Looking Back

Looking back through the photos of another lifetime ago
Looking at this young man with the belief that he will go out and conquer the world
That the struggles of the moments are merely obstacles to be overcome
And the conflicts that will arise in the future are merely opportunities to test one’s mettle
If he knew the pain and the heartaches that lie ahead
The ways in which everything he knew would be shaken to the core
Would he change course or would he stay the path?

As I look into the eyes of my twenty year old self, captured in pictures two decades old
In the midst of the steely idealism and implacable optimism
With his awkward quietness and fiery intensity
When I look I see both myself then and the person I would become
As I walk through the pictures that mark the years and wonder at each point
Would I make the same decisions again or would I change them

I can see the ways in which each step was less a choice
And more an unfolding of the person I was becoming
For the young man I see in the past is the man I see in the mirror
Minus the experience and knowledge that can only come through the journey
And even the parts of my life I wouldn’t wish on an enemy
I wouldn’t trade for myself for they made me who I am

And without changing who I am and who I was
I would still make the same choices, or at least all the important ones
And still within there is that same steely idealism and implacable optimism
Sometimes the awkward quietness still comes out
Most of the time the fiery intensity remains
Yet the twenty years were not in vain as they stretched and challenged me
Learning love and loss, trust and betrayal
And even when good guys finish last they are still themselves
And so I go to sleep, looking back not seeking a better past
Still hopeful enough to look for a better future

Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

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