Monday, July 24, 2006

dear, dear diary

I had an interesting experience tonight.
I encountered an unpleasant but familiar behavioral pattern of mine and when I sat down to write about it in my journal, I realized I was, for the first time, writing a new chapter in a very old book, the subject of which has been the center of a great personal struggle for me since I was sixteen.

It was as shocking an experience as that of sitting down to write with the expectation that, when I put my pen to paper, my hand would automatically and comfortably write the word No as habitually as it had hundreds of times before. But when I put my pen to paper, my hand drew, from nowhere, a completely new and unfamiliar word: Yes.

The experience made me want to look back through all my journals to see just how and what had changed in all the documented years of my life that were observable. I looked to see what was I doing last year on this date, and the year before that, and before that, all the way back to the first entry of my first consistently maintained journal, dated April 30, 1996.

It's astonishing how much, yet how very little, has changed in ten years.
Circumstances have varied dramatically from year to year, but my voice or interpretations of events has changed minimally. Every once in a while, though, there is an obvious break in the writing, as there was tonight, and through the pages came a voice that spoke with distanced clarity on old topics that had seemingly been beaten into the ground.

If you keep a journal, I suggest you look back. See what you were doing, what you were thinking, what was happening, as close to this day, last year, as possible. Then look at the year before that, and before that, as far back as you can.
If it doesn't offer any perspective, it will most likely still offer some great entertainment.

1 comment:

ddumping said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.
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