The actual saying, by leading transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau, is actually: never look back unless you are planning to go that way.
I prefer the above (title) version, found on illustrator Emily Elise’s poster (thank you, Sophie). I’ve always been a firm believer in never looking back. A bit of bad luck, that, recollecting. It doesn’t really have much benefit, unless you’re at a family gathering and reflecting on amusing or meaningful moments. Otherwise, looking back—particularly at those times you wish you could kick yourself in the butt about—can prove depressing or discouraging. What happened can’t be undone. End of story. Hopefully, you’ve gained knowledge and insight from actions taken, lessons realized, and mistakes made. Accept them. Embrace them.
Effectively now, I’m all about moving forward. Many years have flowed past [escaped] me and I could easily weep over that. But I won’t. It’s water under the bridge—those lessons [finally and most assuredly] realized.
Don’t let things that “might have been” discourage you. It’s a no-win situation. Things happen for a reason. Maybe we can’t see that at the time . . . maybe we can’t see that for months or years to come. But everything and everyone in our lives serve purposes; they define us.
Pull up those [strong] shoulders and never look back. You really aren’t going that way. You have a unknown [exciting] future to welcome, agreeable/challenging/fun deeds to do, intriguing places to see, and interesting individuals to meet.
Take pride in who you are . . . and who you’re becoming. Sure, you erred; we all did and do. But that’s life. You want to smack yourself in the head about something? Do it. Then move on and . . . yes! . . . never look back because you’re not going that way.