"Why don't you grow up" is a phrase often used. Yet what is that implying? I suspect it implies that you have not reached the stage of maturity expected of someone. What a meaningless idea!
The quote in the image on this article says it all: you are a constantly evolving creature, along with all others. I have done many stupid and unpleasant things in my life at various times and stages of my life, particularly in my early life. Does that mean I am still as stupid and irresponsible now as I was then? Of course not. I have learnt, I have explored, I have tried many things and done even more. Each event has helped me along the path to becoming who I am today. I am not an irresponsible loud-mouthed teenager anymore. I don't abuse my body and mind as I have in the past. I've grown up. And every day, I try to grow a little more.
I like to say that I have walked a very crooked path to get to today, but where I am now is a great place for me and had I walked a different path, I would not be who I am now and in the situation I am now.
Living is an active experience and I regret only the pain I caused others during the time I've been on this path, but know that all the experiences have enriched my life and helped me to get to now.
So when I meet anyone from my past, they are likely initially to confuse me with who I was when we last met. That person doesn't exist anymore, but has been subsumed into who I am now.
How about you? Are you still trying to be who you were or have you grown and moved on? Not everybody has. I heard a comedian say something along these lines recently: When asked how he still has such wonderful skin, the answer was simply: I'm 20 years old. I am no longer 20 and my skin doesn't look as it did then. But that's OK - the crinkles around my eyes show where the laughter lies. If you don't like who you are now, grow up and become who you can be.
I like me now. And part of that is that it doesn't matter what you think of me any more.