After 21 years on this Earth, there are three things that I am certain of: pizza is never as good as you think it’ll be the next day, it hurts to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan, and everyone has baggage.
I get it. We all have a past and it would be ignorant to think otherwise. We’ve all had sex with other people, had loving relationships with other people, and royally got fucked over by other people. And all of this gets added to the baggage we lug around with us everywhere we go, introducing it to everyone we meet along the way.
“Hi. *opens up baggage* This right here is the trust issues I’ve been carrying around since 2009. I’m going to use it whenever I think you’re being shady.”
We don’t mean to. It’s not like we enjoy carrying these burdens on our back, and we certainly don’t enjoy introducing them to our new love interests. Why? Because more often than not, the things we continue to carry with us make it hard for us to start over.
We fall in love. We grow with another person. We share our darkest secrets, our dreams and ambitions. And when it ends, we hold on to every memory, even when we know it’s time to move on.
Or we didn’t fall in love. Instead, we opened up to someone who we thought wanted the same things, and it just didn’t work out. Sometimes an almost love hurts just as much as a committed relationship (don’t forget that).
Or we really have just had shitty luck with the opposite sex, and our past experiences discourage us from trying again.
Regardless, we think we’ll never find another person and then bam! We do. And holy shit, we start to feel again. We begin to realize that this human being is someone we could start over with. But the moment we start to feel free, our baggage reminds us just how heavy is it, and we cave.
All of the love, hate, uncertainty, insecurities, and mixed emotions come spilling in to our mind all at once and now, we don’t know what to do.
Maybe we’re still in love with someone from our past. Maybe we’re afraid to let someone in again. Or maybe we just don’t know whether or not now is the time to start over with someone new.
I know how hard it is to free ourselves from our past, to cut ties with the familiar and to tread on unfamiliar territory. My God, it is always easier to run back to someone we know than to continue towards someone who is full of untold stories and a whole new world.
But I also know how important it is to muster the courage to cut away at each and every string that connects us to our past. It’s true: be brave enough to let go of the people that are weighing you down.
What’s done is done. We owe it to ourselves, and the people that we connect with, to start over and embrace the unfamiliar. Because if there is one thing to remember, it is this: you have loved another human because you were brave enough to let them in. You have already proven that sometimes embracing the unfamiliar is the only way to build something beautiful. Now go and do it.