Thought Catalog

Open Letter To The Past

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Dear Past,

I’m neatly wrapping up your chaos, putting you in a box, and tucking you away while I can. Before I tie the final knot on the frayed ribbons of an irresolute youth, I’m leaving this note with you. Call it closure, peace, or the retribution of lessons learned; call it anything but hope, for you are not staying here.

Your myriad of memories isn’t completely unwanted. I’ll carry the important ones with me and keep the best ones close to me, but I’m breaking my back just to carry your weight. I’ve trekked up hills hoisting reminders of defeat, dipped my toes in the waters of new romance while swimming against currents of old love – I’m allowed to be tired enough to let you go.

Don’t take this letter as a slight, I think you’re pure magic. You ignite a fire in my mind when I recall our fondest moments. Memories of birthdays, first kisses, proud performances, and invaluable travels spark like old flames each time I mull over our expansive history. From the first day of grade school to putting fancy rings on timid fingers, you are a vault of my successes, failures and best-kept secrets. I’ve never been one for arson – I can’t rekindle the incendiary moments. When you get too close to old flames, you eventually get burned.

I’ll admit that I’m afraid to lose even the most unfavorable parts of you. As time passes your edges are losing shape. Your details are softening and becoming a remnant, a lightened scar, a mollified haze. Trying to hold onto you is like catching a cloud of smoke – some moments aren’t meant to be held captive, especially toxic ones.

Some people think I should resent you, others think that I should write you down – a 24-year memoir. You’ve been the punch line of jokes, the elephant in the room, the pain in my chest, the push to move forward– you’re quite the multitasker, Past. And me? I’m a woman with an open box and an open mind.

I want the life of a vagabond with a filled passport, a stamp for every story. I’ll plan to carry a piece of every remarkable person I meet and tell their tales. I’ll strive to climb the ladder of success just to knock it down and build my own. I’ll love someone until my heart overflows. I want so much and I’m sorry you can’t join me.

You’re neither regretted nor resented, despite popular belief. I’m thankful to have carried your weight for this long and to have gained an invaluable set of lessons that some people may never learn. You may be losing your enigmatic structure, but you’ve shaped me into a more complete person. I may open your box to remind myself why I am the woman I am today or even add new memories, but a moment is all I’ll need. I am forever thankful, but I am not forever yours.

With love,

Present TC mark

thumbnail image – Pauline

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