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I’m not a confident person. I’m doubtful, insecure, and scared. Writing is one way for me to process this, yet, that journey hasn’t been easy either. 

Over the past year or so, I’ve been putting journaling to the side. Freshman year, I would write every other day, if not every day. I loved the ritual of journaling, whether it was done at the beginning or end of the day. I don’t know what happened, but along the way, it became a chore, another item on my to-do list to cross out, rather than a time for self-care and reflection. 

Despite this loss of motivation, whenever I felt nervous or scared I still had an urge to write. At the same time, if I wasn’t exhausted or lazy, I found I was preventing myself from writing. Instead, I would try to mentally process what I was feeling. Most of the time that didn’t help. 

Recently, I’m finding my way back to journaling. At times I do fall off the wagon, but I’m getting back into the habit and seeing it as me-time again; a time to release all my feelings, good and bad. 

This started one night when my head and heart were weighing heavy on me. After writing a prompt for class, I found myself thinking about the prompt and what I wrote. I couldn’t shake this off. When I was in my room, I took my journal and pen and let my thoughts flow on the page. As I wrote down my thoughts and tears were falling down my face, I realized that some of my fears and worries stemmed from my childhood insecurities. The way it presented itself may have been different, but the emotions and underlying reasons for those fears were the same. 

To come face to face with this reality broke my heart; the truth hurts. Simultaneously, I know I needed to hear, see, and learn this about myself. To see that all these hidden emotions that I had tucked and believed that I moved on from were hindering me from moving forward and growing. 

Maybe I knew this all along and hid it so that I may move on from the past. Maybe I did this because I knew I didn’t want to hear it clearly. 

However, now that I think about this I ask myself: “why did I think I could move on when I never confronted myself about these emotions? How can I let go when I don’t even recognize or at the very least acknowledge that I’m carrying all this emotional baggage, internalizing it and that my emotions are boiling over when I’m overwhelmed by a situation or scared of the unknown? Why do I allow myself to listen to all my insecurities? Why am I not kinder to myself?”

For me, I’m relearning that writing is the best way for me to process my emotions, especially when it comes to doubting myself. It’s relieving to release the baggage at the moment, process it, and attempt to understand and learn from it. I find solace in it. I always have and just forget, especially when I’m caught up in my own head. 

To say that I’m overcoming this and succeeding is far from the truth. I’m not sure if I will ever overcome this, but I know this is a process that can help me feel and be better. I’m hopeful that I will learn from this so that I can create and build healthy ways to deal with all my emotions and thoughts. There will be days that are great and days that are bad; it’s completely normal. These emotions may stay with me forever, and I think they probably will, but at least I’ll handle them better than I am now because I will understand myself more. Not everything has to be bright and joyful. 

It’s all about progress and processing everything at your own pace. After you reach one goal, you create another. It never ends. 

Belle Tan

Emerson '23

Belle Tan is a junior at Emerson College majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Publishing and Music History and Culture. During her free time, she enjoys playing the flute, singing, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
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