The Prologue

June 27, 2012

“What is past is prologue” 

– William Shakespeare

I have always been a perfectionist of sorts. I say “of sorts” because my style of perfectionism entails doing something perfectly or not doing it at all, which has gotten in me in more trouble than it has not. I start tasks and projects with the best of intentions and sometimes I finish them. Other times, my “perfect” start ends in a perfect failure. That being said, one of the ways that this trait of mine manifests itself is in reading. When I read books, I have to read it front to back, cover-to-cover. I have to read the prologue and the epilogue. And until that book has been finished and digested, I can’t bring myself to start a new one. I’ve tried to skip the prologue before when reading but, for some reason , I could never bring myself to do it. The book didn’t feel complete until I had read the whole thing. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I have found the same thing to be true with life lately. It has a prologue, and that prologue has to be read.

I think that the past gets a bad rap. People always talk about leaving the past in the past and not dwelling on it, and this is true to a degree. Reading the prologue over and over again gives you no new information, no new experiences. But trying to ignore that past never proves to be effective. In fact, barring an Eternal-Sunshine-of-the-Spotless-Mind-type procedure, it is just about impossible to ignore. The story isn’t complete without it. It would be ripping out the pages, still being able to see the fragments left behind, only being able to read a word or two. 

 I have seen a lot of change in myself lately. Some good. Some not so good. I have caught myself looking back at the prologue and wanting to read it again. To go back to how things were. Which is silly. But here is the thing that I have found out about the past. It can be a good outline for the future, as well. Not like reading and re-reading the same thing. But rather like reading and then embellishing. I look up to former Allison a lot. She had a lot of traits that I want. But she is also gone. And that’s okay. 

So while I might be too far in the story to forget what happened, it might be time to go back and read that prologue one more time. Not to dwell, not to wish that everything could magically go back to how it was. But to start back at the foundation. To examine how things have developed since. And to decide how they will go from there. 


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