I don’t have a clue as to how anything in life is supposed to work. I have no answers to any problems and I don’t know the path anyone should be walking. I only know what I’m doing now is bringing me happiness .
I have no glamour shot to share of my life in Jacksonville, Florida. It completely sucked. Some people have the ability to fall apart quietly and fly under the radar long enough to get their life together … then they return fresh and new. Not me … I was going out like a rock star…. a sad, washed up, old rock star that hadn’t had a hit in forever.
I want to share two examples, I was living in a very nice oceanfront condo development with 16 other successful “40 something” professionals… (so my behavior was not well hidden). One day, I was walking home from a beachfront Irish pub when a new white Range Rover pulled up and a blonde woman instructed me to get in… so I did… man… did I have an awakening! For 6 long oceanfront blocks “the blonde upstairs” told me off… she said I was destroying everything I’d loved and worked to accomplish. She let me know how I looked and how I sounded…. she told the truth.
I hated that bitch for it! I wasn’t out of control… I was creative and expressive. If she didn’t want to bring the entire bar back to the Jacuzzi at 3:00 a.m. to get naked don’t blame me!
I was so offended by this woman’s words that I decided I would make her a character in my dog’s life and post her on social media… I turned her into “that blonde slut upstairs that Shmuli hates!” Have you ever heard of her?
The reality is that she was 100% correct.
The second example occurred during my last year on the skids … I knew a couple that I considered the lowest form of human life. They were friendly and always polite… but lived like the king and queen of a trailer park! There was nothing these two people wouldn’t do or openly discuss… often with photos … do you understand what I’m saying here?
As I fell apart and my social circle shrank … I found myself in their company more and more… I became them! Eventually, even they didn’t want anything to do with me… Dear God! I had been rejected by the scummiest people in North Florida! Something had to change! Fortunately, it did!
Anytime I reminisce about enjoying a margarita on my oceanfront balcony… I remember these less than lovely memories and know I can’t do it …
We all constantly live in the present and make many choices about our futures because of the past. This is unavoidable. You can only read these words now because your mind relates to past experience with these words. All learning and knowledge rely on continually referencing the past, and many wise decisions about the future are created through recalling what has or hasn’t worked before. You only recognize a friend in the street because you reference a past connection with them. In this way, you use the past well.
But doing things because ‘it’s always been that way’ might be a mistake. Tradition may be useful or it may prevent progress, depending on how useful it is. Personally, you have an emotional relationship to past events that steers you helpfully or unhelpfully in the present.
I talk about ‘having baggage’ or ‘needing to move on’, having to ‘put the past behind me’ or ‘find closure’ when talking about my past… But what do these metaphors actually mean and how can I really ‘let go’ and ‘move on’?
Reviewing past happy times is a great thing to do. I highly recommend it; but with a caveat. It’s less healthy if:
The past is always used as a way of highlighting how terrible the present is by contrast.
We live in the past to such an extent that the opportunities in the present are missed. For instance, when we don’t even give a potential new partner a chance because how could they ever match up to our perfect former lover!