Looking Back

Last night, I had a dream that I was going backwards in time.  Back to old places, old relationships, old states of mind, none of which were necessarily good for me.  Halfway through the dream, I realized that I didn’t want any of it.  I didn’t want to go backwards.  I’m happy with the way my life is going.  I want to keep moving forward (Meet the Robinsons, anyone?).  To quote one of my favorite bands ever, “I’ve got my heart set on what happens next” (Switchfoot).  I want a career.  I want to keep finding my way in this world.  Going backwards is the last thing I want to do.

That being said, just because I don’t want to relive my past, it doesn’t mean I can’t look back on it every once in a while.  In fact, sometimes I think it gives me the confidence I need to keep going.

A few years back, there was a time I felt I had absolutely no say over what happened in my life.  I felt trapped. I felt anchored.  I felt like I had to follow this one path that everyone else thought was right for me.  I reached the point where I was so depressed and feeling like I had no control that I cut all my hair off.

You read that right.  I grabbed a pair of scissors, I stood in front of the mirror, and I hacked off my long, curly hair.  Right up to the shoulder.

It was a time in my life I never want to relive, but I’m surprised to say that looking back on it now fills me with hope.  I learned a lot about myself during that time.  I learned that I love photography.  I learned that maybe the things that make other people happy don’t necessarily make me happy.  Most importantly, I learned that I’m brave enough to make changes.  I found myself in a situation where I was not happy.  In fact, I was the polar opposite of happy.  I’m so proud of the fact that not only was I able to recognize it, but that I was able to tell myself that I deserved to be happy.

It was hard, but I know I’m better for it.  I’ve never once regretted any of the decisions I made.  And I know, I’m being terribly vague, but I don’t want to project my own experiences out there just in case someone reading this can relate to it.  I also don’t want to go into details out of respect for those involved in my life at that time.  They might not have even realized what I was going through at the time.

That’s why, from time to time, I do look back.  I see the person I was back then and it makes me appreciate the person I am now.  Best of all, it makes me proud of who I am now.  I’m hoping that I’m not done learning or growing.  I hope that the best is yet to come.  And I think it is.

3 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. Great post, Jackie. There have been times I’ve felt this way too (God knows in high school I did). And I’ve done the same thing: I found answers. Not in words, but aspirations, what I could become and work toward. Simple things I could enjoy with other people.

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