Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old me, meet now me

Direct quote from my journal, February 17, 2003: "I just spent a whole entry talking about boys. I am so lame! I hope I'm the only person who ever reads these journals. But who can blame me? All my friends are getting hitched, so it's kind of a boy-focused stage of life."

Oh, ho you think the Me of Ages Past would be embarrassed to know that I just shared that with the entire world? Not much she can do about it.

There are several indicators that I have a little too much free time today (besides the glaring fact that I'm blogging at 9am), one of those being that I just read my entire journal from the years when I was 19 and 20. Those were very formative years for me--The pages are filled with stress and worry about what to study in school, where to spend my summers, how to stretch my thin income, and....boys. Boys boys boys. See my previous blog entry for more information about that trend. Reading one's former self is not a comfortable experience, if you're me. It's cringe-worthy, most of it. I have to sift through a lot of mess to get to the heart of who I was and to see if that girl is still in me. I simultaneously conclude that I have both changed completely and haven't changed at all.

And then, right in the midst of laughing and shaking my head at the things I used to say, I come across a list. In October, 9 years ago, I made a spontaneous wish list of sorts, declaring all the things I wanted and wanted to become. I still do that sort of thing today, so not much has changed there. But as I read about the deepest desires of my 20-year-old heart, I was taken back to that time of my life. I remembered what it felt like to want those things and feel like they were so far away. Pipe dreams. A wish list is just that, right? Dreams that you fling out to the universe and longingly pine for, with no expectation that even half of them will come true. I remember that feeling--the taste of  frustration at my own weaknesses, combined with a barely-containable excitement about all possibilities that lie before me. I remember that feeling because I still have it, all the time. But what's crazy about today is that I can check so many things off that list I wrote in 2002. Without knowing it, the last 10 years have brought me really close to all of the things I wanted to be. Of course there is much more work to do and infinite wish lists in my mind, but I'm amazed at how far I've come in realizing my dreams. In that entry I said "How much of that will really happen, or is even possible?" I love being able to answer that question now.

Time is a funny thing that way. I tend to wish it away, or want it to speed up to help see me through some current frustration. I found myself doing that just yesterday. I used to do that all the time--wish that I could just fast-forward a few months, a few years, or whatever. Well, it turns out that wishing away time is one wish that always comes true. I feel like I've just fast-forwarded to 2011 and am wondering where the time has gone. I feel sad about that, but also I am overwhelmed by gratitude for my life. I have been blessed with experiences that seemed like crazy dreams ("I want to go to Italy and learn Italian" or "I want to do weddings and floral design") and I've also learned through the hard things ("I don't want to work somewhere that I don't love"). Some of my dreams have changed ("I want to weigh 110 pounds") and some will never change ("I want to be an amazing, memorable writer" and "I want to be a positive influence" and "I want to be really, really good at something, like guitar or piano.") I'm glad to see that much of who I was is still who I am, and that at the very least I know I've been passionate.

I am filled with hope today. I hope that I continue to hope. My wish lists are less specific now ("I hope I'm learning what I should" and "I hope everyone feels loved by me") but no less real. And, thanks to my abundant free time today, I've learned that my wish lists are actual possibilities. Just give me another 10 years or so.


Angie said...

I remember you always writing in your journal when you were little. I think that's what started me on my journals. A little warning...don't go back and read the one's when you were 13...It's painful:o I think I only had half a brain.

Melinda said...

Great post Stef.
I think an entry from my 2002 journal would be complaining about fluroescent lights on at 6am, cheerios left in the sink daily and fish cooking for breakfast. I was super shallow..was? hope I've grown-up some, or lots too.

I love that you've seen so many of your wishes come true! You're a champ.
I hope a wish for the next 10 years is to live next door to your California.
please bless.
please bless.

DustLinz Anderson Family said...

Hi's Lindsay Anderson (Holding). Just wanted to say HI and let you to know that I stalk your blog all the time :-).
I love it! You're such an inspiring writer. You have a way of writing what a lot of us feel inside. Don't stop.
We missed you at our get together a couple weekends ago!
Hope all is well in ya...keep writing :-)!

Lohra said...

Remember how your 20 year old self and my 20 year old self probably wouldn't have gotten along very well? Thank heavens for time.