It’s really strange when a spotlight gets shined on a portion of your past and everyone assumes that what was true then is true now. Are you the same person you were 30 years ago, or even 7 years ago? I’m here to tell you that I am not.
Ever since my 2009 StoryCorps interview got included in the anthology Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, I’ve experienced this firsthand. The publicity has been amazing. Spotlights galore.
At the time, the person that interviewed me was my boyfriend John. At the end of the interview, they took a picture of the two of us. Now that picture and our relationship status are both immortalized in print.
This is awkward. Not only have we long since broken up, but John is now happily married. And I’m told by friends that, based on some things that he has posted on his Facebook page, he hates me and wishes I’d drop dead.
That makes me sad for him that he holds on to such bitterness. He was never very good at getting over things. I, on the other hand, feel that the person I am today is a product of all my past experiences, both good and bad, and am therefore grateful for all of it, every single second. If I hadn’t been there once upon a time, I wouldn’t be here now. And I happen to love here.
I look at that old picture of the two of us in the book, and I kind of have to cringe. As much as I loved my job, I was fat and miserable about my life in general. I look at myself and can see how unhealthy I was. It was an unhealthy situation. I barely recognize myself. And yet now that photo is in print, forevermore. If you google my name these days, it’s one of the first pictures that pops up. Ah well. What are you gonna do, right?
This almost makes me feel sorry for public figures when past skeletons are exposed in their closets. Almost. Not quite.