Let’s face it: We all have those past selves that loom behind us at the worst moments; the selves that we were in eighth grade or our junior year of high school. These are the selves that we cringe at while looking through yearbooks or photo albums, the ones that people bring up and you shoot them the death stare. The ones that simply put you in a crappy mood by shadowing behind you when your favorite song from freshman year plays, like a ghost breathing down your neck.

We all have these horrifying former selves. So what if we used them to our advantage?

It’s best to know your weaknesses and be prepared for situations that could repeat themselves. I find my weaknesses by looking back at who I used to be. That one time I was teased for wearing my glittery neon peace sign t-shirt in sixth grade? I reacted by never wearing it again, but I admit, I liked that shirt. Now, if someone makes fun of my crazy-big t-shirts from Goodwill, I laugh in their faces. Because I learned, and that’s one less ghost that follows me around when I wear what I want.

That song I listened to during the dreaded eighth grade? I avoided that song for three years, but I ventured back to it recently, and now it’s one of my favorites (it’s California by Delta Spirit, by the way).

The point is that you have to learn to revisit past selves that you try to shove away, because even though they don’t exist anymore, they were people too.

So go look back through those yearbooks and playlists, and have fun cringing. It’s worth it.