Please Don’t Hold On To What You’ve Already Let Go Of

Manik Rathee
Manik Rathee

You’ve put the past behind you. You’ve let go. Whether a person or town, a bad memory or heartache, you’ve learned that you cannot cling to the familiar anymore.

You’ve released your grasp on what was bringing you down.
You set yourself free of misery and pain.

You’ve turned to your focus to something that brings the promise of new hope.

And you’re no longer afraid.
You are free.

Bu there will be moments when you still wonder. There will be nights when you curl up in your new bed, in your new town and you think about those old friends, those old lovers. You will wonder what they’re doing, thousands of miles away.

You will wonder if they’re happy, then question if you’re happy.

Your mind will travel to places that you never imagined—thinking of your body in the arms of a lover, or how the grass of that old park would feel under your bare shoulders. You’ll think of the places, the people you’ve left and you will wish them back into existence in your mind.

You will convince yourself that you miss them, that you never should have left.

But this is your loneliness playing tricks on you.
You can’t reach back for what you’ve already left behind.

The past is a beautiful place. Haunted and complicated in the rearview. You must always keep the past in a place where it can be seen, remembered, dug up if needed. You can always keep connections with the friends you’ve left, the people you’ve loved and still love.

But the past cannot direct the path of your life. It cannot keep you from moving forward, from finding true happiness or your true self.

There is a reason you’ve let go of what you could not bear to hang on to, a reason you’ve set people or places free as you continued along your road.

Leave them there.

If you continue to let your mind spin over what you’re missing, over the friends you used to have, the places you used to wander, the people you could have loved—you won’t find those things where you are.

You’ll forever feel empty, looking over your shoulder at the could have beens instead of the what’s happenings.

And that’s no way to live. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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