Is the Past Ever Really Just the Past?

Book Discussion

"The past is the past" is a phrase that runs through Margaret Dilloway's How to Be an American Housewife. It is uttered by most of the characters at one time. Shoko tried to shake off the past but she couldn't. It was with her every day. Is the past ever really just the past? Does the past not shape everything that we are?

You know how sometimes you'll play one of those "what if" kind of games and you get asked what one thing from your past you'd change? I hate that question. Maybe I'm superstitious but I hate the idea of wishing away any part of my life, even the bad parts. I've always felt that I am the sum off all the things that happened and I wouldn't be who I am today without all of those things -- the good and the bad. I happen to think that who I am is pretty rocking and I feel like wishing those things away would be to wish away bits of me.

pocket watch life

Image credit: Christian V

But we can hold on to the past too tightly and forget to live in the present. I've seen people do it. I've had my wallowing moments. I've certainly read a lot of books about people who are stuck in the past and can't move past certain events. To move past something doesn't mean to forget it, but to acknowledge that life is still happening all around us.

Is the past just the past? Or do we carry it with us always? Would you wish away any part of your past?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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