Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NOW - Journalling

"Each of us is many women, and each stage of life offers the potential for discovering new freedom, new growth, and new pleasures."  - Penelope Washbourn

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."  - Maya Angelou

I am not a writer.  I never claimed to be since I'm really a mathematician.  But over the last few years of blogging here, I've actually learned to enjoy writing a bit.  I love it when I find a witty turn of phrase or when I'm able to convey or evoke true emotion with mere words.  As I go through my day, I think, "Oooh!  I need to write something about THIS!"  It's a powerful thing for me to share my life, loves and woes with the world.

But so far, that's where all that written sharing has stopped.  I have a stumbling block when it comes to other sorts of writing.  The real thorn in my side is journaling, as in keeping a diary of my day to day life.  Oh, how I wish I had journaled my life up until now.  I'd love to go back and look at what I really thought the first time that I hopped on a motorcycle or to read how I felt the first time I was kissed.  What were my thoughts upon graduating from high school or what were my hopes for my brother on the day that he married the first time?  Sure, I can remember bits and pieces of what I thought and felt then, but those memories are being remembered through the filter of the person that I am today.  They are remembered with 20/20 hindsight and that can distort things.

So, what keeps me from doing it?  I think there are several things.  When I was younger (high school aged), I think my fear was of my diary being read by my brother or parents.  It's not that I had anything to hide.  Believe me!  I was about as squeaky clean as they come!  But when you're a teenager, having someone find out about your crush could very well be the end of the world.

Then as I got older, when I read what little I had written as a sort of diary, I was very judgemental of what I had thought or felt just a few months earlier.  After having my heart broken, I would mentally scold my former self for having let myself get hurt.  Or if I read how excited I was at the beginning of an undertakement that had failed, I would chide myself for being such a fool and believing I could succeed at something.

Over time, this sort of mental badgering takes a toll.  I learned to protect myself from being hurt emotionally so that I wouldn't later be ashamed of myself.  I learned not to take chances or to voice an opinion because people (even me) remember what you say and can use it against you....even years after you've grown to know better and to do better.

That brings me to who I am today.  I've learned a few things in therapy the last few years and it's about time I put them into practice in my real life.  I've learned that I'm not the same person I was 6 months or 6 years ago in the same way that I don't WANT to be this same person 6 months or 6 years from now.  In my opinion, my time here on earth is for me to grow emotionally, physically and spiritually.

I am most certainly making mistakes and missteps right now that will teach me things and mold me into the person that I will be in the future.  Hopefully that is a better person.  Hopefully that is a person who can be forgiving and understanding of who I am today.  Hopefully that is a person who will appreciate the things I write today for their wit and emotion and historical merit.

Today I may be disappointed that I don't have a written record of my life up to now, but my hope is that in 10 or 20 years, that's won't be true.  My goal starting today is to write it all down for my own personal benefit.  No constraint.  No rules on what I should write.  No censoring.

After all, if you want shade, when is the best time to plant a tree?  40 years ago.  When is the 2nd best time?  TODAY!

1 comment:

Holly @ Domestic Dork said...

I love journaling, which is why I got into blogging. But sometimes I hate reading old entries too. God I was stupid! lol


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