Yes, I have fallen off the face of the Earth in regards to my blog (and even journal writing) for the last few weeks. No point in feeling guilty or beating myself up for it though, just pick up where I left off and keep going.
Which brings me to a thought that I contemplate often, and that has been on my mind a lot as of late; nostalgia, looking back, being present, and moving forward vs anticipating what is coming.
Thanks to a wonderful college professor, Ana Luszczynska, the post-modern thought regarding nostalgia in society has been firmly planted in my brain for a decade now and I often come back to it, especially when I find myself frustrated at the nostalgia of others. Yes, I know that sounds harsh. It probably is; I can be somewhat harsh when it comes to looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Being positive in life about yourself, your path and humanity is different than looking back at times gone by and thinking how things were ‘better’ back then. Nostalgia is a trap. When we get caught up in those details that our hearts hold dear within our memory banks, we forget about all the other circumstances that surrounded the moment in time we are fondly looking back upon.
The truth is, in the past there were good times and there were bad, just as the same holds true in our present and will continue to be in the future. Life isn’t perfect, it never has been and never will be. How would we learn if everything was handed to us on a silver platter?
There is nothing wrong with looking back at our past, fond of the good times, and aware of the bad to therefore inform us in our present. Accept the good times for what they were, when they were; don’t attach so much to the feeling/memory/moment, that you lose sight of the good things which currently surround you.
I feel like anticipating the future is often fraught with the same kind of thing; we get tied up in dreading the worst, or imagining only the best, that we lose sight of the right now. We cannot control the future, and thinking about it too much is truly an act of futility. Making plans of what we would like to see come to fruition is a wonderful human trait that can give us hope, but if we pin all our hopes on what we imagine the future to be we are often setting ourselves up for disappointment and even failure. In life many of the best things that happen to us are unforeseeable, and we often aren’t even immediately aware of the impact they have upon our lives.
To me, moving forward means being present while still informed of the past, all the while being aware that our actions and thoughts are forming the path to our future.
I don’t dwell in the past, but I know that what happened before has made me who I am today. I enjoy each moment as it comes and am conscious of the fact that each joy and each pain is as fleeting as the past was, and I know that whatever is to come will be part of this great lesson called life. This makes me confident of my path, even as I am unaware of what will unfold as I continue upon it.
And at the end of all this, I have to say that I owe an ocean of gratitude to the woman who sparked all these thoughts 10 years ago; thank you Ana.