It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
I remember my first thought about those lines from the first page of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: Why is only one event described that way? Can’t that be said for all of life?
I was just a middle schooler when I read that book. I lost all hope for the future because I was insulted by an interviewer at the high school my parents wanted me to go to, believed I was really stupid even though I read encyclopedias for fun, thought that being shy and introverted wasn’t normal because none of my classmates talked to me…
Fast forward five years later, I’m an incoming sophomore college student with lots of close friends, a healing broken heart, a growing and dying family to take care of, a growing Christian faith, extremely high ambitions that seem out of reach, stressful college studies… and that same thought.
After reading this quote again, I came up with a few short quotes to add to my journal:
Just because it seems bad, doesn’t mean it is bad. Same thing goes for the good things in life.
Whatever came into your life came for a reason that you may not understand then and probably never will understand afterwards.
Don’t worry about identifying what’s good and bad in your life; just enjoy all of life.
Don’t worry about what may change because tomorrow is a mystery.
There are no backwards, undos and redos; there is only forward.
Keep on living, loving, and learning.
I’m still filling the pages of my first journal, and I can tell that that journal and all of my future journals are going to be one of my most treasured possessions and favorite guidebooks.