I have had a bit of a epiphany in the last few weeks, spawned by many things. The most important thing that I realized is, sadly, a bit of a cliche: Never look back.

Nostalgia. Regret. They seem so different, yet it has become obvious that they are two sides of the same coin. Nostalgia is the longing for or pleasant rememberance of the past. Nostalgia is for those who live in the past because it is more comfortable and pleasant than their own.

Regret is also for those who live in the past. However, they live there either because they did something so horrible that they obsess about it forever OR because the pain from the past is safer and more comfortable than possible future pain. After all, regret is at least a known evil.

Either way, one who lives with nostalgia or regret is not really living. They are dwelling on what has already happened, for fear of what might happen.

I refuse to do this any longer.

I may get hurt, but I will not retreat to the safety of the past, the good or the bad. I will not fear my real life so much that I fail to live it.

I won't live like this.

Neither should you.

Locked up inside my room, the curtains block out most of the sunlight. Still, some seeps through now and then, casting unusual colors on my pale skin. A mountain has begun to develop - on my floor, my desk, my bookshelves - of half empty Coke cans, some Mountain Dew, laundry that should have been done weeks ago, crushed pizza boxes, hardened candle wax, and miscellaneous pieces of paper torn from a notebook. A clutter of CDs out of their cases are stacked here and there, but none see any use but those that sing of sorrow and regrets, love found and lost, meaninglessness and pity.

The phone rings now and then but I don't pick it up. It's a wrong number, anyway. Or so I convince myself, checking my email but knowing I won't reply. Back to my notebook, I write words that have been written before, the same words, the same feelings, over and over.

I almost break the mirror with the force of my punch, but I couldn't even follow that through. The streaks on my cheeks from tears and dirt, I look down and my hands tremble. Hair unwashed and hanging over my shoulders, wondering why I don't even have the energy to kill myself. It's these days that time mingles together and all is lost. Days, weeks, months pass without notice, the same monotony day after day.

No! A dent forms on the wooden door as I throw a heavy book towards it. I don't care. All my books find their way against the wall, loud thugs and thunks. It feels so good sometimes to destroy. So good and pure and raw.

I will not spend my life like this.

I yank the curtains down, tearing them and I'm almost blinded by the glaring sunlight. They sting my eyes and cheeks and I stumble over the crap on my floor, falling onto my ass. A cold chill leaves my skin and I laugh aloud, jumping up to kiss the dirty glass of my window. As I look out, the world looks the same and nothing has changed, but everything is somehow brighter and fresh.
Relative to the "don't look back" sentiment of Transform: I think it's a pretty common thing for people to say they want to live their lives in such a way as to have no regrets to look back on, which I guess is a corollary to your point. I think this is a flawed attitude. It's hubris to assume that life will always go your way, and the practical impact of this seems to be that you can wind up building a store of regret on a daily basis--assuming you take some chances.

It's very easy to have just a few little regrets: don't stick your neck out, be safe, hide in the background. The problem is that, when you look back, you may find you have one big regret rather than a thousand small ones.

When I was learning how to ski, it occurred to me that you will fall down a lot if you want to eventually become a reasonable skier. I suspect much the same is true in life. If you don't want to look back and wince at your mistakes, it's your choice. But my feeling is that you've got to take them and learn from them, otherwise it's like having a wound that never heals.

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