Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Journal, New Season

Thoughts on new journals and the seasons of life from Young Yankee Lady.

This week, I cracked open a brand new journal. It's journal #5.

Journal #1 had cats on it and was stolen from my grandmother. It was very much a little girl's diary, filled with bad handwriting and what I did that day lots of KEEP OUTS!!!! in big letters.

Journal #2 was Tinker Bell themed and bought at Disney World. I used it from roughly 3rd grade through 7th, and it's the first journal I wrote consistently in.

Journal #3 was hot pink, but I loved it anyways. It carried me through a huge transition in freshman year, to finally settling in to a great place in junior year. But the Gillian in it sounds so naive when I read it now, even though I was writing in it this time last year.

Journal #4, my most recent and most treasured. It's the first journal I did everything in, rather than switching out for different types of things like I used to. It holds weekly to-do lists, shopping lists, four-page-long tributes to love, and lots (and lots and lots) of, "I need to pull myself together"s.

It's sat on the boards of many different rinks. Bounced in my purse at work. Been stuffed in a duffle bag at Nationals and TC and Missouri. I started it on November 14, 2014. It only took me 8 months and 19 days to fill it.

But having it for such a short time really high-lights how much has changed since last year. Senior year brought a lot of unexpected things. Some were good, some were bad, but I've learned more about myself in the past 8 months than I have in a while.

Last year, I didn't know if I'd been placed on a team.
Last year, I still felt awkward at work.
Last year, I hadn't been kissed.
Last year, I hadn't landed an axel.
Last year, I couldn't navigate the highway by myself.

A lot happens in a year.

I have a theory about the seasons of life. I feel like we go through a season of striving and struggling, of trying to just to make things work and find rhythm and make progress. And we find it, eventually! And start a new season, where we bask in the sunshine and our work, school, or training flows and we easily make progress in this comfortable spot we've found.

And then, things collapse. Nothing works anymore, and we have to start climbing again to figure out where we need to be. And while that climb is uncomfortable, it's where the growth happens. When we've grown all we can for a time, we're allowed to plateau and rest (and things are easy). Then, when we've started to rest too long, we're thrown again into the struggle so we can grow again.

I don't know if anyone else finds this to be true with them, but to me, it's very comforting. Since the start of the year, I'd say I've been in a climb. I've questioned a lot of things I've never questioned before, gotten off-track, and had trouble thinking clearly about anything.

But I think I'm coming out of it, and I can't wait to fill Journal #5 with a new season. A season of exploring, pushing boundaries, and trying new things. A season of learning to be a better friend, and reaching out more. A season of independence and crossed off goals. And, hopefully, a season of hope, finding rhythm, and making progress.

Happy Tuesday! xoxo


  1. You made me nostalgic for my own journals! I started journaling when I was 7, with a journal my Grandpa gave me for my birthday, and my first journal sounds very much like, "We ate green beans and chicken for dinner today. The End."
    They are such a good way to record growth and change--As I've re-read my teen journals I have found so many funny little happenings that I would have completely forgotten about, had I not written them down.
    I stopped journaling pretty abruptly when I got married, and never started back again. I'm not really sure why...

    1. haha, too true about the green beans! It definitely is a great way to reflect on change, there are so many little things that we don't usually notice.

    2. haha, too true about the green beans! It definitely is a great way to reflect on change, there are so many little things that we don't usually notice.