One of the things that I find incredible about blogging (or keeping diaries/journals) is the ability to look back in to a "past self" --- what I was thinking, feeling, doing, obsessing about, hating, loving --- at a given time. And, I am just amazed at how much difference time can make in one's life.
Dates that didn't mean a thing before now have a different meaning. Some people I didn't even know just a year ago have become very important in my life right now. Things and events that I never would've dared to imagine have become realities.
Sure, a lot of things remain the same. And, in fact, if those moments a few months or a few years ago weren't recorded, I probably wouldn't have noticed much difference in me.
But, as I was sifting through my blog's archives (and I only kept the ones from May 2004 onwards in this blog even though I've been blogging for much longer than that), I was struck by the changes in what I was thinking and feeling in May 2006 compared to May 2004.
In May 2004, I was a new mum - and establishing myself as an "expert"/Guide in blogging (even if I was just on dial-up!). It has only been a little over a year since I moved to my new home country and I was still renting a house, so broadband was not an option yet. I only knew a handful of people "in real life" where I live. My masters thesis was still in the process of completion - and I didn't know whether I was ever going to practice psychology again. Oh, and yeah, I couldn't drive.
Offhand, my life in May 2006 seems to be pretty much the same. But, as I looked closer and remembered, I noticed some marked changes: I'm now living in my own house (with ADSL connection and a new PC). My baby has grown in to a toddler. I've become a citizen of the country I moved in to. My blogging life has grown and evolved in unexpected ways. I now hold a Masters' degree and I'm practicing in psychology again. I just got my drivers license. I know a lot more people and I've slowly developed friendships and a growing social network. My world has expanded in many ways... And, according to my husband, I've become a more confident, happier person overall.
It's almost incredible to think that all these things can happen in just a span of two years.
Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.
And now, with this post, I'm trying to exercise point #42:
Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. Thatâ€™s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.
Aren't you glad that weblogs, diaries, and journals can help us to remember?
So, next time you wonder about the use of blogging - just remind yourself that it helps you to grow. 🙂
Photo Courtesy of Oliver Ingrouille