I always thought that it would be nice to read my old diaries after some time had passed. Reading what I had written years ago would be like meeting my old self and watching how much I have grown. Sometimes I wish I started to write a journal earlier and also keep it.
One day I thought of reading my first diary. I didn’t really remember the exact year, but I knew that I started journaling in my last year of college.
I don’t know why I wanted to go through it, but somehow I got curious about myself at that time. Was I more daring? Or maybe less confident than now? What did I like at that time? And what I used to think about? Thankfully, there are notes of what I used to do and worry about in my diary. And these days, I am going back to it like I would do with old archives.
My first diary that still exists today dates from January 14th, 2017. When I think about it, it’s quite a long time. I wrote it in Korean in an attempt to improve my Korean writing skills, but also because it felt the most secure language as I was living in a room of five at that time.
The first thing I could observe were my language skills. My Korean at that time was quite poor, and therefore my ideas were formulated in a short structure with basic grammar and vocabulary. I am sure I could have written a lot better and more complex about my life at that time if I wrote in English, for example, but this also shows the efforts I made and the worries I had about advancing in Korean.
I started writing this diary in my last year of college, when I also had to write my research paper. There was a lot of stress and I can remember how stressed I was even without reading my diary. It’s somehow strange that I rediscover myself as a student, a younger version of myself for whom studying was the biggest priority.
Some things didn’t change even if 5 years passed. I read a page where I was talking about how much music and Kdramas helped me to cope with all the stress and kept me motivated. It is the same even after 5 years.
While reading my diary I remembered about certain people I lived with, sometimes I described the atmosphere in the room, I remembered the people I became strangers with because of the time spent apart and different lifestyles. I talked about friends who are still my friends today and we became closer after all these years.
When I read about interesting or new things I did some days, it was so nice to visualize and remember the emotions, the places and the people I enjoyed spending my time with, I visualized the events that were left somewhere behind all the day to day worries.
As a conclusion, I think keeping a diary is a great way to keep a track of one’s progress and I find it also healing, helping to relieve stress and cope with anxieties. However, I think that going back to reading it it’s the best way to see if it helps, to check for improvements or even to get in touch with old memories. It is all written in “the book”.
Thank you for reading and happy journaling.