You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
Boy, oh boy… such a commonly used phrase, hm? No, actually, such an overused phrase. Right? Anyone else think it’s overused? Just me? Eh.
Then again, maybe it’s not overused at all. If you feel like those words and the meaning behind them are repeatedly jumping out at you from behind every corner, then maybe it’s because, like me, you’ve hit a pattern in your life.
What’s my pattern? For me, I feel like I died a few years back and I’m now trapped in this vicious cycle where I’m constantly revisiting scenes from my past as a ghost, reflecting on the moments that were and wishing I could go back to relive them; maybe in a different way.
Coincidentally enough, this little dilemma of mine seems to echo a classic Christmas tale most of us should remember from our childhood: “A Christmas Carol.”
If you all remember, in the story, the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, was a miserable old man who spat “Bah! Humbug!” into the face of Christmas itself and everything joyous. One night, while sitting alone in his cold dark apartment, he’s revisited by the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley, who tells Scrooge that 3 ghosts (The Ghost of Christmas past, Present, and Yet to Come) will visit him over the next three nights. After the 3 visits, Scrooge becomes a kinder and more caring man.
I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”
-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Jeez… It seems even stranger now that I’ve written it out. Am I the modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge? YOUNGER! The younger modern-day Ebenezer, of course. My mother already tells me I look 30, and that right there is the kind of negativity I don’t need.
Not today, Mom!
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Why do I choose to live in the past? (Or try?) Honestly, it’s not something I choose. In a way, like Jacob Marley, I too feel chained to my past, condemned to forever haunt it, unable to continue on to where I need to go. Maybe my present just isn’t a place I want to be, and the sight of my futures isn’t as bright as I’d like for it to be. Maybe I’ve already been visited by my 3 ghosts and have missed my chance to change.
So, what should you do if you find that you’re constantly being visited by The Ghost of Christmas Past? Easy. Lock your doors, change your number and ghost that b**ch. Just kidding. You can’t ghost a ghost. Everyone knows that. Duh.
But, what you can do is give The Ghost of Christmas Present and Yet to Come a call. Slide into their DMs and invite them to pay you a visit at your bedside during the late night. I mean, don’t make it sound like that, of course. Be casual. Let them show you what is and what could be. You can revisit the past all you want. You can reflect on all the things you could’ve done different and everything you wish to relive… but the past is just that–it’s passed. No matter how badly you wish, you can’t change anything, and though moments can be recreated, they can never truly be relived.
The Ghost of Christmas Past has left the chat…
But the present is where you are. It’s what you’re living now and it’s all that is guaranteed. And the future… well the future is what you make of it. Thought not guaranteed, the future is the only thing you can change. Today, you lay bricks to pave the road for tomorrow.
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