pointed it out to me.
I made my appointment and as I came closer I realized I was sad to have to take a new picture.
This first picture came right after my honeymoon to Mexico. Bright-eyed, in wonder at the idea of marriage, no children, (not yet interested in nutrition), and broke 🤣. Giddy over changing my last name from Babin to Wesley, I strutted into the Secretary of State with a strong sense of self-confidence, ready to adjust the way people see me. My picture- blonde and tan- showed few markings of real life obstacles: one major heartbreak, multiple college switches, and idealism up the wazoo. Athletic, unappreciative of young strength and capability. She’d never lost anyone. She was naively happy. And I love that about her.
The second picture, the one I took as I approach my thirties, looks like a different person. The eyes are slightly more worn, less sleep. The skin unexposed to as long of sunlight because babies burn when taken outside for long periods of time- so I don’t. The hair dark and short. January’s effect on color, and toddlers effect on length. She’s learned the meaning of marriage; the difficulty of it and it’s deep reward for perseverance and honesty. It took her a long time to get pregnant- achingly long. She has lost babies, and with them the naive happiness. She birthed two babies. At home. Without drugs. One of them traumatically. She has lost a grandfather, a man that she had a closer relationship to then she ever anticipated having. She has learned boundaries. She is strong. Mentally, emotionally, and rediscovering her physical strength. The confidence she has now is honest, and aware of shortcomings but also of power.
These women are so different. Their lives incomparably opposite. And yet one could not be without the other. This business, this desire to help others would not exist without the preface of what prioritizing health did to change who I am.
So. While I appreciate my young self's unbridled optimism, and I look back on it when I need a reminder (read: keep my old license), it is not where my strength is rooted.
I will embrace the tired eyes, for it means I've worked hard.
I will accept a paler complexion, because I care for more than just myself.
I will be incredibly grateful for a husband willing to work at marriage the same way I am.
I will grieve the losses for it means I had something valuable.
I will work hard to regain my physical strength, because I am capable.
And I will help others find what defines & supports health for them, because it is a worthy cause and one I feel honored to engage in.
How do you feel different now that you did a decade ago? How did this resonate with you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.