People often speak of journaling; Oprah is a big proponent of journaling. I’ve heard her say on more than one occasion that she writes 5 things she’s thankful for each day. I’ve never been consistent enough to journal daily and the only time I’ve written in my journal for more than 7 consecutive days was the week leading up to and during my trip to Haiti. Anyway, the first time I ever started journaling was back in 1998 during my freshman year of college. It was my first time away from home and living with other people, so the 10 or so entries I made are interesting to say the least.
It was about 2001 that I started journaling again and man oh man am I glad, thankful, happy and any other verb associated with overcoming…whew. Just wow, those 20s were definitely a roller coaster ride. That second journal spanned from 2001-2007. One journal 6 years and a lot happened in those 6 years which were perhaps the MOST eventful of my life. I obtained 2 college degrees, became an aunt 3 times, dealt with the death of 10+ close friends and family including my mother and 3 grandparents, and lived in 3 different states. Survived two overturned car accidents and went through crazy relationships. There was a lot of crying over guys that weren’t worth my time. I was bitter about a lot of things and situations and had to realize that I was in charge of my own fate. I also had to realize that I can only control MY feelings and how I react to other people.
These journals represent my late 20s to early 30s, when I really began to develop into the woman I think I am supposed to be. It’s when I let go of a relationship I knew was not and never would work because I began to recognize the signs. It’s when I realized, or I should say read previous journal entries, and realized I had been depressed in the previous years. I wanted what was in the past and I came to the realization that the past is gone and I’ll never make it to my future looking back or holding on to the past and hoping for something that was dead and gone.
2012 was the first year I decided to downsize my journals and get a small journal for each year and start it out with a theme, scripture, and goals according to what God wanted me to do for the year in order to become a better person. 2012 was a pretty good year, I got a bit stagnant but I’ve got reminders of how far I’ve come in the past journals.
I used to read them and revisit the past, but I’ve since come to the point of leaving the past behind and I can literally look at the cover of any one of those journals and know exactly where I was at that point in life and recall who I was with at the time. They are sort of my additional guide to MY life. They are road maps of where I went wrong, got detoured, learned and got back on the road of life. They are reminders that ultimately in life, I am not in charge, God is and everything happens for a reason. They are reminders of God’s grace and protection on numerous occasions when I probably wasn’t even worthy. When I look at them all stacked together, I am thankful. I’m also thankful for the answers before I even ask the questions. I realized I haven’t written as much this year; in fact my journal isn’t even halfway full. However, there are some pretty powerful things in there that God shared with me. I realized the other day that there is very little of me begging, complaining, and wishing and more of Him sharing His teachings and using that has a guide post to life. It’s basically Him giving me the answers before I ask the question. I do realize some of these are answers I already knew, but I appreciate God’s patience.
What do your old journals say about you? Do they reflect growth?