Dreams Revisited: Journal Entries from 15-year-old Me

Dear Journal (August 14, 2005)

“Memories, for me, are precious. That’s why I have you, in the first place.”

 …

A self-sketch (?!) scrawled in an entry dated July 18, 2005

A self-sketch (?!) scrawled in an entry dated July 18, 2005

 …

I started keeping a journal as I was just about to turn 15. Now, nine years later, I flip back to the pages written by that 15-year-old girl, and I am all at once amused, proud, surprised, and moved as I read about her dreams, her budding ideals, and the formation of the life philosophies I never imagined she would still carry to this day and forward.

 …

Dear Journal (September 28, 2005)

“I want to leave a mark, as well. ‘I want to continue on living even after I died,’ in Anne Frank’s words. I want to change the world for the better. I want to inspire people. I want to touch their lives. I want to help. I want to change the world. But how could I?”

 …

In my journal, I didn’t write every day, but I wrote most days, especially when there was something that either frustrated or inspired me. I wrote mostly about school, cheerleading practice (oh, happy days), fun times and squabbles with my best friends, rants and reflections about boys and love (yeah, that happened), and all the rest of the everyday things I fancied writing about.

Skimming through all these pages again, I am most struck by how much the dreams I had back then reflect the dreams I still have—and am pursuing—now. What makes this so striking to me is that in the interim period, I had let go of these dreams, only to find myself circling back to them almost a decade later. The beauty of getting to read about all this is that I get to recognize how I formed and later came to let go of those dreams in the first place, and how, by some marvelous plot design, I have been led back to pursuing them now, as if everything was already written and planned for even before I began dreaming at all.

 …

Dear Journal (October 25, 2005)

“So there I go, crossing out lines and rewriting almost every word of each article in the wee hours of the morning…It was a nightmare, alright. But as I was typing away my articles, I couldn’t help but feel it—this was what I always wanted to do…and what I would want to do in the future. To write, write and write. Write articles which could inspire people, help people, move people, and change the world. I know how powerful words are. I know they can change the world.”

 …

Dear Journal (October 25, 2005)

“I just feel that I [was] born to do this…to live the life of a journalist…I love the drama, the adventure, and the suspense of it all—scavenging for news, meeting interesting people, traveling to awesome and not-so-awesome places, experiencing the world, savoring life…

You know, this is exactly what most people lack—the thirst for living. They see, but they do not look, they inhale oxygen, but they do not breathe the air, they taste, but don’t savor, they hear, but don’t listen, they touch, but they don’t feel…”

 …

Even at an early age—way earlier than 15—I knew I had a connection with words and writing, and that I will forever have it. But it’s only now that I recognize why I feel so connected to this craft—writing makes me come alive. It is what taught me to observe more keenly, ask the difficult questions in life, seek answers from beneath the surface, and strive always to find meaning in events and create meaning through what I do. To say that writing made me who I am is not an exaggeration, and it was thus inevitable that I would consider to live a life of writing, career-wise.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman

 …

But you know how it is in this world. The first draft always gets thrown out.

Dear Journal (October 25, 2005)

“But I know that it’s set—my mother wants me to become a nurse.”

 …

Dear Journal (November 27, 2005)

“Something that’s very important indeed baffles me. It’s about my future career. I’m having second thoughts about taking up Nursing in college. I mean, it wasn’t my idea in the first place…I only seem to be going with the flow, and just following everyone else. Nursing isn’t really what I want to do for the rest of my life…

…I want to be a journalist. One who researches stories, goes off to different interesting places, trots around the globe, helps the remotest areas, meets people from all walks of life…I know the life of a journalist is stressful, you always have to be on the balls of your feet, but that’s my life. It’s what keeps me alive, gives me the drive to go on, inspires me towards doing more good…

…But I don’t have the will to really decide for myself and assert that I take up Mass Communications or Journalism…

… I know that deep in my heart, I will always be a journalist. I really love writing…I need a sign from God. I need Him to help me make this life-changing decision before it’s all too late.”

 …

And so I did ask for not only a sign, but for two signs to help me decide on my college course. To cut the long story short, both signs pointed me to not take up MassComm/Journalism and to take up Nursing instead. That pretty much cemented my decision to take up Nursing come college, although I continued to draft out my dreams nonetheless:

Dear Journal (January 15, 2006)

“Here are a few tidbits about me I thought you’d like to know:

…I want to be a/an:

a) psychologist – I love psychology! I always read books on psychology at the library when I have free time. I just love reading about the human mind, perception, memory, and everything else in between!

b) writer/journalist

c) college professor

d) archaeologist

e) chef

f) TV broadcaster

g) interior designer

h) fashion designer

i) staffer of a fashion magazine (or editor!)

j) nun

k) counselor

l) model

…I can’t decide or say I’m going to be this, or I need to be that for the rest of my life, because in this life, you truly never know.”


Okay, so I won’t even comment on me wanting to be an archaeologist, chef, nun, or model, except to say that I had a good laugh encountering those items in the list. 😀

May I, instead, point out how totally awesome it is that the first three professions I wrote there (the list is ordered by priority, more or less)—psychologist, writer/journalist, college professor—are actually what I’m currently working to become in the (very) near future! Can you imagine how thrilled my 15-year-old self would be, if only she knew this would be happening? Haha!

UPDATE (Feb. 3, 2015): I’m now actually working as a part-time psychology instructor for college students. Have been in this job since June 2014, and lovin’ every bit of it! [insert emoticon with heart-eyes here]

 …

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” ― Eric Roth

 …

I can’t say I regret taking up Nursing and working as a nurse, because all the things I learned, the people I met, and the experiences I went through as a student and practitioner in that field have molded and changed me as a person, in beautiful and significant ways. I stand by my conviction that it wasn’t a slip-up; rather, it was an essential stepping stone towards getting to where I am meant to be. I may have changed course, but this is the same mountain I’m climbing—that of reaching my dreams and fulfilling my purpose. Thus, the routes I have taken, and those I will take in the future, are all part of this journey, serving to prepare and enrich me for greater challenges ahead.

This perspective echoes a snippet from an entry I shall end this sharing with. This journal entry elaborates on a “new philosophy in life” 15-year-old me had just realized, one which I still live by even to this day and will continue to uphold for as long as I live.

» • «

Dear Journal (January 13, 2006)

“I have realized a new philosophy in life. I have come to find that if you look at the bigger picture of things, and of life, you will eventually begin to notice more delightful things and discoveries—your life is an intricate plot of events, revolving around finding happiness, finding love, triumphs, failures, false hopes, regrets, seeking self-actualization and the perpetual struggle to either fit in or stand out, to belong or to be one-in-a-million, and to improve—the life of every man is a novel, with, as I have said, an intricate plot only God can author.

And so I began to look at the bigger picture of my life, and I focused less on the small, petty things that complicate life and my appreciation of it. I began to see God’s sense of humor, His wit, His wisdom, and His love. By taking just one step back, by momentarily taking myself out of my daily pile of work and worries, I have learned to appreciate what life is, its rules, its teachings, and its entirety.

I’m simply amazed at how at times we encounter small miracles, funny twists and turns of events, unbelievable circumstances, and inexplicable coincidences. Truly, life is worth living.”

» • «

Whew, I sure can use this girl’s reminders from time to time. ♥

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6 thoughts on “Dreams Revisited: Journal Entries from 15-year-old Me

    • Happy to meet a fellow journal-er! 😀 ..I agree; our younger selves can indeed amaze and surprise us with unique insights when we take time to revisit their thoughts. 🙂

  1. Well this is very nice and nostalgic… Unfortunately or not, I burnt my journals – each and every one of them because it was really too painful for me to read them… Now I think – had I kept them, I might have discovered so much about myself today.

    • Hi Lily! I too had felt the same impulse before–to burn my journals–because there were things I wrote there that evoke painful emotions and still make me cringe today. But for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m sorry to hear you had burnt yours, however, it’s not too late to start again now if you’re still up to it! And page one could begin (just a suggestion) with an ode to your old journals. 🙂

  2. Wow.. Weird.. cool.. awesome.. amazing..
    I feel you.. I should have been told that I was not the only one existing who also have been experiencing the same situation. I guess almost all aspirant writers and journalists are experiencing the same as yours. (In stages such confusion, fear, doubt,,,?)
    I mean yeah, loving the passion, keeping it burning and wishing to inspire, write and write because that’s how you love it and if ever just write and write forever but of course you need to think of other things such school anyways.
    I’m sixteen years old by the way, but I’ve been feeling how you feel too. I just really love writing and I couldn’t explain it. And yes, you nailed it, I also write my diaries, and journals not everyday but on those days when I feel frustrated, angry, happy or inspired by the people around me or by my mentors. I’m currently managing as an EIC in our high school campus paper and it was not that easy to balance my academics and writing for every publications… I’m hopefully graduating this March yet haven’t fully decided my course, ’cause yes I really wanted to be a writer or journalist perhaps but yeah my parents wants something different for me.. But still I believe, in some certain things that one is meat to be.. Personal calling? All things work for good, perhaps God has a good plan…. Bytheway, you have a nice blogspot, thanks for sharing your stories. It’s nice…

    (P.S. I was looking for ‘Young Blood’ in the net and wish to learn more on what’s it all about, just had gone to see your posts about it. It was great. I’m a writer contributor also in a local newspaper in Bohol and I dreamed to be contributing soon in Young Blood.) .

    • Hi Angela!

      Thank you. Your comment brought me back to this post and I recognized that I needed to update it. I’m currently already working as a psychology instructor, so I guess I could tick the item “college professor” in that original list I wrote, haha!

      Thank you also for sharing that you can relate to this post. Indeed, it can be tiring being a student journalist, especially as you are the EIC of your school publication. However, I think you would agree with me that it’s totally worth every bead of sweat and ounce of effort you put into it! One day you will reread all those articles you wrote as a student and recognize how much you’ve grown as a writer. 🙂

      With regard to the course choice you’re soon gonna have to make, trust your gut but also temper it with reason. Also, don’t fear choosing the “wrong path” so much that you are paralyzed from making any choice at all. It’s not the end of the world if you later find that you would rather be in a path different from what you’ve started out on. From my view, there really is no “wrong path” if you learn to use that path as a road to a better you.

      I wish you all the best for your future plans, and for your YoungBlood dream! I’d love to hear from you again when your piece gets published (if you wish, you can leave a link of your published piece at my YoungBlood post, as some other bloggers/YoungBlood contributors also have). Cheers! 🙂

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