April 15, 2009
By Anonymous

As a child, I tried so hard to forget everything bad. I spent my middle and freshman school years trying to act like someone I wasn’t and in following the grid I was repeating the mistakes that had kept others down. In attempting to be someone everyone liked, I was actually creating a person that no one wanted to be around. I grew up watching others ahead of me make those same errors but since I refused to look at the past, I didn’t see that the only conclusion to my actions would be disaster. In my 10th grade year I hit a wall. My depression was at an all time low, I had no self esteem, and I was continuously hurting the ones I loved, trading one friendship for another as I tried so hard to fit in. That night I chose to take my life. The pills were in my mouth, my mind was made up, and this little voice finally clicked in my head. I realized that I was creating this hole for myself, and that I was ending my life because I was treating others so horribly. This was a defining moment for me because I realized that I was forgetting the memories of mistakes I made in order to make myself temporarily happy. That in not learning from my stumbles I was inhibiting my future happiness by allowing myself to repeat actions that I swore I wouldn’t.
From that point on I vowed to remember the past. I started to rebuild myself; I spent many sleepless nights, in all, an entire year trying to figure out how I could improve my life. I also decided not to let the memories hinder me. When you make a conscious effort to learn from a memory, it stops hurting you. You start to look at it in a new light. I was a kid in a bad place, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t acted like such an imbecile. For me, it was a kind of therapy. I dealt with the memories by letting them teach me somthing. I started to see a huge improvement in my life, people liked me more, I was happier, and come 11th grade year, my life was where I wanted it to be. I could finally start building myself up, creating the future me. If I had never realized the mistake I was making by forgetting, I might be dead now.
Today it seems so childish to forget the past, the preverbal covering your ears and yelling so that you don’t have to hear what someone is saying. Realizing your mistakes is something that comes with age; however, not all people come to terms with this early in life. I was lucky that I noticed my flaw before it destroyed me, and though it hurts to look back on the past, I wouldn’t want it any other way: I wouldn’t be the person I am without my memories. George Santayana said, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” I take that opinion in stride nowadays, and though I still at times repeat the past, I know that I will move on, and be better for it all.

The author's comments:
this is a short SAT prep essay I wrote. the prompt they gave us was "some people believe that memories hinder us, and we should repres them in order to succeed, but others believe the opposite. Tell your point of view on this subject"

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