No more disclaimers. Moving on doesn’t entail flicking away your younger version’s problems. Every emotion is legit. You were 15 and your biggest climactic confrontation involved defending a page from being ripped off Reader’s Digest? Tape that page on your sleeve and tell that story to anyone who wants to get to know you.
But don’t share it out of embarrassment, out of this notion that these problems are not monumental and you were being maarte. Get a clear-cut perspective about the past, not this hipsterism of being proud and ashamed of the past as if you are better now. You are not. You may know more. But you are not. Your mixture of superiority and inferiority complex is the same as every neurotic in the metro. The little voice telling you exactly that is persistent, and the only friend you have is yourself–why go dissing who you are, even if it is who you were, just because you have to feel better now? It won’t make you feel better.
Don’t go wishy-washy on putting nostalgia on its pedestal. If we supposedly look at the past behind rosy eyeglasses, then embrace this fallacy. And wear this rosy eyeglasses in the present, for the future, and in memory of the past. There is beauty in the things that end. Be proud of it–without disclaimers, without smirks, and without this notion that you have replaced nostalgia on the pedestal. There is beauty in sadness. Revel in it.