Statements like "past doesn't matter", "forget about what you were", "your present defines you" etc etc somewhat emphasises more on your past being your definition. There is a perception about you, and no matter where you stand you cannot change it. Reputation they call it. So regardless of your efforts of realizing your mistakes, moving on with them, trying to be a better person for yourself, there will always be criticism. Now the general opinion may not matter but when you hear it from a person who matters for a minute things will go blue. For a minute you will go through all the flashbacks. From doing things to regretting it and then striving to be a better person. For a minute you will experience all the hurt and regret that may have led you to hope. So much will happen in a minute that you will feel everything but nothing. And in that minute you may think that ones a sinner will always be a sinner. But is it fair? The aura of your past being the outer layer of whatever and however you are? Its like all your efforts go in vain. The next moment instead of moping around in grief, think. Think about why you had hope in the first place. Then and only then will you know, your past maybe your definition, your efforts may seem fruitless, your reputation maybe not worth it, you may have no friends but aren't you still here? Despite all the darkness are you not surviving? Crying and hoping? Falling and rising? Striving and surviving?

I want you to know that yes you cannot change the past. You cannot even make it all go away. You cannot expect people to forget about it because the hell they will. I know you can do anything in this world to start with a clean slate. But even then know that no matter what, you will always be bad. And that bad will lead you to the good. How do you know you were bad? That is the first step towards being good. Knowing your wrongs. You cannot right all your wrongs, can you? I know it matters what people say. I know it hurts when they don't understand. I know how it feels, walking through places and feeling people whispering, pointing and laughing. I know how it feels being THAT person. But again, can you change it? No. You cannot. What to do then? Embrace it. Cry about it. But don't repeat it. Continue being THAT person, but don't be THAT person.

You are here because you have to be here. And what is here? That is how you see yourself. Being here is not where people think you were. Being here is where you know you are. After all, duniya kab chup rehti hai? Kehne do jo kehti hai.*

*People will talk no matter what.