Monday, October 26, 2009

September 5th 2005

The title of this blog post is the date that I started writing in my red journal. It has taken me four years, but tonight I finally FINALLY finished writing in this book that I have carried around with me all that time.

I started writing in a journal the first day of my senior year of high school. For the better part of eight years I wrote pretty much every single day. I've gone back and read some of my journal entries from high school and I have been horrified. It reminds me of that live show (and book) Get Mortified. If you don't know, and taken from their own website, Mortified is: a comic excavation of the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids. Witness adults sharing their own adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more. I've been to the live show twice and it always makes me go back and read my own journals. It's ridiculous and embarrassing the kinds of things that were "important" to the teenage version of me. But totally entertaining, in a cringe-worthy way.

The writing in a journal thing slowed down and almost stopped completely around the time my dad died. I remember sitting in the hospital the day he died and writing about the experience of sitting next to him while he slept. It was the morning of August 26th, 2004 and I forced myself to sit there and write down everything I saw, heard and smelled. As painful as the experience was, I knew I wanted to remember it. For what? I have no clue. I was very conscious of writing in my journal after he died too. I knew the time was so awful, but again, there was something inside of me telling me I'd one day want to look back on the time and remember what I was feeling. Funny thing is, over five years later, I can sum it up pretty easily- I felt lost, angry, sad and incredibly lonely at the thought of never hearing from or seeing my father again.

Writing in my journal had always been a good release for me. But I stopped writing in there regularly. I think like many things that were good for me, I shoved it aside and buried myself in work and taking care of other people. So it's no surprise that it took me this long to finish this journal.

When I started the Game on Diet way back in the beginning of August, I knew the good habit I wanted to pick up was to write in my journal again. I was so sick of picking it up weeks or months after an entry and starting it with "It's been so long since I last wrote in here." And when we started round 2 of the game, I knew I wanted to continue the journal writing as my good habit. It really does help keep me stay a little bit sane and put things into perspective.

So last night when I finally finished that journal, I felt such a huge sense of accomplishment. It's definitely the longest it's ever taken me to write in a journal, and hopefully it'll stay that way. Now that I'm on this course of writing in it regularly (at least six nights a week), I hope my future journals will be filled up much, much quicker.

What's fun about finishing a journal is that I get to pick up a new one. This past weekend I went to Barnes & Noble on two separate occasions to try and pick out a new journal. I'm very picky about my journals (and lots and lots of other things) and it must have taken me more than 30 minutes- on my second visit- before I snatched up the one best suited to me. Although the lines are a little too far apart on the paper inside, I love it and can't wait to get started- TONIGHT!

Old journal:

New journal:


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