Don’t disown yourself as you once were

16 Apr
Britney Spears

Britney Spears in bakerboy hat glory

“You should never disown yourself as you once were.”

Peter Hitchens from the Mail on Sunday visited Westminster a few weeks ago, and urged us to not be embarrassed by our former selves. Our views may change; he went from being a radical left wing atheist in his youth, to a “crusty conservative with age”, as many seem to.

On a recent visit home, I was clearing out old boxes when I came across a collection of poetry, books filled with lists, diaries and photographs. Taking one glance at the poetry I wrote five years ago, I shamefully tossed it to the side for the bin. This isn’t just teenage scrawling for my own eyes; it is work I submitted for my degree in English Literature. Poetry I’d read out to others. Work I was proud of at the time, and would email to my friends and family.

Looking at the blatant display of desperation to be Sylvia Plath, with haiku’s such as “Death of the Honey maker” (The Arrival of the Bee Box, anyone?) I cringed.

I hadn’t got to the books filled with lists at this point. Lists of things I wanted to buy included “Britney hat”. Yes, those hideous baker boy hats Britney would wear. Thank God I never bought one. It goes to show how influenced we are by what we see. These days, my style could probably be described as fairly dull.

Dull, but I hope I don’t look back on my day to day uniform of shift dress and chandelier earrings in the same horror I look at the unnatural shade of fake tan I sported for many years. Not to mention the black silk mini skirt, popper tracksuit bottoms, day glow green tracksuit top, brown leggings, pearl leather jacket from Tammy… I could go on. I even had a pink tank top with the words “You are the weakest link, Goodbye” on. I wore that with crimped hair.

Mortifying, yes. But it would be silly to dismiss the person I once was. I was happy, and there are attributes of that person which I share today. My love of Bob Dylan remains the same; my love of Nsync does not. I still adore Sylvia, but prefer to read her poems than imitate them. Yet, I will continue to cringe when reading old blog posts. I just hope I never turn into a “crusty Tory.”

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