I Keep Thinking About The Past. Will I Ever Be Happy?

image - Unsplash / Tirza van Dijk
image – Unsplash / Tirza van Dijk

Who would have known, who would have ever known how bittersweet this feeling would be? I am asking you, my persistent past.

Can I please get an answer to this question? Wait, actually, I know I can beg you for one but I will never receive an accurate response. How could I? I am giving in. You cannot say you didn’t warn me, can you? I do understand. I’ve had many chances. I am the one to blame. I’ve had time enough to think about the decisions I made and which then had these awful, unforeseeable consequences. Maybe I would have thought differently if I had known how I was tearing myself apart. The choices I’ve made dragged me down to the ground. And still, they are weighing heavily on my shoulders, my mind.

You said time heals all wounds. Have I not known this saying before? But I do not believe in it. You promised that I would feel better – and you shouldn’t have said this because I was expecting the pain to ease. I was truly hoping for it. I was clutching at any straw. In vain. The feeling has changed but not eased. Can I even blame myself for this – for who I was back then? It’s what I decided would be the best thing to do. But don’t get me wrong: it was not easy, by no means. Yet, it was what I wanted. I made this decision because I thought continuing like this would break my heart even more, would tear me apart and not let me do the things I was hoping I could do – with relief. I have never been this wrong in my life.

The minute I spoke the words I wished I could take them back. But it was too late. It changed everything. Every single bit. It’s not what I wanted. Was it? No. Shattered – all that we’ve had broke into pieces right in front of me, crashing on the ground. There it was: my past. I had it right in front of me. Would I have had the chance to pick them all up and fix them? Everything I was hoping this decision would lead to did not happen. I felt weak. I broke all the promises. Undoubtedly, I was – and still am – the one to blame. Don’t give me this piercing look, my bittersweet past. It’s hurting me. You kept telling me but I did not listen to you. So this is what I got.

You leave me standing. Wondering. Suffering – but only from time to time. I am fine. However, I still don’t think time can heal wounds; it can only fix them on the surface. What is deep inside will always last. I know, I should stop wishing, hoping. It will never fully ease. And you know what? It’s okay, for my past is a piece of myself which I should never be fully forget, which I don’t want to forget. And yet, feeling the constant present of you – more or less intense – is oftentimes a setback. And this leaves me wondering: should I have done things differently? I have been a different person back then. It’s what this person wanted. But why do these regrets keep coming back – after years?

Past and present merge from time to time. And it still hurts as I see things from a different perspective now. Is this holding me back in every respect? No, I am moving on. Sometimes I think it’s only making me stronger and encouraging me to think about the decisions I make now twice. But I myself have changed, so I might regard my past – which is now my present – differently in years to come. Will I ever be able to make a decision that will make me happy throughout a lifetime? Is that even possible?

There is so much I want to say. But I can’t. You’ve disappeared from the screen of my life – you, a piece of the past – and yet I feel closer to you than ever before. There are words that will never be spoken, thoughts that can never be expressed. Dear past, you’ve become part of my present and will probably be a constant companion in my future. But as I said: it’s alright. It’s bittersweet. And every once in a while, when life is freezing around me, I fully immerse myself in this moment – when past and present merge. I feel the intimacy then. But do you ever…? TC mark

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