A Word About The Past

Allison Nazarian Bittersweet, Healing, Life Lessons, Truth

needlepointI try to live in the moment. Connect with my breath. Come back to now. Leave the past behind, let the future unfold on its own.

Sometimes I am able to do all of this. I feel peaceful and serene because I’m doing things “right.” And sometimes, I am utterly unable to do any of it. I feel pissy and unworthy. All wrong.

Then, I read someone who purports to be way better at this living-in-the-now thing than I am, and I feel defeated. Kind of lame. Silly. Because I am not “as good” as they say they are at not replaying the past or stressing over the future. Everyone else is “good” at this, why am I not? I decide I suck at living in the moment and, by extension, I have failed at something. 

As if living in the moment is a task to check off my To-Do List and move on from.

Then, on mornings like this morning I find a message in an otherwise average moment. Then I remember how untrue that whole movie-in-my-head really is. And in the four minutes between middle school dropoff and getting back home, I hear a song I have heard at least a million times, but this time the lyrics mean something totally new:

And scars are souvenirs you never lose
The past is never far
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
And don’t it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are
– Goo Goo Dolls, “Name”

You know what? The past is who we are. I had my past. Not one bit of it will ever, ever change. It is and was beautiful and messy and scar-ridden and a gift. I know exactly what it was, and it lives in me, always. I know nothing about my future, but I know that I will bring this past to its table.

There’s nothing wrong with slipping out of the moment. Remembering is beautiful (and painful). There’s nothing wrong with remembering who I was, and thinking of who I might be.

There is something wrong with me thinking there is something wrong. 

So for today, I continue to breathe. And remember.


The image accompanying this post is of a needlepoint my grandmother made of me and a dark-haired friend in the 70s. It has stayed with me for nearly four decades.