if you are trapped in the past…what’s happening to your future?

This past weekend, I felt like one of my dreams sort of deflated like a balloon that isn’t tied shut and escapes from your hands and flies around the room. I am an incredibly nostalgic person. I will hear a song, smell a smell, or see a random object and it will lead me back to a memory. Me: “Oh my gosh! This shard of wall paper reminds of such and such time when this or that happened.” Oddly, many times smells provoke memories for me the most…it’s kinda bizarre. I will be at a gas station and smell that strong scent of diesel gasoline and suddenly… a vacation memory! Or I will smell a candle and a memory of what a certain person’s house smelled like and the time we got in trouble there will fill my mind. Is anyone else like this? I love to cling onto the good things of the past.

I am really close with my family and when we are all together we just have a ball. We can talk for hours and go on adventures or just sit and do nothing together. There was closeness with my sisters that I had, and I never wanted to let that go. But there was one problem…it’s called GROWING UP. Slowly over the past few years, my sisters and I have spread across the country. It is not cool.

I am the type of person who often has wild ideas pop into my head…and once that idea becomes a dream I lay out a plan on how to make it happen. My dream was to somehow get my family all back together…or at least on the same side of the country. I felt like this fall my dream was finally coming together. I just had to hold on a few more months. This weekend everything changed. I suddenly felt like everyone had moved on. I was the only one fighting for this dream, I was the only one clinging to the hope that we could all be together. I was the only one living in the past.

I realized they had all created lives where they were, in spite of the fact that we couldn’t all be together. Instead of their focus being on all of us reuniting, they lived their lives and built their lives where they were at. And here was I, believing that life would never be really good unless we were all together. I got depressed real quick.

Then I was hit with the idea that sometimes the past can hold us back, even if it is good. The future can be better than the past, but if we spend all of our time thinking about “what was” when we will stay stagnant, never really living. Learn to look forward to something every day and every week and every month, no matter where you are in life. Remember the “good old days”, but don’t live in them. So often I see in TV shows, parents living vicariously through their children’s lives via sports, a career, college or other dreams the Mother or Father wanted to achieve but never did. Instead of enjoying the family and life right in front of them they are depressed and their family and the child they are “living vicariously through” often ends up feeling resentful, disappointed, or like a failure. Instead of focusing on the child’s dream…the parents have literally been focusing on their old dream. Because they have clung to the past so much that they have decided not to live in the future or enjoy the present. And meanwhile their future becomes something they may regret. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be the type of person that whether I reached a dream or didn’t, that stays there, trapped. A person that is like, this was it; now everything I lived for is over. I want to be the type of person that is constantly dreaming new dreams, making new goals and enjoying the ride. No matter what age you are you can always have new adventures ahead of you or right in front of you. Make new dreams, have a vision for your future and where you want it to be, and then fight for it. We were made to be people not blown around by life’s fate, but people that carved pathways to make our dreams happen. Life is what you make it. But you’re gonna have to be tough. You’re gonna have to choose to live in the present, be grateful for the past, but don’t stay there…fight for the future.

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3 thoughts on “if you are trapped in the past…what’s happening to your future?

  1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I needed this. I kick myself a lot for things I didn’t do in the past and it hurts my attitude about future things if I let it. But your advise is great! I’ve got to be grateful for the experiences and use them to my advantage in the future!
    Thanks again for your post! It helped much!

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