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Moving on With Your Life, and Forgetting Your Past

Updated on February 12, 2018

This was my life…

A lot of people are guilty of one thing in life, and I admit that I am one of them - living in the past.

This might apply differently to each and every person out there, but generally speaking, ranging right from the trivial little things right up to the terribly traumatic life changing events, we’ve all experienced it in some way. I’ve been through some hellish times in my life, and for a long time afterwards I found myself time after time, day after day, sitting there doing nothing but replaying the memories in my mind over and over.

There’s a reason why people always say that one shouldn’t live in the past; because it doesn’t achieve anything at all. After years of wasting time looking back, I saw everyone else carrying on normally, and I was stagnant, not accomplishing anything; I had no goals; no real reason to live at all. One day I just decided that I had had enough of doing nothing, and I set about setting goals and reaching them. First they were small things and later they led to big ones.

True, no matter how hard I try, I can’t change the past, but I can make a better future for myself.

The way I realized I should look at life, is like a book. Of course there is the old “don’t judge a book by its cover” saying, where most people don’t really understand what has gone on in your life, and so they might come across as insensitive and critical at times. What I really mean though, is that each word spoken is a word written, each day is a page, and every year is a chapter. Once the page is turned, you can’t go back and edit it once the ink has dried. You might succeed in fooling yourself as you frantically scratch out the words, and try to change how events happened in your mind, but it’s pointless in the end.

Not every book is a light-hearted comedy or has a happy ending either.

It also makes sense thusly; you can pick up the pen and write your life or you can just wait idly while the pages are filled with meaningless drivel as you draw little doodles to pass the time.
I took this approach further by keeping a list of things that I wanted to achieve in my life as well as a list of things that I had accomplished, whether it was years ago or yesterday.
I remember sitting there during the day and lying there at night for years; a heart full of hatred, eyes wide open, stinging with anger and sadness as the thoughts passed through, bringing up the bitter bile from within, and it made me nasty.

I decided to channel that anger positively, like I’ve written before, by writing.

"Each article I write is a piece of my life, of my past in some way. And after every article or piece of fiction that I write I leave a bit of the past and focus more on the future."


I had always kept my work to myself like an artist who stows away his paintings in his own gallery, refusing to share them with anyone. Then I realized like I had been told when I was younger, that writing was one of my gifts and when I started actually putting my writing online, it made me feel better, because someone could learn something from what I had to say, and it was an enormous weight off my shoulders too as I poured my emotion in to writing, I found it therapeutic.

Each article I write is a piece of my life, of my past in some way, and I feel that I purge myself of the horrid rust that has stuck there deep down for what feels like an eternity. And after every article or piece of fiction that I write I leave a bit of the past and focus more on the future.

I’m one of those people who need to keep busy or I risk falling into a depression.

There’s a difference between reminiscing briefly in conversation and going on and on about something so that everyone gets sick of hearing about it. You might think it’s insensitive of them to be that way, but you must just realize that nobody likes a miserable person. When people talk, they usually like light-hearted chitchat with a few laughs. Around the dinner table, they don’t really want to sit there hearing about some horrible time in your life. People are just like that. There’s a time and a place.

Rather seek out professional help or talk in private with someone close to you, in the family. There are few friends who would act as the proverbial shoulder to cry on, because like I’ve heard before, “You’ll never have a best friend outside of your family.”

No matter what’s happened in the past, we must move on; it’s inevitable and unavoidable. If you think, like I did, that time will stand still while you get stuff together, you’re wrong. We can’t go back in time and change things either, and you never know, even though things might seem bad, if you could change them, there might be the possibility that they could’ve been even worse.

"If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page."

— Mark Houlahan

Does the past haunt you?

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© 2009 Anti-Valentine


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    • profile image

      msmelb 3 years ago

      A wonderful article! I am going through a huge upheaval in my life at the moment and I am in need of moving forward, This article really speaks to me (as it does for a lot of people) on how to deal with the past. Loved the article!

    • profile image

      lindy 3 years ago

      Thanks..its hard to forget about the past,but we have to.I told myself that I have to forgive myself in so I will move on with my life because the inner peace is very important in your life.and telling peaple how you feel it's a very bad idea no one will feel sorry for you accept yourself..

    • profile image

      Anamaria 3 years ago

      I came across your post and read it I ♥ it god bless you. . is weird how you can read an article online and relate yourself to it

    • profile image

      swamiji 4 years ago

      yes difficult forget past but we can not change or go back what has happened is happened it is will of the lord that it should have happened that way and what should happen is also will of the lord in hinduism we believe that the day we are born we come with everything written by god till death and we have to go through however we are right and tread the path of righteousness

    • profile image

      ym 4 years ago

      i discovered that i am the one who is hunting my past ,i was living in the past and the future at the same time , feeling guilty and sorry about the past and scared about the future , i tried to keep my self busy with studying and doing my hobbies but sometimes thoughts and memories come in , the best way is to tell them to walk away and tell your mind to stop it ! instead of thinking about the past talk to your self and make some real decisions and changes. Thank you Anti-V wish you and everyone the best .

    • profile image

      Soumesh Banerjee 4 years ago

      Just came across your post by accident and gone through it. I can relate with your thoughts. It was nice reading.


    • profile image

      CBG 5 years ago

      Thank You.

    • profile image

      Sunny 6 years ago

      Thanks so much! Loved the article :)

    • profile image

      Chona 6 years ago

      Very inspiring.. GOD BLESS YOU!!

    • profile image

      S. Thomas 6 years ago

      Great piece and advice. You nailed it!

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 7 years ago from My lair

      I agree: it's easier said than done.

      One thing that I've found helps me is to focus on the present and the future, rather than the past. I keep myself occupied; busy all the time. Then the memories and thoughts from the past are less.

      But as soon as you stop, that's when they start to flood in.

    • profile image

      MissyJo08 7 years ago

      how can you move on from your past? saying you will is one thing, but actually doing it is another. its like i cant let it go and just move on. i need some good advise.

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      It's tough, huh?

    • profile image

      Crazdwriter 8 years ago

      I am like you in the past sometimes..I can't seem to escape it. You wrote a great hub that I will have to come back to from time to time when I start thinking about my past. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Thanks MPM. I'm surprised that quite a few people have commented on this hub all ready.

      Like you say, it must have struck a chord with readers and hubbers alike.

    • manlypoetryman profile image

      manlypoetryman 8 years ago from (Texas !) Boldly Writing Poems Where No Man Has Gone Before...

      Wow...AV...I really enjoyed reading this hit the spot this morning. Really Well Done Piece on how Life must go on and why...and then you give a "how-to" along with it. I need to be reminded of this time and time again. I highly recommend anyone "surfing' the Hubs to check out this very Beneficial Hub on "Moving on with your Life, and Forgetting your Past:...Sincerely, MPM.

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 8 years ago from New York

      Wonderful message! Move on ...forget the past.

      Well, I was one of your kind...holding on to my past. It took me a very long time to realize that it wasn't getting me anywhere. I had to pull myself up as no one was there to help me out. I guess that's what happens with most of us. The damage is greater, not when you fall, but when you fail to brace yourself again. :)

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Thanks tantrum.

      Oscar Wilde once said: "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

      But it's hard not to sometimes.

    • tantrum profile image

      tantrum 8 years ago from Tropic of Capricorn

      Hi Anti !! I also think that life is like a novel and you have to write the pages. My life is wonderful just because of that. Even being here in hubpages is kind of a novel LOL! That's why I take everything like a joke,even when I'm serious . It's like playing a part eventough I'm true in all my feelings here. Enjoy your life, and remember : nothing is worth you tears. ! C U around !

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Thanks so much. I can finally move on in a way now. It took me two weeks to finally publish this due to internet issues!

      Yeah, the avatar is good, but I switch them regularly, so I might change it sometime.

    • awsydney profile image

      awsydney 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Anti-valentine, this is a very poignant article and im sure a lot of people are guilty of it. It good for you to put these things in perspective so that we can reflect and make changes for the better. Well done and your avatar is growing on me. I love it! XXX :)