I wanted for so long to be a grown up, to be a woman, to be an adult who could drink glasses of wine out with friends and had a job and did her own laundry. But when it actually happened, I was too distracted to appreciate it. The new habit I started implementing the past two months has changed that. Pausing to take stock of the little things I’m proud of has focused my attention on the way those things I dreamed of years ago have become my reality.
For example, there’s this: when I was younger, my eldest sister Tan was my hero. A full 21 years older than me, she was always a complete grown up in my mind and embodied everything adult and woman and cool.One of the things I loved and wanted so desperately to imitate was the way she would faithfully keep a diary, year in, year out. It was the planner type diary and she would fill it with her lovely scribbles reminding herself of appointments and meetings and dates and meetups. Her neat handwriting recorded her life story on every page, giving her adult life a complete coherence I so desperately aspired to.
For a few years during my early adolescence, Tan satisfied my craving (and hero worship) by buying me a duplicate diary, exactly like hers. I was just never able to be faithful to my planner, though. A few weeks or months at a time, then it would be forgotten or discarded. I’d often get frustrated and demotivated by my lack of commitment to my goal.
Last year, I was given a purple Moleskine diary as a gift. No ceremony, no forward thinking – one day I had no diary, the next I did. I was sure this wouldn’t last long. It was a beautiful diary, exactly the type I wanted and that suited me most, but it wasn’t going to last.
It has, though. I used that diary faithfully for a year and then replaced it with another Moleskine, blue this time. I found a method that worked for me: filling in appointments and meetings and social bits in the weekly layout on the left, writing out my weekly to-do lists on the right. I carried it everywhere. And now I look back at it and the record of my daily adult life for a year and the complete coherence my neat little scribbles present.
This isn’t a big thing at all, it’s tiny. But I’m so incredibly proud of that diary for all that it represents – not just memories, but accomplishments. Growing up. Moving on. Becoming, slowly but surely, the sort of woman I always wanted to be.