In walking down the path that signifies our futures, we tend to once in a while step on stones and rocks that were there from our pasts, hurting our feet and becoming an obstacle when all we are trying to do is lead happy lives. We recognize that once or twice we took a shortcut or went down the wrong way, that single moment changing the course of our lives. What keeps me up at night? Decisions I have made in the past or that he has taken in years previous to me entering his life or where we’ll find ourselves in a year or two is what preoccupies my mind. When it comes to moving on and letting go of moments that hurt both of us, we tend to forget that those moments had to happen in order for us to end up together.
When writing our futures, we have this flawed idea that we can just rewind time and erase moments that led us to the present. We can no longer go back in time and take back words that resulted in actions that resulted in fights or arguments or perhaps a final ending to something that should have never had a beginning or initial spark. If I’m rambling on, it’s only because I’m trying to make a point: the past will not define who you are today, it can only reinforce some points as to why you are the way you are, but your past can only be responsible for you being a better person because you either let karma do its work or because karma was in your favor and paid you off for being taken advantage of or hurt.
When I stepped off the plane in Havana, there was a resonating presence of the past; the clocks had stopped ticking long ago and the two weeks I was there I spent reflecting on how I had ended up on that island and how had the past few years flown by so quickly. The past was a big factor in my Cuba adventure, seeing how people there live trapped in time, with the bare minimum to make it through their day and technology being the least of their worries. People there seemed to have settled for a lifestyle where they cannot advance, a life where the minimum is all they need and where their effort goes unnoticed or unmeasured. I encountered several women who perhaps have never or will never come across true love, the genuine essence of a flow of emotions that rush to your head telling you that you care for someone to an incredible degree, all because they have to prostitute themselves to make a bit of extra money on the side. As I have said before (alluding to one of my professors from a few years back): time does not pass, it only accumulates. In Cuba, the phenomenon of time just accumulating made me reflect on my life, where I currently stand and where I want to head. I do not have to settle for something that is beneath me or that is sedentary. I am smart enough to know that my past can accumulate all it wants but it will not define who I am or who I am with. If anything I owe my past my entire future, because it was years ago that I shook his hand for the first time and said “Oh, nice to meet you”.
I am fortunate to have an amazing man by my side who I have known for years but our pasts never fully intertwined until now. He and I often talk about why we did not happen sooner and both have agreed that we would have not appreciated what we have now until each of us on our own had to go through certain moments and situations to maturely understand what we could be together and the sudden love that developed. It is okay to understand where each of us came from or what we just got out of, that way we know the worst has passed and the best is yet to come.
So when the past decides to knock at our doors or ring our doorbells, let’s thank that all that happened because if any one of those moments had not occurred, we would not be next to the person we find ourselves walking, running or simply living life happily next to. So past, thank you.