There’s an old journal that I keep in a drawer, at the bottom of my bookcase, underneath other books, papers, photographs and random tat. It’s a rich blue journal, with a gold ribbon inside, thick quality pages (you know the kind that just feel wonderful?) and an image of a flower embossed on the front.
It’s only half full. It has some old train tickets stuck inside, notes scrawled throughout; some dated, some not. It has a photograph or two, and a whole load of doodles in a range of pens (I never use pencils).
It’s a book full of misery, it only tells tales of woe. It speaks words of shame and desperation, etched throughout the pages like a deep and painful scar. Deep and raw emotion scream out on the page, half told stories, cries of worry and sentences that never end.
This book is a token from the worst year of my life.
It’s one of the only things from 2010 that tells so truthfully how I felt, and the things I thought. I could so easily throw this book away and try to forget the pain I went through. Maybe I would forget the worst details, maybe the edges would be slightly blurred in my mind. Maybe in time I’d be able to alter how I remember things, lie to myself slightly, tell myself it wasn’t that bad. That I wasn’t that bad. The temptation is certainly there. Every time I move, or decide to tidy up the drawers and have a clear out; the temptation is always there.
So why don’t I?
I think the biggest reason for keeping such a prominent reminder of a bad time, is that after the initial sadness has passed, I always feel immensely grateful. I feel so elated that I’m no longer that person, no longer feeling the way I did. I feel overjoyed that I’m no longer by the side of someone who caused me so much pain, I feel thankful that the worst parts of the grief are gone, and I feel relieved to know that I don’t wake up each day feeling empty.
It makes me feel deep gratitude for the life I now have, and I don’t want to forget how lucky I am now. It’s only because of the bad that we can truly appreciate the good.
There are many things that contributed to this amazing life I now lead; help from my family, meeting someone who I honestly believe is my soul mate, making new friends and chasing my dreams. However I think the biggest change came from starting this blog. Thanks to this blog, I have been able to quit a job I wasn’t happy in, I have been able to write and share my thoughts with people all over the world, I’ve met amazing people I wouldn’t have otherwise, I’ve managed to work with brands I admire, and I’ve managed to make the most of my creative side.
However the biggest thanks is all to you guys, the ones who visit and read this blog. The ones who make it worthwhile for me to hit publish, the ones who leave me comments, the ones who support every new project I take on, the ones who send messages of encouragement when I need it most. You are the reason that my life in 2016 is very different to the one I had in 2010. You guys probably wouldn’t recognise the negative, pitiful person I was then. It’s thanks to you I feel happy, challenged, encouraged and supported.
It might seem silly to outsiders, but I can honestly say that having you guys read my words is changing my life.
Thank you so much, I promise you I really do appreciate it. I can never say it enough, you are wonderful.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I think I’ll keep that old journal, even if it is a little painful. It
reminds me how far I’ve come, and reminds me to stay hopeful.
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