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!