Lately, on quiet evening walks back from class, when the sun is setting just right and the air is balmy, I can't help but dream of my past. My mind has been whirling with past memories of people I used to know, and places I used to be. Part of me thinks this is not healthy, and that I shouldn't be having thoughts of these people and places at all. In my heart, I know that sometimes my mind needs to go there and that it's ok to dream of my past because I can understand that it's a part of what used to be, and not what is now.
Despite having a bad high school experience, there were moments in time where I was very happy where I was. Certain people, things I did, and experiences I had have stuck with me. I am a big believer that the things we experience, even the really bad things, play a major role in shaping us into who we are. Things happen to us for a reason, and sometimes fate plays a pretty big role in our lives. Being in the right place at the right time is crucial to many of the things in my life that seem to fall out of the sky, practically by accident. Opening up and letting your life happen to you, instead of the other way around, is one of the bravest things someone can do. Giving into an unknown, and leaning into your life, is a privilege.
I agree that it can be easy to carry emotional baggage forward from an experience. There have many moments in my life where I experience something bad, and when it's the first time I experience something like it, I tend to think that that is how it will be going forward. In reality, experiences and people are fluid, and your life can change without you even realizing it. Letting old people and narratives tell your current story is a waste of time, because not even you can predict what will happen to you. Letting old stories infiltrate your current one will only ensure that your past is repeated.
Despite isolated incidences of unfortunate experiences, there may be times in your life when a bad experience is carried forward, and you feel stuck in a bad pattern. It may be picking the same bad people to have a relationship with, or getting stuck in the same bad habits, but whatever it may be, it doesn't have to stay with you. Acknowledging your bad experiences, what may be causing them, and what may be your hand in it is the first step in ending them. Recognizing your past is how we can overcome it, and proceed into our future. We can't control what already happened to us, but we can control our reaction to it, and how we move forward.
You are a young adult. You are in charge of creating your moment. While it's alright, and even beneficial, to remember who you used to be and where you came from, don't forget that living in the past is a roadblock to your success and your future. Keeping the people and experiences that matter and helped you become a person are the only acceptable parts of the past that will help you going forward. Remembering doesn't have to mean reliving, and refreshing your own life is the only way to grow as a person.