Sometimes when I look at pictures, I get sad because the person looks so happy then. I start thinking “she looked so much happier before she had a family”, “they looked so much happier before they moved”, “she looked so much happier before she hit middle school”. The difference between then and now really gets to me and makes me wish I could go back to those times. It’s one of my big flaws, I think, looking back in the past and comparing it to the present. Stuff does happen which changes things. And those pictures were taken to remember the good times. There aren’t many pictures in my family that describe the sad times. Only happy memories. Maybe when I look at pictures, I should instead take away that we had good times in the midst of the bad. We were still able to smile. Life isn’t perfect now, and it wasn’t then. But someone was there to capture the good. The smiles. The laughs. I need to stop fooling myself that the past was perfect. There might not have been the same struggles, but there were significant struggles. And now, in the present, I can take happy pictures in the midst of struggle and pain that in a few years or decades, I can look back, and I’ll look like the happiest person ever. I’m glad to dwell on the happy pictures, but to lose the feelings of regret and sadness, I need to remember that the happy moments were captured in the midst of struggles.