Today is my birthday.
today is my birthday. by nature, i am a more nostalgic, introspective person. birthdays provide very clear benchmarks for marking the passage of time and if you're like me, ruminating about the past.
one year ago, two years, five years, ten years ago! time flies!!
where was i? what was i doing? who was i with? and perhaps most significantly ..... who was i back then?
my life has thus far been dotted with wonderful experiences. if i die tomorrow, i assure you it will be with a smile on my face. But as i look back and reminisce, i can't help but feel like my life has so far been defined by what wasn't, instead of what was.
regrets? oh i have a few .. doesn't everyone? it's probably not very productive to sit here and dwell on life's past events, can't change it anyway, why waste the energy, right? but understanding the past clues us in to the present, and offers a possible road map to the (our) future. the past, our life that has past -- can have significant value.
one cliche i hear so often today is "live in the present." it's great advice sure, but isn't the present just a current accumulation of life's past events? isn't this present version of our self just a sum total of all the choices and events that came before this one?
to say the past doesn't define us is silly. it certainly defines me. the three or four most significant events in my life over the past twenty years were unequivocally negative. but those things shaped me, they yielded significant change in me, they forced me to confront myself, they demanded i pursue a different course of thought and/or action. these events more than any others in my life, helped me grow and become who i am today.
so today i will think about the past, and the present and certainly the future. i will take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today or tomorrow .. things will be ok. it could be extremely difficult or frustrating and it probably will be, but i will be comforted in my understanding that the proper perspective will enable me to move forward confidently and optimistically knowing that whatever happens is creating a better version of myself. if i let it.