I saw a meme earlier today with a saying something to the tune of “Don’t judge me for my past, but for the actions I take today”. It’s not the first time I’ve heard a saying with that type of sentiment and it certainly won’t be the last. But no matter how many times someone makes that statement, it will never not turn my insides just a little.
It’s you with the checkered past — not those surrounding you. If you were really ready to own up to your past, you’d do just that and carry the weight of your past decisions without attempting to control how others perceive you. You can’t just go around in life being an ass, constantly screwing up and then demanding everyone forget the things you’ve done just because that’s how you want it to be. If it’s a saying you need to live by perhaps “You dug your own grave. Now lie in it” is more appropriate. Everyone makes their own reputation on a daily basis. When it’s good and the people in your life think highly of you it’s because you’ve made responsible decisions time after time and people respect you for doing as much. They don’t just arbitrarily give some people the benefit of doubt and others a bunch of grief.
You can’t hide from your past. You can’t make everything go away with clever little sayings. You can, will, and should be judged by both yourself and others for the actions you’ve taken. That’s accountability. That’s being an adult. We can be cool. We can move towards a different and better tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean yesterday didn’t exist and it definitely doesn’t mean you get to hit a restart button when it’s convenient for you while everyone else is expected to do all of the hard work and just forgive you like nothing ever happened.