A couple weeks back I found myself searching for a particular item and finding everything but what I actually wanted. In the process, I uncovered old photos, notes from friends in long away boring classes, nick-knacks and a bunch of my old journals. While the photos and notes were fun finds, my journals were what really struck me.
To be clear, my journals were not “Dear Diary” material. The last time I did that I was in 6th grade, fresh into my double digits. These journals were more books of poems, but about things I was feeling and dealing with at that time. It was my release and I found it to be a lot easier for me to write a poem than to just flat out say what was happening in my life. Writing poems let me color in the details and give me something to focus on when at times I felt like things were falling down around me.
And boy were they. Reading my journals was at first such a sad experience for me. I was reading the words of a very sad young girl. At times she was so hopeless and defeated; reading her words I could feel my heart break all over again. I wanted to jump in time and grab her shoulders, tell her it was going to be OK and that she wouldn’t even remember some of the moments she was crying about. At other times she seemed very brave and way more intelligent than I am now; I found myself impressed.
What hit me most though was that it got better. Life got better. Most of the things I wrote about didn’t matter anymore, they were just moments on paper turned into art. Reading these old, sad words suddenly became something important. It shifted me in a way. I realized that the issues bothering me today weren’t important at all. Reading my own words I saw that I was living a life I never thought I would have. The girl in those pages would probably have slapped me for forgetting what was important. All at once I was overcome with gratitude and sadness. I felt sad for the old me and how dejected and let down she had become but at the same time I was grateful that I wasn’t her anymore. Life got better and I had never taken the time to appreciate it, much less write it down.
So I thank that girl and applaud her for making it through. Her words still hold meaning to me, just in a very different way than from when they were first penned. I will do my best to remember her and honor her in the best way that I can and that is to simply be happy being me.
I encourage you to find your old selves and recognize the leaps and bounds your lives have taken and appreciate them. I look around myself today and am so very thankful to be where I am: loved, supported and standing on my own convictions. It is everything my younger self wanted. Always looking ahead I lost site of the present. I often find myself having a problem with being in the now. I can’t say that will change over night but I am learning to stop and take a breath of my blessings.
All I wanted was to find a Derek Jeter baseball card; instead I found a personal revelation. Is there no end to what #2 can do?