I love when people ask why did you start your blog? I don’t always love when they ask me because I fear my answer will sound narcissistic but, I really do enjoy hearing other people’s answers. So Daily Prompt…
I suppose I should answer the question though, in case any of you were wondering. It’s truly a selfish reason. I blog so I can write.
On my 13th birthday, my Nana gave me a journal. It was called my Secret Garden Journal. It had a lock and it was set up by month and each day had its own page. Each month had beautiful illustrations of the flower of the month held within a beautiful yellow hardcover binding. The pages of the book were high gloss, though not my favorite for writing on, they were nice when used with a simple blue Papermate pen. However, when the pen was on the verge of dying, it would blot very badly and end up making my hand look like I had crushed a Smurf with my fist.
I had never kept a journal before. I didn’t quite know what to write in it. I knew I wanted to write more than just who I was currently infatuated with (which now looking back, I see that I had developed an early pattern of falling for the gay guys) and what I wore that day. But being only 13, there wasn’t anything really pressing to write about. I knew that it was a place to let my words out; empty my brain. The short little pages were not enough sometimes, but I wrote. Every night I wrote, lying in my bed, after all homework was done. I wrote about the day and I wrote about what I thought. It was liberating. Something about emptying those words on to those glossy pages and locking it up felt good.
I filled the book and then went out and bought another. This one, a more generic book with blank pages. It had a hard cover that had paperclips all over the front of it. I thought I would be like Anne Frank and name my diary. I loved that she had named hers. It was like she had a friend and confidant. It only made sense because my journal was like a dialogue and if I had a name, I didn’t feel like I was talking to myself as much as I was having a conversation that would help me work out all of the garbled thoughts a teenager can have. When my parents got divorced, that journal was my savior. I can’t even tell you how many pages were used during that time, but I can tell you that it was probably more effective than Dr. Mike making us play Don’t Wake Daddy, failing to see the irony in the selection of that specific game and the reason we were currently sitting in his office playing it.
Once that journal was filled, I continued on. I started stock piling journals so that if I filled one before the year was over, I had a new one at the ready. I kept a list of names, too. Each journal was different. Different cover, different paper weight, different lines, different color paper. Of course that meant each one deserved to have its own name. I also felt that it made each one a friend who saw me through something different. High school years, college freshman years, that weird period when I wasn’t in college…each journal was a lifeline.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped. I had journals but I had stopped writing religiously in them. I didn’t spend every night writing before turning out the light. I forgot about my friend who would wait up to hear about the day, every day.
All these years later, I realized that I needed to write every day. I needed that journal. I needed a space where I could keep bringing my thoughts out into a solid space and make them last in some way. I started blogging.
I don’t blog like I would write my journal. If I did, I fear you all would think I was a lunatic. Wait, you might already…
I really just blog to keep writing. If something specific gets stuck in my head, I try to write about that. If something particularly eventful occurs, I hope that I am able to capture it in a way that is true to myself and someday, if the internet is still around, my daughter might be able to read and realize that Mom wasn’t really as crazy as she seemed all the time.
After writing this post though, I think I might try to keep a more personal journal too. One where I can really, truly empty the brain. Who knows, there might be a story or two in there that might be worth exploring a little more…a dream that might need to be taken down off the shelf…