I found an online diary/blog that I wrote a while back. Ok so it must have written 15 years ago… which means, without going into too many details I was in my late 20’s and I had found an online diary app that allowed the user to create and personalise their diary. I had an old dodgy laptop that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t but somehow I had managed to get online! Joy.
So when everyone else was doing amazing things with their new found internet freedom…what did I do? I just about managed to write a diary. I mean come on. At the same time that the people who are responsible for the Google, Yahoo etc were changing the world, I was only able to achieve an online diary.
The worst thing is that, reading it back, well, it didn’t make for great reading. There were more than a few cringe worthy moments, memories that I would have preferred to forget, but there they were on a screen written by twenty something year old me. Now when I say cringe, I mean really really toe curling cringe worthy moments, moments I had blanked from my memory, scrapes I found myself in that I tried to convince myself were just ‘rights of passage’. The sort of thing that everyone does.. right? Christ.
With all the effort it took to get this diary up and running it’s probably no surprise that I am interested in having some record of my life, a diary, a notebook… pictures are a big favourite. I also love a good root through a newsagents so when I saw a notebook that encouraged the user to write something of their thoughts every day I was sold.
With my new possession safely in my bag I now needed to find the discipline to write regularly. In order to ensure that I stuck to my promise I put a brief message on Facebook which was noticed by a previous colleague of mine who is also a coach and who asked me if I had learned anything. I hadn’t really thought about the learning aspect, more the recording one…
The online diary that I had started contained over a years worth of entries, the majority of which focused on Karate, gasshukus and of course a myriad of life challenges. All of which, knowing me, were fraught with emotional noise and moments of deep naval contemplation. A bit like the show ‘My so called life’.
Mentioned in my blog were people that I hadn’t thought about in years, people I worked with, people I trained with and of course relationships. Against my better judgement I started to go through these, skim reading at first then starting to think about different events that to be honest.. I had more or less forgotten about. I had a pretty raw manner of writing then, very honest and to the point, I wasn’t one to hold back with my thoughts on others, which were pretty brutal and unforgiving at times. I don’t think I was a nice person in some ways.
All of this was backstopped with what was going on in my karate life. Countries were visited, people were met, training and competitions continued with a very comfortable rhythm. As I read though, the odd comment reminded me of a conversation I had in Argentina. This blog was written around the time where I realised I was not in a very healthy relationship, which I couldn’t see but which manifested in a very strange manner. You see… I lost my ‘kiai’. It didn’t happen overnight, it took a while but it got to the point where I would be in class or on a gasshuku and I couldn’t bring myself to ‘kiai’. Now, during all this, I didn’t miss a class or a squad training session, but reading through my old blog, I could tell something wasn’t quite right it was so obvious… young me didn’t see it though.
Reading over this part of my blog was not easy, it felt like it was written by someone I didn’t know. Someone who was able to record all the clues but who couldn’t see the bigger picture. Part of me was angry at young me, but then I realised how different I am to 20 something me. Life has certainly taught me a fair few lessons. Some good, some..well, you see where I’m going, I have my fair share of bruises but also my fair share of stories. I learned a lot about how far I have come in my life path and if I met 20 something year old me I would have a lot of advice to give!
So I’m now recording the thoughts of 40 something me (ouch)… I wonder what 60 something me will make of it all!