Tag Archives: evolution

Dear Diary: A Year in Review

– Contributed by Wee C

My grandfather was a member of an old-school club. He was a diary-keeper. I’m not sure how many years he kept a diary, but I’d hazard to guess it was a practice he engaged in for nearly all of his adult life. They always looked the same – small, black, with the words ONE-YEAR DIARY pressed in gold or silver lettering on the front. He kept it beside his rocking chair in the living room; the same place he read the paper, visited with guests, and caught up on his daily rest. And I suspect all three of those things were what filled the pages. Day after day. Year after year.

The habit was one that I both admired and found baffling. I adored the simplicity of chronicling the day’s activities and the historical reference it provided. And, in fact, it’s a habit I’ve tried to form myself over the years. But I could never quite understand what he found to write about every single day; a fact which was the single stumbling block to my disgraceful, and ultimately non-existent, diary-keeping habits.

The desire to write about the evolution of life has, however, remained with me. I have never lost the intrinsic need to capture life in words, like a child catching a firefly in a jar in the hopes that its light will never burn out. For many reasons, in blogging I found the tool that allowed me to both express myself and to keep a journal of where life has taken me, what I have learned, and perhaps more importantly, what’s left to learn.

Today marks one year since my first blog post on this blog. April 24, 2010 was a milestone for me. Not because of what I wrote, but because of the journey I began and my ability to reflect on that journey today. Today, looking back through posts from the past year, I’m thankful to have adopted my grandfather’s habit of chronicling life. My methods would seem highly unorthodox and far-too-revealing for him, but the ability to reflect would no-doubt be appreciated.

After reviewing my old posts, what is abundantly clear is that worrying, fretting, working myself to death, and being all-too-high strung is so Wee C circa 2010. I read my posts from early last year and want to both hug this poor, tragic girl and give her a good shake. Gosh darn it, who was that girl? I was so busy buzzing about trying to impress the bosses, keep peace in the household, and ensure everyone (read: every.single.person.in.the.entire.world) loved me, that I completely lost myself in the process. It is so clear to me now just how inevitable a near-fatal crash was.

How was I scared to play Black Jack at the casino? Or why was staying at the party such a huge accomplishment? Going to the strip club seems like such a small hurdle now, but at one time it was one of life’s biggest milestones. And stopping long enough to meditate for ONE MEASLY HOUR seemed like I had accomplished a feat as significant as climbing to the top of Everest. In every one of these blog posts, I read the words and remember the feelings, but I simply do not know that girl any longer. She is someone I knew extraordinarily well, admired sufficiently and never, ever loved enough.

As the year progressed and I completed 30 Things, my marriage began to change and that brought a whole new perspective to how I viewed my life, my relationships and myself. In December I wrote a letter to myself five years into the future. I cried as I re-read it today. Only four months later and I’m dumbfounded by just how accurately I saw my life, despite the dark cloud of confusion hanging over it. I wrote to myself about a peace that was yet to come. Today, not five years from now, I am beginning to find it.

While today marks the one-year anniversary of my first blog post, it also marks the first holiday in 11 years that I did not celebrate with my one-time husband and that part of my dear and beloved family. Today was a series of deep breaths, each one carrying me forward to the next. It was also a day of reflection and gratitude. Wee C circa 2010 could never have made it through today with as much composure as the current version did. Keeping a “journal” helped me to see, and celebrate, that, giving me a life flotation to make it through the day.

My grandfather has been gone for several years, but it seems there are some lessons that are learned well after the original lesson has been taught. As an old farmer, he understood that keeping a diary of significant happenings allowed you to better prepare for the future. He understood that you can never get here without having been there first. Today, I finally learned what he taught me.

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With much love, Me.

– Contributed by Wee C

The Reverb 10 prompt from December 21 struck a cord with me: write a letter to your future self – you, five years from now. What advice would you give yourself in the next year to get yourself there?

Dear Wee C – you’ve always been quick to point out that much can change if you just give yourself the time you need. And boy, were you right. Five years ago, you were sitting on your sofa over the Christmas holidays feeling a little (Ok, a lot) lost, wondering what the next year would bring. You were filled with uncertainty about all areas of your life. You were feeling exposed and vulnerable, but at the same time, confident that something remarkable was on the horizon. And in the midst of all these feelings, you just kept telling yourself to be patient, to hold on, to live with expectancy, and above all, to have faith, ’cause life was about to get really interesting. You didn’t know how true that was.

Your 2010 was about reclaiming yourself. Actually, it was about getting reacquainted, learning what brought you joy and sorrow, what you were willing to give on and what you would absolutely hold your ground on. It was about learning to walk down uncertain, often dark and scary paths, in order to find the clearing on the other side. In fact, the early part of 2011 will be much the same. You should be prepared for this. But be joyful in this journey. Embrace all the tears, fears and victories, as each one has something truly remarkable to teach you. Pay attention. Write your feelings and observations down. Listen to your heart, and most importantly, your soul. Don’t waffle. Be true to the foundation you’ve built in the past year, it will serve you well in the years ahead.

You may have felt that 2010 was your most significant year to date, but I can guarantee you that 2011 will be defining. It will mark a turning point in your life. Oh, I know how you hate change, how it can make you feel as though you have lost control and everything you know is being challenged. But you must give yourself over to change. You must decide every single day, every single moment to be awake and aware, fully conscious that an evolution is occurring and that not a moment will go by that is not part of the grand plan to get you to the next destination.

Knowing you, you want to know what that destination is. What will it look like? Who will be there? Will I like it? Will I be happy? I can’t answer those questions for you. But what I can tell you is that your life, five years from now, will be more remarkable than your wildest dreams can imagine. Over the next five years, you will learn to embrace your potential. You will stop fearing your greatness and you will become it. You will stop apologizing for your very existence and you will fall in love with yourself – truly in love. You will be surrounded by friends, family and relationships that are steeped in love and joyful interactions. Joyful, Wee C, joyful. Your professional reach will be far beyond your city or your country. You will impact people around the globe. You will be constantly innovating and creating, bringing others solutions that improve their lives and yield the clarity they have been seeking.

But, more than anything, you will be peaceful. All the turmoil and angst you have allowed yourself to feel – for as long as you can remember – will be replaced by a calm bliss. You will embrace the time you spent feeling anxious, stressed and overstretched, as it will have taught you how to find peace. You will acknowledge that life is simply a series of days, strung together by your attitude and outlook on life, with each leg of the journey contributing a different coloured thread.

Wee C, I cannot stress to you enough how amazed you will be in five years time. Each year between now and then will bring you to new and greater heights. You simply need to allow it to happen. Stop meddling, controlling, and fussing and start by embracing the wonder of every single thing life has to offer. Start by hugging your husband and being grateful for his love. Start by cleaning a closet and feeling the triumph that comes from clearing out the crap and clutter. Start by curling up with a cup of tea and a smile, nothing more. Simply, start.

I can’t wait for you to catch up and join me here in the future, for you to look back on this time in your life and recognize just how far you’ve come and what you have accomplished. Buckle up, babes, this ride is about to get interesting.

With much love (more than you can possibly understand today),

Your 35-year-old self, xo

Thanks to Jenny Blake for a prompt that yielded a particularly introspective, and fulfilling post. With much appreciation.