There's no beginning without looking at the past

August 4, 2015

            “Study the past if you would define the future.” Confucius 

Have you ever had this instance where you have no idea what to do with your life? It’s that period in your life in which everything seems to scramble up. You have no idea where you’re going nor how to get there. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. I have come to know that the best thing you can do to get your groove back is to stop and rewind.

Going back to the beginning. People have always spoken of it as a powerful experience. They’ve talked about the things it teaches and the ones they relearned or discovered. It’s supposed to be this sacred rite of passage that very few can get the handle of. Those who do experience it come back with a new personality and a clearer view of where they need to go.

I, myself, have recently been the lucky host of such a phenomenon. Although my rewind button had been reset to the very edge of the beginning, it’s not always necessary to go that far back. In my particular case, I went back to the root of my family, where my father and his great-grandparents were born.

However, most people only need to go back to one particular event like their parents’ marriage or their high school graduation. Just enough to be able to see their life with new eyes. Moving to a different place is not even required. It takes simply a couple of minutes to absorb those past moments through pictures or storytelling with a relative or old friend. You just need enough time to remember where you came from, who you were, and what your dreams had once been. That’s all it takes to connect with yourself. Even if it’s partial, you’ll gain enough to restart and have a slight plan in mind.

 

During my tour with my family, I visited my father’s birth place (Les Cayes, Haїti). It’s a pretty developed city. At least, as developed a third world country’s city can be. Then we went deeper, right to the house where the man who raised me grew up. While parading inside the tiny cottage almost the same size as the living room of our current house, the place my dad spent most of his childhood, I thought about all the things I’ve been taking for granted but were never available to him. That was when I had realized that if he was able to do so much – go to school, college, get married, and send three kids in another country to study – with so little, what’s stopping me from getting on top of the world?

That’s what digging in the past taught me – I have everything I need to do anything I want. Right now, I’m trying to put that lesson to work. I’m trying to make sure I succeed and make everyone proud including myself.

Teaching is what the past is all about. After all there’s no present nor future without it. So whenever you feel stuck or something just go back to the beginning and start from scratch. That is what it’s there for, to portray our old self so we can determine how we want our new self. The future is not going anywhere. It’s there waiting for you to take a look through the looking glass and shape it.  

 

P.S. It's weird to be the only girl in a large family especially in the father side. 

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