Last week I found a box full of memories.
The clear out continues, and more treasure is coming to light. This week I found an old journal. To be honest, I don’t really keep a journal. However, when I went through a fairly dark, transitional journey in my own life, a dear friend recommended that I write down my thoughts, and gave me a lovely notebook in which to do so.
There aren’t a lot of entries, but each one is like a punch to the stomach. Oh, not because they are nasty or violent – in fact, there’s a lot of love in them, for my daughter, for my husband, even for myself. I muse a lot about the idea of moving back to England, even going so far as to say I was ‘putting it out in the Universe.’ Sitting here in the UK, almost ten years later, I can only marvel. No, the entries hit me hard because they are a written record of a time in my life when I was peeling back the layers of who I’d become, to find who I was again.
That probably sounds a little dramatic, but change can come upon us in a variety of ways, and sometimes the layers of expectation and self-preservation can build up, like pearl accretions inside a pink shell. However, instead of ending up as a perfect round pearl, you become something rather misshapen, a distortion of who you really are.
This had happened to me, and I didn’t really realise it until I’d had my daughter and challenged myself with the thought of who I wanted to be for her. And I realised I had lost my way. There is a passage in one entry which reads as follows:
‘I realised that I had reached the end, that I had nothing more to give to the way I was living and so it was time to make changes and move in the direction of who I want to be.’
Yes, that’s a bit of a long sentence, I know. However, it struck me as being very profound. I do believe that the key to making change is to recognise the need for change, and here was the moment where I had done so.
There were a couple of loose pieces of paper in the front of the journal, one of which was a printed out quote given to me by the same dear friend. It reads:
‘Whatever you have forgotten, you can remember. Whatever you have buried, you can unearth. If you are willing to look deep into your own nature, if you are willing to peel away the layers of not-self you have adopted in making your way through the tribulations of life, you will find that your true self is not as far removed as you think.’ Meredith Jordan
Even though I’m still peeling away, I can look back and see how far I’ve come. And that is truly to be treasured.