The Crumbling Veneer

Whoever said that keeping a journal was a good idea, apparently didn’t factor in the reality of the pitfalls of re-reading it.

Every time I go back and read through the torrid thoughts of late teenage Emma I face something different. Something I didn’t catch last time. A less than flattering angle to myself that is now revealed.

I guess it is a part of doing the work. Facing the facts that the stories you told about yourself in the moment weren’t necessarily the most truthful ones. Stories that help you save face, move on, ones that obscure your own faults.

Then there are the parts of you that you realise you discarded along the way. Swallowed whole by the demands of motherhood, a melody grown dim through disuse.

I discover threads that were always there, waiting to be seen and woven. Problems that reappear, lessons half-learned.

Facing the truth can be destabilising. Empires crumble, foundations fade. And yet, building on false narratives lends a sense of security that blinks precariously, a facade that obscures glorious brokenness.

I am flawed, messy, single-minded. Passionate, musical, creative. The disparate realities converge to create my humanity. It is forever my lot.

This post is inspired by the Five Minute Friday writing challenge. Each week I join with this talented group of writers, free writing for five minutes in accordance with a prompt (though I have sadly missed a few weeks recently). Today’s prompt is ‘discover’. 

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6 comments

  1. Not to worry, none of us is, ever was or ever will be perfect. Now that you are older and you know better you can do better. Just keep writing. Sometimes, I think the real reason we journal is to look back one day and see how far we have come from that time long ago. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing. FMF #67.

    1. Thanks Karen, I think that is a great way of looking at it 🙂 Thankfully after the initial wrestle with the ‘former version’ I can move on more whole than before – that definitely makes it worth it!

  2. Emma, I, too, journaled. It can be a bit intimidating to go back to places of the past. Sometimes, I am amazed as I see my prayer requests change and conform to where God was leading me. But I am also reminded of my struggles of the past? Have I walked toward restoration in those areas? “And yet, building on false narratives lends a sense of security that blinks precariously, a facade that obscures glorious brokenness.” Thought provoking.

    1. It really can, can’t it 🙁 If I had to do it again, I would still definitely journal – as cringeworthy as it can be, the personal growth that can come out of it is pretty amazing.

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