It's a long time. In fact, if I was a dog, this would equate to 62 years passing me by.
I am glad I am not a dog.
So what has changed? Well, it appears that ten years ago, I was having the time of life at The Pancake Parlour. And today, I was getting arrested. Hello, mugshot!
Let's examine more closely. Indeed, I was having the time of my life at The Pancake Parlour 10 years ago. And yes, it was New Year's Eve because that was our tradition. Yes, obviously Bren and I were losers. But happy losers. Belly full of pancakes happy! And in bed by 12.05am losers. Happy losers. Owning it.
And the photo today? Well, it's just a regular day. I am showered. I have applied minimal make-up. I have not done my hair and neither will I be doing it. This is my daily life. Sure, I could have gussied up for the picture but I figure a genuine comparison requires that I keep it real. There is no touching up on either photo, not even a pretty filter to make me feel better.
I see I was blonder, skinnier. I see I am tired but maybe more relaxed in myself.
Everything that is worth knowing about the last ten years is not captured in today's photo. Ten years have turned my life upside down – several times.
Ten years ago I had no children.
Today I have three.
Ten years ago I worked in a call centre and took acting classes.
Today I raise a family and write.
Ten years ago I was worried I would never make it as an actor.
Today I have made peace with the fact I never will.
Ten years ago I thought Bren and I just might go the distance.
Today we have the easy stride of the marathon runner.
If time is written on my face, I don't give a damn. I wouldn't trade any of the experiences that are telling tales around my eyes. I am certain the smoking and drinking I did have wreaked havoc on my skin but where is the prize in reaching old age with a perfectly preserved face if you have to forgo all of the terrible, wonderful vices that life offers. The trick is to know when to put them down and I am lucky that I don't have an addictive personality which makes that so impossibly hard to do.
And I suspect the most aging thing I have ever done is have kids. Sleep deprivation will kick the shit out of your youthful good looks. But would I trade the sleepless nights, the toilet training, the chaos and mess for 10 straight hours a night, a nappy-free existence and a quiet, display home life?
Hang on….I'm thinking….
Of course not. The girl on the left may be slighter of body and brighter of eye but the woman on the right appreciates her life so much more.
I like to think I have used the last ten years wisely. The lessons learnt leave me confident the next ten years will be even better.
Inspired by Mama Kat and her nifty writing prompts.