Transformation Tuesday

Last night, I sat on the floor in an empty bedroom of our house and read through over 20 of my old journals. My handwriting morphed from huge bubble letters, to heart-dotted i’s and loopy y’s, to awkward cursive [that made me feel sophisticated], to the penmanship I recognize today.


I cringed as I read the recount of a 6th grade pool party. That summer day came flooding back almost instantly. I had felt so confident in my new tankini [the kind with boy shorts – so hawt] only to end up feeling like I needed to die, because I laughed so hard that a piece of sausage [which had been lodged in my pallet expander] shot out of my mouth and hit one of the cutest boys ever, right in face.

I haven’t eaten sausage pizza since. Come to think of it, he probably hasn’t either.

I laughed and felt an odd since of playground pride as I read about the time I stood up to a bully who stole my best friend, Lauren’s, lunch money. Or about the time she got left behind after a school assembly in 4th grade. After voicing my concern, the teacher retraced her steps and found her locked in the lobby of our gym. With a purple gelly roll pen, I berated myself for not going to the bathroom with her, because “at least we would have been forgotten together.”

She was my perfect opposite, so goofy and delicate and shy, which is why I think we fit perfectly together for so many years.

It makes my heart hurt, in a bittersweet sense, to remember and appreciate a former best friend. A friendship that disintegrated not because of any malice or ill feelings, but only because we let life happen. I don’t regret much, but not keeping in touch with her tops that short, short list.

I stumbled across a saved letter from Danielle, a girl who probably doesn’t even remember me, telling me she looked up to me. Why? Because she thought I was pretty, I had met N*SYNC and because I stood up for people.

This proves that in 6th grade, mature priorities are almost developed.


I came across letters that I wrote to “my future husband” and even now, I’m still debating if I want to show them to Cory. But maybe I will, because they’re proof that he’s who I’ve been waiting for my entire life.

Last night I received a beautiful, bittersweet lesson. Unknowingly, I’ve taught myself that it’s the mundane things, the small moments which may never receive a second thought, that mold you into the complex, fascinating person you are today.



  1. says

    Isn’t it weird, going through old journals like that? I think its interesting seeing what was SUCH a big deal at the time, has now long worked itself out, you know? I have stacks of old journals, and it’s always a weird joy going through them :)

    • Colleen says

      YES!! Oh my GOSH! Things that we SO good/horrible/embarrassing/stressful are obsolete now. It’s so interesting!

  2. says

    I love the message here, Colleen. I have a thought-a-day journal where you write one thought every day for 5 years and I often struggle with wondering if something is “worthy” of being my thought of the day because it’s so mundane. Or, will I want to remember a particular person in a couple years? I think this post helps answer that with “yes.” Capture all of it. All of those small things and interactions big and small make up a life.

    • Colleen says

      Thanks, Joanna!! I have the same journal! A Line A Day? I agree, I sometimes think I need to write something prolific, but then I remind myself that “pizza with Cory, Jamie, and Emily” is the profound stuff. You know?!

  3. says

    I admire you for making all those journals and keeping them. I used to have a shoebox with a collection of past memories, and sadly, I can’t find it anymore. Looking through it when it randomly caught my eye was one of my favourite pastimes.

    I kind of want to know what you said to your future husband. And kind of wish I had done that!

  4. says

    We were pretty much the same person! I had a million different journals and most definitely wrote letters to my future husband! I read Vishnu “his” letter a year or so ago and he laughed and said, “You would.” Haha!

  5. Chelsea Fry says

    Woah, where have I been? Love the new blog makeover!

    I used to re-read old journals and letters all the time, it makes me laugh to read some of them but I eventually threw them all away – now I’m wishing I hadn’t!

  6. says

    Beautiful post Colleen. It’s funny to think how far we have come in a matter of years. It’s hard to believe though how long ago high school, let alone grade school was. Thank you for sharing!

  7. says

    Reading through old journals is definitely bitter sweet – it makes you cringe yet so happy at the same time as you recount all the trials and tribulations you’ve already been through. The things that at one point in time seemed like the worst thing in the world, now seem so small. It’s proof that the hard times will ALWAYS pass.

  8. Jamie says

    That’s so awesome Colleen! I only wish I had journals like that but I do reminisce with yearbook messages and think the same thing! <3


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