I’ve been journalling for years. If I recall correctly, I’ve been journalling since I was in high school.
There are a few long periods that I’ve not taken down my thoughts and feelings but since the beginning of 2016, I’ve put quite a lot of moments down into words. I’m glad I did. I’m very much still me but have grown so much too. I feel proud of the 2022 me that is emerging.
I don’t recall exactly what led me to re-visiting the entries from 2016, but it was following a conversation I had on the phone with a friend from interstate. That, and recently watching the Netflix Special on Viola Davis and Oprah Winfrey. I’ve always regarded Viola as an exceptional actor and she rightly deserves all the fame and success. She grew up in poverty so just overcoming all that struggle is a remarkable feat.
You’re going to see all the things that cause you pain. You’re going to see you. And then you hope that you know, when you meet that self that you no longer want to be. You have two choices at that point – you can just stay there and be swallowed, or you can move. I choose to move onViola Davis
What surprised me though was how she felt about the fame and success she’s achieved, and feelings exacerbated by the recent pandemic. She described how she thought that everything would make sense once she attained success. I’ll stop here and not say too much more about the show except that it was very inspiring, especially for a struggling postgraduate student. Again, this made me reflect on how critical it is that we find our own measures of personal success. What makes your life meaningful?
How do we come to terms with the fact that life can blindside us in an instant? When the unthinkable does happen, what comes next? How does a person go on? And once we truly understand that we are not exceptional, but are instead as vulnerable as the next person, what does that tell us about how we should live? To me, paying close attention to these kinds of tragedies felt like staring at the sun. It scared me to do it, yet I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t look awayLeigh Sales, "Any Ordinary Day"