Inspirational African American

January 1st:

Dear Diary,

The first day of January, and here I am, unintentionally on a month-long break from myself. The usual New Year's resolutions replaced by a curious sense of detachment. As a wife, mother, and high school English teacher, life has taken an unexpected turn. The holiday season has left me drained, and instead of actively participating in Dry January, I find myself unintentionally dry from my own essence.

January 5th:

The week has passed in a haze, and I'm grappling with the inadvertent consequences of this unintended hiatus. Mornings are no longer a well-orchestrated routine, and my absence from the usual responsibilities has created a void. The house may be less chaotic, but there's an eerie emptiness that mirrors the absence of my usual self. The kids seem a bit lost, dinner isn't ready on time, and the disorder is becoming noticeable.

January 10th:

As the days roll on, the reality of this unanticipated break sinks in. Without the usual demands of work and family, I'm left with an abundance of time. Writing, once a cherished pastime, becomes a lifeline in this sea of detachment. It's not a deliberate act of self-care; it's a spontaneous reaching out to a familiar anchor. The mess in the house grows, and I find myself unintentionally neglecting the organization that keeps our lives in order.

January 15th:

Midway through this unintentional hiatus, and the impact on my well-being is undeniable. Lack of sleep, exercise, and self-care weigh heavy, yet there's a peculiar freedom in the unraveling. I've discovered a vulnerability that was well-hidden beneath the layers of responsibility. In this unraveling, connections with my family deepen in unexpected ways, but the unintended consequences are becoming more evident. The kids are occasionally late to their extracurricular activities, and the disorder at home is affecting their routines.

January 20th:

Navigating the responsibilities of work and motherhood without the usual sense of self is a surreal experience. My students notice a change in my demeanor, but it's not the intentional transformation of a self-imposed challenge. It's the unintentional shedding of layers, exposing a raw authenticity that defies the boundaries of the roles I play. The unintentional toll on the family is apparent – dinner is frequently delayed, the house is in disarray, and the kids are feeling the effects of the unintended neglect.

January 25th:

As the month-end approaches, the unintentional nature of this journey becomes apparent. What started as an inadvertent break has evolved into a profound lesson. I've unintentionally stumbled upon the importance of self-care, realizing that it's not a luxury but a necessity. The unintended absence of myself has paradoxically led to a more authentic and present version of me for my family and students. Yet, the unintended consequences linger – the disorder persists, and the kids are grappling with the unintentional disruptions in their daily lives.

January 28th:

In the midst of this unintentional odyssey, moments of clarity emerge. The unintentional break has allowed me to rediscover forgotten passions and dreams. Writing, which started as a spontaneous act, has become a deliberate means of self-expression. Unintentionally, I've found a renewed purpose beyond the roles that define me. However, the unintentional toll on the family remains, and it's a stark reminder of the unintended sacrifices made in the pursuit of self-discovery.

February 5th:

As February begins, I reflect on the unintended hiatus that defined January. The unintentional break from myself has reshaped my perspective on balance. It's not about meticulously managing each role but about embracing the ebb and flow of life. I unintentionally confronted the vulnerability of neglecting self-care, and in doing so, unintentionally became a source of inspiration for my family and students. Yet, the unintended disruptions persist, and I am faced with the unintended consequences of a journey that, though transformative, has left traces of disorder in its wake.

February 10th:

The echoes of January linger as I navigate the routine of daily life. The unintentional odyssey has taught me that self-discovery is an ongoing journey, often sparked by unintended detours. The unintentional hiatus has become a catalyst for intentional changes in how I approach my roles. It's a reminder that sometimes, the most profound transformations happen when we least expect them. As I strive for intentional balance, I acknowledge the unintended toll on my family and work towards mending the unintentional disruptions caused by this unintentional journey of rediscovery.

February 15th:

Today, as I sit down with my journal, I find a separate entry penned by my eldest:

"Mom doesn't seem like herself lately. Dinner isn't ready on time, and sometimes, it feels like she's not really here. I told her about a school project, and she seemed distracted. I miss the way things used to be. I hope she's okay."

My heart aches reading these words from my child. The unintended consequences of this journey have touched not just me but those closest to me. It's a poignant reminder that self-discovery should not come at the expense of the connections we hold dear.

February 20th:

Observing my husband has been eye-opening. His love language is touch, and I've unintentionally withdrawn from our usual physical closeness during this journey. Tonight, as he sat beside me, I noticed the subtle sadness in his eyes. A gentle touch, a hug – gestures that used to convey love, now replaced by unintentional distance. It's a revelation that even in my pursuit of self-discovery, the unintended consequences ripple through our relationship.

February 25th:

My husband, unaware of the nature of this journey, has been my silent supporter. As he picks up the slack, he's expressed how much he values all that I do. He sees the challenges I face, and in trying to support me, he's unintentionally become a testament to the strength required in fulfilling my roles. It's a revelation that transcends words – an unspoken acknowledgment of the unintended toll this journey has taken on both of us.

March 1st:

Dear Diary,

As I reflect on the past two months, this unintentional hiatus has become an unexpected chapter in my life. It started as a deviation from the norm, an unplanned journey into self-discovery. The unintended consequences have woven threads of transformation into the fabric of my existence.

This journey was not intentional, but the lessons learned were invaluable. I've unintentionally confronted the vulnerability of neglecting self-care, unraveling layers to find a more authentic version of myself. The unintended consequences touched not only me but also my family, whose lives were inadvertently affected by my pursuit of self-discovery.

Appreciation blooms for the unintended wisdom gained. Self-discovery is not a solitary venture but a harmonious balance between personal growth and the connections that define us. It's an acknowledgment that I can't neglect my entire life in pursuit of understanding myself. The disorder in the house, the occasional chaos in our routines – these were unintended consequences that taught me the importance of incorporating my loved ones into the journey.

I've learned that self-discovery is a necessity, but it doesn't mean abandoning responsibilities or distancing oneself from the people who matter most. As I move forward, I plan to continue this journey intentionally, weaving self-discovery into the tapestry of my daily life. It's about finding moments for myself while also being present for my family and students.

This unintentional odyssey may have started without intent, but it concludes with a deliberate commitment to balance. I've discovered that the most profound transformations happen when we least expect them. As I embrace the intentional path of self-discovery, I carry with me the unintended lessons learned – the value of connection, the strength in vulnerability, and the necessity of incorporating my loved ones into the fabric of my journey.

January 17, 2024 02:42

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


John Jenkins
21:55 Jan 26, 2024

Overall: A haunting piece that really gets to the heart of personal mastery. Beginning: In the beginning, the protagonist is taking a break from "herself." That's a new angle. I'm familiar with many mindfullness teachings and teachers like Eckhart Tollle, but I've never seen a story delve into this topic. Excellent choice. Middle: The middle of this story was all about the unintended, the unintentional and the not intended. I find it very interesting that so much of what happens in my own life is not intended, and yet I can't stop doing it! ...


Show 0 replies
Ethan Johnston
00:05 Jan 25, 2024

I really like this! A lot of it resonates with me because I am in recovery right now, and a lot of my recovery includes self-discovery. I don't have much to critique because I enjoyed this so much. I guess if I could change one thing it would be to include more of the realizations you make into the actual January entries. If that makes sense. A lot of my self discovery personally was realized in week 3 of my sobriety. That's what I've got for ya :) keep it going. I hope to read more from you


Show 0 replies

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.