Purging the Past

I finally did it. I purged over 27 years of memories. Let me explain…

My youngest son has requested I ‘spiff’ up his room for when he comes home, not only from Fort Benning but also when he has breaks in between semesters at school. Every weekend, I have taken time to organize, purge, repack and clearly label boxes. Today, I found pictures, cards and a scrapbook I was working on from my marriage. I also found a family portrait, when my kids were younger, with a huge crack in the glass. A revelation to be sure of what ended up.

I took all the pictures of my wedding ceremony, all the cards exchanged between me and my ex and the scrapbook, as well as the family portrait and throwing all of it into a great big plastic bag of which I promptly deposited in the dumpster. Maybe later or as time goes on, I may feel some regret and wish I had kept all of it. Although, I highly doubt it as I am the type of person who rarely second guesses my decisions.

So, why did I throw away my past? Well, the pictures don’t reflect where I am currently in my life. Nor do they mean anything to me anymore. That was then, this is now. I don’t regret having been married. I don’t regret learning about relationships from my ex. I don’t regret the 27 years I made the choice to stay. I just look back, not regretfully but thoughtfully, realizing I always had a choice. And the choice I made, to stay, was totally one made out of fear. Fear of facing the future being alone. Fear of not being able to financially cut it. Fear of not knowing what lay ahead. Just plain old fear.

Yet, I am alone, not lonely. I wasn’t getting ahead, financially or otherwise, in my previous job, so I took it upon myself to seek another job. I found one where opportunity abounds in every aspect of my day. So financially, I am not where I was in my marriage, but I am much better off if I would have stayed. I have also discovered happiness is not about how much money one makes. It is about living a life where material stuff is not important, but love, giving and accepting is. Today, I still don’t know what lays ahead. But I will say, I am no longer afraid to face it. I guess that is what happens when negativity, including those who rain on another’s life all the time, moves out of the picture.

You see, I am resolving to put the past to rest, not worry about the future and live one day at a time. To celebrate, I ended up also finding some empty frames. I plan on giving them a cleaning, adding some inspirational pictures and then hanging them up in a space where I can see them everyday. And every so often, I can purge the pictures and revise them with some new inspiration.

It has been long overdue. I don’t want to hang on to the past. It’s done and over. I don’t want to hang on to things that weigh me down. I have come too far for that nonsense anymore. I don’t want to exist in regret. I want to live in the now. And I don’t want to ever live as the person I was. I want to keep growing as the person I am today.

It’s not easy purging. Especially when the years past did not turn out the way one thought they would. However, if one doesn’t move forward, one may never experience the awesomeness waiting just around the bend. For in purging the past, one gets rid of fear, regret and anger. Instead, better memories are formed, enabling one to relish the here and now, become confident in taking risks and be the person we were meant to be.




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