Wake up, it’s a new year. You have this moment to brush off the last year of memories and start new. Sure, you could do this at any time of the year, but for me, there is nothing more refreshing that a global restart button to forget whatever the hell happened in the last 365 days. I’m sure, like most of the general population, you had a year with good and bad things that happened to you. Regardless, I’m sure a lot of things stuck with you through the years that you wish you could just forget. Well friend, I am here to tell you to reflect, take a deep breath, and let these things go before they overcome you.
Now, that’s easier said than done, right? It’s easier to say that you need to forget about every little thing that happened to you that caused you heartbreak, loss, or just general garbage feelings, than it is to just do it. Because memories never forget. Memories make up who you are. But you can’t let your past seep into your future and ruin any prospect of happiness that you have. You have to refuse to let this happen, because your past is the only measure of time that can affect you fully.
And that is the worst part about the past.
It is the only thing that has an effect on both your present and future life. It is the only thing that follows you through every moment of your life. It’s a little shadow that follows behind you, creeping up on you when you least expect it, to remind you that you are who you are because of it.
And sure, you can let it define your life. You can let it take over every single part of your soul. You can let it take hold of you. You can let it take away your individuality, so that people only recognize you as “that person with that thing that had happened to them.”
But do yourself a favor, and don’t. Don’t let yourself be that person who keeps their head in the mud. Don’t drag the dead weight around everywhere you go through every experience, because you can’t possibly grow when you’re stuck carrying around all that extra baggage. Pull an Elsa and let it go, already.
Memories like falling in love, falling apart, and heartbreak can be the worst to shake. With love, it’s an everlasting memory ingrained in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul. When you love someone, you can move on and even though the memory of that person’s light and love will always stick with you, you can’t let it define what your present state is. They will always be that memory of an unrequited, romanticized hologram of your past. But you can’t let it bother you anymore. You can’t let every moment with someone new be dictated by what happened in your past. You can’t expect that the way someone has treated you in the past is the way that all people will treat you in the future.
Gain wisdom from that, not skepticism.
But I get it. Sometimes certain memories are harder to just get over. From what I find, the memories that have a deeper connection to your soul are the hardest to move past. Some memories are horrible. Some memories are so bad that you can’t forget them. But I just ask that you don’t let them define who you are. I ask you to be thankful for those moments, because you are so much more than what they could define you as. You are so much more than an unfortunate memory. You are so much more than those few moments that forever changed your life.
And I guess that is the beautiful thing about the past. No matter how good or bad it is, it’s shaped you to be the person you are today. You wouldn’t be that person if you didn’t have a series of events following your every footstep into the future.
Memories don’t forget. Memories certainly won’t forget you. But you can try to. You can try to use those memories not as a fault for caution, but as a tool to grow. Give yourself that gift this year.