Facebook is an amazing tool, hobby, and experience for the most part. It allows me to connect with people that I otherwise would not know, it helps the family business thrive and offers advertising opportunities, and it gives freedom to communicate with people, all from the little blue facebook app on my phone. Sure, there are probably thousands of things that you can critique about facebook, how it tends to build platforms, or allows for people to do and say things that they otherwise might not do, in reality. Recently, I have decided that facebook has one glaring downside that I am learning to cope with.
Each day, when I open up my facebook app, the second picture is often the “On this Day” and then it gives me pictures that I took and uploaded as well as whatever I had captioned the photo as. There are pictures from when I first started my facebook career in 2004 when facebook really was just a college campus phenomena and there are pictures from ‘a year ago today.’ As I look through my ‘memories’ as facebook calls them, alot of my pictures are of my family, happy, content, ‘perfect’, at least in the pictures. But I know that is not reality. I know that behind the scenes, a year ago today, things were chaotic and out of control. I know that my relationship with my wife and kids was disintegrating and becoming hopeless and daunting. I know that my sinful habits of drinking in the background remained and that my anxiety and depression were about to rear their ugly head in ways that I had never experienced. I know now what I would have to walk through. Looking at these pictures gives me a sense of guilt, sadness, and weight. But memories are also made to remind us. Remind us that what we experienced is not worth going back to again, reminders of people that would be best to avoid, reminders of how not to live ones life. I have alot of good memories in my lifetime and those are not captured on facebook to their fullest extent. But many of the images, the updates, and the notes that I have posted throughout the years bring me back to great memories, a great past, and give hope for a wonderfully broken future.
There are few things in life that are more troubling than regret. I can’t change what I have done in the past and can only determine what I will do in the future. Still, regret has a way of making it’s way into my mind consistently, constantly. Asking the questions of ‘what if?’ and ‘should of’ and ‘could of’. They are invalid questions because the past is unchangeable. It is what it was and there is nothing that I can do to do it differently. As I stop to reminisce about the past, I am often reminded that the future me doesn’t have to look back on today with regret. The future me can look back on this season of life, as difficult as it is, and decide that the memories that I am experiencing these days are good memories. Life is pretty good, mostly because I am choosing joy each day instead of the pursuit of selfishness and self destruction.
Memories are clearly helpful and hurtful. But they are memories that I have. I wouldn’t be where I am today, without them. I’ll keep going, one day at a time.