Journaling used to be an essential part of my everyday life.
I remember hopping off the bus and running straight into my bedroom because I felt overwhelmed with all the thoughts I needed to jot down from that day in school. I’ve always been a sentimental person and there are still times when I should be a little more conservative over exactly what things give meaning to but I never considered this part of me to be a problem. I can spend the next 30 days writing about the things that I want to change, erase, or exclude from everyday memory but I don’t want to commit energy to that kind of content – nor do I want to commit more energy into toxic positivity. These 30 days are for reflecting without being obscured by judgmental shade.
I stopped writing daily because I struggled with not creating “perfection.” I felt too scattered, and I convinced myself that my thoughts were nothing but anxious scribbling. My blog went silent, then social media posts became nonexistent, and eventually my journal entries were cut short because I was overwhelmed with the fear of someone finding them. As if someone would break into my house to find these pages and think “wow we broke into here for THIS?” By the way, Hi – I’m Aimee and I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. *elbow bump*
Earlier today, I was catching up with my sister over FaceTime and we both agreed that life has been really kind to us recently. We both still have our struggles, and we’re not trying to say that life isn’t throwing any curveballs, but we’re both seeing all of our hard work finally pay off. Her exact words were “everything is just falling into place.” How great is that feeling? There have been several moments throughout my life where I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t doing anything to address the underlying issues. I felt like a first draft version of myself. A disorganized pile of incoherent thoughts without any sort of pattern or plan. I’m sure 24 year-old me would disagree, but I wasn’t condemned to a life as a first draft.
First drafts are supposed to be bad because it’s essentially a space for you to throw all your ideas onto the paper just to get them out of your head. The first draft is often reminiscent of the stream of consciousness experienced before going on a first date, giving a presentation on a subject you didn’t prepare for, or during that excruciatingly long walk across the classroom to sharpen your pencil as a kid. The ideas aren’t going to be linear, some of them will simply be erased, and they won’t flow like the words from your favorite poet – but you’ll always find little nuggets of truth to expand on.
I think that’s why I’ve started to hold on to copies of my first drafts. There is something so satisfying about looking back at where you started and being able to see what it evolved into. Sometimes I’ll open up old blog posts, sad-girl poetry from my notes app, or papers from school and make minor revisions. It’s kinda like having an on-going conversation with all the different versions of yourself. On several occasions, those poems I wrote on the subway turned into full-length blog posts or they evolved into something academic to be submitted as part of a larger paper for class.
To keep up with the theme of this post, I’m leaving it as a first draft. See ya tomorrow!
By the way: thank you for the inspiration, Phil!
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“I can spend the next 30 days writing about the things that I want to change, erase, or exclude from everyday memory but I don’t want to commit energy to that kind of content – nor do I want to commit more energy into toxic positivity. These 30 days are for reflecting without being obscured by judgmental shade”, I LOVED this. I would love to read the next 29 posts, no matter what they’re about, just because of the intention you set here.
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Thank you, Carla!!