Monday, June 19, 2017

Don't Look Back

Huey Lewis and the News had a song on their 1991 album "Hard at Play" called "Don't Look Back".

The song was about taking matters into your own hands and not doubting yourself. It wasn't popular, but I liked it. I was young at that point in my life, having not learned about things like patience and relationships, I would hum it as a bit of an anthem toward moving onto the next thing, which in my romanticized thoughts, would always manage to be better than the current thing.

As I've gotten older, the thought of finding something new and (of course, by definition, better) has not left my thought process. However, as I was considering needing to take a next step, the damn song managed to pop up on my music player in the car as I was leaving the tire store with a set of new tires.

I have to say, that it had a whole new meaning for my older, still-free-spirited-but-more-self-aware-self. What I heard it saying to me was that when I do finally move on (and I will eventually move on), it will be not from some sense of freeing myself from the chains that bind me, but rather because where I was right now didn't need me as much as where I was going needs me. I would still "Not look back", but it would be not out of some denial of doubt, but because I was confident that I was exiting a situation that was self-sufficient and set up for success and prosperity without me.

So, besides proving that I was somehow - for better or for worse - different than had been in 1991, it made me realize how much I care about myself and the effect I have on other people. I didn't think of that back in 1991 when I left a situation looking for the next best thing. I guess, looking back, at the time, I considered myself unnecessary, not living up to my potential (whatever the hell that was/is). The people I left were hurt by my decision. Years later, they reminded me of just how hurt they were.

Moving on and changing is perfectly normal and part of life. The condition of the situations and relationship in our past, that - at least to some extent - is up to us.

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