Revisiting your past is a bittersweet thing. It's bitter because it can bring back so many negative feelings and memories, but sweet, too, because it gives you a glimpse of how far you've come.
Visiting LA for the first time since I basically ran away more than 3 years ago gave me a funky feeling inside ... I guess, in a good way, but as I sat in seat 44A on my Delta flight, gazing out the window, I started reminiscing.
I remember the day I arrived in LA and had these butterflies inside like all my dreams were coming true ... I remember listening to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" thinking "Hell yeah, baby! This is it! This is my time to shine!" ... but the lyrics were far from the reality of what I was about to endure.
See, moving far away from home as a 21-year-old college grad can be difficult ... exciting, of course, but difficult too. Living in a foreign place with no family or friends, no car, no days off, no support system, a different time zone, a bad relationship--it can put you in a stupor, in a depression ... It can put you in a dark place where you feel like the only options are to give up or run away even further than you already had. Fortunately, because of my amazing parents, I didn't have to choose either. Instead, I chose to start over.
That morning I flew to LA, I decided to no longer look at my past with regret, but rather, as a lesson that I want to embrace as a great learning experience. So, revisiting the place that I ran away from gave me a sense of relief this time ... of empowerment ... Like I've conquered my failure ... I've conquered my fear of facing my past.
With this post comes a lesson for those who turned away from their past on purpose, without looking back, not because they chose to not look back ... But instead, because they feared looking back ... Whether it was a relationship you ran from, a career, an opportunity, a court case, an addiction ... It doesn't matter what it was because the fear of facing it is the same.
When we face our past, we have to have a heart-to-heart with ourselves sometimes and in that heart-to-heart, we have to make the decision that moving forward, we will do so without fear. We won't let triggers go off in our heads that put us in a position to feel anxious, to worry or to become uncertain. But instead, when those times appear, we must put our fears in writing and let them go.
Don't let the fear of looking back overpower your life. Let the fear go. Do yourself a favor and get in a good place. Then, when you feel secure, look back. Realize this though: even when you're in a good place, it may bring back poisonous feelings of anxiety and anger and sadness, but this time, you can control it better. You may freak for a sec, but after you have your moment of stupidity, lashing out over nothing, realizing that you and only you have the power over your thoughts, you'll soon feel fulfillment, confidence and surety that where you are now and what you're doing now and who you have now become is exactly how it's supposed to be.
The sooner you can come to terms with the way things ended the first time, the sooner you can accomplish all your goals and dreams, and can really hone your vision on all the great things ahead.
This time, I went to LA to change lives ... To encourage people to follow their dreams and remind them that our adaptation to fear is our only limitation. Raise your standards for yourself, set your targets higher and start living your life with the intention to do better, be better and have better. Give more love to others and in doing so, you'll receive more love for yourself.
Revisit the past when you're strong enough to, when you're wise enough to know that you deserve so much more than that one experience. Don't let the past define you. Don't let it eat at you. Come to terms with your past, and you'll come to terms with yourself. And with knowing yourself and with understanding what you deserve, you'll never question your path or your reality, but instead, you'll embrace it. Trust the new people in your life. Trust the new experiences in your life. Trust that what's meant to be will always find a way.