Have you ever played a round with a person that feels inclined to bring his business or work to the golf course? They’re the person that keeps their phone off silent. It’s practically inevitable that their phone will go off during your one eagle putt and totally screw you up. The person doing this is always loathed in any group. They don’t seem to detach themselves from their work life and enjoy the moment at the course. And, of course, it is quite bothersome and irritating for everyone else having to bear witness to this serious faux pas. I always think that when golfing it is vital to forget about any outside distractions or influences and move forward with a free mind. I understand how this can be hard sometimes, but I believe my theory holds true in that the guy doing business on the golf course is not only the most annoying in the group, but he or she is almost always the worst golfer; as if waiting for them to answer the phone isn’t bad enough, they also tend to take the most practice swings and score the worst hole by hole.
‘You have to put the past behind you before you can move on’. -Forrest Gump’s mom. Forrest Gump was on television the other night and I ended up inspired. Although there are many life lessons worth talking about from the movie, this quote that Forrest talks about right before he stops running is what stuck out in my mind, and I felt obliged to talk about how it pertains to me. I’ve already hinted about how it pertains to golf. To reiterate, it is vital for everyone playing a round of golf to understand this Forrest Gump quote so they know to put the past behind them in order to clear your conscience and really live in the moment during any round of golf you might be playing, especially with other people.
The quote touches on so many levels when it comes to my life and my actions. Yes, I carry this attitude with me when I play golf too. There is no way I would be able to get through a round if my mind wasn’t totally clear from outside distraction or ongoing influences. But the truth for me is that this quote truly speaks volumes about my life and particularly the last five and up to six years of my life: My journey or quest for seeking truth, perhaps at times even a spiritual endeavor, has been full of thought that needed to be untangled like a Gordian knot. Seemingly impossible and rightfully so. Events in my life were hard to explain and hard to find rhyme or reason to all that had/has been happening to me on a daily basis. I, like Gump, never necessarily set out to conquer this knot of thoughts and events; Instead, it just stayed weighted on my mind and I could not be free. Forrest tackled the thoughts in his mind by going on a run around the country. I chose a different type of freedom; I chose to drive. I had many things to think about. So too did Forrest. Most of the time Forrest thought about Jenny. I too spent most of my time thinking about a girl as I circled Lake Shore drive going fifteen miles one way, turning around, and heading fifteen miles the other way. This proceeded for every waking hour I had for more than four years. Sure, I thought about work from the past or work in the present, but I mostly spent time thinking about a girl.
It was a girl from my past and I had to figure out just how to put this girl behind me so that I could move on toward my future. A lot of my process was trying to rationalize my feelings as well as explain prior encounters. I drove until I made it all make sense. Forrest seemed to have figured it all out during his run. I really only got piece of mind after I put the unabridged version of the story on paper. In the process of working it all out I picked up a driving addiction. I also learned that writing helps me put my thoughts on paper. It allows me to leave the past at the door, vent what is on my mind, and ideally move on.
If I’m being honest, moving on completely is still something I’m on the fence about. There are still equivocations because there are new revelations. I wish there was more closure and more obvious answers. However, I may never get total peace of mind on this one, which is sad but is, in fact, the reality. I have to do a better job putting this past behind me. I have to turn my phone on silent at the golf course and play my game. My game is pretty good, and I should be fine. Yeah, I don’t want to hold anyone up. But, more importantly, I don’t want to hold myself up. There is a big world out there, and I deserve to be part of it; we all do.