From an early age I was terrible at finishing travel journals. From my first international trip to my last trip abroad I have always have been required, or have wanted to document my experiences through journal writing.
Unfortunately, none of these journals have ever been completed. Whether it’s the last month or couple of days before the trip ends, the pages stay blank.
I love new and exciting experiences, but I’ve always have hated the feeling after, the withdrawal. It’s more than just reverse culture shock, it’s the feeling that if I complete the journal, then the experience is complete, and I can never feel that same way again.
In the past, happiness has been an extremely difficult and complex emotion for me. The higher the high, the bigger the crash into a downward spiral. Not finishing those journals was a way of clinging onto the happiness I had found. I could pretend that nothing had changed, and I was still in the moment of happiness.
Through lots of self exploration and therapy, I’ve accepted that holding on to a moment doesn’t preserve your happiness, moving forward does. Change is happening all of the time, and grasping on to the past does nothing to prevent it, and makes me more miserable.
Different circumstances in the present and future don’t negate the happiness of the past. The fact that my brother and sister are moving across the country doesn’t change who we are to each other. The fact that disease is most likely going to prevent our annual trip doesn’t change my passion for my organization.
Sometimes I wish that world would stand still, but then I remember that its constant revolution and rotation has given me amazing opportunities and changes that I didn’t even know I needed.
I will probably be never good at finishing journals. There will probably always be that piece of me that wants to believe it’s not over and nothing is changed. But I now know that that my happiness lies in acknowledging the past, but moving forward towards the next big adventure.