I have been growing an idea for a blog post for a while now. It's about identity, how it changes, and how you describe yourself to both yourself and the world. But mostly to yourself.
You know when you're joining a new social media community and you need to fill in a bio with a few words that describe you; It's one of those things you can think really hard about for a very long time. To get it right in the number of letters and dots allowed. To get your entire being down to a bunch of characters in a box.
Lately I've been thinking that it was so much easier to do that when I was 18.
Newly turned 19 years old in Midhurst, England with a vintage coat that I loved dearly (Still do but it is a bit dirty and rough looking now). Matching bravely with red and black striped socks.
I think this (the 30's) is a time in life when many people struggle with the person they thought they always would be and the realisation that you change through time and become something else, or just more of who you were.
I don't think it's fair to call it a midlife crisis so let's call it a midlife realisation instead.
I sometimes think back at my younger self and don't recognize myself then in my grown up self today. It's like I was a different person. I understand that some part of this is just bad memory, but I also believe that the years between then and now have changed me.
When you're a teenager you try so hard to find your identity so that you can scream it from the rooftops.
I went all in with second hand clothing, music and theatre. Things that have stayed with me through the years and will probably be a part of me all my life, but back then I did it whole heartedly- like a teenager- to make sure everybody could see what I was just by looking at me. I wanted everybody to see that I don't care if you think my corduroy pants are too much or my hippie blouses are out of fashion by decades, I am strong in myself and you can't knock me down. The former bullied girl took the fight before it happened so that there wouldn't even be possible to fight. I love that I did that.
I'm still that second hand loving person but I don't have to scream as much anymore and I know what clothes I feel the best in. There's maybe not as much experimentation anymore because I've experimented and found the right formula for me. The clothes that I wear today are actually not very different from what I used to wear in my teenage years, but the reason behind them has changed. They are no longer a statement, they are simply a part of how I express myself everyday. A very joyous part, I might add.

In some ways I think I went so hard for the things I loved to have a clear identity to show. I liked music, then I'm a music fanatic who reads all the magazines, find new music and just go with it full out.
Today when I think about who I am, music is still one of the things I love very much, but I don't think it would be fair to say that I'm such a fanatic anymore. I love music, it's a big part of who I am, but it's not as huge as it was before. I have found the things I like and have no need to search so hard everyday to find new and interesting bands and artists.
And I think I owe it to Lotta 18 years old to admit that I'm not as hardcore and knowledgeable as I was back then. She was better in that departement than the woman I am now.
But to give it to Lotta 33 years old, she's way more awesome at viewing things with an artful eye and creating things with her hands than she was back then.
18 years old, a few days before I was to go to England for a year. That skirt was my absolute favourite thing at that time. It's completely circular if you spread it out on the ground and I loved it so much.
Things change. You change. And it's hard to catch on sometimes.
If I let go of that personality that I knocked into the world with such fierce passion, then who am I now? It's a feeling of loss, a change of personality that you weren't prepared for.
And even if it is small things, like interests and hobbies, if you hang on to them even though they are not a part of you anymore that can make you feel like you're losing a part of yourself, right?
I think it's important to realise that just because you leave something behind you you're not less of you. Because you've surely picked up on new things along the way to add to your personality.
Maybe it's time to update the biography of yourself by seeing, really seeing, who you are today.
Lotta 18 years old was a strong but scared 70's loving second hand shopping girl who listened to music all day long and remembered all the lyrics to every song, wrote them down and taped them to the walls of her school locker to find reassurance in the words, and more than anything she wanted to be a stage actor at a a beautiful old theatre.
Lotta 33 years old is a strong, and sometimes scared, feminist woman who has found her way in her fashion sense by not caring about trends and the expectations of how a woman should dress or look like- it's all about what she loves, not what anybody else might think- she loves to create artful things in every way she possibly can, and she still wants to act, on stage and in film- more than anything.
19 years old in Midhurst, England. I can't get over how incredibly stylish I am in this photo. I mean, look at that 60s-70s babe!
I might need to listen to 19 year old Lotta's fashion sense a little bit this spring.
Sometimes I hear people talk about how teenagers will grow up and calm down and realise that the world isn't so black and white, and they will need to understand that their idealism isn't something that would work in "the real world".
I think those people have forgotten that you change through time but that doesn't take away the validness from that teenager's thoughts and dreams.
It's like you are many persons in one life and everyone of them has something real and true to say. Just because some people grow up and lose their ideals doesn't mean everybody does. They might find new ways for their thoughts, they might work in different angles but the things they believed in before, right now, and will believe in in the future, might be equally valid. Just different. Or the same thing but with a new layer attached.
I don't think Lotta 18 years old was a wrong, or not complete, version of Lotta in the things she did. Dressing to take power back after years of bullying was an awesome way for her and many of the things I chose to fill my life with back then are still parts of my world, and identity, today.
32 years old. Still get immensely happy when I find the perfect vintage dress for me.
Clothes and music might be small things in your life, and I'm just using those examples to show a piece of me and the journey that those things has taken me through.
Try to remember what you wanted to be and what you loved doing when you were younger and how you tried to make people see that.
Then think about what of those things that has changed through time to who you are today. And what is new?
Have you catched up on yourself? Have you let go of things you decided then that you love but you maybe don't anymore? Or are you trying to push yourself into a mold that you don't fit into anymore but desperately hang on to anyway?

Because who are you otherwise?

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