so you’re telling me there’s an alien who regenerates into a completely random form, that he cannot control or determine himself, and who understandably could take millions of different appearances, but who all 13 times just turned into a different skinny white guy
Like American artist Sandy Skoglund, JeeYoung Lee creates highly elaborate scenes that require an incredible amount of patience and absolutely no photo manipulation.
For weeks and sometimes months, the young Korean artist works in the confines of her small 360 x 410 x 240 cm studio bringing to life worlds that defy all logic.
I used to cringe when remembering the me from a few years ago: the stuff I’d say, the way I’d act, the music I listened to… It’s embarrassing. Why did I ever think wearing only neon was an “edgy” fashion choice? And, seriously, I really don’t want to know what sappy promises and inside jokes I wrote in a former friend’s Christmas card, unless I want to beat myself up inwardly over my naive idea that all friends made during freshman year of college would last forever.
Here’s the thing, though. I generally am accepting of other people being different from me—it’s okay if they listen to music I don’t have a taste for, or hold views that misalign with mine. We, as people, may even find the differences of others fascinating and likable—because after all, who wants to be friends with only copies of themselves? So why don’t we extend the same generosity of open mind to ourselves? We should. Because, ultimately, no one is born perfect, knowing everything, and the phases and selves we go through to become who we are today are an important and, frankly, beautiful part of who we are. The personalities of former you that you’ve already shed inform your personality now.
And just because you no longer like a musician doesn’t make the rush you felt when you went to that first concert any less real; just because you don’t talk any more to the person you used to call best friend doesn’t make the joy you shared or pain you suffered together less meaningful. You don’t need to be identical to your former self to validate the person you were—you just need to appreciate it, and recognise what you’ve gained from past you.
The truth is that you will hopefully never be stagnant as a person for long. In fact, it isn’t a journey to become the perfect or true you, but rather a journey through all the varying and equally lovely versions of you. We have to be patient with ourselves and our personal discoveries. A year, ten years, fifty years from now, I will probably be a very different person, and I’m fine (excited, even) for that. But I’ll remember how I was today, maybe at this very moment. And I hope I smile not only because I am happy with who I’ve become, but more importantly because I am at peace with who I’ve been.