Sunday, February 3, 2008

Juicy Journals

I have always loved writing... anything and everything. Stories, poems, the boring chronicles of my teenage angst - whatever comes into my fevered little brain. I just love writing stuff down on paper. Sometimes special paper, sometimes special pens, sometimes special books. I find it so therapeutic in so many ways. The more I write, the better I feel - I have more clarity, my memory improves, I can relax. My favorite thing to do is sit at Barnes & Noble in the cafe, drinking coffee and writing.

I've been journaling on and off for about 20 years but it didn't hit me until yesterday that I've been writing for this long. I was in the attic trying to organize a few things and I came across a paper grocery bag filled to the brim with journals. I pulled them out just to take a quick peek. Oh my, how lovely the memories. I found pictures of me and my high school friends being crazy on a night out many years ago, a story of the day that my baby girl first started dancing in my arms - a sweet little wiggly-twisty dance, the details of a date with a boyfriend who would later become my husband, the fun memories of a visit with my sister on my birthday.

I've always thought that (god forbid) if we ever had a fire, after I made sure my family and pets were safely out of the house, I would grab two things: my journals and our photo albums. How? Not sure exactly - chuck them out the window before the fire could get to them? I think I remember being very anxious about this when I was really young (6th grade?) and they talked about escape routes in your home in the event of a fire. I remember putting all my special things - including letters from my summer camp friends, pictures and journals - into a bag that I set beside my bedroom door just in case.

Sometimes I wonder if I don't love looking back on the memories of all this writing just as much a doing it. Some of my journals are very visual, lots of photographs and very colorful - more like a scrapbook. Some of them are all writing and include poems and stories. Some are a combination, like the ones when my daughter was very little and her baby face was just too sweet to not include. Then there are some that were just an outlet, full of frustration and longing.

I have to stop for a moment and think practically about all this stuff - honestly, if I live to be 100, I'll have a ton of stuff to chuck out a window if there is ever a fire. Perhaps I'll have to organize them by priority. Best memories first - teenage angst last!


Nan said...

That would be terrible if you ever lost your journals. Maybe you could put some of them in a safe deposit box.

Manspace said...

My daughter number one began early and often to write and draw and create and express herself and who knows where it will lead to. But it seems to have served her very well to now.
How bout them Giants?
Love ya - Dad

Donna said...

Oh Jen, what wonderful memories to have! Don't stop writing.

Suzy said...

I just fund your blog, so sunny!
I can really understand you about writing journals, it helps me too!
I never thought what would happen in case of fire!!! I always just thought of my photos! Glad you are enjoying your memories.


Kathleen Grace said...

HI Jen, Thanks for stopping by my blog. It led me backj here and I have been enjoying your writing so much! I love the stories about your journals, your daughters clogging class ( I had a little old great uncle that always clogged at the family gatherings!) and especially finding the abandoned drive in theater witht he link to the National Geographic article on abandoned buildings! I love abandoned stuff and wondering what is inside:>) I hope you visit again soon and I will be coming back to see what you are journaling about at Sunnispace:>)

Abbie said...

I think it is so wonderful that you have them to recall back to. I think ost of mine are gone now. :) Keep them close, they will be so much fun for your little ones to read once they are older.
Who knows, perhaps if your daughter has a rough spot in her life, you can show her how had the same thing happen and how you dealt with it.
Have a fabulous week!

chocolate girl said...

i loved this post jen, i too have loved writing in journals since i was, gosh, in the 7th grade. i still have the 'hello kitty' journal on my shelf to this is so full of innocence and girl thoughts. i too can sit for hours on end in B&N's writing, sipping, reading...ahhh.

hugs to you my kindred !! i so wish we lived closer, something tells me we would be together hanging out alot!

justabeachkat said...

What fun to find those. I'm sure it was wonderful to just sit back and enjoy looking through them. I think that's just ONE of the reasons I enjoy blogging. It's fun to look back and see just how blessed I am.