On the very last day of May, I finished revisiting my last journal, the 18th from my stack of memories. I stared at the last sentence—a sentence so fitting, I might actually end the book with it—for quite some time. It was a strange feeling. After 5 months of rereading my words from age 14 to 30, I was emotionally exhausted. But it also felt like the warmth of catching up with an old friend.
Because that is who I am, right? An old friend. Someone I’ve always relied on, someone who was always there for me, someone I’ve always loved deep down, flaws and all. Even when I wrote that I hated myself, I knew it wasn’t true. I just wanted to be my best self, all the time—an impossible goal. I was always my harshest critic, but as I got older, and with self-love literature and therapy, I became my biggest fan. Sometimes I am still hard on myself, but I’m much kinder now.
It was hard, reading my old journals again. I wrote about this back in February—how younger me struggled a lot with friendship and love. Older me struggles a lot with acceptance—especially about things (and others) beyond my control. I’m still learning—I will always be learning!—but looking back, I can see how much I’ve grown, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
I’m proud of myself for documenting the joys and the sadness, proof that life is filled with highs and lows, proof that my life means something. I used to be so worried that no one else would ever love me again, not after this boy, or that one, but then, a few pages or a couple of journals later, there was another one. When someone walked out, a new person always walked in. I learned to count on the revolving door of my life.
So, what’s next?
Now that I made my way through all my journals, the revising process begins. After plucking my favorite entries from my notebooks, I want to freshen them up a bit: add context, rewrite some now that I’m older, remove names, etc. Some entries are fine as-is, but some of them need a refresh.
I had to pace myself with my first draft because it was emotionally taxing on me. The worst of it was needing to take a whole week off after revisiting my journals from the past two years—perhaps because those were the freshest, and contained things I’m still working through emotionally. However, I do aim to complete my edits by September. That would be the goal, but we’ll see how it goes.
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Are you working on any big writing projects at the moment? Do you have any questions about my own process? Feel free to leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.