Dear blog, happy 18th birthday.

You are an adult now. You are free to… do whatever you want. Like, for real.

I totally forgot about the anniversary as I am right now traveling in the Hokuriku Region for a location shoot. There was no guilt this time, I guess after a while we are no longer obligated to throw extravagant themed birthday bashes and hand-make Pokemon invitation cards for our children… as they are either embarrassed or things just kinda tend to get… simpler, over time.

That’s how I feel with this blog. I remember how obsessive I was when I first started this blog. I scribbled (typed?) compulsively multiple times a day as that was the only way I knew how to deal with my emotional needs. In fact it started way back when I was just a child. It was my only way to express life and move forward with life. When my blog traffic was at its zenith, I remember frantically searching for internet cafes in the middle of the night in a foreign country just so I could read and regulate an influx of comments after a new scheduled post was published. It was like a precious baby I felt responsible to protect and care for. Its rapid growth was delightful and fulfilling, yet intimidating and stressful at the same time. Mothers and entrepreneurs will understand this. In that regard, I was a clueless, paranoid teenage mother.

Right now, I am sitting by the window of my hotel in Karuizawa on the 5th day of a work trip, waiting for dinner buffet to start. I briefly considered quietly skipping this annual post (probably the only time I ever write mindlessly without any conscious intention for content) and finally end the streak after 18 years, but I thought it’d make a nice gesture too, to keep this tradition a promise.

So… 18 years. It really feels like I am dealing with a child who finally turned adult now. Yea, that’s how it feels like. I care, but I no longer obsess over everything and micro manage. Sometimes I check in, but mostly I let her do her things and give her space. If she no longer needs me, that’s okay too. I am learning to be okay with letting go.

That which applies to many aspects of my life at the moment. Being okay with things just the way they are, and letting go of memories and emotions that no longer serve me.

Recently, I started re-reading my old journals. There were many shocking revelations of events that completely vanished from my memories but suddenly reappeared as flashbacks as if I experienced things for the second time, like deja vus. It was so real I laughed and cried and felt all the hurt and sadness and loneliness and anxiety and fear and all sorts of other intense emotions real time, all over again.

However I had a realization. I firmly believed that nearly 3 decades of writing served a very important purpose for myself. I wrote diaries for the longest time as it was my only trusted confidant. And then I found my career in it and I started writing for not just me, but many other people who enjoyed it. Today, I found myself writing back to the little child in me. It is time.

I am in the middle of going through a self-healing journey, and reading what the little girl wrote years and years ago helped me understand her and myself. So much betrayal and heartbreaks, memories that was erased out of self defense… I re-lived it all one by one. I want to know her. I want to know myself.

And I am so, so thankful for her who never stopped writing. (On some days, she wrote 20 pages per day!!! Mad respect, if I must be honest lol.) She may not believe this, but I want to let her know. That things has changed, that things will change. Only for the better. And that after years and years of being broken, she will one day find peace and love beyond her wildest imagination and what she could comprehend at that point of time. I want to tell her that she is safe now, and that everything will turn out okay. Way better than okay. I want to give her that hug that she never had from me.

And I will continue to write, so that the future me can look back and do the same for herself.