I was thinking tonight on the drive home from work how much I’ve changed over the past few years.
In particular, the past six months of consistent journaling have seen me reconnect with myself. This is a strange thing to say, but it’s true.
I feel more like myself than I have in a long time – possibly ever.
It’s like I was going through the motions, feeling like my life was a little off, not quite what I wanted – but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that was wrong.
Now I know what was wrong. I was afraid (there’s that word again!). Afraid to listen to the little voice inside me – that’s when I could hear it – and afraid to make the changes I so craved to make.
I was afraid of failure, of what people would think, of having regrets, of not doing what I ‘should’ do.
And you know what? Fuck it. Life is too damn short.
I’m not afraid anymore.
The world is mine for the taking. I’m leaving behind the things that make me unhappy, the fears that people will judge me, or that I will make a mistake.
I’m creating an unconventional and exceptional life. I’m building a tiny house. I’m starting my own creative business so that I can work for myself, helping others and doing work I love. I’m creating regularly. I’ve quit dieting. These are just the first few steps towards a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.
Here is possibly my most favourite poem, ever. It summarises my journey, and I’m sure, the journey of many others.
‘The Journey’ by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – –
determined to save
the only life you could save.
What is your journey? Can you describe it in a few sentences or paragraphs or a poem? If you’re stuck, try to write it in the second person as Oliver has done in her poem.
How have you changed?
Is there a journey you would like to take (either metaphorical or literal)? What is stopping you?
Do you feel like yourself? If so, how do you know? If not, why not?