Looking Back and Moving Forward

Diaries are funny things, aren’t they? Although I’ve written notes in many journals over the years, I’ve only kept four year-long diaries: 1987, 2000, 2001 and 2002.  The first was taken up with complaints about school, my boyfriend and my parents (sorry Mum and Dad!) and the others were mainly concerned about my unfulfilling day-job, my marriage, my desire to have a baby and our many trips to Frankie and Benny’s!

I don’t often look at these epic tomes, but when I do I always have a chuckle at the crazy complaints that occupied my time, and often find out something I’d long-since forgotten about. I normally only read a few pages before the old me drives the new me to insanity. (Reading about how I cried on the stairs for two hours because I had a disagreement with my husband is not my idea of fun. How did I have time for such nonsense?!) However, occasionally I find myself reading a larger chunk, and before I know it I’ve slipped back into the world of my unhappy day-job, co-worker politics, pet problems (I had at least five pet babies at any given time) and arguments with my husband over inane matters that were frankly ridiculous.

The events that happened in these diaries, seem like a lifetime ago. In fact I’d say that some of the entries feel as though they belong to somebody else’s life. However, one thing comes across in all three of the later ones (2000-2002) and that is how unhappy and unfulfilled my life was then. One entry makes note of the fact that all I do is wake up, go to work, come home, worry about my writing and go to bed.  Judging by how boring my diary was, I see no reason to doubt it!

It’s strange reading how miserable I was back then, how alone I felt and how a career in writing felt so out-of-my-grasp. However, it doesn’t make me sad to read these things. If anything it makes me feel more reflective, inspired and happy that finally my dreams came true. It took many years and thousands of tears, but I finally had a baby, was able to give up my day-job and live to see my books published and translated into various different languages. I will forever be thankful.

Shortly after Christmas, my longed-for daughter turned fourteen, and this year sees the publication of my tenth and eleventh books. I am happy in my skin, I have a wonderful family and live in a home I love. I am so grateful for everything I have in my life and I would change absolutely nothing about those years of struggling. It is that struggle and pain that make my career and my life such a pleasure for me now. If all my dreams had come true at the start of my journey, I would no-doubt be complacent and possibly even nonchalant about it all. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go and many more adventures and roads to travel, but I am on the right track. Finally.

Over the years, I have questioned the use of keeping a diary, but now I think it is to show us how far we have come. If we can learn from our mistakes and be grateful for everything we’ve received and achieved over the years, then it can only be a good thing. That said, while I’ll continue to jot down the occasional note in my new diary, I doubt I’ll ever keep a full, year-long one again. I don’t have enough complaints for one thing, and probably not enough energy either! 🙂

Here is a photo of me around the time I wrote my diaries… I’m in my old place or work, dreaming, scheming and above all hoping!

Dreams come true!

Until next time,

Michelle x

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