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This article written by Bryce definitely worth a read. It’s a really valuable amazing life lesson!
May 5, 2015 — “Don’t Trust Your Brain to Remember Everything. Keep a Journal”
When I was 22, I got my first job in film in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village.” That same year, my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I moved from New York City to Los Angeles to start a life together. Looking back, I can’t quite believe all that took place within 365 days. I made countless mistakes that year, and, of course, I have made many since then. I’ve also celebrated some profound victories. The problem is that I can only remember about half of it.
If I could give one piece of advice to my 22-year-old self, it would be to keep a journal. Not a once-every-few-weeks journal but a daily, no-excuses journal. It doesn’t need to be inspirational, literary, or even legible — but every day, write something down. I have struggled to keep a daily journal and settled for fits and starts of ambitious personal essays or fodder for what I hoped could be published some day. But it’s actually not about that. It’s about knowing what happened and knowing how you felt about it at the time.
If I could talk to my 22-year-old self, I would tell her to take a daily note of what she saw, who she met, what she noticed, what she celebrated, and what she wished she could do over. I would tell her to write it all down without editing herself. I would tell her to do it on the back of a receipt in a subway car on days when she had back-to-back rehearsals and a job at a nightclub and simply couldn’t get to her journal.
With the few inconsistent journal entries I have made in the past, it has been magical to look back and understand my younger self more truly and intimately. It has given me clarity to see actual artifacts from the time in question rather than the ever-evolving telephone game that so often serves as our personal histories. Journaling shows me patterns of my decisions and allows me to make stronger ones. It shows me that I am often naive, misguided, and anxious. Reading those thoughts from the past and knowing what I know now about the truth of those events teach me to be easier on myself today. It gives me the freedom to laugh at myself when reading back on my thoughts and experiences that were so obviously fraught with unnecessary angst. It also helps me remember the joyous moments in life, the small wins, and minor celebrations that were better than any birthday.
Journaling, over the years, has made me more self-aware of patterns, context, and the passage of time. I wish I had a Delorean right now, because as I look back, I wish I had been more diligent in writing daily. There are experiences that have sadly faded in my mind now, and memories, emotions, and lessons I wish I had tucked away safely in my journal, because I can’t quite specifically recall those essential details.
In writing this now, I realize that it’s time for me to take a moment and put pen to paper, because 12 years from now – at age 46 – I want to be able to look back at my 34-year-old self and reminisce, rediscover, and laugh.
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