I have kept a journal since 1984. In all, I have 24 years worth of snippets of my life, kind of like a shoebox full of old photos. They are as varied and random as my life has been, pieces of paper and scribbles in large spiral notebooks, journals intended for journaling, and calendars with notes.
A couple weeks ago I decided to read them. And as I read them, I found myself thrown into an emotional whirlwind. Some are just plain boring as I recounted events instead of my state of mind. Maybe that was the best I could do at the time. In others I jotted down key thoughts from inspired books I was reading.
I became unhappy with myself as I found that I struggle with some of the same issues as 20 years ago! I discovered that some entries described situations that were actual prelude to later events.I couldn't see the forest for the trees! Hindsight truly is 20/20, useless but clearer.
I am proud of some of the insights and inroads I made in more illuminated times. Those I will polish and use for "show and tell". The others I will keep under wraps for now. You see, I don't want the world to see where I was dull or dumb or gullible. I am embarrassed by my vulnerability and naivete'.
But I am who I am and was who I was and there is no changing the past. I can learn from it though and appreciate then and now.
Saying that, I encourage you dear reader to keep a journal. Just as you record life in photos, record it in words, calendars, and doodles. "Dear diary" can be your confidant. It is cathartic, it is calming, it is revealing.