A couple of years ago, we were celebrating my birthday at Stalles, a bar in the centre of Rotterdam, and some friends gave me a “5 year diary”. I didn’t write down my daily experiences, but I did manage to record the highs and lows throughout the years. A really nice gift and if it wasn’t for this diary, some of those moments would long be forgotten.
Nowadays, I still try to keep up my diary and sometimes I go through these pages. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on these moments, the things I’ve experienced along the way. It’s really nice to read back some of the highs. My trip to Cape Town, celebrating Christmas with my Mum and road tripping through Europe – all amazing experiences.
When I wrote down my experiences, I also wrote down my concerns and worries, stuff that was playing on my mind or stressful situations. Reading about those moments feels a bit like “inner travelling” where I journey back in my mind to how I used to feel about certain things: exams, deadlines, personal or family issues.
But going through the pages of this diary and looking back at my notes made me realise that most of these ‘lows’ are no longer relevant. Stuff that seemed a ‘big deal’ at the time feels minor now. No matter how big they seemed at the time, most of them were resolved in the end. It made me think that the things I currently worry about may not be that big of a deal either. It made me realise that because your attention tends to drift to current obstacles and challenges, it’s easy to forget what you’ve already overcome – and it’s remembering that makes you grow in confidence.
Pooja Guptar does a master Media & Business.