melancholy

How To Move Forwards Instead Of Looking Backwards

Photo by Hal

Photo by Hal

I’ve left, lost, and had pieces of myself stolen and now I feel an encroaching abyss. I’m searching for my own self in the shadows of my achievements, under the doorsteps of my failures, behind the curtains of my secrets, between the lines of farewells, and the masked smiles of painful memories.

I left myself some time ago, maybe it has been days, or weeks, or seasons ago; all I know is I lost myself and I’m waiting for that person to catch up with me before I drive off the cliffs of impatience.

Some pieces of myself have returned, while others are hiding in the torn pages of old calendars and the hearts of people I can’t reach out to anymore. I have to learn to live without the parts I lost, the parts that serve as bookmarks in novels borrowed from public libraries. They were thrown away like text messages and pictures that I had saved in my old cell phones.

Even after the gruelling work of revisiting memories, places, people, and things I thought I had forgotten for good, the pieces I was able to recover didn’t give me the fulfilment I was hoping for.

It turns out there are some things that should be left alone. We can’t always feel the same way about the same things after too much time has passed – though we like to think we can.

I was faced with the same question of who I am right now and how I came to be this person when I realized the following thing:

You always know who you are, but we go to unfathomable lengths to cover it up because it is often different from the image we have of ourselves or the image that we’ve worked hard to build, an image that is fed and reflected by our friends and parents.

It’s hard to come to terms with – like really hard – but that someone isn’t you. You know who you are; you just have to accept it.

We aren’t a permanent person and we change – a lot. We change every second, every season. Every person we meet changes us. Every hello, every goodbye changes us.

If you don’t know who you are, start creating a new version of yourself. But you should want to create it and you should only be the things you WANT to be. And don’t be afraid of changing or growing up.

So many people move backwards in life, mainly because they don’t see anything better coming up in the future. That’s why they return to things that hurt them: the thing they feel most intensely is pain.

They can’t stand asking themselves, “why do I even want that,” “why am I here,” “why am I here with them,” or “what do I want to do next.” They just want to go back to a time where they knew the answers. Like I said, they move backwards.

Just because things were better before doesn’t mean that they won’t be better again. Life is a series of long, dark tunnels and we all go through them. Some last longer than others but you always make it through to the light. Don’t go backwards to something you already moved on from. Look back only to fix loose ends and broken chips in relationships that hold you back from pursuing something better.

Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says.

Have a look at Tokyo photographer Hal’s photos of vacuum-sealed couples. It’s one way to keep things fresh in a relationship.

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal

 

Courtesy of Hal

Courtesy of Hal