Bringing Up the Past

After about 20 minutes of driving to get my stubborn and very tired 2-year old to sleep (#mommyproblems) I stopped at my parents house so  we both could have some peace and quiet. The great thing about most weekdays is that my parents are at work so I can come and eat their cookies and go and no one is the wiser. Well my mom usually knows because she’s a mom and well she knows

I spent some time making myself tea and idling on the interwebs until I found my old card making supplies. My mom has put them away so neatly and there was a ton of paper and stamps and general crafty type stuff that made me feel instantly creative.

As I went through the container of super organized stuff I stumbled upon some old journals of mine. You know from like 11 years ago and one from 6 years ago. Yeah. 

Of course being the sentimental freak I HAD to read them. Thankfully I knew better than to read word for word. I only flipped through but still what I found was no less disconcerting. Seeing yet again that there is a constant theme in my life of questions and inaction and that a mere 11 years ago I was grappling with the same questions and seemingly loss of confidence as I am now makes me so sad. Will I ever make any progress? 

I’ve spent years in counseling and rehashed so much from my past and I truly believe I’ve found a ton a healing though that. It makes me ask – how much more craptacular memories are there? Or is it just my perspective? 

Part of me wants to burn these books because bringing up the past is really just bad news in this case. I want to forget what I wrote. Part of me wants to hold onto them because the words and the tears and the pages are a part of me. I don’t want to bring them to my house right now – what am I going to do with them? 

Despite the slight fear of the fact that my mom could open them and read them – I’m pretty sure she hasn’t and won’t. And really if I know her like I do, even if she does read them she won’t say anything. 

I think I’m going to leave the past where it was found – at the bottom of that storage container. Because I’ve been through it already and I’m trusting that if there is something there that I need to deal with God will help me through that. And that, to me, is real progress.

– Jess 🙂


The Journal

Tonight I was looking for some things to pack next (we are moving and that’s another story altogether) I decided on a bunch of sweaters that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep, but I figured I could deal with that in the new house. 

Underneath that pile was something I’d long forgotten about. A book I had been so ashamed of that I felt the inexplicable need to hide it. And as I write those words I realize how ashamed of my own feelings I’ve been.

It was my journal.

There is no more than 20-25 pages written in it. Most in messy, can’t write fast enough to get it all out fashion. What I read tonight is nothing I haven’t re-read before. Those words were penned at a very different time in my life. I was single, in my own place for the first time, navigating career and dating and dreams and doing the dishes and the meaning of life all on one page.

I’m not sure why I’ve hid that book for so many years. There really isn’t anything too incriminating to find. 

But let me tell you this. What I found was a collections of thoughts and innermost feelings from 4-5 years ago. I in-fact read an entry I wrote 4 years ago to the day. What I found was fascinating and scary and wildly motivating. I found the words on those pages to be what I have been hearing in my head throughout the past few years. Words that I’ve felt that I didn’t know how to put to paper, but at that time I did. The same anxiety. The same stress. The same questions. The same fears. 

Yet tonight when I reread it I was able to get through the whole thing page by page. Because in the past I’d start to read an entry it would get too hard to deal with I’d get pretty upset with myself and slam the book shut and hide it again. Hoping to forget the very feelings that were inside of it. Four years later I realize that I’ve let each one of those things define me…until now. 

Tonight I read those entries looking back and feeling sorry for the girl that wrote them. Getting pissed off at hearing her say the same thing day after day never making a decision or a change. And getting even more upset that this is what my life is like today. That I haven’t gotten any farther in personal growth in the past four years. 

So I am making a change. 

I’m keeping that journal out. Heck I may even put it on the shelf for all to see. Because that my friends will be the motivation I need to move forward.

No more staying stuck.
No more being lazy.
No more letting this depression define me. 

And in four years from now I want to look back and reread a journal filled with triumph, knowing that there will be disappointment and yucky days, but that I see a pattern of forward movement in my hopes, thoughts, dreams and life. 

Big and different things are coming my way, I know it!

– Jess 🙂