Looking Back = Not Looking Forward
I am, by nature a very reflective person. I have always been, even before I had much to reflect on. When I was young – 7,8,9 years old I remember spending countless hours contemplating religion, the nature of sin and how we could be born tainted, Laura Ingalls Wilder – my favorite author as a child and how I might have lived as she lived, what I would do the same or different. I would spend time laying in bed reading about people dying of cancer or living with debilitating disease and try to put myself in their shoes – what would I do? How would I feel? Where would I go for help, love, resources? Would I still try to fall in love, read, learn? I have a mind that doesn’t stop turning. When I would try to go to sleep I would try to make up endings to my own life story – what if my career went this way, what if I married before college, how would I treat my husband, what would I wear to clean the house, what if I become famous, or a nurse? And my favorite – what would I say about my life, my family, my looks in an interview. I still do this. I play out pretend situations in my mind, what if I was asked this question what would I say? How would I respond physically if I was attacked right now from the left by someone with a knife? A gun? no weapons?
Perhaps this gives you insight to why I have weird dreams 🙂 But I have a very vivid intense life both physically and mentally.
Today as I was reflecting in the shower about the career I used to have, the choices I had made that brought me to today, each and every mistake or misstep and the “right” ones, the “good” ones and how to tell the difference, something occurred to me. When I spend time thinking about the past – no, MY past- it means I’m spending that much less time enjoying the present and thinking about the future. I’m not advocating to live the unexamined life. But I just realized that whatever I did 2, 3, 6 years ago, the right turns, the wrong turns, is fixed. I did it, right or wrong it’s the fixed part of the equation. The variables, the only ways to progress, to continue, to grow are in the future. So perhaps less time thinking about what I did before I left for Singapore and more what I’m doing next week, month and things to look forward to and to pine for is in order. It may sound pedestrian but it’s kind of a comforting realization to me. Sure, once in a while I can think back or look at pictures and memories. I love thinking about how Dan and I came to be Dan and I. It’s such a beautiful story and was so unexpected and so seriously changed my life and my wounds and my plans. But really other then that, thinking about what we want to do next week and how we’re going to prepare for moving to the US and how I want to train this upcoming week and what for – that’s stuff that can move me. The past doesn’t move.
There’s a nuglet from my brain for you today. Enjoy!