Recently I have diving into my memories in a big way: trying to come to terms with some, reclaiming others, uncovering ones, which had slipped into the depths of my mind, hiding from me. There is a lot of my past, which I am still dealing with, those memories (often still open wounds) are nearly as fresh as the days the injuries occurred. I am used to reliving them when they jump out to taunt me. However, whilst doing this memory work through Finding Your Voice, I am realising that there are many positive memories, which haven’t seen the light of day for a long time, which I had totally forgotten about, not being able to access them because of the dominating negativity. So when the first flash of a happy memory occurred, I began to wonder if there were more such moments. I dug out my box of old diaries and began to read the one belonging to the sixteen year old me. Oh my goodness, that diary was one of such celebration, such a thirst for life, sprinkled with eagerness, the need to learn and full to the brim with connection. Of course it contained pages of insecurities, especially of loneliness and helplessness, but these were not dominant, they were just there, being dealt with- the treasures of life were in the forefront. I was eager to record each new experience; each new song or poem or book or television series, pages and pages of friendship declarations and snippets of magazine articles that captured my imagination. Sixteen year old Milena has a lot to teach me.
I looked into the diaries of recent years, all written in one colour, no pictures, a few recordings of memorable occasions but no zest for the every day. Instead such seriousness and a lot of the trials of adulthood, a lot of over thinking and over analysing. The insecurities and worries weighed so heavily. I know life changes, I know I can’t avoid the adult everyday life, but surely there is much more to my diary writing. I longed to read sixteen year old Milena’s diary, it filled me with warmth. I didn’t have any such feeling looking at the adult Milena’s writing. I don’t need to step back into time nor linger too much in nostalgia, but I do need to reclaim that spirit, that connection to life, that dealing with hard stuff and moving on to celebrate the goodness. So I have made myself a promise, from now on I shall write in different colours, I shall cut and stick, I shall make sure that those lovely times get fully recorded. I won’t ignore the bad times because writing them down is therapy for me, I need to write in order to understand myself and others, but I will make more of a concerted effort to move on because life goes on, as Noah and the Whale so brilliantly sing.
Something else I realised when reading those early diaries was that my core passions haven’t changed all that much, I have added to them but a lot of the same simple pleasures still make my heart sing. I looked at the front covers and remembered just how much of a stationary addiction I had then, how much pleasure I took into choosing new journals, new pens and so forth. So you know what, I treated myself to a stationary splurge on the simply amazing Papernation website. My parcel arrived yesterday and I was in heaven. Honestly, I couldn’t stop smiling at those pretty items, ready to make them mine. The photo at the beginning of this piece is of a part of that order. I realised that I deny myself so much; because of money issues, because I deem other things more important to invest in. But stationary makes me so happy! Lesson learned.
Then I read about my experiences in Germany during the many summer holidays I spent there, and the sights and smells and tastes came flooding back. I don’t make an effort to purchase German food, but why not if the sheer thought of Milchschnitten ( the lightest honey based biscuit filled with a light cream filling), a supply of which my Omi always kept in her fridge, ready for me to snaffle, makes me smile. With the wonders of the internet I could fulfill this wish easily, with a few clicks I placed an order with the German Deli. It has just arrived and I feel excited! It does all sound like a bit of retail therapy but I promise you it isn’t, it is reclaiming good and honest joy. In those moments I do feel like a joy warrior.
(My very talented friend Lis of Dandelion Seeds and Dreams sent me this card)