The less mature me of some years ago spent an unreasonable number of moments reliving the past, evoking it within my mind’s eye often in a vivid enough fashion that the temptation to alter and re-maneuver myself through these incidents gone-by became near irresistable. A common fantasy of mine required placement of my present self into a memory to engage my past self and help him via the magic of foresight uncommit lived mistakes and steer cleer of terrible situations. Perhaps this is a common habit. Perhaps not. I kept this part of me hidden in any case, though I wondered if all the time travel stories common to page, stage, and screen might have sprung from a similar wish-fulfillment as my own.
Nowadays, when I notice myself angling too deep into memories, I pull myself out. Best not to let these re-creations play out. Part of growing up, the slow transformation from maturity to authentic adulthood, the building of a life toward the pursuit of contentment, is accepting the long, grinding, rarely pleasant endeavor of integrating both the good and the bad (and sometimes the ugly) experiences of your life to create a whole, synchronous person out of those disparate and otherwise clashing parts.
It might be said that youth and impatience are flipsides of the same coin. All too often in the midst of the decades-long struggle to define our purpose and our character, convenience re-orients us toward our misgivings of childhood. It is difficult to be wrong when analyzing imperfection. “If only things had gone differently,” we protest, “I would surely be better off.” True. Our own mistakes and those of others can deny us a less obstacle-laden path forward. However, did these errors rob us of a more meaningful life?
No, every set of experiences poses its own counter-set of challenges, and substantial, personal efforts must resolve them. There is no road easy to the value of existence. Yes, a soul here and a soul there are born into privilege and have less obstruction to contemplate. Life can be unfair that way. However, the future will never bend for any of us. We are who we are, and we must travel with our own weight upon us.
Weight, it should then be said, becomes momentum.
Copyright 2015 by Michael Marsters.
Alle rights reserved.