Uploaded by Crisol Ann Arienza


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.