I've never been good at letting go of things. I like to hold on to everything as long as I can, even when it's not good for me. I get nostalgic all the time, even when I'm in a great place in my life. Sometimes I wish I didn't do this and that I didn't continue to think back on my life all the time, but recently I've realized that me looking back is actually what has pushed me to be better in the future.
I think we should hold on to the past. This goes against everything we've been taught. We've been taught to let go; to never look back. To leave the past where it is.
But I don't think this is the right way to go about moving forward.
There's a huge difference between wanting to repeat your past and wanting to grow from it. When I say wanting to repeat your past, I'm not talking about the times we sit around on the couch and reminisce on the good old days with out best friends from forever ago (although there's nothing better than this) and wishing to go back to them. I'm talking about when we're upset and we wish were still friends with the people who weren't good for us, or wanting more than anything to get back together with the person who hurt you so badly. I've watched myself miss the friends who weren't good to me and I've seen so many people I know hurting for so long over the person who broke their heart. It sucks and its painful and it hurts. This is the type of reflection on the past that leads us to more harm than benefit, and it can be hard to deal with. In times like these it's important to remind yourself why you've moved on to a different stage of your life and why, even when it hurts, you're better off now than you were before.
On the brighter side, I truly believe the past is the greatest influencer for making you a better person. I see myself reflect on the past and now I'm able to make better decisions everyday because of it. I'll be honest, high school has not been my favorite time. It's been stressful, and I've been hurt and I've hurt others. But the past few months have been the best of my life because I've chosen to look back on my decisions and make better ones.
I'm not saying I'm perfect and I'm not saying I still don't still mess up all the freaking time, because I do. But lately I've been blessed with some of the best people I've ever met in my life and I'm more determined than ever to keep them in my life for as long as possible. So I've taught myself to constantly look back to the places where I've messed up in the past so I can get it right this time around. I constantly think of ways I can be better for the people in my life and how to be better for myself. I have lists upon lists in my journal of how to be better to myself and how to be a better friend/sibling/daughter/girlfriend.
So even though I get nostalgic for the past and the people and the places where things didn't work out as well as I hoped they would, I'm still thankful for them. They've taught me so much and it's helping me become more conscious of my actions, and its helped me to forgive others. I'm thankful for all the people who have come and gone throughout my life, and I know that no matter what, I would be there for them in an instant if they ever needed anything, because they're always going to be an important part of my life.
This got real deep, real fast, but my main point is to try and use your past to your advantage. Use it to make better decisions and to become the person you want to be. Trust me, you'll still make mistakes. Life can still be difficult and you might miss the parts of your life that are no longer there, but just know that you're growing into the most beautiful and best version of yourself, and change is needed for that. And this is a little last minute encouragement that things will get better. I've been through my fair share of equally amazing and sucky times in high school, and even though I didn't understand everything at the time, I'm so beyond thankful for them because I've learned so much through it all. I wouldn't trade my past for the world, because I know it's helping me become better for my future and I know yours will too. :)