The Past, The Present, & Our Future

As my graduation date gets closer and closer, everyone wants to know what comes next. Where will I be next year, what will I be doing? In trying to figure out the answers to these not so light questions I have been focusing on what I want my future to look like, yet I have also looked a lot at my past. The mistakes I have made that might stand in the way of my goals. Should I have done this or gone there instead.

Image by Bill Cannon. Used for educational purposes only.

Image by Bill Cannon. Used for educational purposes only.

Reading Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, I couldn’t help but notice that Blanche DuBois’s behavior rivaled my own. She too was stuck between the world of the past, present, and future. She knew what she wanted; the security of a husband, the love of a man. Yet Blanche could not let go of her past, she fixated on the death of her young husband. Blanche couldn’t find a way to live in the present; she hid behind the fantasy of what she wanted her life to be, while never dealing with the effects of her past. This all resulted in Blanche going mad.

This play has given me a new outlook on my own future. Instead of focusing on every little thing I have done in the past and how it can affect my future, I want to remember what I have learned from my past and how it has made me stronger for today. While it is good to have goals and plan ahead, I want to stop focusing on my dream life and live the one I have now.

It could be because it is the holidays, but I am reminded of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Upon getting a visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, Ebenezer Scrooge sees his life differently and is no longer a bitter old man. Blanche never got to have this revelation about her life and slowly goes insane. The juxtaposition of these two stories gives me insight into my future.

Everyone has things in their past that they are proud of, as well as some things we would probably rather people not know. But the past does not define us. It is not the story but what you learned from the story that will affect you. As long as we can focus on the present, live in the now, then our future will fall into place. Be the best version of yourself today, because that’s really the only thing you have control over.

– Jessica N.

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One thought on “The Past, The Present, & Our Future

  1. I think this is a very strong psychologically-thinking piece, which I really like. People always run from their past, avoiding any person, place, or thing that reminds them of their past failures or faults. This, as you pointed out, is further exhibited in the character of Blanche. She doesn’t have a clear sense of her past, thinking reality is some sort of mystical phenomenon. In essence, she is the perfect representation of the saying “out of touch with reality.”

    Transitioning this to the present day, people more often want to escape their past, rather than be “out of touch with reality.” Nevertheless, the more people ultimately let their past define them, instead of defy, the more they can act with a clear conscience about what the future entails. I realize this may sound extremely cliche, but I have found this extremely helpful in my own past transgressions, which have ultimately allowed me to keep my head held high as I advance into my future endeavors.

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