Revisiting your past can bring about many different emotions. This can be especially true if you’ve experienced some sort of ‘trauma’ while you were there.
With that being said if you DO take the time to revisit your past...Take your time. Move slow. Allow any and all feelings that flow through you to do just that. Don’t overthink it. If there’s a particular ‘spot’...sit, stand, and absorb that particular area.
Once upon a time, I found myself traveling down this alley on a regular basis walking to the gas station. From an outsiders eye, this is just a normal alley in Chicago. In my eyes, this alley watched me ‘go through it’. This alley was witness to some of the monsters that I live with and will die with.
This alley witnessed me getting being hit in the face the first time by my “lover” because I said something that he didn’t like. This alley was right next door when I told him I didn’t want to but he had to ‘finish’ anyways. This alley witnessed me being stranded by the same man whom I gave everything to. At the same time, this alley was there when some of the most loyal, giving, and understanding group of people took me in while I was struggling. Unless you’ve lived a life where your neighborhood ‘took care of you’, you can never understand what it is to have such a deep devotion for your hood.
Revisiting a place or area stirs memories. And in certain situations it is those memories that we as humans try to push away in the far back of our minds. Memories can be beautiful, memories can be what keeps us alive, and memories can cause a whole different level of living. PTSD, Night Terrors, Self-esteem Issues, Insomnia, Flash Backs, Depression, Unexplained ‘Moments of Anger’, Isolation...ALL of these can be originated from memories.
So why would anyone want to ‘wake the monster’ by revisiting the past? Healing. Acceptance. Closure. Strength. Forgiveness. Understanding. Clarity. The opportunity to remind yourself where you were and where you are now. To actually be able to look that monster in the eye instead of running to the corner every time it shows up.
We all undergo struggles. It’s what we do with those struggles that determine the type of person we are. I have chose to NEVER forget those times of struggle in my life because it has made me exactly who I am today. I am not at all ashamed of the things that I’ve done because I understand what it is to be in ‘survival of the fittest’ mode. I know what it is to wake and wonder how I’m going to eat that day, where I’m going to shower, if I’ll have to ask another neighbor if I can sleep on their couch or if he will actually be back with my car so I can sleep there instead.
My best friend once said “The things that are worth doing are never easy.” Not feeling ashamed of the things you have done is not easy but it’s extremely important. Not letting those events consume your present is vital. Allowing the events to live in the past and utilizing them to drive your future is essential.
Revisiting your past is never just a walk in the park. It’s many walks in, around, and past the park. There is strength in facing your past. There is courage in immersing yourself in it. And there is a warrior in anyone brave enough to share it!
Wake your Monster. Face your Monster. Embrace your Monster.
Photography: Molly Freund - Zealous Stills Boudoir