I think it's time to start journalling again.
For my confirmation party in 1993, my cousin gifted me a simple journal. Itook it with me three months later to Paraguay and used it to capture every moment, every story, every thought and feeling for the next ten years, probably. All through high school and college I wrote almost daily, sometimes twice a day to capture everything no matter how small.
When I got married, I brought all those journals with me and kept it up pretty well until the birth of my first son. The writing wasn't habitual anymore, the journal sat, abandoned on my bedside table for days.
I remember living in Olathe, KS and feeling particularly low one day. I remember seeing the stack of journals on the up high shelf in my closet and thinking that girl was stupid and needed to be erased from the present so I took a black garbage bag and filled it with all those journals capturing all those days and years and moments and I gathered them up and threw them in a dumpster and that was that. No more journalling.
That was 14 years ago and it still hurts to think about how much I lost on the day I threw it all out.
But now I think I need to start again.
Yesterday, I sat in a room with a group of women all being asked the same questions, "What does your best self look like?"
Together, we're on an eighteen month journey as a group to create Individual Development Plans that are instrinsically motivated, we're given a stipend to go learn, go do, go explore in a manner that energizes us, renews our commitment to creativity and innovation and helps us become our next best self. We'll meet six times together as a group to talk about the journey, encourage one another, create space to ponder and discern where we go from here and I can't wait.
When I left the house yesterday morning to drive to the meeting, my mind wasn't in a place of possibility and potential. It was in a place of fear and worry.
Within the first hour of our meeting together, I realized I had been weighted down by lots of "shoulds." I was full of should without considering the options. To advance my career, I should do this or that. To get better at music I should take a course on this or find an expert in that. Until, like a lightning bolt, my brain said, "But if you don't want to do that stuff, maybe you'll become your best self by bowing out and finding something you really want instead."
AND THE SCENE TURNED TO COLOR AND MY HEART DID AN ABOUT FACE AND LIFE IS AWESOME.
Don't get me wrong, I still have to go to work, clean the house, do the things. But I don't have to do all the things. And I said earlier, it's time to start journalling, I'll also say, it's time to start re-evaluating where my time goes and what I give up in exchange for stuff I don't really want to do.
So there it is. Eighteen months of pondering the question, "Where do you want to go and how do you want to get there?" Not, "Where must you be seen and by whom?" nor "What do people want you to do?" NOPE. Not that either.
So consider. The world is wide open. Ya know that wood working project you always dream of, but never get to do? You know that backpacking trip into Yosemite that's too indulgent? You know that dance class you secretly wish you could take but are afraid people will find out? Well, my friend. The world is wide open and the invitation has been extended. Get a journal and keep a record. That's what I'll be doing.