If you’ve been wasting as much time on the internet as I have lately, you’ve likely seen the #tenyearchallenge going around. The idea is you post a picture from ten years ago, and one from present day to see how much you’ve changed. For (flawless) example, here’s queen Laverne’s:
Our Monday Roundtable this week also had a pretty similar then & now theme, and interestingly published right before the challenge peaked which may be a coincidence but we all know Autostraddle is a major trendsetter! Add that to the fact that Autostraddle turns 10 WHOLE YEARS OLD in 2019 and you’ve got a lot of nostalgia going around. Digging through my photos to find a throwback Reneice photo for the roundtable of course sent me on a trip down memory lane that illuminated just how far I’ve come in the last decade. As cliche as it is while I scanned through images of me before I came out, before I loved myself, before I stopped forcing my mind and body to conform to standards that weren’t meant for me, I found myself daydreaming about all the things I wish I could say to that iteration of Reneice. Some short & sweet things came up like “you’re gay!” and “own your natural hair!”. These were quickly followed by lengthy more vulnerable thoughts that released a well of tears I hadn’t realized I’d sealed off all those years ago. I wished I could tell her that one day she’d see herself naked in the mirror and consistently smile in admiration. That she didn’t need to seek permission from others to love herself. That she wasn’t an abomination in the eyes of the god she was taught to believe in but rather an incredible and divine creation full of magic and light that shines wherever she goes, and that she deserves to shine, and love, authentically.
Having this unexpected chance to see how I’ve changed and grown, but also identify the places I’ve remained steady and true was healing in a way I never have anticipated. I’ve felt stronger and more confident, and found more patience for myself in moments of need it. It’s been incredible so naturally I want you to get in on this too! So for this thread and in honor of 10 years of Autostraddle, I’m asking you all to think back to who you were 10 years ago. Visualize that person, maybe dig up a picture and share it if you’re willing (highly recommend) and once you’ve got past you in mind, think of what you’d like to tell them and write it in letter form. Don’t be shy! We’re all family here and we’re all in this together. Maybe you’ll warn of bad haircuts and fashion fails. Maybe you’ll tell them whatever they need to hear so they don’t date that one really big mistake of a person. Maybe you wouldn’t tell past you anything at all except to keep going and remember to brush and floss. Whatever it is, I’d love to read every single one of your letters and nod in love and understanding at your incredible journeys.
How To Post A Photo In The Comments:
Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:
How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:
Find a video on YouTube, copy the URL, and paste the link on its own separate line in your comment. You no longer need to use the “embed” code!