For years I used to write in a journal, somewhat daily. While many of the pages were rife with the kinds of things young women write about, mostly my woes with the opposite gender, the process itself was immeasurably helpful. It was a place to purge, to sort out, to make cohesive, the thoughts and especially the emotions that whorled around inside of me at cyclonic speeds. It was a safe space to air the things which should never be shared, to say the things that should not be spoken, to find a way to make amends with all of the disparities in life, whether with others or myself, or with the circumstances that I found myself in, good, bad or indifferent.
I would read other people’s published diaries and journals, too. I found them fascinating, compelling, like a window into someone else’s soul, though I think some, like Anaïs Nin for example, she was writing hers for publication, or heavily edited them prior to publication ending up with cleaned up derivatives of the rawness that is their normal state. Mine are, anyway.
I’ve read, too, about people taking their old diaries and therapeutically “releasing” the pages to bonfires and shredders, symbolically shedding parts of themselves that no longer serve them. I know I’ve thrown a few of them away myself, my very early ones, which I regret doing now.
I was ashamed of the person scattered amongst those old pages, but today, almost to my 54th birth date, I think each phase of my incarnations as a rite of passage, that each had an important part to play in who I am now and continue to become, and while I cringe at so much of the angst I experienced, mostly in sympathy, I am no longer ashamed of who I was.
It’s a small and tiny shift, but it’s the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in a long time, and I’m not sure what to attribute it to, other than restarting this journaling practice somewhat recently. Perhaps it’s just due to the aging process, of realizing that fighting parts of myself are exhausting and self-defeating, and that there is already so much discord outside of myself and beyond my control, that I need not add to it of my own accord and turn it inward.
I haven’t blogged in a while. Life has been busy, in good, bad and indifferent ways, but they all meld into each other, and the essence of each of those things gets stirred in, like ingredients into batter, and here I am sharing a slice. It tastes pretty good from where I’m sitting. I hope yours does too.