It is impossible to take steps back in time. Even when our feet are dragging in the dust, even when we want to go back to the way things once were, the past does not exist in the present moment. People change, grow up, or sometimes die. Each moment is unique, and cannot be repeated or recreated. There is an unseen momentum pushing and pushing us forward and into the next moment. My past is full of joyous memories, pain and loss, friends and family. The past is full of people, so many of them now gone from my life. Thankfully, the past is also full of people that I am blessed have in my life in the present, too.
The last few years have been so terrible and full of stress. I’m not sure how to act now that the immediate crisis has passed. There are no visits to be made, no phone calls, no arrangements. Believe me, I am not complaining. It feels good to have my life back. My life. I have my life back, and now I’m just not sure what to do with it.
It seems that I had expected my life as it once was to still be waiting for me, but apparently, time kept marching on while I have been on the hamster wheel these past few years. I remember where I was, who I was, what I was two years ago. The problem is, the life I had two years ago no longer exists. I am no longer that woman. So who am I now? That remains to be seen. As much as I keep peering into the past to find the woman I once was, I won’t find what I’m searching for. The past shapes who we are in the present.
In the past weeks, I have been both humbled and hurt. I have been humbled by the kindness of the good people in my life. I am blessed with wonderful family and friends. I have been touched by their genuine concern, love, and support. Several people I had once thought of as colleagues, became more than that as they reached out to me on a personal level. Others, people I had once thought of as close friends, were nowhere to be seen. That is the worst part. It hurts to realize that a relationship once valued was merely a surface friendship, a fair-weather friendship.
I have been thinking a lot about those who have been absent from my life during these past difficult months and especially the past couple of weeks. While I understand it on some level, a person going through a tough time doesn’t make the best company, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept. It doesn’t make it hurt less. These are the kind of things that test a friendship, and sadly, I had a few “friends” that failed that test. I don’t mean this to sound bitter. I am looking at this in a sort of philosophical manner. Perhaps it is these very disappointments in life that enable us to move onto the next phase. By examining our lives at times like this, we are better able to let go of our past and give into the momentum that continues to push us forward and forward into the future.