All I can say is …yikes.
This was shortly after my pre-senior year haircut disaster and before I began any healthy attempts at weight loss. Even though you can’t see my body, you can definitely see the weight I was carrying in my face.
I’m pretty sure I was solidly over 210 lbs here.
It pains me to see this photo, as I know at this age I was deeply aware of my weight and the alienation/prejudice I faced because of it. I think back to how badly I felt about myself during this time and it makes me sad. Can you hug your former self? If it were possible, I absolutely would. Lord knows I needed it then.
Seeing this picture reminds me how far I’ve come, but also how aware I need to be about the feelings of others. It’s easy to judge someone in a single glance, but that surface judgment likely doesn’t do justice to their story, their circumstances, and their struggles. Seeing my old self reminds me to be more empathetic, and to recognize that everyone is on a journey of some kind; some just haven’t identified the road yet.
Be well, my friends, and enjoy the journey.