I believe in… moving on. I believe in forging ahead in life, no matter what the circumstances. Choosing to accept this mentality has made the menacing task of “moving on” an unavoidable one, whether in relation to a failing grade in my least favorite class or the more somber end of a life long friendship because of drugs.
It is what I consider one of the most crucial lessons to learn in life – a lesson without which one cannot attain fulfillment, or maybe one day even true happiness (if such a thing even exists; the jury’s still out). Moving on means learning from the past; it means putting aside both childish stubbornness and the type of love and adoration that leaves one blind to another’s faults. Moving on is new beginnings, a fresh outlook on the future. Whether filled with that hopeful anxiety that leaves your fingertips quivering or the kind that turns somersaults in your stomach and ties knots in your throat, you can breathe a little easier knowing that life allows for second chances, sometimes even third and fourth.
Be careful not to confuse this action with simple forgetting. Although they do seem similar, only one requires bravery and maturity. Reflecting on the past (mistakes as well as successes) is part of moving past a situation or person. You have to learn to cherish the wonderful memories while still retaining the rather unpleasant ones.
Moving forward in life is necessary for any type of progression: professional, personal, or social. Yes, the process can leave you vulnerable, but years of whining, complaining, and fighting will not solve the problem of a troubled life; it might even make it worse. Refusing to accept the past will take a toll on your health, if not physically than at least mentally, and focusing so deeply on past events could drive away those you hold so near and dear.
Almost as far back as I could remember, she had been beside me in my life. From elementary school playgrounds to the transitionary world of middle school to high school with its infamous drama-filled corridors, our memories were not complete without the other at our side. She was a walking magnet for trouble, usually with no one at fault but herself. She had a tendency not to deal with her past, resolute that her problems would resolve themselves. Years of problems piled on top of instead of replacing one another, though. My love for my friend kept me by her side as she let her life go to waste and refused to heed anyone’s advice but her own.
Only recently did I realize that I was doing her no favors; I was facilitating her self-destructive behavior and making the situation worse. I had to do what was best for both of us and, you guessed it, move on.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.