The Truth About Missing The Past

Mario Calvo / Unsplash

Somebody reading this is missing something. It could be a person, an experience, or even a job.

For me, it’s a place.

I recently returned home from studying abroad. I won’t go into detail of exactly where I lived because that’s not relevant.

Now, you might think that’s strange, given the fact that I’m talking about location. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that location has nothing to do with place.

Hold the judgement. I know what you’re thinking: Did all that time spent travelling on airplanes literally go to your head?

It’s a strange paradox, but it makes sense.

A place is more than just a place. Sure, there’s the culture and language; there’s the food; the scenery, the architecture, the place itself.

There’s the place that you see with your eyes and then there’s the feeling that comes with it.

For me, it was the rush of independence that came with living alone for the first time. The paralyzing fear that came next. Wanting to pat myself on the back one day and then go crying to my parents the next.

I felt like I was living in an episode of Friends; the only time I’d lived merely a doorstep away from my favourite people in the world.

I felt like I was walking on stars; like all the magical moments that I thought were reserved for Hollywood movies could actually happen to me.

I was a stranger in an exotic new land. I had never quite fit in, but that’s what made me love it even more.

But what if that was the only time in my life where I’d feel different, or special, or remembered?

Of course, those are just my experiences. And whether you relate to them or not, something we’ve all experienced is the feeling of missing something. We’ve all experienced change.

So the more I think about it, it wasn’t the place itself that I missed – it was the place that I was at in my life.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to want nothing more than to rewind time and go back to the good old days.

But by missing something, we are living in our past, instead of embracing our present.

Don’t let missing something take over your life.

What if I had let my homesickness stop me from studying abroad? If I had focused on all the things I wasn’t getting from one place and all the things I would get from the other, I would never have had any new experiences at all.

So remember this: there’s a difference between missing it and missing out.

Did you ever think that the reason you’re not out there having new experiences is because you’re still sitting here missing old memories?

We all know the saying “when one door closes, another one opens.” But what they didn’t tell you was that you have to go looking for that door. You can’t stay standing still at one door that’s already been locked and barricaded shut, expecting it to magically re-open. You find a new door, and you knock as loudly as you can, use all your strength – and you push it open.

I’d spent too much time knocking at a door that was already closed. Instead, I should have realised that there’s still so many doors I hadn’t opened yet.

When an experience ends, it becomes a memory. The memories are what we miss, right? So what if we never stop having new experiences?

Fill the void, and make a change. Look back at the past, but live for the future. Miss something. Miss it with all your heart – just don’t miss out. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog