Forgetting the past. It’s not easy to leave behind what we once lived, what we once loved or hated. People say to forgive and forget- but what they don’t quite express is how.
In my head, I always give people the benefit of the doubt. That is my issue. Because even when someone has treated me worse than garbage, for some fucked up reason I still find myself caring about them. I need to stop doing that. I need to cut the ties and move on with my life. My life isn’t coming to halt because a person is no longer in it, life is moving on with or without me. And, no other person ever should have the ability or power to make me change my life and lose myself because of them.
I keep using too much of my vivid imagination to remember the memories clouding my judgment. Every time I look at the horizon of the future I see the memories of the past and justify my actions using the genuine good moments. My brain has boxed up the negative memories and stored them deep underneath the sea, the positive ones floating on the surface.
The positive ones are easily within reach. But in life, the things easily within reach, is that what we always want? No.
We want to aspire to go further. So, I bend my knees, stick my arms together and a pulse runs through my lengths as they propel me into the air. My lithe body cuts through the surface of memories and suddenly I am surrounded. I’m choking, coughing. My wet head pops up to the surface of the sea, inhales a deep breath, and then I duck back under.
I feel a tug pulling me deeper into the water. Playing with memories is a dangerous game. The most lethal memories have sunk to the bottom, but they’re the most enticing because to re-live through them is to learn why they ended up there. There’s not always a guarantee you’ll make it out though. I need to keep my head inside and stop the flow of memories in and out. I go up for another breath and back under.
As I look below me, I see memories play out one by one, a movie screen on the seafloor. I’m treading water, but the calling of the depths makes me want to stop. It isn’t time for me yet. I came here to find closure, to close the pages of the last chapter of my life. To stop clinging on to memories that do not exist in the present, to banish those to the depths where I can’t re-live them.
The memories of people that became toxic, the memories of moments that should never be spoken of, the memories of conversations that broke boundaries and burned bridges. The memories that led me here, the memories I want to stop clouding my judgment and veiling my decisions. The memories that have disrupted the magnetism of my moral compass, one that used to overpower anything it encountered.
The images extending hundreds of feet below me through the water begin to flicker and change faster. My flippers keep kicking and my face is contorted into an inexplicable expression. Why would facing my past help me forget it? It has been said that in order to move on, you need to face the things that are haunting over your future. For me, that is my memories.
The faster I kick, the faster the memories flicker, the more rapid the water movement. I’ve seen what I need to see. With the flick of my hand, the images go out and the crystal aquamarine water is back to what it once was, except the murky depths seem a little higher and little darker. The flickering moments exist there now, in that draining, daunting area that every child is warned not to go down into.
Now what? The silence is deafening. I don’t quite remember how I got here. I know the second I poke my head above water I will be flooded and overwhelmed with happy memories. Those need to stay at bay, on the horizon. My clean slate needs to remain untainted, baggage-less.
I throw myself on the sand of the shore and lie sprawled star-fish style. The sun warms my salty skin like a warm blanket and the droplets of any traces left of the memories begin to evaporate. I want to forget my past. I want to reinvent who I am. I want to give myself a new start. I want to begin again. I’ve got the lessons of the past in my storybook- I need to learn from them instead of re-living them.
Here I am. Ready to face the future without clinging to the memories of the past. My wings are dry and I’m hoping to soar without looking back beyond my shoulders. I’m going to speed headfirst into the open air ahead of me. The sand flies from my skin as wings flap strongly behind me, the wind fingering through my hair. And this point onward, I don’t want to look back. I have no regrets. I only want to make a future worth remembering as I soar towards the never-ending horizon on the sea.