Our Past to our Present
Crystal Cheng, Division 1, 6th grade #ws18e-s2d1

Being able to travel in time is an irresistible dream. Many would jump at the opportunity, not just to experience a fantasy turned reality, but to rectify mistakes in history, in others’ pasts and in theirs. There are people who would pay whatever was necessary to be able to do so. There are people who would harm others for this chance. But I am not one of them.

It is not that I think that my past is entirely clean. Even without a gruesome or disturbing past covered up in who I am today, there are still moments in my past I have no wish greater than to correct. The time I could of sailed through but completely forgot two entire lines of music in a piano competition, ruining my chances of placing and disappointing my teacher, my mom, and myself. The plain matter of simply studying properly on a math test that could have been the difference between a passing and a failing grade. Not saying a few words that deeply wounded a highly treasured friendship.

Yet, looking back at the past, every event is associated with a fond memory, and each memory holds another piece of strong advice. When thinking back to the time I blanked out at a piano competition, I remember how I vowed to work harder, put in more hours, and truly rise up to the occasion the next competition. When thinking about the foul test score, I remember that my friends reassured me and cheered me up, building a determination to do well on the next test. My broken friendship taught me to nurture others, leading me to having the kindest, the most loyal, and the overall best friends today.

For years, my response to anything humiliating had been to pretend it never happened, refusing to acknowledge anything instead of just facing it. One day, I came across a quote online: “Who we are in the present includes who we were in the past.”

My first thought was that this was just talking about people in general, that we who we are in the past are in ourselves in the present. Then, on further thought, I discovered a deeper meaning. Who we are in the present aren’t who we are without who we were in the past. The past has influenced how we act today, what our responses are to certain things. We wouldn’t be who we are without what has happened in the past, even the smallest influence on our personality today.

Nobody’s perfect. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. We all have something to make us vulnerable, something embarrassing in our past that has haunted us before. But we can’t just erase it. It is a part of our past, therefore a part of our present, and leading to our future.
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