Life changes everyday. Each day brings a new challenge, a new experience, a new lesson or maybe a few. Every single day opens a door a little further. But it also closes another door a little more as well. That door being the Past. The past, where our common experiences come from, is an important factor in our lives. Our Past is an important part of our daily journey. However, there comes a point where the Past has to be let go so room can be made for the new experiences to come. For me, this is not an easy process. Much of my Past is quite important to who I am. However, I tend to hang on to my Past for too long and parts of my continued growth and learning do not happen because of it. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but assuredly, a necessary one.
In six days (I am writing this on a Saturday), my life is going to take on a radical change. I’ll still be me. But the manner in which I approach every day Life is about to undergo a change that may be one of the most painful in my entire Life. At the same time, its not really painful – it’s necessary. Letting go of pieces of my Past will be a bit difficult. But embracing my Present, as well as my Future will be helpful in undertaking this. I know, you’re reading this and wondering what the fuck I’m talking about. So, let’s take a moment and I’ll show you what I am doing.
I served eight years in the United States Air Force. Parts of that time are ingrained within my DNA. I cannot remove every aspect of what the Air Force did for me in those eight years. Nor can I erase the experiences that I have had. All of those are a permanent part of my life. But I have tendency to lean back to how things were when I was in the military. How we did things then. And make comparisons to how we do things now. I left the military in 1994. That was….quite a while ago. It’s time to place those memories where they belong, in my Past. And time to embrace where I am now. What I am trying to do now. How things are done now. Constantly leaning back into those memories does not let me react and respond to the things of today in a manner that is appropriate. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I am out to forget those memories. I’m not out to destroy those experiences. All of that has made me who I am today. But I have more life to live. Life that is happening today, not yesterday. I need to open myself to that.
Let me place this in a little different perspective. I am in the Ovate grade with OBOD. My Bardic grade lessons and experiences built a foundation for me to get to this point. But to continue building on to that already established foundation, I have to realize that the Ovate grade is something different – something that expands beyond the Bardic grade. That opens me to more experiences, allows me to approach lessons with a fresh mind. I am looking forward instead of backward.
There is a scene in the movie Labyrinth, where Sarah is putting away all the toys and such that helped her go on her experience in battling the Goblin King for her baby brother. Its a moment where Sarah is realizing she needs to set the Past aside so she can embrace the Present and open the way to the Future. But in setting the Past aside, she is not discarding it. She can come back to it anytime that she wants, as all the characters from her adventure remind her. The Past is never truly gone. It still resides in your DNA from your experiences, your adventures and your memories.
To steal from another story moment:
It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
Every single morning is the start of a new adventure. Every single morning brings the start of a new moment of the Present. The real battle is not in taking that first step. The real battle is placing your resolve into not just taking the first step, but each step after. To do so, you can’t be focused on the Life that you have already lived. You have to be focused on the Life you are living and the Life you wish to live. The Present and the Future are waiting for you, every single morning. Are you focused on where your feet are being planted? Are you looking into the near distance to try and find your way to where you want to be? That’s where my focus is. And I promise you, its worth the change in focus. Its scary as all fuck. but the beauty that lies ahead in its promise is worth every moment of the fight and the struggle.