Have you ever used the phrase “the old me”? I’ve often used this phrase as I feel many of us – man or woman – have. I think sometimes it can be in a relatively simplistic form.
For instance, “the old me would have another … (drink, cookie, sex partner…)”.
But, also in a more dramatic form. And I guess that’s what I feel in my situation. After college, I met the man I eventually married and spent 12 years with. The man who was my best friend and my biggest supporter. The man I had my baby with. But when that union fell apart; I was very lost. I felt very alone.
When my ex moved out of our house and we started our visitation schedule it was brutal. I hadn’t been alone in years, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I went out. I went out and drank and danced and laughed and had sex and I remember those days as “the old me”. And please, note any stories I refer to in this post were during the time my daughter was with her dad. I had two lives. One with my daughter and one without. When I didn’t have her, I couldn’t come home to an empty house. I went everywhere and anywhere. Any place besides home.
The old me was a little impulsive. But, god damn she was a good time! The old me was on the verge of bankruptcy (see POST), the old me considered escorting (see POST ), the old me was in bad relationships (see POST)…but god damn was she a good time.
The old me also lived life like today was my last day – something I’ve never done before. The old me didn’t worry if I didn’t have enough money to buy milk tomorrow. The old me kissed men I never would have kissed and drank drinks I never would have drank and laughed at things I may not have ever laughed at.
I had no fears or worries. I knew everything would work out as it was meant to be.
Now, I’m stable and safe and BORING. I often think of the old me, and while I knew she couldn’t last forever, I really did love her and all the experiences she gave me. I loved that she didn’t give a shit. Cut me off in traffic? I don’t give a shit. Give me a dirty look at Jewel? I don’t give a shit. Sing karaoke at any and every bar – again I didn’t give a shit.
All I knew how to do was be at work on time and do my job. And obvi take care of my daughter, but again, I’m referring to the times she was with her dad. The old me only knew work and happy hour. The old me was a bit reckless and definitely carefree, and I god damn loved every second of it.
I loved this new life that I hated. While I hated what my life had become, I loved this new person I never was before. I loved not worrying about tomorrow. I loved waking up in the morning hungover and satisfied, knowing for once I wasn’t serious, but rather uncertain.
The thing I loved about that girl was that she was adventurous and a free-spirit; something I’d never been in my life. She changed me and made me see the world in a completely different light. But eventually she needed to snap out of it. Eventually she needed to come back to reality.
And while I’m grateful for where I am and who is in my life, I know the journey I took could have led me down many different roads and I was very lucky. But occasionally I miss that girl. I miss the old me, that girl who was open to new people and new experiences. That girl who literally woke up in the morning and said: Jesus, please just get me through today, with no other thoughts or dreams.
The old me literally slept on a mattress on the floor for months. The old me had an Uber driver come back in the morning to take me to work – unsolicited (and no I didn’t have to pay an Uber fee). The old me “crashed” a funeral at a bar – I wore a Viking hat at that funeral.
And while I unknowingly had to endure this time of grief and growth, I also knew I couldn’t live like this forever. I’ve changed through time and therapy and life experiences, and I appreciate this growth. But, sometimes I do miss that girl.
The old girl who was carefree and lived like there was no tomorrow. How can you be a responsible, sensible adult and still live so free? I haven’t figured that out yet, but I hope to someday.
I know the old me who eventually became the me I am today had some bitchin’ (omg, remember this word?!) times. But all good things must come to an end. And I needed to get back to being me with this awesome new twist.
But I do, every so often, miss that girl who lived a life I never would have expected for myself. I sometimes look in the mirror and laugh and think “the old me….”
What do you think of when you think of “the old me”?