Wednesday, November 25
Starting in high school- or maybe middle school- I started keeping notebooks. At first they were just diaries... journals of a teenage girl and her emotional instability. It's hard not to laugh when I read those now. But my senior year I started keeping a notebook. My Grandmother had given it to me to write stories in, but I am a perfectionist at heart and I knew that anything I wrote would have to be edited and torn apart. The idea of using such a permanent book for such transitory writing was unthinkable, so it became my first notebook.
I don't think I intended for it to be what it was. It was mostly supposed to be a journal, full of more blathering. But I started to write occasional poetry, make lists of my favorite words, snippets of conversations and essays and pictures- drawn (though not well) or cut out of magazines. I reread that one a lot. It marked a change in me- the beginning of a maturity that was still a long way off, but is there nontheless, in ink.
When I was in graduate school David Novak suggested that we use the cheap, black and white composition notebooks that you can get almost anywhere, to side-step the perfectionism in us all. SO I did. It was usually bigger than the other notebooks I had used, so that was nice. Sometimes I'd copy recipes, poetry, goals, thoughts, notes that are sometimes undecipherable to me now. But the evidence of who I'd been and what I wanted are all there in ink.
I stopped keeping a notebook a while back. Maybe it was when I had Jonah. There was so much stuff to carry that one more thing was just too much, sometimes. I didn't even keep one in my bedside table anymore, though.
This morning Josh took Jonah to the More Tractors Store, so I was checking my email and blogs that I occasionally read when I have a chance and I stumbled on this blog post about Vision Maps and setting Goals. I suddenly realized that I had been doing that with my notebooks. I wasn't just documenting myself, but I was also reminding myself what I wanted and who I wanted to be. I don't do that anymore.
I've felt lonely over tha last year or two in ways that I can't quite pinpoint. I have friends, family, I'm not isolated. But I haven't been acquainted with myself in a long while. I pulled a bunch of pages out of an old composition notebook this morning. They were notes from teaching- things I won't need again. I'm thinking I might need to put some ink on some paper.