On Self-Documentation

I was reading an interview with the founder of Lifehacker, Gina Trapani. In it, she explained how she began to blog after she felt like she lost herself during the tragedy:

“I became obsessed with documenting my life — because in a weird way, I didn’t want to lose myself again.”

This seemed silly for a moment, before I realized how important it truly could be. I tried to think about who I was as a person a few months ago, or even a few days ago and I had a very general idea in my head. I ended up looking at my journals from last spring to better understand if I really knew myself. And surprisingly enough, I didn’t.

I always love to paint myself as this person who tries to change a lot but never really ends up very different. Looking at my old writing, I saw a different person. I was reminded of things that had disappeared from my mind completely. I saw the words of an angry person, or maybe just a frustrated one. A person who would attack himself for every mistake and everything that wasn’t perfect.

I’m still not perfect of course, but after much time trying to be kinder to myself and practice self-love and self-compassion, it’s a relief to know that it hasn’t been a waste and that I am moving in a positive direction. Without my journals, I wouldn’t know and maybe I would just stop trying to be kind to myself, unable to see the results. Instead, I continue. To improve. To love.


So I urge all to document your life. Not just your instagram pictures or your tweets, but document the inside of who you are. In order to truly learn from who you were or see progress, you need to look both inside and out, discover the changes.

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