Are you the same person you were 10 years ago? Of course not. Are you a better person now than you were in 2004? My guess is you would say yes.
As you acknowledge changes in your own self, consider that others have also changed, some more than others. The person you thought you had pegged 5, 10, 20 years back is not the same person today. Life experiences and maturity cause us to have different viewpoints and different behaviors.
A person you may have discounted as a loser may have found a career opportunity that worked out well for him or her. Someone you perceived to have a reckless lifestyle may now be a sober family person.
That long-ago boss you felt treated you unfairly may have gained new people skills since your time together. The co-worker who always had tech issues may have acquired new knowledge. That neighbor you considered an overbearing blowhard may have mellowed enough for you to enjoy a pleasant conversation.
Your recollection of the person you knew back in the day provides a baseline for your current day evaluation. But, as you may have noticed if you’ve ever attended a high school reunion, some former “cool kids” have had humbling experiences and some former nerds have gained sophistication.
When you run into someone from your past who evokes less-than-positive memories, try to see the modern day version of this person. If someone was rude to you in 1998, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person will still be rude today.
As the stories of our lives, our families and our work evolve, so do we all change. Take note.