Like the sun and the
23 March 2004
Sometimes I'm the kind of person who thinks too hard about the past. I think that maybe I'll find some kind of closure to whatever element of times gone by that's bothering me at that moment if I just go to the other person or people involved and bring the issue up again, probably apologize for it, and talk it over like the brand new people we are now and weren't then. Let them know I can see their perspective and I see how foolish I was, or how foolish they were, or perhaps both. And while I never shy away from retrospective thought, and I'm an advocate of being introspective whenever possible, sometimes I have to push those thoughts out of my mind. There's a time and place for reflection, and unfortunately it's not when you're laying your head down to sleep trying to rest for work the next morning. Regardless, I have to watch that thought process anyway-it's something that's brought me more torture than closure in the past.
I bring this up because recently I was thinking about a friend of mine I hadn't spoken to in a really long time-we never dated or anything, we were just really good friends, and we had become exceptionally close. I thought that maybe if I emailed or messaged her and tried to start up a conversation again, if I tried to make it clear I wasn't that guy anymore and wanted to be friends with her again-to see how she was doing and maybe warm over an icy spell, that things would get better, that we could talk plainly and happily about the things that iced us over in the first place. And then I remembered why things iced over and I felt that pang of unease that made the situation so uncomfortable in the first place. I thought about the stress I was going through during that time period and pondered if I really wanted any of that back in my life for any reason at all, or whether I was better off without it. And then I pushed it all out of my mind, content to leavethe issue spiraling for the moment, glanced one last time at the soft light of the apartment floodlights and the stars glittering above filtering through my curtains, closed my eyes, and fell into a deep, relaxing sleep.
So the thoughts rise again, with some unease, while I sit here drinking a cup of tea and hoping for a light day at work today. I'll ponder it all while sipping my tea, feeling the hot liquid warm my stomach and shivering at how happy something so simple can make me, and likely do nothing to assuage the nagging of my nostalgic self, the one who wants to take what I know now and the strength and will I've grown, and go back and fix everything that I could possible have done wrong in the past. The nostalgic self, the one who wants to be me in the past, knowing what I know now, being what could never be. The nostalgic self represents a small part of me, one not active in day to day affairs, one who plays little role in steering my life, but he's very loud when he does choose to speak, like an annoying child whining for a candy in the grocery store-he doesn't change your plans or alter your grocery list, but he's certainly an annoyance.
So in those twilight moments between conciousness and waking, I said a silent, emotional prayer for the well being of all those I've left behind, and those I've yet to meet, and those I hold dear to me now, and the nostalgic one curled up, somewhat content with the compromise, and went to sleep with the rest of my conciousness.
It's really easy to say "make peace with your enemies" and "revive old friendships" when it's not you who fell out or not you who has the enemies. It's true life it too short to bother with such things- it's far too short to deal with the stress of having enemies or having uneasy, energy-draining relationships; so once you make the decision to put it to rest, take the lessons leared from your time and trial and put it to rest. Quieting the nostalgic self in all of us is a challenge, a battle that I think no one is willing to admit that they wage every day; the "what if" battle, the wonder if things would have turned out differently if they had only done something differently; and regardless of how secure a person is or how strong, I know the thought passes through their minds from time to time. So while it's definitely a battle, it's best a battle not fought head-on, rather a war won through disengagement and active embracing of that which you have here and hold dear today and looking forward to the things you have yet to attain. Thinking about days gone by only distracts us from tomorrow, and goodness knows that we have to give tomorrow all of our attention lest someone else make our tommorow for us.
Like I always say, the past is dust, never to be molded or formed again, remnants of the things you once held. The longer you grasp at the grains, praying for what once was to reform, the longer you yourself become the dust you treasure. Keep your memories, and look on to that which you have yet to mold, lest it become more dust.