OTM #6: Flashback

Hello again, and happy Wednesday!

The other day, I found myself plagued with doubts about my self-worth as a student. As UMich students, I think it’s unfortunately very natural to compare ourselves and our experiences to others, to worry that we are not “doing enough”. As I sat on my phone and pondered this, I was politely notified of a flashback from 2015. What awaited me was a cringeworthy photo of myself inĀ Gravity Falls cosplay from the eighth grade, made out of my mom’s clothes and duct tape.

She stared me in the face. There was a preserved innocence in her eyes, a definitive adoration of herself I could see behind the gaze. I needed that at the moment; a shameless glance into that unbothered, uninhibited joy that I felt in middle school. As I looked at my twelve year old self, unafraid to be the most cringeworthy version of herself, I felt a swell of love. I saw myself sitting at a table with her, showing her what kind of art I’m making now, what TV shows and video games I love now. I thought of how she would appreciate every word, be proud of my artistic improvement, and even how she might admire how she looked in the future. This detailed image of us together grounded me, brought me back to earth, and I realized that I should be proud of where I currently am. At that moment, I realized I should go easier on myself. That twelve-year old that once was me would really appreciate it.


Hello, I'm Katelyn Sliwinski! I'm a current junior communication student with a background in digital illustration. I want to use my artwork to appreciate the mundanities of daily life; it's improved my mental health tenfold to just stop and look around once and a while, and I seek to capture that joy and show it to you!

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1 Comment on "OTM #6: Flashback"

7 months 18 days ago

I think most of us have had that unfortunate “cringe” phase at some point, ha ha