Tuesday, March 02, 2010

graphic c. 2009, core77, from here. All rights reserved, I'm sorry, please don't sue me.

My birthday's coming up this week, and I just wanted to commemorate this aspect of my life.

I started journaling in earnest - after a few false starts and assigned class projects in high school - on my birthday, 15 years ago. I don't write every day (by a damn sight) and I don't write in tremendous volume, but for the last 15 years, I have never been without a notebook to catch my most boring, mundane, totally-not-worth-sharing thoughts and feelings, sketches of outfits I've seen, designs for bags, sweaters, and completely unwearable tops, jokes, book titles (ones that I want to read and ones that I want to write), notes about great dishes I've eaten, indecipherable diagrams, sarcastic cartoons during sincere ministry meetings, and the fortunes from a hundred cookies.

I was about to write about how 'journaling has kept me sane."

But, since I filled my prescriptions today, I'm reminded that that would not be technically true.

Nonetheless, I want to say that there is something of inestimable value is honoring your story by writing it down, especially if you expect that no one else will ever see it. That, in this world, someone cares what you think - even if it's just you.

So this is my advice to you. Get a notebook. Get a decent pen. Carry it around. Write shit down. Process stuff on the page. Bitch about your spouse. Worship your dry cleaner. Write about your sex life. You don't have to be fair, and it doesn't have to make sense, not even to you, if you were to read it later. You don't have to read it later. Draw your terrible, terrible pictures that would mortify your elementary school art teacher. If you're really into it, you can carry colored pencils and a glue stick, like I do.

It really will make a difference.

1 comment:

Stacie said...

You'd better warn Eric now, if anything ever happens to you he'll need to watch out for a sketchy brunette (sketchy... art joke... ha) rummaging through your crap desperately trying to get her hands on your journals. The idea of Betsy's brain in a book intrigues me.