“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” –Audre Lourde
I tried to be consistent with journaling throughout the majority of my teens and early adulthood. I love to write so it’s not a hassle to set aside a little time to jot down a daily “entry” but once I have a night out on the town (or a few…lol) or leave for vacation my allotted time to journal is often neglected. A couple days…then a few weeks… and sadly, many months go by before I have the serious urge to get my swirling thoughts out on paper and start journaling consistently again. *deep sigh* I know I can’t be the only one.
However, I’m a sucker for nostalgia and journaling is like a photo album in the sense that you can revisit a time you’ll never have the chance to go back to, get a feel for where you were mentally, and reflect on how things have changed since; kind of like how Facebook memories shows you the old, corny statuses your younger self wrote years ago and the shock that you were ever that lame sets in…lol But after moving back home from my college apartment in June, I cleaned out the bedroom that was obviously inhabited by me once upon a time but just a completely different version and I discovered something that would answer all my nostalgic dreams and required less pressure to be consistent.
As I was cleaning out my old dresser draws, I found an old journal and when I opened it instead of finding daily entries…I found a letter that had written to myself weeks after being accepted into graduate school but also around the same time I had learned of my ex-boyfriend’s unfaithfulness. I’ll just say, the Melissa who wrote this letter was so hurt, stressed, and anxious. This Melissa expressed a plethora of emotions all in the same two-page letter but reading it nearly two years later… all I could do is smile. And as I continued reading, I busted out laughing until tears rolled down my face because it was like an out-of-body experience. Did I really write this? I couldn’t believe I had written those words and as I sat there reading them I was now unfamiliar with those feelings.
Frankly, I don’t know who that Melissa is anymore but reading that letter made me grateful that I no longer do. At the time it was written, it seemed as if things would never get better and I can actual quote myself as I wrote, “I’ll be glad when it’s this same time next year, hopefully it’ll hurt a little less.” And two years later, that letter reminded me that things always get better in due time…and often better than you could’ve ever expected. 🙂
I challenge all reading this post, to write a letter to you. Reflect on where you are currently in your journey. It’s best to go in depth with the letter including current/anticipated experiences in all aspects of your life such as career, love, health finances, and spirituality. And most importantly, include your strongest emotions regarding the current phase of your journey…be honest with yourself. If you’re frustrated with your current dating scene, say that. And perhaps, explore what it is you’re looking for in a beau. How amazing would it be to read your letter in 1-2 years, maybe now you’re in a great relationship, and realize you found the right one because you chose him before you even knew who he was? Or maybe read it further down the road and realize you didn’t even know what you really wanted…lol
So, join me! I wrote a new letter to myself since I’m truly in a season of transition right now and I’m thinking of writing a couple letters throughout the year. I haven’t decided when I’ll read them but it won’t be any less than a year from the day I wrote it. In my opinion, there isn’t a better way to acknowledge and embrace your progression than reflecting on where you once were and how far you’ve truly come.
In what ways do you keep track of your progression in life? Daily journaling? Goal checklists? Vision boards? Leave a comment or reach out to us on social media!