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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Journey of Journals

Last week, on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, I did something for the very first time in my life.  On the first day of this year, I closed the book on a goal I set out for myself, unsure of the outcome.  When I say book, I mean that both figuratively and literally.  I finally completed a journal!  It sounds weird, me being a writer and all, but I have never finished a journal.  The crazy thing is, I have a boatload of journals that have been gifted to me by many people (including myself) dating back to the 1980s- none of them completed.

Some of my journals stand absolutely empty, as if nothing of importance or value has occurred since receiving them.  Each one has either been started as a method of healing or as a a way of documenting something that I feel my future self needs to remember.  The journal I just completed, the only one with the distinct characteristic of having it's pages filled from cover to cover, was started for the former reason.  I needed to deal with a breakup that caught me off-guard.  I had to find some way to release my feelings without calling my friends up every hour to discuss the different angles of my sadness, anger and frustration.  I wanted to get off of my chest, what I felt was pinning me down.  I needed to be my own sounding board.  

The first entry of the journal is dated 2/26/13.  I reflected on Joshua 1:9.  I was sad.  It was seven days after the dissolution of my most recent relationship and I was still reeling.  My best friend, Antoine, had suggested journaling.  I told him about my challenge with finishing journals.  He said write anyway.  I wanted to pick up an old journal that I had written in last, but Antoine said it may be important to just start a new one, with the goal being to finish.  Here I am, a little less than a year from my first entry and I have done what I set out to do.  After my last entry, I found the hardest and most therapeutic thing to do was to actually go back and read my previous entries.  To see where I had come from was heartbreaking and liberating at the same time.  How could someone so broken, be renewed in just less than 12 months' time?  It seemed like hell then, but now it feels like nothing.

So what does one do when a journal has been completed?  One keeps writing, with the same goal in mind- to complete it and to heal and grow from the process.  I decided to finish another journal that I started in 2009.  It too focuses heavily on a relationship gone sour, but also of my employment at the time.  I hated my job then and you can hear it through my words.  I was almost in tears reading my words from the past.  My frustration and hurt is palpable.  I think this will be a good journal to complete next.  The contrast between my life then and now is plain to see, which makes it all the much sweeter to end it on a high note.

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