Forget 20-20. Things aren’t just clearer when you look back on them; they’re better.
I’ve discovered this by simply listening to people and also living life. Things just aren’t quite as bad as they were when you were going through that thing.
An easy example of this is when looking back on a relationship that ended badly. After enough time has passed and you look back on the matter it won’t seem as bad. Nothing has changed, but you start to remember the good times a lot more than the bad times. It doesn’t matter that someone you cared for deeply tore your heart to shreds. All you can think of is that time in a park where you listened to “your song” on loop and things were fresh and great. You don’t remember that time where you were sitting in the same park with the same song playing when you realized that things were ending and would never be the same.
It works the same when looking back on a job that you held that you hated. While you would never want to go back to that God awful place, you smile while thinking of how much you loathe the thought. It’s not the same as it was when you desperately tried to come up with an excuse to not go in, but didn’t feel any of your made up conditions would work. All you remember is how much you hated it and how it helped you realize what you didn’t want to be.
To be honest, I’m not sure why this is. If you were to go back to a situation that sucked it would still suck. That awful break up you experienced would still be awful. That terrible job you had would still be terrible. While you have changed, the situations in your past haven’t and even going back as the you you are now wouldn’t make them any better.
Call me simple, but a bad situation in your past is still a bad situation. It won’t become a good moment and we should probably stop trying to make it something it’s not.