A few years back, I was browsing through a book store when I happened to come across something called the “Q and A a Day” journal. It’s a small book with 365 pages, one for each day of the year, each with a single question and five separate spaces for answers. The idea is to answer a question a day throughout the year, but then loop around and answer the same questions again the following year, repeating until you’ve filled up the journal and answered each question five times over the course of five years. In this vein, you could look back through the journal and see how you’ve changed over the years.
I thought it was a really neat idea, so I picked up a copy and got to work…
…and in true “Tracey Tobin” fashion, I promptly forgot about it a few months later.
Now, recently I found the book and figured, hey…it doesn’t really matter if it’s five consecutive years of answers, just as long as I end up with five years of answers in the long run, right? So I started working on it again and have been doing so for a few weeks, scrawling answers to the questions for 2017 under the answers I had previously written back in 2014. And I have to admit, it’s been eye-opening to compare the two sets of answers.
So have I changed dramatically in three years, or am I practically the exact same person? Honestly, it’s a little of both! I make an effort not to look at my previously-written answers until I’ve come up with the new one, and yet sometimes I’ll glance up and realize that I’m writing the exact same sentence down, sometimes even word for word, making it seem as though my mind is a carbon copy now of what it was then. Yet, with other questions I’ll look at the previous answer and think that surely some other person must have written that, because it couldn’t have come from my brain.
In general I guess I just have to say that I’m surprised at both the similarities and the differences. For instance, stress is something that I feel like I’ve been dealing with for about a year or so, and yet according to some of the answers I wrote in 2014, I was very much dealing with it back then as well. When it comes to opinions on things that I never thought would change, however, my old and new answers are sometimes as different as day and night and make me wonder how I ever could have felt that way.
It’s been interesting to look at, for sure, which is the entire point of the journal, so I guess it’s doing it’s job! It only makes me wonder how much re-reading the answers is going to hurt my brain once I’ve actually managed to fill it up with five answers per question!
When you look back at yourself, do you see huge differences? Little ones? None at all? How do you picture yourself in the future? Do you expect that much will change, or do you feel that you’re pretty much set in your ways? Feel free to share!