How Reading Through Old Diaries Helped Me Reconnect With Myself

Many of us kept journals or diaries when we were young. Some of us wrote daily entries like clockwork, while others only notated the major milestones in their lives.. Have you read through your old diaries, though?

I recently took time to look back at my old diaries, and the process was extremely insightful.

When I first pulled my old diary out of my closet, I didn’t know how to feel. For some reason, I panicked and paused. I took a few breaths, then found the courage to open the cover and start reading.

The words sounded so foreign; they seemed like they came from a former lifetime. Once I started reading, the first word I read was an angry “Ugh!” I wanted to close the diary right then and there… middle school must have been worse than I remembered!

Deep down, though, I knew that I should keep reading.

After all, I was reading my old diaries for fun, and the intensity of my words sucked me in. As I continued reading, the story’s tone lightened. I read about having lunch with old friends and that I liked my new teachers. Thank goodness the whole entry wasn’t negative!

One specific part of the entry made me stop and reflect. I mentioned how difficult middle school would be at times, but I needed to keep fighting and not give up. My youthful confidence shocked me. Back then, I was willing to face challenges head-on and not reason myself out of acting. Simply reading that section rekindled a fire that I had lost in my adult years.

I needed that middle school reminder to keep fighting and confidently embrace challenges!

I read about my hopes of finding a boyfriend, making new friends, and becoming popular. You know, those things every middle school girl desires.

The entry ended with a simple word: “dream.”

I spent a minute reflecting on the importance of dreams. It’s funny to think how much my middle school desires have changed over time, but knowing that I’m still fully capable of achieving anything I want.

Childhood diaries provided safety and comfort. They gave us a place to release those complex emotions that swirled around in our young, hormonal brains. As adults, we can reflect on these old stories to see how far we’ve come, reignite our youthful passions, or remember which dreams we really wanted to come true. I encourage you to take time to pull out those old journals and find your younger self again. You never know what you might discover!

Feature Image by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


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