The Past: Sink or Swim The past is the past. Why would we even bother to look back on our past? The past where we failed, got hurt, made decisions and regret it later on, lost someone, and even lost ourselves. Some of us wanted to forget the past and move on to the future. But can we do that? Can we move forward without looking back at our past? Our past embarrassed us, destroyed us, and pained us in ways we could never forget. We ought to console ourselves that our past doesn't define us, but it strengthened us. It may have caused us every pain and suffering that we've been having now, but it also brought us our happiness and memories of the good old days. We thought that our past distances us from other people, so we never talked about it. But as we can see, that is what other people also think about themselves. Thus, our past makes us feel to be in the same ocean with everybody else but on various boats. Undeniably, there's more to the past than meets the eye. The work of associating and building meaning from experiences requires reflection. We may have lost things in our past but we gain reflection. It is with a reflection that we come to understand our past and realized things we were once unaware of. Reflecting on my past, I attained greater heights of satisfaction and discontentment at the same time. I was satisfied with how I reaped good results from some decisions I made. How some things turned out the way I wanted them to be, even more than that. But life is not all rainbows and unicorns. Conversely, I was discontented by the fact that there are things I could have done better. Things that if done with my best shot would be something I'd be proud of in the present. We all have that feeling of regret where we reckon things should be different if we only handled it differently. This what makes reflection a must in our lives. With reflection, we become conscious and recognize those what we should do and shouldn't do if the same situations occur again. And by that, we can truly be able to deviate from a decision that will only stir things up and choose what we finally know would make a better aftermath. By reflecting, we gain fresh ideas, insights, and new meaning to life. Like everybody else, my past greatly influenced my present. With my past experiences, I gained knowledge in some aspects of life. As a student, I have used what I learned from my elementary to high school days in some of my classes and subjects now in college. Now that I am taking up an engineering course, I can use and recall those lessons that were taught by my teacher about calculus, trigonometry, physics, and other math-related and science-related topics. On the other hand, I've come to a point where I no longer bother myself with some things as I have already established myself on how to deal with them. This is not only proven to be useful on such the same footings but in other circumstances as well. As humans, we were designed to counter and conquer whatever position we'll be put into. The past does not only help me manage day-to-day activities, it also shapes my identity and behavior. As the eldest among my siblings, I learned to be independent and do things my way. I have no older sibling to ask if what I did with my school project was right. I could have just asked my parents but they were busy keeping our family financially stable by working from dawn to dusk. I don't want to bother them. This is the reason why way back in high school, I want to do things alone in a sense that when a group project was assigned to us, I would volunteer to do it all on my own. At the same time, I can't deny the fact that I have acquired unpleasant behavior and habits from my past. Old habits die hard, but I believe that constant neglect from such things would eventually turn them into something I could only remember. It is undeniable that our identity and behavior were remnants of our past but contrary to some beliefs, I believe we can train ourselves to be whoever we want to be. The way I see it, there is only one of two things that can happen; we can look back at our past and use it to make ourselves better than we've ever been, or sulk down in the corner and think that we can't change because that is who we are. At the end of the day, it all boils down to us deciding for ourselves whether to sink or swim with the past.