Lessons from the Past

When you find an old journal. . . (Originally written Jan. 10, 2010)

I’ve been writing my entire life. I started when I was 5. I have probably 100 journals completely filled with my hopes, dreams, desires, visions, fears, all the guys I thought I’d marry, and more. When I found this entry from a very different time, written by a different me.. . . I sent it to the guy whom I wrote it about. Years have passed, and we have found ourselves living completely separate lives. . . however, reading it reminded me of how much less cluttered I feel when I get my overly analytical thoughts out of my mind by writing. My ex told me it was beautiful and I promised him I’d start writing again.  This one’s for you . . .


June 2007 – – –
“I don’t know what I expected it to be any different than it was any other time we have found ourselves in each other’s arms. It’s like – you love and despise it – you’re intrigued by the chemistry and romance – the way he looks at you and kisses you – kisses you like you’re delicate and if he isn’t careful – you might break. . . Why do I feel so bad the next day? Is it him? Me? We laughed, cried and danced on the beach, but why am I so guilty?! It’s not worth feeling like this the next day. I should have been able to put down my desire to be with him. I shouldn’t have been willing to see him. He wants to meet up again just to enjoy my company and I don’t think i could even have motives that pure – I want to meet up for how he makes me feel. I am going to put down the flesh and go on with life. No, (insert his name), I can’t.”

Isn’t it funny that at every age we reach – we think that everyone who is younger are just babies? I think 19 is young, but when I decided I was in love at 19 years old, I didn’t feel so young. We had it all planned. We would move to Florida, work in ministry, get married, make babies, etc. My church internship was just 45 minutes North of his. We would date just a few more months, and be engaged by the Spring. What could go wrong?! We were in love – and that’s stronger than anything else. . .
From the day I left Tulsa, we saw each other twice in the next year. We didn’t even break up in person. It was the most mundane ending, to the most beautiful love. And I gave up easiest of all. . . but that’s a different life-lesson.
So, back to the journal entry, there we were. . . one year from our break-up. . . middle of the night, on the beach. I don’t remember how we hugged for the first time, or said “hi.” I made the situation complicated as always – I brought a blanket, water, a camera. I acted as ridiculous as possible. I was once very amazing and keeping life from being simple. This never differed him. . . I always felt loved completely.
I remember as I looked at him it was so unusual to me that he still loved me. I could see it so clearly. I could see so much in his eyes, not simply passion, or lust, or desire. He was completely in awe. Completely intrigued. Completely in love. He didn’t care that I broke up with him for a guy who lied and left. He didn’t care that I had settled completely and had given up all my dreams. He didn’t care about any of that. He was a good man – he just wanted to be with me. I have never known someone so good at being in the here and now.


He had called and written and looked for me for a year, and here we were. We sang our song to one another while the waves crashed in the background and water slipped over our feet. We lied on the blanket and laughed. I let him hold me. I let him love me.
Yet, I left thinking that I was wrong, [and sinful – my belief system was quite different then] and that I would not do that again. He “was not good enough for me”. He was not who I “was supposed to be with.”
Here’s the part that shows my age. I still believed in “supposed to.” I walked away that night and didn’t cry. I walked away and believed that a memory like this could be a mistake.
In the weeks following I got on highway 95 South heading toward his house and every single night and ever single night, I turned back around.


I let fear win.


The things of the heart are the dreams that don’t go away, the loves you can’t shake, the things that fulfill you.


I eventually left the world of doing what “is best for you” and found the world of my dreams. In this world there error and spontaneity and sometimes even chaos, but I’m happy. I am on the way to many passions and desires that make me, me. I actually finally get to pursue the things that beat within me. After I read my old journal entry and pondered that night on the night on the beach, I thought about my dreams and desires. You know, the things that God places on your heart, the things that keep you awake at night. When something makes you move, makes you turn South on the highway, makes you want to go to college, makes you want to be in business, open a store, be a psychologist, whatever, you mustn’t write it off a just a dream, or silly fantasy, – it is THE dream, the only one thing that matters. Don’t Ignore It. We must learn what makes us tick and do those things everyday. We can not let fear win. The fear of failure is always worse than failure itself.


This is even true with romantic love. He and I would have broken up anyway, so why not embrace a night of dancing on the beach. . . why not drive to him and dance on the beach every night for a month? Why not let love win. . .


I have since moved on. And found love again, but it’s not the same. Not in a bad or a good way, just in a very different way. This particular love, my first love, is full of far too many stories of doing “what’s right” and ignoring my heart.



I guess the good news is, I’ve learned. I believe in reckless abandon. I am following my dreams. I’ve learned to take a chance on impulses, to let your emotions lead when necessary, and not to fight yourself on matters of the heart. Follow your heart.