27 March 2011

Taking the glasses off...

Things for me are better now than they ever have been. Yet I can't seem to get my sleep, studying, and going to class schedule even remotely under control. I'm drifting farther and farther into the past, instead of stepping on the pedal and driving like a bat outta hell into the future.  (Okay, I need to let the past go, but can I at least keep my classic rock stations on Pandora?)

Time to take inventory. I'm neck deep in my major, immersed in what I want to do. I'm in the right place at the right time. I belong here. Whatever fate has in store, me being in college and studying all this cool shit is where I'm supposed to be. The past? It's still there, wherever time goes once it has passed.  There are so many things that happened there that have no bearing or relation to the way things are now-- more than once, I said to myself, "you can't get there from here". There were always more immediate problems to solve to take another actual step.

Little steps add up to big steps, if you take enough of them.

Wherever the past is, I'm not there now.  I did a lot of work, took a lot of chances, did some stupid shit, made some mistakes. Above all I learned from each of those experiences. A little here, a little there. Make this thing a little better, get rid of that thing.

I can't claim that it's been smooth, that I've always taken the right turn or done the right thing. Over time, I did enough of the right things and took the right roads. I must have, because I ended up here. There may have been another path to get here, but I wonder if the other path would have been as hard (or as rewarding).

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the past is just... gone. That when time goes by, it is gone forever. The past exists as memories only, neurons and brain cells, and those can be cleared out. People can forget, so memories are expendable.  Electricity doesn't flow when you turn the switch off. Memories don't stay memories if they are not given any energy, and it takes a lot of energy to maintain them.

Whatever the past is, whatever form it takes, I'm not there. The connections are cut. I don't owe anyone from my past anything, and those who were in my past, the part I don't like to remember, those people are in God's hands now. Along the way, I took defensive measures to make sure those people would never be able to hurt me again. I learned, and worked, and got stronger and smarter.

They wouldn't recognize me, all of the people who didn't give me a chance, all of the people that hurt me, abused me, neglected me, didn't help me, or just in general were less than good to me (or for me). If we passed in an airport, we'd walk past each other, not knowing that we'd even passed.

It's not that the past doesn't matter-- the lessons, the mistakes, they all add up to make me who I am, so the sum of the past is the present. I look at what I'm doing now, in my classes and at work, and it's far beyond anything I've done before. It's also way more fun. I've reached a new level, and I'm trying to reach higher levels still. This place, the present, is a pretty good place, but it's like I don't recognize myself.  I'm looking at the present, through past colored glasses.

Those past colored glasses need to come off.

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