The Dangers In Looking Back

Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt after looking back to see the catastrophe she’d been delivered from. I heard that story growing up in church countless times, but now at Twenty eight it’s making a lot of sense. Let me tell you why, and yes this may take a minute.

In my post-fuckboy world I realize that I passed up on a lot of smart , beautiful, and sincerely kind women all due to my inability to understand I had some deep seeded issues that needed to be sorted out before I could really appreciate them. The prototype of the man I was building wouldn’t ever function right because I needed more work. I embrace and fully admit that now, but that didn’t stop me from looking back. Lot’s wife and I had that in common. Looking at where you’ve been is so much easier than facing forward. It’s comforting, it’s familiar, and it takes so much less work; or so I thought.

I, like other cliched villains, returned to the scene of my love crimes hoping that those same aforementioned women would take me back and let me be better. In my mind that’s what love looked like. It was leaving, learning, and returning better. I would try my damnedest to find my way back into their good graces so I could earn back lost time. Happiness I was sure would follow. But, as you can probably guess, it didn’t. Most of these women moved on and found someone who truly appreciated them. Others paid me no never mind despite my attempts, whilst the remaining patiently wait to see my soul burning on that Holy Day of Reckoning. Even facing such loathing I still looked back.

It took some years but I’m finally seeing why. Wale in his wisdom wrote a song, The Break Up Song (ha), and it has a line that’s been ingrained in my mental notebook. “Most times darling the sequel sucks.” Until hearing that I never thought about relationships being like movies. The first movie (pre-break up) tends to be much better than the sequel (getting back together after)  and it’s rare for that not to be true. Over the course of the last few years I’ve tried to apologize to some of the women I hurt. Some apologies went easier than others, but all came from a genuine place. I didn’t want to get them back, I just want to acknowledge that I learned my lesson and hoped for some form of closure (yep the simp in me won out).

From these apologies I’ve learned a lot about friendship and forgiveness. But it’s also taught me the dangers of looking back. Most relationships worked out how they were meant to. Even more so if you believe in amor fati. Life pushes and sometimes drags you forward so you can grow into the person you need to be. Looking backwards can hold up that progress. Our pasts made us who we are currently. Each mistake teaches us something that inevitably changes us, and holding on to past baggage is like an anchor that sticks us firmly in the ground till we accumulate dust, dirt, envy, and a myriad of other shit. Maybe that’s why Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. Looking backwards and holding up our growth combine to make a slow form of death by poison. The kind of poison that kills slowly by ticking seconds off our lives. I don’t want to live like that, hopefully neither do you.

Life in its complexity doesn’t leave room for us to look back too frequently. Sure unlike Lot’s wife we can and should remember where we came from, but the caveat comes from wanting to be back there. Being a man in the midst of my hoe phase was fun, and the thought of it at times does seem rather  appealing (full disclosure giving no fucks was beautiful) in as much as being a kid again does when you think about a life without bills. But when that brief nostalgic moment is over and I come to my sense I’m happy with who and where I am now. You should be too.

None of us have reached perfection yet. Our prototypes are no where near completion but we go forward still, even if we may blindly do so. The past we survived is behind us, while right now is at the door and tomorrow beckons.

I’ll admit this post wasn’t for you per se. It was more catharsis for me than anything, but I needed it. Maybe you did too.

EP.

-As always,

T.L.

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