a confession to make: I am a girl, who despite all of her vast amounts of
self-control in other aspects of her life, cannot help but look back at what
has come and gone, many a time. This is a confession I am making, with my head
slightly bowed down in shame, because with all of me, I just can’t seem to
figure out a way to walk away from something that I know no longer serves any
vital purpose in my life without slightly fearing the empty space that it may
relationships, to bad habits in general, there is always an innate tendency
within me to wander if I have made the right decision. I would like to
categorise it as ‘New Age FOMO’ (I wrote about that a while ago), however it
doesn’t quite fit all of the requirements, because there has to be some
pleasant event that you fear missing out on. And most of the time, anything and
everything that I have made a conscious decision to walk away from, was nothing
for me to miss at all. If anything, I would categorise this strange and
unexplainable feeling as, ‘New Age Nostalgia’, which I would define as: the
nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe, the one thing that was holding you
back, is the same thing that you really want to hold on to.
ago, I was chatting to a new friend Elena, who recently moved from Spain to
South Africa. While I was eagerly listening to her story, I had to ask her a
question that I just needed to know the answer to, which was: ‘But don’t you
miss home?’. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always missed my family or my own
bed if I’ve been away for too long, and even though I have this innate desire
to travel beyond where I’ve been, I sometimes fear that I won’t be able to go
back to my comfort zone. Elena then said something that was probably really
simple to her, but quite monumental to me, which was the fact that she
naturally missed home, but if she constantly looked back, she wouldn’t ever
have the ability to move forward.
with letting go of anything, good or bad, and pursuing something different.
There’s always that fear within us that we will never find something that was
equally as good, or exciting as what we left behind. Even if that very thing
that we have chosen to walk away from was never good to us, or for us, the
struggle is still the same. And if anyone out there is as indecisive as me (I
can easily spend 10 minutes in a shop weighing pros and cons before choosing
the best chocolate or all three options), they can relate to the notion that
sometimes, it’s the fear of losing something good or at least missing it, that
can hold us back or keep us in the same place for too long.
if there was ever a good enough reason to look back at what has been, it would
be this: looking back in hindsight, the dots that I didn’t see before have connected
with each other so gracefully, revealing a picture that was drawn by God to
show me what He always wanted to show me in my life. Ironically, the doors that
I was always afraid to close, left me feeling like I had lost something
important, which gave me the courage to carry on and find my place where I am
back (pardon the pun, and irony for that matter), I see how much I’ve grown.
I’ve also seen how easy it has been for me to regress in certain situations,
disproving my maturity at times, but I’ve also seen how important it is to be
gentle and kind with myself whenever I do. Twenty-something years later, and a
hundred closed doors gone by; I see where I’ve come from, and why I wouldn’t
have done it all any differently. I believe that everyone should say this as
often as they mean it: I’m proud of who I’ve become, adversities and all.
there ever was a purpose to look back for, it would be for that. To love and
appreciate where you’ve been, and understand that if you ever did do things
differently, re-open doors that were meant to be closed, or not be courageous
enough to venture through those that you did, you’d never be who you are now.
And that, would be the real loss.