I like living in the past. It’s not necessarily an embarrassing or dramatic confession, but it does feel relieving to put it out in the open. I guess you could say I’m nostalgic at heart, and my reasoning for being that way is simple. In a way, it feels safer to relive occurrences and memories that took place in the past rather than to place thought on the present and future.
As comforting as this habit of mine may be, it can be detrimental. Often, I will find myself second-guessing past decisions I’ve made and steps I have taken in my life. I know, not so beneficial, right? But we all partake in this somewhat self-destructive activity from time to time, so there has to be a little leeway given to oneself.
This past week, I have been doing a lot of thinking, both in the present moments and in the past as well, and I’ve come to a conclusion. Living in the past can be a slightly dangerous thing to do, and should only occur sparingly so as not to become a habit.
And a habit is the last thing you want it to turn into. During the nights that I can’t seem to sleep (which are gradually increasing as the stress level is mounting), I lay in bed as the wheels in my mind spin and spin. I tend to replay scenarios in my head and substitute them with idealized versions that I’ve had time to come with. The whole process is a complete waste of time and it only succeeds in making me feel bad about my decisions. I’ve realized over the course of this past week that it’s just not worth doing anymore. Honestly, what’s the point in working yourself up over something that you can’t change anyway?
So I’ve made a resolution of sorts to try and live more in the present from now on. It all starts with self-awareness. From now on, every time I feel myself slipping into old tendencies, I’ll make myself think about something good that is happening in my life right now. Like the great friends that I have supporting me, and family back home, and even the fact that I’m at college (even though it’s not always great).
So now that I’ve got that confession off of my chest, I can just throw it into the past and out of sight. I’m not saying I won’t reminisce anymore, that’s for certain. But I will say that the days of me dwelling on my past are…well, in the past. Till next time, so it goes.
Rachel Alfiero is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu.