Mario Villalobos

The Past

I have trouble letting go of the past. As much as I want to focus on the present, I can’t stop my thoughts from always drifting to some lingering memory of my life. I had my first ever crush when I was in the fourth grade, and I sometimes still think about this girl now. There have been girls since then that I still think about, and of course there’s her. There hasn’t been a day in the two years I’ve known her where I have not thought about her, especially not in the weeks since she cut me out.

I’ve realized that whenever I do dwell on some scene from my past, the main underlying emotion is regret. I always replay these scenes in my head with the knowledge of my experiences and try to recreate those moments with different things I could have done or said. If I said this, for example, maybe this positive outcome could’ve materialized. Or if did something instead of not doing something, then maybe I would be a bit happier with myself, maybe a bit more fulfilled as a person and as a man. I don’t know, obviously, what would or would not have happened since I cannot change the past. No one can, and I have to stop thinking that I can.

We have to leave the past in the past and accept that we would not be the person we are today if it weren’t for that path that trails behind us. We cannot live in the past, no matter how much we want to, but we can learn from it. I’ve learned to recognize similar situations that happen to me in the present that has happened to me before, and those little mental recreations where I imagined fixing or improving my circumstance in some way manifests itself when I most need it. It doesn’t happen all the time, especially not when I most desperately need it to, but I’m grateful for the times it does.

In an effort to accept the small wins, I’m listing today’s small wins. I worked out hard, but I didn’t push myself as hard as I would have liked. I decided today that I’m starting the Insanity/Insanity: the Asylum Vol. 1 hybrid workout on October 1st. I wrote another 300+ words in my novel today, and I’m really enjoying the direction I’m taking with this second draft. I started to use OmniOutliner in conjunction with Scrivener today in an effort to organize the story better than what I did the first time around, which was literally making it up as I went along. That’s why my first draft ballooned to over 150,000 words. I’m aiming for 80,000 this time around. Finally, I’m still alive. Every time I focus on my breath when I meditate or when I try to catch my breath while I’m working out, I’m reminded that I’m alive.

Life is hard, but we only get one shot at it. We must take advantage of that.