I have had home videos that recorded in 2004-2005 and I recently sat down to watch the 18-19 year old version of myself. The giant Jew-fro, the NJ accent (in which I never knew that I had), the care-free attitude, the bonding times with friends and family all captured on video. When I think back to the old me, remember the kid who was overweight and lacking confidence – a big mama’s boy. But as I was watching myself, I realized that the old me was not always that way. The kid in these videos was confidence. Was excited. Was likeable. Full of energy. As I narrated through most of the videos I can hear the friendly version of myself. I can hear the “jokester” who liked to have fun. I was the life of the party.

I understand that the old me is not gone, but I think the “focused” me has buried the 18 year old Mike. Has life’s circumstances rattled my emotions so much that I forgot how to “be” and not be driven all the time? Or did that just happen with maturity and age? Experience does make a person grow, but I am realizing that growth also entails not forgetting who I was.