I've always admired writers. Easily pulled into a story and the life of fictional characters, I often close a book feeling sad these characters are no longer "part of my life", imagining their future, somehow affected by whatever experiences they went through. I still have the rare skill/curse of reading a book cover to cover in a single sitting, ignoring all people and responsibilities around me. With this adoration for the written word, I always had a secret desire to be a writer. I sadly lack the creativity and imagination to create characters and a storyline, which is coupled with a shyness that would likely prevent me from ever attempting to publish a book, but I love writing. I find I can express myself on paper in ways I sometimes can't while speaking, allowing myself the time to think and edit words / thoughts before shared.
I've been lucky enough to land in a career that's evolved into a lot of writing and editing, which I find very fulfilling, but sometimes leaves me with the desire to write my own thoughts as well. Hence, the blog. I'm in no way a consistent writer; I write when the mood strikes, ideas are top of mind, or I just have something I'd like to share. Sometimes I start writing, stop, and never go back to the draft because my interest in the subject or mood has changed and I just can't get back into it (Clearly, I am not novel-writing material, but maybe there's an untapped Carrie Bradshaw type quality there - without the fabulous wardrobe and poor husband choice).
I recently came across an old journal - circa immediately post-college years. To be honest, I was a little scared to read it. I know those weren't my happiest years. I had no money, hated my job, a lot of uncertainty about life, was in a meh relationship, and I distinctly remember writing mainly out of sadness or frustration. Sounds like a riveting read right?
Since my curiosity won the best of me, I spent Sunday morning reading my 22 year old words. First sentence; first entry: "I am sad". Woof. The journal spanned two years and at times while reading, I wanted to hug younger me; she really was sad. I can vividly remember some of the boyfriend fights, work issues, and money woes, but I was shocked to find I'd sort of rewritten history a bit in my brain. This was pretty shocking because I am the girl who remembers EVERYTHING. I can tell you what other people wore 10 years ago. I'm really baffled that my mind played such tricks on me and I remembered things in completely incorrect orders or left out key details.
I also can't believe how trapped I felt at 22. (22!!) I was so scared of everything; leaving a relationship I knew wasn't the right fit (not one to preach, but don't move in with your boyfriend at 22. It likely won't work, you'll fight about things you have no business fighting about at that age, and you'll regret it when you're 29 and living with your Real Person and feel like you sort of robbed yourself of having this experience with him first), quitting my job, moving back home (the absolute right choice when you are drowning in bills. Seriously, fuck that it sucks being home. It's better than moving home at 30 for the same reasons).
The thing is, everything I was afraid of happened at some point. The relationship ended (I was fine; better for it and based on my entries, realized this pretty quickly thereafter), I moved home and paid off most of my credit cards (though still no savings. I'd advise 22 year olds to save money in addition to not living with boyfriends), I left my job (and the one after that, and the one after that), and I lived somewhere completely new (my mom moved back to her hometown when I was in college, so moving home meant moving somewhere I'd never lived).
This brings me to something I remembered a little differently. I remembered being lonely when I moved home; I do not remember being so lonely in my relationship. When I read those entries it was honestly painful - and really unnecessary. The friendships that were born or strengthened post-breakup were 99% with people that lived down the street from our apartment. Why did it take me moving two hours away to find them? I'm digressing a bit, but the message in my trip down memory lane was that things happened the way they were supposed to. It's corny, but Garth Brooks is right, thank GOD for unanswered prayers. I am not supposed to be in Newport (took me one more move to figure this out for good). I am not supposed to be dating that person who contributed to me being so sad. Who, by the way, was not a monster, but instead the sweetest boy. The thing is, he brought out the worst in me - brought me down instead of encouraging. Was complacent at a time when it was SO important to reach for goals and a future. Life was harder with him, and I learned a lot in that timeframe, but it was not what my life was supposed to be long-term.
I haven't kept a journal since that journal. Every time I thought about it, I thought about how sad I remember my thoughts being. It was interesting/ somewhat cathartic to read through, but I never want to read it or feel it again. What I've found with a blog, is that everything I write is fairly positive. I'm sarcastic by nature, so that's not disappearing, but I really try not to publish negative thoughts or energy. Part of this is just a karmic /The Secret type belief that you should put out to the world what you want to receive in return, part of it is the resistance to publicly post such personal negative feelings as I'd freely write in a journal.
The other part, which I knew, but maybe needed a little knock on the head to remember, is how much happier I am now. I literally have everything I so desperately wanted at 22 (and knew I would get by the way) - I have the job, with the much better paycheck; I own a house (still pinching myself on this one); I am with the person I am supposed to be with who drives me b-a-n-a-n-a-s, but is the perfect match to my personality and (usually) correctly handles my overwhelming, sometimes crazy, thoughts and actions; I have friends whom I love so much; and I know who I am. 22 year old me was really fucking confused about a lot of things, but she knew she wasn't happy and it was up to her to change that. I'm so grateful for the little pushes I received and bumps I stumbled over that made me make the decisions I did and landed me where I am now.
So, two days and I'm guessing about 3,000 words later, this why I blog. I don't know who reads this, it's not linked to any of my personal social media sites, I'd maybe even be embarrassed for some "Facebook friends" to see it, and I don't send out alerts when I've rambled on about something new, so this has literally been my journal for the last two years. This entry turned into something I didn't expect, and I guess that's a weird benefit of writing too, but the point is, this is my outlet. This is me - random musings, the occasional rant about the opposite sex, stories about my dog, and recently, house updates my friends are for sure sick of hearing about in person. To anyone reading, that's pretty much all I've got.