History keeps whispering through my mind like a familiar song I just can't shake. The journals I discovered in my attic a few weeks ago won't let me go. Combined, they span over 24 years of my life. I think the reason I cannot put them behind me is that I realized something shocking after reading them. At 41, I am still trying to figure out exactly what I was trying to figure out at 17. Who am I and what the hell am I doing?
When I read my words from my senior year in high school, I see how scared I was of the big unknown of adulthood. I struggled with self-esteem issues, questioned if I could handle college, wondered if I would ever be happy, hoped I would fall in love with a good man...just to name a few of the biggies listed in those pages. Well, I have some of those same issues now. I see the wrinkles hinting around my lips, cringe at the stretch marks lining my hips, wonder how I can possibly start over at this age, doubt my ability to raise two children alone, wonder yet again if I will be happy down the road and question my sanity on a daily basis.
A lot of life has happened since I was that 17 year old curled up in her bedroom writing about teenage drama. In these past 24 years, I have graduated from college, traveled the world, broken my fair share of hearts, married a handsome man, tried a few careers, given birth to two children, laughed with a lot of friends, danced at some wicked rock concerts, written a half-dozen manuscripts, buried that handsome husband, held those two children together through the grief and have picked myself up from sobbing on the floor more times than I can count.
It is as if life delivered me back to the starting line for a do-over, whether or not I want one. The big hand of the Universe has rolled the dice. I need to accept that this is my second chance around the board. I need to come up with a new strategy.
Despite all of the confusion starting over brings, I know one thing for certain. Two decades from now, I do not want to read my journals from this point forward and realize how redundant I have been.
I do not believe in coincidences. I stumbled upon that box of journals for a reason. I must learn from the girl I once was about the woman I am yet to become.
So here I am back at square one, the dice have been thrown...ready, set...stop, stumble, I-am-so-not-ready-for-this...go.