Reading old journals is the strangest thing. It’s hearing the voice of a ghost who used to be you, someone you left behind somewhere along the way.
Every now and then I have to go through my old notebooks. While I wish I kept beautiful, aesthetic journals with calligraphy and coloured pens and washi tape, my notebooks are a maddening mix or whatever I need to write down at any given moment — a short story, an idea for a short story, a to-do list, inner child work thoughts, random things from work, maths.
And yet, among the chaos, sometimes a familiar voice arises. It’s my voice. Or it used to be.
The person I used to be in 1st May, 2018 wrote:
I might end up dying alone but in the meantime I still have literature and afternoon walks.
Is there hope in literature?
Is there hope at all?
It’s amazing how easy it is to fool ourselves and see love even in our lover’s disdain.
I remember the woman who wrote this. I remember her fear. And she had reasons to be afraid. But that’s not me anymore. She faded sometime after she accepted that she’d never have answers to her questions, that the past is unchangeable, that all decisions are final, and that people don’t need a reason to stop loving her.
And so, life goes on, and I keep leaving more crumbles of my existence for my future self, so that she doesn’t forget who and what paved the way for her growth.
The downside of changing, even for the better, is that I’m unused to my new voice. Who is this new person coming along? What does she want to talk about? What does her voice sound like? In the process of figuring out, I’ve defaulted to my usual strategy — hiding.
You see, hiding is great. It keeps you safe and out of trouble. Nobody can attack you if they can’t see you, right?
However, hiding is counterproductive. How will I ever know what this new voice sounds like if I don’t use it? How will I find out what she likes to write about if I don’t write more often?
And so, here I am. Writing. Figuring out what this new voice is and where it’ll take me.