Finding My Voice: It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally journaling consistently again.
My parents presented me with one of my old journals that they’d found in their things recently. It turned out to be my very oldest journal ever. I started it at the age of 8, in second grade.
Journaling has always been cathartic. Recording my secret thoughts for posterity has at times felt self-indulgent, but now it is an integral part of my self-care process. Nowadays, I am as likely to write in my offline journal on my computer as I am to open up a physical book journal and write using pen and paper. But it is still good stuff.
Much of my journaling in high school and college revolved around relationship difficulties and dramas. Much of that drama was because I was not investing myself as deeply in my work and studies as I should have been. So much of that drama was self-imposed because I refused to establish healthy boundaries for myself.
Finding My Voice: Blogging
I’ve been avoiding journaling, or even blogging for that matter, for a couple of years now. I still love blogs—I have several that I read—and I love the idea of keeping a blog. But I spent much of 2022 so angry I was paralyzed. In early 2023, I wasn’t in a good place mentally. Now that things are more stable, it’s okay to write again. However, the momentum hasn’t come easily, and the habit is just not there.
I am determined to work toward finding my voice. And right now, I know I am succeeding.
Making Peace with the Past
Part of what is helping me in finding my voice is making a sort of peace with the past. My psyche loves to hang onto so much baggage in unhealthy ways.
I am realizing that the reality is that I have had unhealthy boundaries for the majority of my life. It can be true that I can love people, and those people can have no place in my current reality, or me in theirs. I can invest myself fully in my husband and children and still love the people from my past, from afar.
I’ve spent so much of my life heartbroken and pining away over things, some of which were beyond my control, but some of which I should have long since written out of my life. For example, I spent a decade trying to be a friend to an ex who didn’t want me in his life, and I should have realized that far sooner than I did.
People are complex creatures, and while I am finding my voice, I am realizing that some of the things that attracted me to people who are not good for me are actually good qualities. Qualities that I was attracted to because I want to cultivate them in myself. And I can do that even now, without those people being a current part of my life.
Finding My Voice: Putting Down the Camera
I love photography and will always love photography. I will always be a photographer, and at this point, I feel like I am a pretty decent photographer. But part of this introspective period has meant putting down the camera for a bit and finding my voice in other ways. I have been journaling, but I have also been crocheting and knitting. I hope to have a blanket made pretty soon.
My photography business is currently relying on organic traffic and word-of-mouth for business, and I am coming to terms with the fact that business will come whether I pour money into social media and search engine advertising or not. The studio has been on hold; I haven’t worked in it at all since the last time I wrote here. However, I did have a session in the studio and I have learned that I love having the garage as that space. It is time to invest some more energy into the studio project.
I guess that is really all I have for now.