MY DISCOVERY OF PERSONAL GROWTH JOURNALING
In the first issue of Heart Business Journal for Women, and as the name implies, there was an article by Brenda Wood, Editor-in-Chief, titled “The Exquisite Art of Journaling”. When I met Brenda in May and listened to her speak of the indispensable necessity of journaling to discover who we are as women, business women, all women, I did manage to open the door a crack to allow the possibilities of this art into my life.
I have never journaled. For me, it’s always seemed to be an exercise that slowed down my thoughts way more than I wanted. I was too impatient to put words to paper and frankly, until the past few years, mine was not a life examined. So now, as I open the door to this new possibility in my life, I plan to write a not-always-frequent piece about my experiences in this new venue. I hope that my naivety may ring a bell with you, that my challenges do also. I’ll choose one single question from one month’s journaling exercise and give you my thoughts, my feelings, my angst, my joy, my wisdom and yes, ok, my answers to that single question. My journaling will encompass primarily personal growth. It’s a topic that interests me hugely and one of which I’m finding I have some wisdom, now that I’m in my 60s and a 10 year old entrepreneur.
In the first issue of Heart Business Journal for Women, the first question in the journaling exercise is “At this stage of your life, what is your biggest fear professionally and personally?”
Sigh. This is hard work already. The honesty with myself that I need to answer this question would have been overwhelming to me 10 years ago. And 20 years ago, in my life, I wouldn’t have even comprehended this question! See how I’ve grown? I believe that self-awareness comes with experience, for some more quickly than others. But to begin success at awareness, surely we need to be introspective? Surely we need to have knowledge of ourselves? Or at least be willing to go inside to find it? And sometimes, often, we need to go deep.
My professional fears are that some day, everyone I deal with, work with, network with, associate with, will find out that I have no idea what I’m talking about, what I profess to know. I retired at the age of 55 from a 32-year career as a flight attendant. I thought I could do nothing other than pass out meal trays and drinks. So when I started my own company, doing customer service training originally, I spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder, waiting for someone to twig to the fact that I was just a flight attendant. Customer service training has now morphed into being a writer now and I continue to find myself playing a tape that says ‘Yeah, but I’m not a real writer”. I need to erase that tape, to make a new tape that says ‘Look at you! You’re a writer! You go girl!’ Do you do the same thing?
My personal fears – Mammasita, do I really have to say this? Well, ok, yes. My biggest personal fears are that I won’t find a partner in my life, that I’ll slip back into a few of my old destructive habits, that I’ll still be less than a perfect mother. I fear complacency, I fear comfort, I fear the monotony and numbness of routine. I especially fear the restrictions that I have about my mobility because of my arthritis.
Wow! I wasn’t sure I could articulate that many fears. And yes, some of my fears came out as I was writing this. Maybe there’s something to this art of journaling! Maybe this is a start to a new part of my professional and personal life’s journey?
Maybe the start to my journey is journaling.
The second issue of Heart Business Journal for Women focuses on some key issues of Personal Development Journaling, including a journaling exercise about Friendship, an issue very close to my own heart. It may be a challenge, however, for me to transform, articulate, my warm and fuzzy feelings about my valued friends into responses for this exercise. Check back next month to see how I weather this challenge.
My journey IS journaling.
© Marcia Barhydt, 2009