A snapshot of thoughts over time

Jan 21, 2021

Last night, I was thinking about blog posts (or any thoughts shared online). About how they present snapshots of your thoughts over time.

I hope I'll look back on some of my posts and think "wow, I totally disagree"

My thoughts and opinions are continuously shifting with my life experience. When I think back to some of my opinions or experiences years ago or even months ago, it's easy to feel critical or embarrassed of my past mistakes.

For example, I held vastly different opinions about company culture four years ago than I do now. Or thinking back two years ago, when I was overwhelmed with work and let myself get burned out. But my diet was much healthier than it had been two years prior and I was more grounded in my thinking around the future.

When I think back, I notice a consistent growth every two years. The changes are continuous but I find the difference is most noticable at two year intervals. It's not a single big event or anything dramatic, but gradual growth from new experiences and perspectives.

I hope that I'll look back at some of these blog posts in two, four, six years time and think wow, that was misguided / wrong / naive.

Does this narrow snapshot from 2013 reflect who this person is today?

When reflecting on our own growth over time, it seems odd to judge others exclusively on a narrow snapshot of words based on who they were at some point in time. For all I know, they could now be a dramatically different person - they may even disagree with their past self's opinions.

(As with all broad statements, it depends on the situation. This does not apply to abusive or harmful comments. Whereas if someone tweeted "Game of Thrones is the best TV show of all time" in 2013... I think we can understand 😞)

What do we do about this?

What do we do when confronted with the realisation that The Internet will judge us based on these narrow snapshots from the past?

One option is to continually review and discard our previous works if they no longer reflect our current selves, but that's a missed opportunity for readers to experience that growth with the writer as they follow their story.

Or, we can embrace it. Blogs help us observe how we change over time. There's a beauty in that.