I have a question for my readers: Do you feel a sense of continuity in your life, or do you feel disconnected from your self of 5 or 10 or 15 years past? As for me, I don't feel any strong disconnect between my 15-year old self and my 27-year old self. I think I think the same way, I have many of the same interests, and similar shortcomings (whether that means I was a very mature 15-year old or am a very immature 27-year old I leave to others). It's not that nothing has changed at all, but it feels like change within a single continuity, not like the younger me was a different person at altogether.
But I often hear people talk about how they were "a totally different person at 15," how that apparently separate human was "such an idiot." Sometimes it comes in the form of supporting more paternalistic protections for younger persons -- "when I was 15, I thought I was an adult and in control, but I actually had no idea what I was doing." When I hear someone say that at 25, I always assume they will say the same thing about their 25 year old self at 35. Somewhere I imagine an eighty-year old woman telling others at a nursing home how at 70 she was such an ignorant little tart.
In any event, that's my vantage point, but I gather it's not the only one. So -- do you feel a sense of continuity with your younger self, or do you view him or her as a distinct and separate entity from who you are today?