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Watch This Little Baby Age 14 Years in 4 Minutes

Nothing is quite so paradoxically intimate and alien as the aging process. We are ourselves—we know that—but which self are we? I know that when I am 75 I will still be Lindy, but even now, at 32, the "me" I see in my head is a chimera: my 16-year-old body, my 26-year-old energy, my 9-year-old confidence, the white-blonde hair I was born with, the unreserved happiness I radiated before I lost a parent, the capable hardness I found after that loss, and the mega-wisdom of whatever 100-year-old witch I'm going to grow into. It's all in there. We are all of the selves at once.

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We also know that we were once tiny little screaming potato-things that couldn't talk and just peed wherever and ate food directly from our mom and didn't know anything. How could THAT be ME? The transition between leaky potato-lump and fully actualized adult human being happens on such a minute, imperceptible scale that it feels somehow instantaneous and interminable. Aging is the fastest thing in the world, and also the slowest.

Maybe that's why time-lapse aging videos like this are so captivating. Watching it, you almost feel like you can harness that process in yourself—grab a hold of time and orient yourself. Where am I? Am I getting older now? How about now?

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DISCUSSION

For some reason it made me think "I wonder what it would be like to be conventionally attractive." I can't even conceive of it. This girl was a gorgeous baby, adorable toddler and kid. And even in the most awkward tween and teen years, she's still lovely. I mean, good for her, she seems happy and loved and appears to have won the genetic lottery. And I'm not complaining about my own life (though I was cute for maybe 1% of it so far). It just made me wonder how different life would have been.