The past is just that–the past. The good, the bad, and the everything in between, shapes who we are. No matter what our past looks like, it is solely up to us to move forward and focus on the person we’ll become. 

Last week the Tick Tock Challenge was to make peace with something from your past. What started out as “date day” in Laguna Beach with my fiance turned into a nostalgic trip back in time to my childhood neighborhood on Aspen street. It’s been nearly 30 years since I’ve seen my old neighborhood. Mind you, I left Aspen street when I was around the age of five, but this neighborhood gave me some of the fondest memories of my early childhood.

The neighborhood had aged, as to be expected. The same trees line the curbs. The muffled hum of cars passing could still be heard on this relatively quite street. Diane’s house no longer had that huge tree in the front yard, but Kristen’s house still had the stump from the lemon tree that once stood adjacent to her driveway. The houses seemed shorter. The length of the street wasn’t as long. I remember it felt like an epic journey to travel from one end of the street to the other. Now, it’s just a few strides and there is little adventure in making the trek.

My life in this neighborhood was a time when we rode our bikes around without fear. We played until the street lights came on. We ran through the sprinklers, dove onto the Slip n’ Slide, drank water from the hose, cartwheeled our hearts out, picked dandelions from the grass, and built clubhouses out of cardboard boxes. Our only hope in the entire world was whether or not mom would give us 50 cents for an ice cream when the unmistakable ice cream truck music sounded throughout the neighborhood.

Black Bottom PoolWe lived on the street twice: once in a home my parents owned, and the second time in a house my mother rented after the divorce. I recalled the black bottom pool in the backyard of the first house. My sister and I were like fish and loved to swim.  I secretly wished I could knock on the door, just to see if the pool was still there. My second old house was just that–old. It had fallen into disrepair, but showed signs of impending renovation. It looked abandoned, but I could still see the trees that resembled asparagus stalks standing tall within the backyard walls.

I brought my fiance to the spot where I hit my head on the curb, creating the permanent scar that rests in the middle of my forehead, and perhaps causing a medical condition that I will have for life. This is where my sister picked me up off the asphalt, looked at me and screamed for mom. I remember the bloody yellow washcloth my mom held on my forehead as we rushed to the hospital. I remember the doctors separating me from my parents, restraining me, putting something on my head while I cried for my mom. The doctors told me “she went to get coffee”, and I thought coffee?!?! How can she get coffee at a time like this? In reality my mom could hardly be restrained from coming in the room, and she fretted and feared with me beyond the walls. This too, was one of my memories on Aspen street.

Tick Tock Challenge #1 was about reminding yourself of the past: the good, the bad, and the everything in between. My life has been so blessed. The memories I have of Aspen street are wonderful, but they are just memories. As we enter the next stage in our lives, as we work on our Tick Tock Lists together in this blog, you have to remind yourselves to look forward, not back. Your future lies ahead, and glancing back to the past won’t help you reach your goals. I needed to say goodbye to Aspen street–goodbye to those fond times when I viewed the world through the eyes of a child. I have made peace and can now move forward. Now it’s your turn.

Tell me about your Tick Tock Challenge #1 in the comments below.