Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Old Journals

I have been re-reading old journals. Journals I started just shy of two decades ago. I should have one for every year of my life, but unfortunately, although I go through spurts of inspiration when I write once, twice, sometimes three times a day, that is not the norm. So, instead of having 16 completed volumes, I have 5.

To give myself a little bit of credit, the journal I started when I was 8 I wrote a handful of entries only to be picked up again when I was in the height of my teenage angst.

I am reminded of how thankful I am that I have a record on which to look back. While sometimes I haven't grown and matured as much as I would like to think I have, I can still see the slow process of the caterpiller becoming a butterfly. Can I fly yet? Will I ever be able to fly beyond this limited piece of space?

I remember in high school my friend Jeul and I used to ask each other, "Am I shining yet?" Have I transformed from that lump of coal into a diamond? I don't know. But, I still feel much the same way. I still feel like I'm waiting to arrive....where? And, although I've had the feeling that I'm getting closer to my destination, I'm not sure if I'll ever fully arrive when there's always so much work to be done. I look back on these old, worn pages of mis-matched journals and marvel at what my goals and dreams used to be. Some have stayed the same, but many have been left along the roadside as I reach for something farther in the distance.

For instance, I used to want to get married when I was 17 for the sole purpose of being a young grandmother. Believe it, my goal in life was to be a young grandmother. Looks like I missed that ship by seven years. I used to find my worth in men. I used to want to work for the New York Times. I used to think I would always be in love with Ben.

Things change. Attitudes and opinions transform. Sometimes the lessons life teaches us are harsh enough to mold us into the exact opposite of what we originally wanted to be. Looking back, I can see how fortunate I have been to rise, like the Phoenix, out of the ashes of broken dreams.

But then again, there are always other dreams waiting to born...

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