I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing lately, in an attempt to be more organized. Over the weekend, I came across my old journals stashed away in a box. There are seven notebooks spanning the last 10 years of my life. I have kept these journals with me though all my moves and I’ve treasured them, but I have never ever read them after writing them. I’ve never had any interest in rehashing my previous experiences and emotions. Last night I thumbed through a few of them, just checking to see how old they were. Of course I couldn’t help but skim a few passages. It was amazing to me how quickly I became emotional. What surprised me the most was that overwhelmingly I wrote about struggling with my anxiety, which is something I still deal with today. I paged through a couple of them, then put the books away and moved on to the next box of stuff to sort through. Several minutes later, I found myself thinking “So 10 years ago I was feeling anxious and disorganized and wanting to work out more. …How is that different from now?” and I felt really bad.
I know we all struggle with not being where we thought we’d be at any given point in life. If you had told me 10 years ago that at age 33 I’d be divorced and living in Montana, I would have argued with you like crazy. But I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and I know that everything I’ve experienced has led me to where and who I am today. Do I wish I had done some things differently? Of course! But I didn’t and there’s nothing I can do about that now. I have to remind myself of that on a regular basis.
I am sure that if I read through more of my journals (which I have no intention of doing) I would see how different I am now and much I’ve grown. Honestly, I don’t know what the 23 year old me was expecting the 33 year old me to be like and I can’t even begin to imagine what life will bring in the next 10 years. What I do know is that I’m closer to my family than I was 10 years ago (physically and emotionally), I have a lot of fantastic people in my life who treat me well and love me, I’ve learned a lot of cool things like how to ski and garden and shoot a gun, and I’ve raised some very wonderful pets who have improved my quality of life greatly. Sure, I guess I wish I made more money or drove a nicer car or traveled more…but would those things really make my life better? Probably not.