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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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