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Changing the Past.

Tom loves to talk about "what if"s. It drives me mad. "What if I had grown up in the home my parents were tricked out of in North Beach?", He'll ask. "What if I had never taken that job at the record store? What if I had moved to London after mom died?"

I don't like "what if"s that take place in the past. My normal response is, "Then you probably wouldn't have met me." Life is a convoluted trail and if you alter its course you end up seeing different things and in a different destination. I don't see the point in wallowing in decisions from the past. I'm happy with my life, it always just needs a little tweaking, not a complete overhaul. Of course if I wasn't happy I would know that change starts today, not in the past. I am not a victim of my own life. Wishing something else had happened does nothing but depress. Change starts now and we have the ability to change our lives to be the way we want them. Tom is unhappy with his life right now, though he doesn't know why... or at least he hasn't been able to tell me.

My mom is also dwelling in the past and it's driving my dad crazy. Most sentences out of her mouth start with "We should have". We should have gotten you a train as a little kid to go around the Christmas Tree." I probably wouldn't have been interested, I preferred my Hotweels that off-roaded in dirt. She has been having memory problems and is now convinced she has some brain fungus. Have you heard how all medical students start to diagnose themselves of crazy maladies because they exemplify the tiniest amount of one symptom. This is what my mom has always done since her nurse training days. She has become focused on this as well as any recent mistakes... she has apologized for the dinners she cooked while is was visiting in December every-time I have spoken to her since. Not using enough salt on a meal is nothing to worry about in the past or present... unless you are a chef. I'm going to load up an ipod with a bunch of calming books like the Dali Lama's "The Art of Happiness" and send it to her, hoping she gives it a listen... a few times.

Part of the beauty of the past is it's state of being solid and unchanging. It happened, it's done, it's completed. The words have been recorded in the journal and another entry placed on top. As much as it pains me I don't go back and edit old entries to fix Grammar or spelling. It shows the growth I've gone through since starting the Journal in 2002. I was looking for something in my LJ and found this appropriate entry lets hope my LJ is here in another 5 years, hell make it 100. It's not good to dwell in the past but it sublime when you can look back and see how far you've come.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
lankyguy
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
ITA I have no desire to erase the past, but also no desire to repeat it. ;-)

grubbybastard
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
I love that you cite an entry that has a comment that I left three and a half years ago, three years after the entry was written.
grubbybastard
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Perhaps this is proof that websites CAN become antiques.
outherelistenin
Jan. 7th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
I spent most of my 20's in Bad Times. I could tell how things were going at any given point by noticing how much time I'd spend in fantasy sequences about having the opportunity to re-live my life with the knowledge I'd gained later.

Sometimes, I'd shake myself out of these sequences specifically because having taken those paths would have eliminated friendships I'd made. I never would've moved to Boston, I wouldn't've gone to my college.

It says something about my life now that I haven't had one of those fantasies in at least a year. Occasionally, I'll still speculate, idly, about who I'd have become if I'd moved here sooner.

I suppose that says something, too. I no longer want to change my surroundings; now I just want to be a better me.
sisyphus238
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
No wonder you're so easy to be around.
bunnykitteh
Jan. 8th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
Mmm past can be changed... but the above is not the way to go about it.
guyinsf
Jan. 8th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
I'm sooo with you on these sentiments. I want to learn from my past but not dwell on it, and it drives me crazy when people do that. The only times I find myself reviewing the past incessantly is when I realize I'm unhappy where I am now and am looking for possible answers within lessons from the past.

At the moment I find myself in the frustrating situation where those past lessons don't seem to be giving me answers. ...or maybe it's just answers I don't want. I'm not sure which.

Though I also have to admit I find myself musing on the things that "build up over time" and wondering how to let go of things that fall into that category. Sometimes it's necessary to let go, and sometimes it feels like giving up and/or not learning the lesson I need to learn. So, maybe I just have my own version of dwelling in the past that's more on the emotional build-up side and not so much in the reviewing and reliving of events.

The human mind/spirit is an amazingly complex thing. ;)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )