This was inspired by a writing prompt asking us to choose between yesterday and tomorrow, which would we pick and why? If you have a similar story, please share below.

To choose between yesterday and tomorrow, at first glance, seems like a decision that I should be able to make rather easily. The kings of cliché would have you believe that the only way to live is with an eye towards the future. And while there is truth to that statement, who you are tomorrow is determined by the decisions you made yesterday. The “you” that exists inside your mind is formed from years and years of experiences that happened in the past. Without yesterday, “you” don’t exist.

Though, the other side of that argument is that without tomorrow we run out of opportunities to live through new experiences and no longer have the ability to progress any further in our development. The thought of never growing beyond where I am today is one of the scariest thoughts I can possibly envision. My sole purpose for being is to continually grow as a person. Learning about myself and my place in the world is one of the most satisfying parts of my life and something I would hate to see come to a halt.

The best days of my life happened quite a few years ago. From day 1 until age 16, I’m pretty sure I lived one of the best lives a human can possibly ask for. When I see the way the majority of people grow up I almost feel bad when I compare my upbringing to those of others. How I was so lucky is beyond me, but it’s something I remind myself to be thankful for as often as I can. My family life was literally picture perfect. I had a fantastic mom, a dad who provided way beyond our needs, a brother and sister that always had my back, and grandparents who loved me beyond anything I can imagine. Even my aunts, uncles, and cousins were great.  Somehow, I found ways to complain about damn near everything at that point in my life, but when I look back I can’t remember a single time where I was anything less than happy.

In more recent times things have changed a bit. The picture perfect family I once had still exists, but at least from my point of view, it’s a bit fractured these days. My mom passed away when I was 16, my relationship with my dad isn’t nearly what it should be, and the tight knit unity my family once had is less than I remember.  That’s not to say I’m living in some shattered universe where every day is a hard day, but the happy days are surrounded by many average days, and at times a few days make appearances and muddy up the whole picture. If you believe in the ebb and flow of life, as I do, then maybe the wave I’m on now is a way of balancing out the overabundance of luck I had to start life off with.

Don’t feel bad for me. I don’t. Even though the best days of my life were long ago, the hope that tomorrow will bring me something close to what I experienced as a kid is what keeps me going. Every day I wake up, I do my best to continue observing my actions and the decisions I make, and try to grow into the kind of person I can respect. I’m looking for things, people, and a myriad other things all the time just waiting for that day when everything comes together again. And while I miss yesterday and respect the fact that I’m “me” because of all those experiences, I’d choose tomorrow every time if I had the opportunity.  If I’m not growing, I’m not living and staying stuck in the past is no life for me.