Last night I found myself looking over old Facebook messages and statuses. I couldn’t help but cringe at the text speak, the old photos and the fact that I thought I was hilarious (well the last part is true). It’s funny I’m embarrassed by the old me, well to be honest I’m embarrassed by the five minutes ago me, but that’s not what I was thinking about.
It is currently my best friend.
I find myself always thinking ahead these days. ‘Real life’ looms on the horizon and in moments of worry I find myself cowering in the shadows of the past.
I start to reminisce about how much easier it used to be.
The days where the toughest decision I had to make was what headband to wear to school. Trust me it was a very serious decision for 9-year-old me, I had so much choice! However I always seemed to wear the one with my name on it just in case anyone forgot. Diva child, I think so!
Well that and whether I would buy a third packet of crisps at the disco (The answer was always yes but I never told Mum).
The fact is the past is certain. It is comforting.
In a world so indefinite we take security from what once was. We look back on where we’ve been and who we were. We love to reminisce, be nostalgic. Hold on to what has been and will always be.
We are always trying to make our lives concrete. But the fact is you can’t capture life. There is no way to enclose it in a box just so you can peer in every so often to check it like with a memory chest or time capsule.
So when people give you the old cliché “never dwell on the past” listen, they are giving sound advice. It is never good to compare yourself to anyone, not even past you. The person you were two minutes ago is a little different to person you are this very second, and different again to the person you will be in two minutes. We are never standing still, not really.
At this point in my life in those terrifying moments of considering ‘the future’ I feel like the next step will be the end of the world. I compare it to when the first travellers thought the world was flat and if you sailed too far one way you would fall off the edge of the earth. I know that just like them I will come to the horizon and there will be more sea stretching out before me, more to conquer, more to explore, and further to go.
But enough of the cheesy metaphors, in seriousness I know I should step out from the past, live in the present, and revel in the future. Not knowing what is round the corner should be exciting, right?
Yeah keep telling yourself that Ellen.
The future will always be terrifying but I’ve decided I’m not going to hide from it.