Personal Growth

Every morning I wake up, grab my journal from under the bed, turn to one side, and begin writing. I always wonder if my wife Dana is curious about what I am writing. I know I would be.

Out of the blue last Saturday morning, with 144 consecutive journal entries logged, Dana asked me if I would read one for her. My suspicion was correct, but it still caught me off guard. Initially, I was hesitant to oblige. The writing in my journal was not for an audience, but hey, I had nothing to hide.

I read Dana an entry from March. It was the first time since I began journaling that I turned back the pages. It was fascinating to read aloud what was on my mind even just a month ago. In the end, I am grateful for Dana's interest; it was a welcome reminder of why I started journaling in the first place.

While I write in my journal to reflect on the previous day and acknowledge how I feel heading into the next one, I see it as a long-term initiative. Years from now, I love the idea that I can tap into my former thoughts, motivations, and challenges. What was going on in my life? What has changed? In what ways have I grown?

Today, when I stumble upon old photos, I wonder what was on my mind. On any ordinary day, and during pivotal high and low moments in my life. Some good memories that come to mind are performing original music for the first time at my 8th grade talent show, winning Amateur Night at the Apollo, landing my first job in New York City, my first date with Dana then proposing/getting married.

Although I may not be able to revisit these past moments in the way that I would like, I look forward to capturing all that the future has to offer.

I have adjusted the structure of my journal entries a few times since I started. At the moment, here is what it looks like:

Day, Date, Time, Location

Yesterday was [sum up the day in a few words].

  1. Three thoughts, ideas, or events
  2. that stand out
  3. from the day before.

Today: TFWEG

I created TFWEG as an easy, repeatable way to recognize my general sentiment going into the new day.

  • Thinking: Any thought circling about.
  • Feeling: What is my current state of mind?
  • Wondering: Any question or future I am currently pondering.
  • Excited for or about: What has me smiling?
  • Grateful for: Anything goes, from a pleasant experience to a gesture from a loved one to a good meal.


Related: BL&T No. 033: Engaging With Our Inner Voice

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