On the Past.

So, I'm back from Virginia; more photos and details on that in a later post.  I kind of wanted to give a small update and then as usual, a long-winded probably pointless rant on my thoughts/feelings on life.  But this one is a really good one! I think so anyway.  But before I do that: the blog is for the most part up-to-date.  I really like my little category pictures to the right of the page.  I worked on them really hard.  Maybe you can tell.  Also, I added/changed a few blog buttons since other people have updated their blogs too! 

Also, if you remember from this blog entry I recently started talking to my friend Madi again; we've been friends since 2008 but it feels like I've known her years before that.  Either way, she has a blog! Go check her out and give her support and call her a ginger.  Especially the 'call her a ginger' part.  :)

And now, the real purpose of this entry; a patented Patricia rant.  

On the Past

May's writing challenge really hit me out of nowhere.  I had no idea I would get a lot of these really random memories surfacing up, and there was more than one night that I sat there bawling in front of the screen either during or after I'd finished my entry.  I feel like I live in the past sometimes, and delving into those scenarios was kind of a mental overload as I'm sure anyone could imagine.  

But it also confused me.  What percentage of living in the past is "acceptable"? What part of having memories and being unable to shake them is productive? Most of the time, I feel like I'd rather be brainwashed into forgetting.  Most of the time I'd give anything to not know about my past.  Then I feel obligated to, to be thankful for my present and all that other stuff.  I also feel that my past is a driving force in my life right now, though again to what extent, I'm confused.  

Then, I read this great analogy.  Imagine you're in a boat, rowing along.  Behind you, you can see the wake--the trail of moving water caused by the boat's motion.  In rowing toward your future, all of the effort and force (the rowing of the boat) happens in the present.  The wake has absolutely nothing to do with the energy.  You can look at it, you can see it, but it changes or creates nothing.  For someone who is almost desperate for success, that's a great analogy.  I don't have any power to change my past.  The effort of my present is what matters.  

I don't think writing about foster care was a bad idea.  I think that continuing to write about foster care is a bad idea.  I think writing about anything in my past unless it's just a random vent, is a bad idea.  I don't want to be that person who feels that their unjust past fuels them.  I don't think that has anything to do with me being who I am.  I've always had fire and the will to succeed and become something special, even when I was going through all that.  Like I said, if anything, remembering my past drags me down and feels too weighty to consider.  That's why I'd forget it if I could.

Not to say that I am ungrateful for the life experience, or anything like that.  I also have the knowledge every day that I made really hard choices and lived through really hard times and came through it okay.  In short, I know that I'm strong, even if I don't feel like it sometimes.  I don't want to try and turn the past into fuel for my success, whether it's writing, traveling, painting, or whatever.  I'd rather just be me, and keep making me a better me, and leave my past behind.  If at all possible, without any bitterness or resentment.  And the only times I really feel emotion like that is when I go over memories more closely--in other words, when I dwell.

I think that analogy of the boat, the moving oars, and the wake really gave me insight.  I'm thankful for it.  

image by sleena


  1. I'm so happy you've come to this conclusion. Talking about our experiences can be so difficult, but helpful nonetheless. I'm glad you're a stronger, better person because of your past, and that you refuse to let it consume you. Hooray for being unconsumable!

    1. Thank you dear! I was pretty pleased if I do say so myself, hahahaha. It seems like such a simple thing. It is simple to say "don't let your past dictate your future" but oh man! It's a whole different thing to live it. Or maybe I'm just slow :D

  2. I love that analogy, it's so great! Thanks for sharing it. It's SO hard to not live in the past, but it does us now good if we do.