Different Versions of a Collective “You”

As time passes, we all grow up in one way or another. Many of us go through periods in life that change us fundamentally as people and alter the way we look at the world. Humans are not stagnant. But have you ever thought that there could be multiple versions of “you”?

You are stuck in one body that you cannot leave nor change outside of cosmetic procedures. Therefore, you see “yourself” in an intimate way that only you can possibly know. But how does that “you” change once you change environments?

I’ll use myself as an example. I’m sure that me being in my early 20s, an extremely transitional period of life, plays a factor, but I notice that I change as a person when I’m at college versus when I’m at home. At school, I’m on my own entirely and living in a big city. I feel a need to represent myself differently there, dressing more maturely and generally being more organized and consequently productive.

Yet as soon as I come home to my parents’ house, I regress slightly to who I was the last time I lived there. I could dress the same way as I do in the city, but people look at me oddly. I go back to wearing flip flops and putting less effort into my makeup. I drive a car again and have to worry about gas money. My mom wants to know where I’m going every time I leave the house again. These things all contribute, it feels, to my regression back into the remnants and memories of my past self.

Now, I’ve come home for summer vacation once again, but it’s been three years since I really lived in my parents’ house full time. The photos in my room feel outdated and irrelevant, and the “me” who used to live here almost feels like a stranger now. Yet there’s a bit of desire left over to go back to some of those memories and old habits, perhaps so I can close the chapter and tie the ends. It isn’t necessary. But. I am stuck in an uncomfortable situation between feeling foreign in this space and oddly missing some of the aspects I just want to let go of.

The "me" I am here in my hometown is different than the "me" I am in the city and the "me" I am at school. But those different versions of myself don’t have to be a bad thing. They are all a part of my growth as a person; a way for me to experiment with who I am trying to become before I truly become her.

Remember to reflect! It’s almost like a form of meditation. Reflection is good for the mind and can help you grow emotionally as well as mentally. What does your past self need from the present, or even future, you?


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