Past and Future Essay

It has been repeatedly said that the present is the bridge between the past and the future, but if we (including myself) do not appreciate the roots and history of where we came from, this will continuously be taken as a tiresome cliché. It’s so easy today to forget, to assimilate, to be embarrassed even of our past, but I have learned to never take everything that I have gone through so far for granted. I believe that it will eventually have a purpose in my life later on.


“Ew! You like beans with tortillas?!?” Her face displayed nothing but disgust.

“This is the good stuff, what are you talking about?” I snatched the soda from her hands.

“That’s so Mexican!” she sneered.

“You’re such a dork! You’re Mexican, too, you retard!” I reminded her while laughing in her face. What in the world made her think that she would insult me with that was beyond me. At that moment, all I was concerned about was quickly (and safely) crossing the street to catch the bus.

Moments later, as I sat in the back of the bus, I began to meditate, to ponder on what she had mentioned. I couldn’t understand why it was so degrading to her to live my modern life with a little of my parents’ traditions mixed in. It was difficult for me to identify with her, why was she ashamed of her culture? Why was it so dull in her eyes to be in touch with my past?

It didn’t bother me so much, but I was concerned. That simple action made me wonder, ponder, investigate; and it made me realize that she is not the only one in today’s society to behave that way. I myself have been a victim of assimilation.

My childhood was what I believe to be a hybrid. I have no name or title for my generation, but I do have the confidence to say that I am a part of the “Bridge Generation”: the link between the past cultural behaviors and the future generations. All of my experiences have somehow shaped me, they have made me the person that I am today. Some of those incidents were good experiences; others enabled me to avoid similar possibilities. All in all, I believe that I have no reason to complain about my past, for it is because of my past that I have the assurance to anxiously await my future.

Anyone would agree with me when I say that there is too much to talk about when it comes to childhood experiences, but I strongly believe that it is the incidents we choose to isolate from the rest, the ones that we choose to focus on what makes us who we are. I could mention about the many sleepless nights I spent worrying for my parents, or of the many near death experiences my brother and I faced due to the lifestyle I was raised in, but I choose not to. I choose to tell of the many times my parents proved themselves to be worthy of being loved. I choose to mention the many times my brother and I had the privilege to enjoy two different worlds at one time.

Even though we do not have much control over what events take place in our lives, we have the power to make others more meaningful than others. I, for example, do not wish to become an angry youth who is forever more ashamed of my parents’ poor decision of a lifestyle. It is not my fault that my parents were drug addicts, living the party life. It is not my fault that I was forced to quickly mature, or that I was introduced to reality at a young age. These were episodes in which I had to learn how to forgive, to forget, and to move on with my life. If I were to focus on how cruel life was to me, I would have never found the strength to filter the emotions out and use these examples of my life for the good of others. Because of these events, I can relate to other young people who are in parallel positions and I can counsel them. I can help them understand that there are other people who went through similar experiences that have gotten past the judgmental phase and have decided to take their lives a wholly different path.

It is because of my perspective on the drug abuser’s lifestyle that I have found the strength to overcome peer pressure, that I have found nothing pleasing in any of the fake happiness that substance abuse brings. It is because of the hardships that young marriages face (which I witnessed) I have no wish to become involved in any compromising relationships. It is because of the trials and tribulations that poverty brings that I have set my goals on becoming a successful person in the future. But most importantly, it is because of the foolishness that haughty mentalities bring that I have no intention of forgetting who I was, where I have been, who I shared my life with, and what I have gone through.

It is because of what I was introduced to at an earlier age, the two different worlds of poverty and possible prosperity, of despair and of joy, of worry and of hopes, of anger and of encouragement that I have chosen to choose how the rest of my life will be spent. I, as well as others, have the right to choose how to lead the rest of our lives, and I have decided to live it without grudges, and to live it the best way possible.

Submitted: October 03, 2007

© Copyright 2022 Jane Insane. All rights reserved.

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Wow, I loved it. Especially the last paragraph, it just flowed off the page, you are an excellent writer.

Sun, January 6th, 2008 9:15am

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