Twenty Two

Luisa and I were going through some pictures today and came across this one of me taken when I was 22 – half the age I am now.

We age so slowly, in increments that we can’t even see and then we find old pictures of ourselves.

I had forgotten about this picture until I saw it. It was taken at a concert on a beautiful summer evening.

My first thought at seeing it after all this time was, “My god, I’ve gotten old.”

And I have.

It’s not just that my hair has gone from dark brown to silver. In the current version of myself, my jawline is sharper, the skin on my neck less firm.  I wear glasses now and they are a fixture in every picture taken of me. In some ways, I am barely recognizable and in others I am unmistakable.

Looking at my younger self so pensive, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking. Was I thinking of the music or the weather or my impending move to Minneapolis and what my life might be like there. If I thought about my future at all that day, I could never have imagined the life I am living today.

I had not applied for graduate school. I had not yet met Luisa. I’d not given any serious thought to having children.

Twenty two years.

Twenty two years have passed and I have been with Luisa for almost 20 of them. We brought two children into this world. Our days are filled with a million details and responsibilities that I could not have foretold. I’ve lost friends and family – some to distance or misunderstandings, some to death. My life is full of love and laughter and a strong sense of community. Time has given me so much and continues to give me the strength to become ever more myself.

But seeing the concrete ways in which I have aged is not easy. I feel no different than I did at 22 except that I now have the wisdom that comes from life experience.

So how is it that I look so different?

Twenty two years.

What will the next 22 hold?




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19 Responses to Twenty Two
  1. Esther Wifler
    November 24, 2012 | 11:23 pm

    Honestly you don’t look that different. The silver hair suits you.

    • Vikki
      November 25, 2012 | 3:04 pm

      You are my favorite hobby wife.

  2. Alexandra
    November 24, 2012 | 11:51 pm

    You have grown into a beautiful woman, Vikki.

    I love so much about this post, and think I’m going to do one for me. Just this week, Alec–my oldest, was working on a picture for his Sr Yr (gaah! SHUTTUP!) and needed baby pictures, pictures of throughout his childhood. I pulled them all out for him, I thought he’d respond on how cute he was b/c obviously so cute. Instead, he said, “Wow, mom, you look so young in those pictures …)

    And I did. I really did.

    • Vikki
      November 25, 2012 | 3:05 pm

      I just noticed I’m kind frowny now. My big puffy lips are not holding up!

  3. Kelly
    November 25, 2012 | 12:33 am

    Isn’t it wild how life unfolds? I’m so glad I didn’t know how things would turn out!

    • Vikki
      November 25, 2012 | 3:05 pm

      I think I am too.

  4. Meg
    November 25, 2012 | 6:47 am

    You are beautiful in both pictures. I think Zeca looks a lot like you anyway, but especially in the first picture!

  5. Nichole
    November 25, 2012 | 3:11 pm

    I just want to say that I love this post.

  6. Terri Sonoda
    November 25, 2012 | 3:43 pm

    Hello! My friend Erin sent me over here from Twitter and I’m so glad she did. Lovely, lovely blog! I got such a good feeling reading this post. I’ve been with my partner 16 years now and I’m 59. I have changed physical appearance….oh yes. But the really cool thing about the years going by has been the changing insights, the more colorful look at life, the new sense of humor, and the appreciation for every new day. Pretty amazing when you think about it. Nice to online meet you!

    • Vikki
      November 25, 2012 | 4:23 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to virtually meet you too. Yes…I need to focus on the gifts of time. I do most of the time but seeing my younger self was a shock at first.

  7. tracy@sellabitmum
    November 25, 2012 | 4:02 pm

    I love you now. Your now is stunning. Isn’t 44 amazing!(Please tell me yes because I turn that age in a few weeks….) xo

    • Vikki
      November 25, 2012 | 4:21 pm

      Um…yeah…44 is amazing. Just don’t look at my saggy next when we are touring venues. I should take up running, right?

  8. Anthony
    November 25, 2012 | 4:36 pm

    Your older self looks like she is looking askance at your younger self. In a judgy, spitey kind of way. Your younger self is just like, “Whatevs. I’m hot and very politically aware.”

    • Vikki
      November 25, 2012 | 7:48 pm

      My older self is not judging! Also, my younger self never thought she was hot. Never.

  9. Galit Breen
    November 26, 2012 | 10:55 pm

    I love this.

    This growth, this look back, this harder look at now, and of course using it all to look forward.

    {Have I mentioned yet that I love this?}

  10. Janet Stephens
    November 27, 2012 | 7:47 am

    It is not easy to age especially when you reach 65. At 44, you still are healthy and not perceived as old by society. Just wait-life does not get easier.

    • Vikki
      November 27, 2012 | 4:00 pm

      Janet…this is not encouraging. I want a pep talk!

  11. Lady Jennie
    November 27, 2012 | 11:36 am

    May you have many more! :-)

  12. Loco YaYa
    December 4, 2012 | 11:36 am

    i love what you said about aging “We age so slowly, in increments that we can’t even see and then we find old pictures of ourselves” it is so true. i see myself in the mirror everyday. the ‘me’ that i look at now is so different in so many ways. but i have gotten used to it. slowly. and over time. but when i find that old picture that makes me stop. yes it is me. but not me at the same time. i do often wonder what was on my mind back then. oh how times have changed.

    great post!!

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