The first I came upon were two letters I’d written, separately, to my parents about a month before my move from Cincinnati to New Jersey to pursue an acting career in the New York City market. I knew they were concerned for my safety, especially since it had not yet been one year since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In those letters I reassured them that I would be fine, that I loved them, and how much I valued their guidance and love throughout the years. I made a note to myself to ask Mom if she still had those letters. (She does.) I had totally forgotten that I had written them. The content was unsurprising because I’ve always been quite sentimental and emotionally open with those closest to me.
The second entry I read was the first one in that journal, dated February 17, 2002. It was still about six months prior to my departure and in one paragraph I’d written about what I envisioned my life to look like in 2012. Well, it is 2015 and my life little resembles that which I had hoped for or envisioned at that time. This made me stop and ask myself some questions:
- Does this disappoint me? Am I a failure?
- If not, why and what has replaced this vision?
- Where did my planned path go astray? What factors influenced the change in trajectory?
- What on that list did I accomplish?
- What not on my list has manifest in my life that is better, or merely different?
- In what ways am I happy or satisfied in my current situation? How am I not and what steps can I take to change any dissatisfaction?
Asking the above questions encouraged me to dig into the "whys" and "hows" of ending up where I am currently. Instead of feeling down about it, when reviewing what I have accomplished, the people who have shown up in my life, as well as the independence and financial well-being I now possess—which I sorely lacked thirteen years ago—reassures me that I am no failure.
Annual trips abroad commenced in 2006. Those experiences have been transformative, especially my solo trips to Paris in 2012 and this past spring to Ireland, Scotland, and England. These adventures have increased my confidence and made me more independent. I possess a self-assurance of which that woman back in February 2002 could've only dreamed.
|Edinburgh - view of Old Town from New Town|
May 3, 2015
I am single, never been married, nor do I have children. However, I do have kids in my life who are like my own, and they are precious to me. We have an excellent relationship. Adoption was always a possibility for me, even if I remained single, but as I’ve aged and have my nieces and nephews, the desire to adopt has disappeared.
The next time you read through your journals, take some time to reflect on where you've been, where you are now, and what twists and turns brought you to your current situation. It's worth exploring in order to keep moving forward, and on track; or if necessary, to change tracks. So dear reader, what are you leaping toward?