I bought a journal on Friday night from my favorite place in Tracy called The Owl Box. And with it, I am currently processing life through journaling.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. — Ernest Hemingway
When I went in, I asked, “Can you please show me all your journals?” First, they showed me a beautiful watercolor one and several pocket journals. The pocket journals were lovely because the cover was a color wheel, and I’m looking for color wheels and other color inspiration books for another project I’m working on. But they were too small to make the cut as my new journal. I was leaning towards the beautiful watercolor one, even though it was a $42 journal. I didn’t care. I needed this journal ASAP.
But then, Rachel (one of the owners who I love) came out with four other journals – same family, different looks. Two were bigger and taller, and the other two smaller. She told me the story of these Attic Journals, about how they are committed to sustainably offsetting the book discard pipeline by upcycling as much of the book as possible in our diverse line of gift & decor items made for the wholesale market & every day people.
I decided on the “The Fire Cat” + “On Cherry Street” journals immediately (I went back yesterday and bought the three others).
They were exactly what I never knew I was looking for.
They represent everything and all the things for life’s current feels.
Several Months Ago
It all began several months ago, maybe April or May, I can’t even remember anymore it’s been so long. But from the beginning, I promised Ryan that I would not write on my blog about anything.
In the early mornings, my mind would start running away from me. And at night, it would take me to all the places I didn’t want to go. When I could usually sit at the computer, and type my way through a process, now was just not an option.
I started to feel boxed in. I’d look up and down, side-to-side for where I could find an outlet beyond talking – talking is not my outlet (and this would shock every single teacher I had growing up).
Two weekends ago, Ryan and I went to Tahoe for one night…..alone, with no kids. (Something like a miracle, yes!) On our way back down from the mountains, I started telling him about this outlet I needed. And during that day and night in Tahoe, I had it “all figured out.”
Chapter 17, 18, or 19 of my book Gravel Roads would be it. We started talking about how many chapters I wanted my book to be, and where this next huge chapter in life would fit in. We agreed that if the book contained fewer pages per chapter (about 6-8) and a total of around 150 pages, there would be roughly 19 – 25 chapters. I don’t know why or how I’m crazy like this, but 27 chapters starting speaking clearly to me.
Gravel Roads will be 27 chapters. (Short, chewable chapters – just like my favorite books are laid out. Ex. Present Over Perfect.)
And with that, Ryan agreed that I could write a blog post titled, “Chapter (17, 18, 19)” (<- whatever I decided on) and I could foreshadow to this next huge event in our lives without fully announcing it.
Finally, I felt excited and more at peace with everything happening. I would be able to write, even if it was only foreshadowing, and I would start to process it all in the best way I knew how to.
I began a draft of this post on the back end of my blog. I clicked “save” on Monday, November 13, 2017 – just waiting for the right time to finish and click “publish” on it.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Sometimes my best-laid plans fail me. Actually, oftentimes they do.
I received a call late on Tuesday night that would change everything.
And by “everything,” I mean, quite literally, that it would have me almost caring zero about all the stress over the past several months. It would also mean that writing Chapter (17, 18, or 19) wasn’t accurate anymore. And finally, it would mean that while the whole world started finding out the news in the days to come, I personally was not ready to write about it here.
I wanted, so desperately, to write about our next life event, but to begin combing through this new news was (and is) too much for me, let alone for my blog.
From Tuesday through Friday, I sat around – mostly numb, trying to process, but per the usual, not wanting to talk.
Processing Life Through Journaling
Click HERE to save this post for later.
Friday came and I went into The Owl Box, back to the old school. Pen and paper, not keyboard and computer. I got myself that journal.
On Saturday morning, around 5 am, I started writing in this journal. The first paragraph reads exactly like this….
Today is Saturday, November 18, 2017. I have spent the last several months with no outlet to process major life events. These stories, thoughts, and feeling normally would go on my blog, but neither have I been able to share publicly yet.
I texted my mom all about it. I said, “I haven’t blogged about XYZ or XYZ yet, and writing is my outlet. I don’t process without writing. Never have, never will. So I needed a journal.”
She replied, “I know journals have always been important to you. Good outlet.”
And I said, “I think I have like 50. I’ve never thrown a single one.”
Her only response, “Wow!”
Unless writing is your outlet, you can’t understand this.
But almost immediately, the heavy bricks started falling off my shoulders, one-by-one. And each time I write in my journal (and even writing this), it feels like they crumble more and I breathe easier.
Anne Frank said it best,
I can shake off everything as I write, my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.
Journaling ‘On Cherry Street’ is the best thing for me right now.
I will be able to write about November 14, 2017, soon, and about a month-ish after that, I will be able to write about the life event brewing for several months now (guys, I’m not pregnant – let’s just get that out of the way right now!).
And in the meantime? I’m totally and 1,000% processing life through journaling.
p.s. Need to start journaling? Do it. Like, today. Just start. At some point, I’ll work on a blog post for y’all that shares the many ways I have journaled over the years.