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Back in eighth grade, I started writing in what I call my “emo journal.” It’s a journal that I write in when things are just too unbearable to handle and I have to write it out. As I’ve gotten older, the entries aren’t just distraught but also positive which I’m so happy about. I still don’t write in it all the time, just when the timing seems right—and I have the time. I was looking back at the entries I wrote and one specific day caught my eye. 

On January 30th, 2019, I made the active decision to keep my life secretive. I had written it into existence that I would no longer disclose information about my life to anyone else. I would write the words down and leave them in my emo journal, never to see the light of day again. 

I’ve always seen myself as a relatively private person because I feel uncomfortable sharing intimate details of my life with other people. That being said, a major reason I had made this active decision was because I felt that no one truly cared about what I had to say about myself. 

I think it’s interesting that I stumbled upon this entry a little over 3 years later. It’s interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t. I’m still not comfortable sharing details with my life, but a part of me also feels that I also inappropriately dump details of my life onto certain people. I was also PMSing when I made this resolution—a detail I found out by checking my private story archive. Details like this are interesting to look back upon because these irrational feelings are almost always rooted from somewhere. Thinking back to when I hit my lowest lows correlates with my menstrual cycle can explain so much, but also isn’t completely accurate all the time. 

In that time period of my life, I was going through a rough patch with my mental and physical health. I was focusing on strengthening myself mentally and physically but I guess doing it independently was the only way I thought I could do it. 

There’s also this sense of not wanting to admit how I truly feel. There’s a sense of shame of what I let hurt me as if being sad is not a completely valid feeling. 

A part of me wants to tell my younger self that “it gets better” and “you’ll find your people” but those clichés usually don’t resonate with someone that’s going through a rough patch. While those statements are true, and they will be for everyone, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re surrounded by darkness.

A lesson that I want to share with younger me, present me, and anyone who needs to hear it, is it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to let yourself feel and express that to those who are around you. If the people around you don’t acknowledge and make it apparent that they care, then they aren’t the right people for you. That doesn’t make them bad people, it just means that it’s not meant to be. 

Also, give people a chance to show you that they care. If you never tell people how you feel, you’re never going to know how they react. People are not mind readers and communication is so important. Letting sadness and resentment build is only a recipe for disaster and can tarnish an otherwise successful relationship. 

I’ve found people that I can share my life with and I’ve even improved my relationships with some of the most important people in my life. I’m proud of the person that I’ve become and am continuing to become and the relationships that I have built. 

Sometimes, I can still get in my ruts and I neglect to share details but growth is an active journey. Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward. It’s an active battle and I’m always working on improving myself. I share when I feel that it’s appropriate and I don’t force myself to share in a way that makes me uncomfortable—sadly, something that I’ve also done when trying to improve. But I’ve learned! It’s an everyday thing and it’s okay to take it one day at a time. Some days I’m more comfortable and others I want to completely isolate myself but it’s all just part of the journey we call life. And I’ve got a good one.

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