So. Curiosity killed the cat and I did a little “10 year challenge” (or whatever it’s called that all the cool kids are posting) justttt to see what 2012 Alicia evolved into…..
And. Ummm. What happened from there was grossly unexpected. Before we get too deep into this, let me clearly disclaim a couple of things (not that I owe you any justification – but I like to be transparent – even with internet trolls and the secret stalkers who will read this, even though they don’t think I know they still check on me). You can find those disclaimers in the tiny print at the bottom. I wanted to jump right in to the good stuff 🙂
You might not can tell….but there is SO MUCH more life, in so many more ways, in “now Alicia” vs 2012 Alicia.
There are the obvious things that contributed to the improvement, such as great estethicians, braces, great skincare, learned makeup tricks, etc. It takes an army, not a village, people. You also obviously have to acknowledge and note the selfie angles improvement in general, as well as better cameras, better lighting, yada yada
But…….. I’m telling you it’s deeper than that….way deeper.
When I first started putting these pics side by side, it was just to see if anything had really changed. I was going to put together a funny caption for the Facebook post and was trying to pick which of these pics comparison I wanted to post. I kept reeling over how “dead” or “unwell” I looked in 2012. I was much smaller in size than I am now, but I just looked deflated of life. Why? And then it hit me……
2012 Alicia was the most broken version. I went through a horribly abusive relationship and escaped. I jumped into another relationship wayyyyy too soon, because I thought he was safe and would never hurt me. Sadly, he did more damage than the other one ever did (not physically, but emotionally). Even though that didn’t come til our 2013 breakup, I was already in a situation that wasn’t healthy in the end of 2012.
Wait. How did I forget that? I mean, I never forget what I went through. But man, it’s been 10 years. How? I started heading into a headspace that I didn’t need to be headed down. I also realized how much 2012 Alicia still has so much space in 2022. And that’s when the funny caption drafting stopped and the most eye-opening work happened (and I assure you it was not invited to the party). It became clear to me just how much I was over compensating for 2012 Alicia, trying to make up for the bad and prove that I’m not there anymore. Yet, in some ways I am. I still let certain triggers run some of my days or impact decisions, relationships etc. So, it’s easy for me to fall into that and dwell on the negative parts of allll of it.
Instead, this time, I made myself switch perspectives from beating myself up about poor decisions, poor picking in men, reliving the most awful moments. I decided to have a conversation with 2012 Alicia and thank her. Weird? Maybe a bit. There I was, 1:30am, sitting straight up on my couch, talking to 2012 Alicia, in the form of blank space on the couch cushion next to me.
And here is what I told her…….
I’m so glad she pushed through and survived (domestic violence will break you in ways you didn’t know were possible). I’m glad she got help and got out.
I’m glad she was brave. I’m glad that while she sat in the courtroom alone to fight her battle, that she allowed the sweetest women to “invade her space” and offer help and for the first time, made her feel like maybe she wasn’t so crazy after all.
I’m so glad she was surrounded by the best people to help her and went to bat for her.
I’m glad she got tired of being stuck (even though that really didn’t come til 2013).
I’m glad she took that random first trip to the beach and ended up at a retirement resort, versus party/social place and meeting Jesus in ways she never had. I love to tell that testimony to anyone who will listen and I still cling to those moments.
I’m glad people drew hard lines in the sand with her and spoke some very hard truths.
I’m glad she felt safe enough to trust another man and put herself back out there….even if in the end, he did more damage than the abuser ever did. Because if she hadn’t, she would’ve probably never believed another dating situation could ever happen again. And even though there were many more dating failures and poor choices…..love is still an option and hope is still there. Maybe more in 2022 than it ever has been.
She needed that relationship to find her voice again….even if it broke her into the very next year (and again a few years after 🙄). I’m glad she learned that if they treat their cats better than their relationship, she is better off without them in the ling run 😂
I’m glad she took a chance on a random marketing job that launched her dream career.
I’m glad she got set up with a guy who wouldn’t end up dating her because she was too fat for him. Because that was the first time in her life that she put her foot down with herself and didn’t try to change to make him like her.
Ohhhh I am so glad she got braces.
I wish I would’ve been kinder to her back then and let her know that it all works out better than she could’ve imagined (even with all the future bumps in the road). It is better because she kept fighting and because she survived. She braved things that she would’ve never picked for our life.
I told her that 2022 Alicia is thriving, even though it’s the most uncomfortable I have been since 2012. I made it, so to speak. Aging is for the birds, but I’m here and will be better than ever.
I know she did the best she could with what she had and I am so glad she didn’t give up; that she believed in herself JUST enough to know better would come eventually.
2012 Alicia survived. I’m sometimes not sure how. But I’m glad she did.
I’m glad she fought tooth and nail to hang on for better days.
I love her. And for the first time, I am glad that I can say that she is finally put to rest.
I held onto her for so long, for so many reasons (that would take up too many pages here). I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t go away or what it would take to finally shed her. I’m overwhelmed in this very moment, typing this (and sobbing out of seemingly nowhere) because I literally, in this moment, finally let her go. I’m in awe of how beautiful of a thing that is and yet can’t articulate it well enough to translate off this screen to you. So, I’ll just keep that part of the moment between her and I.
Thank you, 2012 Alicia…for giving me the peace and permission to move forward to the next chapter, with the renewed spirit to do it happily. Thank you for releasing me to fully enjoy what’s coming. I already feel lighter. I see the room that is cleared out in my head and my heart. I know it’s my choice what I fill it with from now on (and I am personally choosing joy and peace and hopefully better/more intentional choices lol).
I don’t know how we ended up here. But I’m convinced its because not only did I need to put 2012 to rest, but someone out there needs to let their 2012 version die too. I wish i could articulate better so that someone out there would get it.
Wow. Well. That was unexpected. Thanks little corner of the internet for letting me share what turned into something so raw and unexpected.
I love you ❤️
- I fully realize that a lot of us can see improvement in the last ten years, based on better technology alone (thanks IT guys for knowing we all want a little soft filter). Better angles, better lighting, better phone cameras….they all contribute to obvious changes.
- I tried to purposely pick current pictures that I did not filter (past the automatic filter the iPhone selfie camera puts on ya – in case you didn’t know it did that). I personally hardly use filters, unless I’m looking reallll rough but can’t resist saying something on my stories anyway – and am trying to spare you all. I don’t hate on filters either. I’m just saying that, for my own purposes in this exercise, I wanted to find as many non-altered pics as possible.
- It gets wordy here. But if you know me at all (in any form – online or in person) you know that’s who I am. I really wanted to do this in video form but it’s still too raw to do without all the crying and nobody needs to see that :).
- It never fails that when someone from my hometown reads about abuse, they automatically assume it was my ex husband. I either get messages directly about it or I get calls from others that it’s the talk about town. That marriage was long before this and he is not the person in any examples above.
2 thoughts on “The Ten Year Challenge”
Such a brave and inspiring post. You look great! I have similar comparison pics too, the me before 2019 and 10 years back seems nearly twice my age than now. The backward/forward effect of ridding ourselves of toxicity and pain is the best rejuvenating formula. Keep smiling and soaring. ❤
Thank you for reading!
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