Time is a complex and confusing concept that our species has yet to master. An interesting idea is that the past and future do not matter because it is always the present. It is always now. And while we can only guess and theorize what the future holds, the past is documented and is very real. Our past has defined us, and when we look back on it, a variety of feelings and memories bubble to the surface. But over time, our past fades, and our memories diminish, and some things are forgotten entirely. But often, it is the past that can hold the key to our future. So there are times in life when you must take a step back to move forward.

As I am quickly approaching another birthday, another year of my existence, I tend to use that time of the year to look back on all the ones that came before it. We all get caught up in our daily grind and, at times, forget about the moments that changed our lives. It is important to take a day each year to remember the fires you were forged in. Some take this idea to the extreme and are stuck in the past, motivated by regret. Living in the past is detrimental to your future as it will stunt your growth as a human being. There is a vast difference between taking a step back and turning back never to return.

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When I do look back, I try not to be too harsh on myself. I have made mistakes and done things I regret. But every failure instilled in me resounding lessons. You will never discover anything new about yourself until you get out into the frontier of life and do foolish things. But as with anything in life, it should be done in balance. Anything done to the extreme has the potential to become monstrous. Is there a point of no return? Where you’ve done things so horrible that regret and sorrow will haunt you for the rest of your days? I believe so. And I am quite fortunate that I have never done anything that I could not forgive myself for.

I am not wealthy or famous. I have no children. I do not have what some would call a “real job” I am a writer, after all. I am losing my hair, and my teeth need work. I struggle with alcoholism. But all in all, I have an amazing life because I am at peace. I am at peace with all my shortcomings. Over the years, I have learned to love myself and love my life. Overcoming the obstacles of my past gave me the strength and determination to deal with any problem that comes my way. People say cleanliness is next to godliness, but I believe that forgiveness is next to godliness. Because forgiving people can change their lives and the most important person to forgive is yourself.

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Time never stops. It waits for no man or woman. Time is always moving forward, even when we need a moment to look back. Our society is constantly evolving in both negative and positive respects. Is there anything that is truly timeless? Perhaps love, hate, pain, pleasure. The basic constructs of the human condition. Quite possibly, there will be a time where there are no human beings, no sentient life. So perhaps nothing is timeless but time itself. Ultimately time will always exist, so the only thing that should matter is the limited amount of it that is ours. And when my time runs out, my only hope is that I am still at peace.

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