You might have noticed, but I tend to live a lot in the past. Whether it’s repeating myself with stories of how my life has, at times, been turned completely upside down. Or when I spend my time telling you how about my journey with DanCooleDaily. Yes, I like to live in the past. It’s familiar territory. There is nothing there that I haven’t already seen and therefore, it is safe. The past for all of us, is now simply a figment of the imagination. Whilst at the time it was very real, it can no longer touch us. It only continues to exist by being a tiny little mark etched insides our brain.
Recently, I have started to realise something. That whilst the past might be the safest place for us all, it can also pose the most danger. Four years ago when I started DanCooleDaily, I never fathomed how much of an impact it would have. Time and time again I have opened up the most vulnerable wounds. I have shared my story in order to help you with yours. For four years I have allowed myself to be exposed to the strangers staring at the screen. Trying to guide them through the mental health maze.
I have discussed my adoption and I have poured my heart into telling you the story of J. Over the time we have shared, I have explored new ways to open up. I have been given new platforms to deliver my message. I have worked with the BBC and I have spoken at conferences. I have started writing a book and I have been seen in the column of magazines. You may have been part of this journey since day one or you might have recently got onboard. But one simple scroll through two pages of this website will tell you all that you need to know; my mother didn’t want me and my boyfriend took his own life.
Week after week for nearly two years, I have sat in front of my therapist, recalling how I feel about the things that make me sad. We have worked through my PTSD and we have picked me apart in order to truly understood what is going on up there.
It would seem that for the last four years, wherever I have gone, I have lived in the past from day to day. Whether thats by mulling over the historic events that made me who I am. Or retracing the most painful memories to a trained professional. At conferences, I have delivered talks of empowerment and change by calling upon a specific moment in time that has shaped me.
All of us are guilty of living in the past. Every single one of us has memories that make us wince, bringing that all familiar stinging sensation to the backs of our eyes. We are all victims of not letting go, whether we like it or not. And yet, we forget that we are also in control of what happens next.
No, we are not capable of predicting our future, but we certainly have a say in which direction it goes. You see, our future is exactly that – ours.
You might remember how in January, I once again threw the towel in when it came to finding love. Defeated by the breakdown of yet another relationship, I wrapped myself in my worn down comfort blanket, also known as the past. I tore myself apart reliving ten years of relationships, picking apart every single negative atmosphere that I was the cause of. I walked down memory lane for a couple of weeks, reminding myself that no matter what, I will never be good enough for somebody else because I have never been the best version of myself in order to be good enough for somebody else. It sounds painful and tragic, but it was so familiar that it almost felt like I had returned home.
After a while, however, I started to realise that I will never find what I am looking for in the past, because the past only serves to remind me of why it didn’t work. In order to move forward – and in this specific example – find a steady relationship, I had to look to the future. By taking what hadn’t work in my past and applying it to my present, I was able to create a path to my future inside my head. I was able to look at the wrong turns I have taken and apply them to the path I am about to walk.
When it comes to life – and more specifically creating a happy life, we can all look to the one thing we have in common and apply it to one thing that is uniquely ours. All of us have a past, all of us share the common ground that mistakes have been made in the past, but the future belongs to us, and we can define and refine our present all we can in order to ensure that our future is the strongest we can make it.
And so, I put it to you to ask yourself what you want to see when you walk round the corner? Because when we walk forwards, we don’t look back, we see only what is in front of us, and we can take the experience of every corner turned so far in order to create what happens next.
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