In Praise Of Writing To Yourself

how to write a diary

Today whilst sorting through old emails (all 1469 of them. Never again.) I came across one that I’d sent to myself in July 2016. It read:

‘this is your life, this is the only life that you get to live and you have to live that for yourself and not everyone’s going to agree with who you are and not everyone is going to agree with all of your decisions but you just have to be comfortable and OK and happy with the decisions that you make and who you are as a person and you should celebrate that, any difference that you have, whether it be your cultural background or your religion or your sexual orientation you have to find love in yourself first.’

Nothing else, just that.

It was written at 5:20 AM, so I was either off my tits or was so enthralled with existentialism that I forgot how to use grammar.

I don’t remember writing it, where I was, or what had compelled me to type it, but I obviously felt so full of feeling that this continuous stream of thought leapt from my fingers and into my inbox. Maybe it’s because I was reading a lot of Liz Gilbert types whilst I was travelling at the time, or maybe it was a quote from someone or something that made me think ‘yes, I must write this down now’.

I felt almost haunted after I saw it.

It was like reading a secret message from a sage spirit, passing their wisdom onto me. But it was me, my past self, a latter day ghost. A ‘me’ that knew I would be feeling how I was in that moment again and thought I’d need some words of encouragement when that time came, so I sent it to myself in the hope I’d once again read those words. I didn’t even recognise the person that had wrote it, but at the same time I gave a mini fist-pump in my head with pride for the person who was feeling like this.

And it still resonates. Only yesterday I was thinking to myself that I need to stop worrying what people think about me and just learn to love myself a bit more, however hard that may be. The bit that manages to actually have some punctuation, the ‘celebrate that, any difference that you have,’ is actually the basis for this entire blog.

It was a weirdly prescient revelation. As though this blog, and my thoughts behind it, had been brewing all of those months ago.

We tend to forget certain emotions or strings of thought at times. Ok, all the time. It’s not something we can always recall easily or even want to remember. But the person that I see through those lines was scared. They wanted so badly for myself to get the message that they had to type it out in a bid that it would sink in somehow.

This is probably why keeping a diary is on the up amongst our age group. We’re so busy moving 100 lightyears an hour that we have to stop and slow and remind ourselves of what we’ve done, what’s important and what we will do.

But how many of us write messages like this? I certainly don’t. And not in this format, or medium. It was lovely to read. It made me feel like my past tense had found me, given me this little note, embraced me in a warm hug and trotted off to or whatever ghost’s of travelling past do with themselves.

So if you’re about to write in your diary, or if you have five minutes, don’t write about the what’s and the when’s but give a little message a go. A word of motivation, a saying you’ve heard that day, however you’re really feeling right at that moment. Because even if your future self finds it and doesn’t necessarily agree, they’ll think back to the time when it was you spewing your emotional guts out and know you’ve grown.

Download an app to schedule messages like SMS scheduler. Write something meaningful, thought-provoking or funny. Set it to pop up in a years time. Forget about it. Repeat.

After a particularly lethargic day, this little email to myself gave me the kick up the bum I needed to do some things I’ve been meaning to tick off my always topped-up list of life things to get done. And it was all because of me.

It might not seem like much now, but it will mean a lot to yourself.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *