Don’t let your past define you, just appreciate it for what it is.

My Sister Louise and my Grandad sometime in the mid to late 60s (apporx 1967) in our back garden in Rowner, Gosport

I was born in Gosport, Hampshire some 4 years after this picture was taken. I was born in the house in the house where this picture was taken. The house was married quarters for Royal Naval personnel. My Dad was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.

My Dad was absent for much of my childhood, when I was young he spent a lot of time at sea, and when he wasn’t at sea he did not spend a huge amount of time in our company. He was a product of his generation and the forces, so was more of a man’s man than a family man.

When he left the Navy in 1981 we moved to Chester, my parents’ hometown. As I said my Dad was not suited to family life and after a few years my parent’s got divorced. Nothing unusual there, families were breaking up left right and centre in the 80s. But it did feel very uncomfortable being in the middle of it. Around this time my brother and sister had left home, leaving me and mum alone. You can imagine the emotional upheaval my Mum and I were going through. My Mum had kicked her husband out, said goodbye to 2 of her children, and moved home all in the space of a couple of years. On top of this I was going through puberty. In hindsight this could have destroyed us both. It didn’t, it drew us closer, it made the bond between us incredibly strong, a bond that has only strengthened over the years. Don’t get me wrong I carried the scars from this time for many years, in fact I have only recently shed them in the past few years, when I decided that my past did not define me, it just guides my choices.

Me and my lovely Mum March 2019

As I said I did let my past define me for a number of years as an adult. In 1989 I moved to Hull to do my Nurse training. Leaving Mum was incredibly hard, but I knew I needed to make my own life. This was led by those battle scars defining who I was. I was determined my life was not going to like my Father’s. So for the next 25 years I was in a constant state of turmoil trying to enjoy my life, but constantly looking over my shoulder waiting for it all to go wrong, and not seeing my past for what it really was.

In spite of this turmoil in my life I did manage to create something special as I look back on it now. I just wish I had the insight I do now so I could have enjoyed it a lot more. But that was how it was, and this is how it is now, and for the rest of my life I will see it for what it really is.

So what is it really? My life, no that’s it, it’s my life, good bad and indifferent. What has happened, happened, some of it was shit, some of it was alright, and quite a lot of it was blooming amazing. So in the future my life will be shit, alright, and blooming amazing. Life is only as good as it is right now. Grasp it with both your hands and enjoy it for what it is, your life! Look back on your life and see it for what it is, your life. Do not let the past define you. Let the present define you. Here are some pictures of my past that make me smile and allow me to appreciate those blooming amazing moments.

Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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