Reading back through old journals is the sort of activity that's kind of painful while I'm in the midst of it, but winds up being clarifying and somehow refreshing--a bit like rolling about in the snow in the altogether after coming out of a sauna. It's easy to cringe at all of my past screw-ups, at all the stupid things I did or thought or allowed myself to feel, but in the end I find that I need to be thankful for precisely those things that make me shudder, since they contributed to the convoluted path that's landed me where I am now.

(As an aside, I sometimes think that if I ever need to inure myself to public humiliation and/or criticism, all I'll need to do is publish my journals in toto and let the world have at me.)

I could write reams on the particular subject of Past Mistakes in the Boy Department, as Recorded for Posterity on Paper, but the less gut-wrenching (not to mention more politic) course of action would simply be to sum up those mistakes by noting that they've taught me what I don't want while reinforcing the details of what I do. I've let myself stumble into (more than) enough of the former to truly understand that what I have now--the sweet, gut-shaking, heart-palpitation-inducing latter--is meant to be held onto.

I intend to do just that.

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