What if I told you that you could realistically traverse the space-time continuum and communicate with your future self? Some would certainly call me crazy, but allow me this opportunity to explain.
My name is Paul Seo and most pertinent to The Outback, I am the Keough Hall Section 1A Resident Assistant (Let’s go Beastchiefs!). Amongst many of my passions and interests lies a profound appreciation for the genre of country music. To get the jokes out of the way, yes, some songs discuss an affinity with beautiful girls, cold beers, old pick-up trucks, and dirt roads. But hidden among the shadows is a song titled “Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley. With his lyrics, he forewarns his 17 year old self about the trials and tribulations to come, but also about the tenacity and fortitude required to overcome what, at the time, seemed to be life’s most difficult challenges. Now, I never boasted about being able to do exactly that, but I did vaunt there is a way to give yourself some advice at a later date. Simply said, keep a journal.
To be quite honest, I am definitely no expert in journaling; I write an entry, maybe, every two weeks. However, I find three concrete reasons that demonstrate the necessity for one, which I believe are applicable to each and every person. First, you can record the celebration of your achievements, while also offering catharsis for your struggles. Whether it be nailing a final round interview and getting the job offer of your dreams or the pain of ending a long term relationship filled with formative memories, the pen and paper will never judge, rather listen intently. Second, you can revisit those vivid moments and raw emotions any time you desire. Your journal is a great book where you can truly relate to the timeline and thoughts of the main character. Also, selfishly, you have the only copy of this magnificent work. Finally, you can track the progress in the journey of discovering who you are. C.S. Lewis, the famous theologian, writer, and academic, once said a quotation depicting my idea perfectly: “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?” Besides being true, those words detail how journaling freely gives an avenue to reminisce and recognize transformation.
Hopefully, with my reasoning above, I sparked a fire to walk this walk. However, there are tips and hints to highlight before you let the rubber hit the road. I am a heavy calendar and schedules person, but resisting the urge to outline and organize your journal lends itself to a more earnest and sincere entry. Like a signature, your pen should never leave the paper and like a river, let your thoughts flow. As a natural extrovert, I draw my energy by surrounding myself with good company (and good food). However, I recommend a short period of separation to create an intentional space for reflection. Everyone knows friends can be distracting, so set some time aside, however brief, to meditate and contemplate.
So, I admit this may not be the time travel you expected, but hey, I think this one may be just as cool. Write on.