Moving Forward

7 Reasons That Prove It's Healthy And Beneficial To Leave The Past In The Past

Moving on and moving forward

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"If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present." – Lao Tzu

For me, there is nothing more trying than living in the moment and being present in my daily life. I have always struggled with being mindful, and instead, I tend to focus on the life I used to live. That life was one of a very sad and lost, young and naïve addict. That life is one I am no longer part of, yet I have to stop myself on a daily basis from feeling like I am still part of it.

These days, I am living a very full and happy life, but moving on from the things that once made me who I was is extremely difficult. So much of the girl I used to be no longer defines me, so why do I struggle so much accepting this?

People do change according to their circumstances, and I think this is a wonderful thing because it means we as humans are capable of growth. We are capable of loving again after having our hearts broken, we are capable of forgiveness and we are capable of picking up the pieces and moving forward.

Yes, I struggle with letting go of the past, but it's something I work on every single day. Since this topic has been on my mind, I put together a list of why it's healthy and beneficial to put the past where it belongs- in the past.

1. Don't cry over someone who isn't crying over you

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If you can't stop focusing on an ex, or someone who hurt you, remember that if they wanted to fight for you back, they would. If it's a past relationship you find yourself dwelling on, remember that it ended for a reason and if you go back, that same reason may bite you in the butt.

2. It is what it is

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Sometimes there's nothing we can do to "fix" something that was in our past. All we can do is fake it 'til we make it and give it time.

3. If it didn't happen, you wouldn't be where you are now

Look at where you are now. There's a good chance that if you didn't go through the bs you did, you wouldn't be the baddie you are today.

4. Everything happens for a reason

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I know it's cliché, but it proves to be true if you give it a chance. I am sincerely grateful for every misguided step I took, because looking back, it turns out they were all the right ones.

5. Letting go of control is unbelievably freeing

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You cannot control anything but yourself. You can't change whatever went wrong in the past, all you can do is learn from it and face the fact it got you to where you are today. It's hard to accept a loss of control, but the more you aim to control things, the more you will end up being disappointed.

6. Look at the positive

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It's easy to let negative feelings take over, but try replacing them with positive ones instead. Behind every catastrophe is a silver lining.

7. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

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Kelly Clarkson said it best. And the woman has a point.

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You're at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You're probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you're calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you're walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You're convinced you're ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You've already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you're an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school's name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I'm telling you right now, you're going to miss it all. Everything you've ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald's hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you've seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You're going to miss them more than anything. I'm telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You've got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life, it's truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it's the little things you're gonna miss the most. Don't take it for granted because soon, you'll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You've got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You're going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won't.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You've got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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6 Neopets Stories That Could Have Been Real Books

If I can still feel the pain after 15 years, it should have been a real book.

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As a young writer, I spent countless hours both reading and (mostly unsuccessfully) writing for The Neopian Times- a feature of Neopets.com that allowed young children to express their creativity through stories, comics, and articles. While I will absolutely not be sharing my own (few) published works to the greater public, there are a few stories that I think back to often and wonder what ever came of the authors.

1. "Sleeping Beauty"

Read it here!

My body image issues didn't begin until a couple years after I read this story, but the author tackles them very well. The protagonist is unable to see herself as beautiful, and it destroys her; it takes over her life. That's definitely something that young teens and tweens can relate to.

2. "My Vacation" (and others by jeanaet)

Read it here!

This author had a theme of writing stories about her own Neopets, and her stories were always quite entertaining to read. Her characters were always getting into exciting adventures with some emotional moments mixed in as well.

3. "Superficial"

Read it here!

One of the first series I came across, this story introduces Maybelle, who has generally always had good fortune in life, but also showcases the aspects of her life that are less than ideal (her distant relationship with her mother) and her struggle to make friends because of assumptions others make about her.

4. "There Is No Cost to Friendship"

Read it here!

This is one of the last series I remember reading. In my original review of it (on one of my Neopets pages for which the account has been deactivated) I mentioned that I constantly forgot I was reading a Neopets story when I was reading it. Some more great themes about assumptions and friendship!

5. "Playing the Part" (and others by precious_katuch14)

Read it here!

I had the hugest celebrity crush on Kat when I was in 5th-6th grade. I used to print her stories out and read them all the time, and even made a DeviantArt profile to have another connection to her. The story I was most obsessed with was "Playing the Part", a story featuring her own Neopets. I used to write my own versions of the story featuring my pets, and sometimes act the story out with my dolls.

Kat, I hope you're doing well these days.

6. "They'll Never Hear a Word We Say" (and others by sytra)

Read it here!

THIS STORY. Sytra is one of the best authors I have ever read work from, the only author who made me shed real tears over this website. This story in particular and its sequel, I felt such a strong connection to. I printed it out and even did a book report on it in seventh grade. The stories reminded me strongly of Lauren Myracle's "The Winnie Years" series, which I discovered around the same time.

"They'll Never Hear a Word We Say" ripped my soul apart and put it back together multiple times over, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sytra, I hope you're still writing things, and if you come across this, please inform me where I can purchase anything you've written professionally. As in the days of Neopets, I will read every single story.

Do you remember any of your favorite stories from Neopets?

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