I agree with that line from Madonna's song above. I'm not a friend of looking back. In fact, there are a few "looking back"-related things and events that make me cringe:
high school reunions
conversations about the "good old days"
discussions, that have no productive purpose, about past miseries and misfortunes
trying to reconnect with people I've fallen out of touch with
Now before you try to accuse me of being a grouch, look at things from my perspective. I don't like looking back because:
there's no changing what's already done
I'm a here-and-now-and-to-the-future kind of guy
emotions (often negative) tend to come as baggages with looking back; this is not easy for an INTP like me
There are also pitfalls when one gets addicted to looking back:
failure to let go and move on (stagnation)
false belief that the best days are already behind
temptation to live in past glory
Now, I'm not saying looking back is a total devil. There are some values in the past too. Taking a mental visit to it should be done in supervised moderation.
Today is the 1st birthday of my first fiction book Walden and Hyde (and Other Short Stories). It is a spinoff/prequel of my upcoming novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me. I'm having tea with the past today.
A year since then, my novel is ready to be set loose to the world. Acknowledging the book's birthday is not a form of stagnation, not a false belief that the best days are behind me, and not an attempt to live in my past glory. For myself, it is a reminder that I did something good before and I did something greater now. I went from a 20,000-word book to a 100,000-word one.
There's no direction to go in life except forward and never backward. And one good reason to look back is to see how far we've come.
I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me
Herbert Novelli lives an ordinary life. Breakfast. Work. Lunch. Work. Gym. Dinner. Sleep. Plus the occasional get together with his long-time friends who entered adulthood together with him in Cinnabar City.
An unannounced visit to his apartment one ordinary night brings his ex-girlfriend Gina Watson. After leaving him with a vague letter and a broken heart in their old home town Verona, Gina’s unexpected appearance is the last thing Herbert expects to happen.
Gina hands Herbert an invitation to her wedding with another man as a strange peace offering. Herbert accepts it, a show of his willingness to bury the hatchet.
But Death has a funny way of doing his job in the city. Sometimes he makes a grand fanfare of his arrival. Other times, he comes unannounced with a wedding invitation on hand.