My motivation was simple: to review an event from the start till now, examining what has happened on the way.
It was an easy thing to do. I have all the logs for relative online conversations, and all I had to do is to read them all over again.
Then, I recalled I’ve always been keeping journals everyday, writing down things I had done and met on that day; however, small details ignored before might have been recorded unintentionally. Therefore, if I wanted to go through the entire even again completely, I had to combine both the official and unofficial records.
The idea was still simple: how about keeping a journal!! Writing a diary specifically for this event!!
Thus, I bought a notebook with 80 pages, and a beautiful book skin. Then, to add personal style, I also bought small stickers for decoration. After that, I opened my datebooks and laptop, started making cross reference, recalling my feelings at that moment, and spoke to the journal as who I was.
It’s quite different keeping a private journal from listing things down in a datebook and posting status on the internet. Journal logs contain only bullet items without personal emotions, and online articles are something filtered, articulated, modified for certain audience. However, diaries are something very personal. Private emotions and feelings, words only whispered in one’s mind; it’s those unexposed thoughts and emotions that affects our behavior and decision in the whole event subconsciously.
It was only for fun re-experiencing the whole event in the form of writing an event diary. However, something amazing has happened during the writing process.
Even though things had past, and I had even forgotten them before writing them, when reminiscing those emotions and writing them down, my current emotions were still influenced. Being touched, happy, sad, and angry; “me" at the time seemed to re-appear again.
However, a lot of emotions or words unspoken at the time had found their way out in the text this time. Therefore, with page after page I wrote, those feelings and thoughts seemed released too. I felt lighter and clearer with “date" went by…however I didn’t even feel I was heavy at all before writing the journal!!
And so, on one hand, I was the leading lady again in that event, experiencing strong emotional impact and writing it down; on the other hand, I was a therapist, observing the theme and pattern revealed in the recorded text.
Some things were difficult to be observed when it happened. Sense of time, and sense of impact were only subjective perception at the time. An emotion theme lasting for 3 to 5 days may feel like 2 weeks had passed; words that were interpreted as one meaning under circumstance and atmosphere of that moment, might be recognized message between the lines now without the cloud over the head.
So, after writing for almost 2 weeks, spending more than 35 hours in total, finally the event journal is completed. I remembered, recalled and reminisced the whole event, and let it go completely with each page I wrote. I had never thought this kind of “retrospective writing" can be therapeutic (although it takes huge effort and time). But, what made me happy the most, is the deliverable of the “healing process" was a beautiful journal, which is amusing and gorgeous by only flipping through the pages without reading the content.
Maybe I should do this event journal writing/retrospective writing therapy for another theme again the other day 😛