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Life Always Sorts Itself Out

Life Always Sorts Itself out

Lessons from reading my journal cover to cover

January 3, 2021

Going through my old journal, the one I have been writing in since 2018, was a surprisingly profound experience. As I read through each page, I watched my younger self tackle each situation I have been through in the past three years. Each passage teleported me back into the exact moment that was unfolding, but this time I knew how everything would play out.

It was a strange feeling knowing that everything would be okay as I read my own worrying thoughts about how things would play out. I felt a mixture of pride, nostalgia, and a sense of wonder as I watched myself slowly grow into the person I am today. Some passages seemed so neurotic and poorly written that I was embarrassed that I ever wrote them. Yet others were beautiful and surprised me with the depth of what I had written.

The biggest takeaway from this whole experience was that my life always sorted itself out in one way or another. No matter how much I was worried about an upcoming event or deadline, that day always came and it always passed. I always made it through.

This takeaway may sound obvious but how many times in our lives do we feel like the world is ending? It’s easy to zoom in on our specific circumstances so much that every issue and problem seems insurmountable. Each setback becomes a mountain to climb, an impossible hurdle to jump over. And yet we always make it through.

When you are feeling down, look up

If we know that life’s obstacles will be handled in one way or another, what’s the point of worrying about the future? This was the question that came to me as I read the final pages of my journal. I realized that all my worrying was useless because the simple fact that I was sitting here now, was proof that I survived.

Not only did I survive but I filled my head with new ideas, learned new skills, traveled the world, fell in love, endured sadness, and embraced joy. Looking back on the past three years of my life, I am proud of how much I grew as a person.

I came across the following passage that I had written about how to deal with worry and anxiety:

Whenever the world is feeling heavy, and the air is getting too thick to breathe, go outside at night and gaze up at the stars. Feel small and revel in your insignificance. Any problem you are facing is insubstantial when compared to the galaxy. So breathe deeply and let go of all the stress that you think matters. It doesn’t. Next time you are feeling down, look up.

Looking backward to move forward

I found a deep sense of peace in reading through my old journal. It taught me to focus more on enjoying the present moment and that worrying about the future is useless. It also gave me more confidence that everything will be okay. From the perspective of my journaling, both the darkest days and the best experiences were over in the span of a few entries. It wasn’t always easy or fun but eventually, life went on.

This truth is so simple that it deserves repeating. Life goes on.

It is with this knowledge that I say goodbye to one of the most turbulent years of my life, to fully embrace whatever is coming next. Because I know that whatever situations I encounter in the new year, everything will end up sorting itself out. And I am content to simply enjoy the great unfolding with love in my heart and a big smile on my face.

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