Dear Past,

How do I even begin to write a letter to something that doesn’t occupy physical space, but occupies so much of my mind and heart? I guess I could start by thanking you.

Thank you for both the good times and the bad.

Thank you for putting me in the wrong places at the right times.

Thank you for putting me in the right places at the wrong times.

Thank you for putting me in the right places at the right times.

As easy as it would be for me to sit here and wish that living through you would have been effortless, I’m glad it wasn’t. Why? Because the parts of you that tore me down, only gave me a higher mountain to stand on when the times were good (because a lot of the time, things were good).

There are parts of you that I wish I could have back, if only for one day, one hour, or even one minute. But the fact that there are some parts of you that can never be brought to me again makes the memories of you that much sweeter. You have taught me, above all else, to savor the things I have in my reach now before they become another part of you once more.

I make you seem like a soul-stealer or dream-crusher. You definitely could be, but not always. You didn’t always take from me; I gave you some things too. Sometimes, I gave you things because they were too much for me to hold. By giving these things over to you, you allowed me to walk a little lighter and be a little freer. That sport I played in high school? I gave that over to you. The friendships that I outgrew? I gave them all over to you. The negative opinions I had of myself? I gave those to you. There was no more room in my life for those things; they would have weighed me down in my journey to bigger and better things.

And here I am. I’m currently doing and seeing those bigger and better things. However, I’m not naïve enough to think that what I’m doing now will be the best (or worst) times of my life. That’s another thing you have taught me: life is inherently uncertain. This used to terrify me. To be honest, it still makes me nervous. As long as I work to make the minutes count and not simply count the minutes, then I think I’ll be alright.

All in all, thank you for every little thing, both good and bad. Thank you for tearing me down when I was already torn apart. Thank you for showing me pieces of love, beauty, grace, and happiness in their most raw and unfiltered forms. I couldn’t forget you even if I tried (and you know I have).

With love,

The Present