I find it interesting sometimes that we seem to always be looking to the future, not always wanting to look back. I’m not saying that looking and dreaming of the future is wrong or bad, quite the opposite but I’d also like to propose reminiscing as a worthwhile endeavor.
The past is what made us what we are today. Warts and all. Sure I’ve been (and am) embarrassed by my past, the things I’ve said, the things I’ve done. But at the end of the day I cannot say that all the little things weren’t what got me to right here and right now. We do, we learn, and hopefully we grow.
I’ve been reading through some old journals...like when I first started keeping a journal. I was eternally embarrassed by it and constantly was writing that no one must know...I don’t know that the journal was going to go around announcing itself to everyone but I was paranoid about my image...what image I had at the time, IDK. From an outside perspective on what I chose to write (anger, boys (soooo many boys, yikes!), and randomness) I see a decent progression to a better being. By writing what I was feeling I was becoming a better person.
The first half (and somewhat more) of my first official journal (it is plastered with Good Charlotte images and sooo many other embarrassing things…) is angry and really mean spirited. I am waaaay overly dramatic on about every front. But as the entries progressed I started writing more and I became much more articulate. I even became self aware, in that I note that my writing is helping me get a rein on my volatile emotional outbursts.
Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m proud of everything (or even most) I’ve read so far but I know it’s what it took for me to move forward towards where I am now. And as I’ve realized as an adult, it’s the journey and the process that is far more important than the destination. I’m still on this crazy adventure called life and I’m certain that something I’m writing now or will write in the future will become a potential embarrassment further on.
But that’s life. Also, I’ve found that I love to make fun of myself, it makes the embarrassment that much easier to manage. I think a true art is learning to laugh at yourself while at the same time you can still admire who you were.
A potentially relevant and funny gem of a quote I found recently was:
“...I’d rather clean the whole house then have to write an essay…”
I seemed to be talking about having to clean the house and joked that I’d rather write an essay before the honesty above prevailed. Even as I was writing in my journal the thought of “real” writing was so bad I’d prefer to clean a whole house...I’m glad I’ve come by better notions of what “real” writing actually is.
Anyone else keep any journals as a teenager? Still have them lying around? Anyone at all still (or have started) journaling regularly?
I can answer yes to all three, below is just over three years of my teenage thoughts. After which I think I tried to go digital...then college happened and I only started up again sporadically back in 2017. Within the last year it’s finally become a habit again, and I’ve also realized that I’ve sorely missed it.
I understand that journaling isn’t for everyone but I do highly recommend it!
—A Recovering Design Imposter