On this exact date, over three years ago, I arrived at university.
I can still recall the overwhelming loneliness and self-doubt. I called my sister and told her it felt as if everyone I knew and cared about had suddenly died, and I was alone in the world.
I decided that night to keep a journal (now well over 100,000 words in length) documenting my day-to-day life. It helped me to keep my sanity in check during one of the most chaotic periods of my life.
Unfortunately, the journal was consumed by toxicity. Reading the journal now, the vehement bitterness, hatred, and insecurity is stifling; truly the journal of a madman! But, although it didn’t make for good reading, it was very therapeutic to write.
I have since decided to start a new journal – the aptly titled Shattered Memories or; the Journal of a Recovering Misanthropist – that will, I sincerely hope, be different. (And, yes, that really is the name I have given my new journal. And, no, I will not be changing it).
I have given myself a remit: to do better, and to never relinquish the desire for self-improvement. Hate, both for myself and humanity, held me back for many years. I am fighting against this toxic energy, and have, for the most part, been winning.
This focus on positive change began shortly after my twentieth birthday, nearly two years ago. I have since made considerable progress, and I have yet to meet someone from the good ol’ days who doesn’t think that I’m a changed man. But it has been slow, difficult.
And that is exactly why I keep a journal: it is a record of my journey, of my progress, towards a better future.