So I moved a few months back. Packed up my life in boxes and flew the family coup and into my own little hobbit hole. Naturally, over the course of culling my many things to make the transition easier, I found a few of my old journals.
A few from high school, some from my first year of working, some sporadically kept up until I couldn’t bear wallowing in my own mind any longer. Quite a few times amidst the chaos of packing and culling, I’d come across an old journal still in its hiding place.
In the past year or so, I’d gotten back into journalling again. I’d picked up a notebook just before I was to run off to Melbourne for a weekend, finding this small blank book at the airport that morning. While drinking over-priced airport coffee in a cafe near my gate, I pulled it out and thought ‘Why not?’.
A small black notebook, nothing fancy. What was important about it was that it was ordinary, and thus I was well within my rights to not be perfect in it.
So I wasn’t. And it became this weird journal/sketchbook/diary thing which I very gleefully mess about in. Lunchtime sketches, to-do lists, shopping lists, the occasional journal entry or story snippet. It became just this delightfully imperfect book.
I had been flicking over this little book the other week after a small lunchtime journalling session and realised something.
But first, let us digress for a moment.
Earlier this year, I’d been looking over all the old things I’d written lately. I have a habit of hopping from project to project, so I thought it’d do me good do look over my many, many WIPs and see if there was one I could breathe some life back into.
Scattered amongst my various WIPS were these half-written journals, but they weren’t even that.
There was a point a few years back when I was dreadfully unhappy, where I just wanted to be nothing but numb because there were feelings too much and too often.
I had been regularly writing at this point, coming off the high of winning my first NaNo and wanting to ride that writing wave for as long as I could.
So why not write it, I thought. Why not take a character, this character who is so much stronger and braver than I am. Let me give this to you, I thought, let me give this imaginary person all these things I can’t shoulder, all these things that I can’t bring myself to talk about out loud (because that way lay tears, and we can’t be having with that).
So I did. Hidden in my folder of stories was this not-quite-a-story. Written in second person, these were monologues more than anything, snippets of a life that I didn’t know how to deal with. But they helped, gave me enough distance to deal with things without having to stuff everything in a box like I’m wont to do.
I’d thought that this was a new thing, a startling discovery on how I could deal with things in a healthier way besides my usual way of suppressing everything until the dam overflowed.
I was wrong, of course. Because when I’d sat cross-legged on my floor, pouring over old journals, I found that this was how I dealt with things. How I’d always dealt with things. From the end years of high school, from struggling with the tail end of my first job, this was my way of coping.
And I’d found while flicking through my little book of imperfections was that I’ve been writing an awful lot of things in second-person lately.
I’m okay, really. Just dealing with things the only way I know how apparently.
(Maybe I’m just having that quarter-life crisis I’ve been joking about.)
I really am fine, even if it does sound like the lady doth protest too much. This week seems like the first time in a while that the fog has lifted. Where for the first time in what seems like months I’m not stumbling through life purely by muscle memory.
So. Maybe I’ll start this up again (heaven knows I’ve been horribly neglecting it). I have a few things in the works at the moment, and I find myself renewed, like a switch I’d long dismissed as broken has suddenly flicked on again.
I’ll make no promises, but living alone now I find myself doing a lot of introspection and little projects which could serve as blog fodder, so who knows?
For now, I’ll let this just stand as a ‘Still Alive!’ sort of entry.
Here’s to the clearing fog, eh?