Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thinking backwards...

I had two different discussions today about the past. Normally, sure things would come up since pretty much everything we do has some root in the past, and with old friends, well, we'll be laughing about some of things we've done for many more years to come. But these conversations, were actually about the same thing even though neither person knew the other was talking about it to me. Both individuals, were longing to go back to a "simpler time" when they were more carefree, could see that what the had then was what they wanted now, and the more they tried to get that now, the further lost they ended up.

Distracted Spunk was first on the night. She was watching old home videos, and seeing how happy, carefree, really just how simple everything seemed back then and how much she desired that simplicity now compared to the chaos she's been enduring. Similarly, my first real relationship (and many other firsts) Village Cheerleader expressed the same sentiment to me about how when we first began our relationship life seemed so much simpler, between her and I as well as life in general then. She just wanted to go back to that and stop dealing with all of the ridiculousness that has occupied her life since we broke up back then. Was everything really so much simpler then? What would life even be like if we could somehow revert to that simpler state of being? In 5 years, 10 years... will we just look back again and see this time and comment on how silly we were and things were simple now too? Distracted Spunk posed just that question in a way, "Do we know too much, or expect too much?" Could we realistically function in the world we're all living in now if we were able to revert back to as naive as we were then?

Now, call me skeptical but I kinda think we're not that naive any more for a reason. Sure, for some of us it might have been the choice to do things we thought were grown up and cool and what we should be doing, way before we were ready for it. I consider myself not all that naive of a person and can say that I've been thankful for that on more times than I've cursed it. It's allowed me to answer questions for people without them having to get their hands dirty on something or someone that any of us non naive can see is a mistake. I've helped more than one friend avoid or get rid of a person or situation that would have been detrimental to them as a person, and for that my lack of naiveness is all the more valuable to me. Yes, I'm sure it's jaded me, and made some acts of just living more difficult than others, but in the end, I wouldn't have been able to make the choices I needed to make if I were as green as a cucumber. No matter where I stand on religion/faith/spirituality, I refuse for a second to believe that what we've learned in life and what we know can be wrong. Whether it's 2+3=5 or getting an STD because you slept with a stranger because you felt in the mood and got an STD, it's there, it's a knowledge you now have and can do something with. Wishing you didn't have it won't do you or anyone else around you any good. Some people had the good fortune in life to go through it more naively than others, envying them won't get you a hair's width closer to being as naive as them. We're in the world we're in, with the information we possess, heading on whatever path life takes us for a reason.

So no, as much as those "simpler" times seemed nicer, maybe even were nicer, I'm not going to waste a moment of my life dwelling on how much I miss them. The best, most positive way I see at the moment to go through life, is to take whatever information you have and accept it, learn from it, experiment with it, understand it, and then use it in the best way you can for yourself and those around you. It most likely will not be easy, will not be fun, but living your life as it is in the present, instead of longing for what was in the past, will be the legacy in 10 years, you wish you had done from this day forward.