i'm a dabbler by nature. i dabble in hobbies. friendships. passions. lusting after small bright flames that dwindle only moments after the match is lit.
journaling is my constant. i remember my first journal. it was given to me when i was 8. a purple book with the word "journal" in gold foil given as a gift on my baptism day. after writing my first entry i tore it out and rewrote it with all of these fancy contractions and code words. now i honestly am not sure what the thing says. i wish 8 year old me was around to decipher it.
through middle school i drew caricatures of boys i liked and doodled frogs and cows. writing haphazardly about exactly what i did that day. this then this then this then this then this then this. the play by play.
in high school most tortured posts were propelled by heart break and a devastating self body image. i read those sad words and vow that never for any amount of money would i step back in time to that moment.
in 2010 i went on a study abroad where we had a "travel writing class." oh, glorious louise plummer. the best professor i have ever had. she bent the rules and we spent the whole summer journaling. reading our journals out loud to each other. speed writing about butter. gluing and pasting anything we could find. stealing business cards and napkins where ever we went. we were the journal bandits! moleskins were our weakness.
i distinctly remember all seven of us sitting around on beds and couches in a hotel room in cinque terra. after a long day we were curled up in bed writing. heads bent over paper and pens. ideas and moments flowing onto paper. jane reciting the movie what a girl wants from memory because none of us could understand the italian.
i wrote in my journal "this is what bliss feels like. this is what it is like to be blissfully happy."
journaling helps me think. helps me slow down my thoughts enough to make sense of how i feel. i love the finality of it. the idea that in our life we literally get to close chapters if we want. after a less than stellar end to whirlwind relationship i had to step back and say "no more. this is done." i closed a journal i had only filled 1/3rd of the way through and said, "the end" while simultaneously opening a new journal to start another "beginning."
how i cherish those journals. all my journals. all 30+ journals and note books stuffed full of life. my life. and that is why i continue. why blogging just isn't enough. the tangible mess of my life is thrown into the tangible mess of my words written by my own pen. to me there is nothing better.