Sitting starting, a white blank screen staring right back at you. Mocking you in it's shocking whiteness. Although it is white, you distinctly see the outline of a tongue emoticon teasing you. Pushing you to write. Yet you sit. Motionless and the words are not forthcoming… but you have this challenge you said you'd meet and meet it you will.
Usually words don't pose a problem for me. I have filled many handwritten journals over the years. Trials and tribulations. Happy moments. And sad. It's all been part of the journey of life and though the past few years I've been really slack. A small box sits high in the cupboard and I still gently pull out each of those hardbound journals handle them with care and stroke them for within they contain every inch of me. My thoughts. My dreams. My life.
Written by a young impressionable girl (who had really messy handwriting) and started at a small round cafe style table in Gladstone, feeling ever so grown up (but I really wasn't) thinking the world around me was a glittering gem of opportunities. The heat of the day pulsing in the open doors of that restaurant and I sat there listening to sounds of the workers around me, fondling my new "elephant" journal thinking of all the things I would write. Savouring the empty pages ahead of me, contemplating the pages eventually filled with scribbles and photos. Stickers and the like. It was December 1998 and that young girl of 21 was peering through rose coloured glasses. Happiness abounded and though she still contained some of that childlike immaturity, she was wise beyond her years. She liked the idea of journalling her years ahead, she just didn't realise how much she would need it and how in 15 years time she would sit and still fondly stroke that elephant journal, shudder at the messy almost childish writing and grin at how innocent she once was.
How bad was the handwriting!!!
That journal took me 6 years to fill. It guided me through some hard lessons in life and helped me deal with some pretty heavy stuff. A quick flick through revealed a line written late in 1999 "We are talking seriously about having a baby soon" oh if I knew then what I know now... might have saved myself many years of heartache. Many words filling each page as I grew up, got a dog, changed jobs, bought and sold our first home, got hitched, built a home, moved further north out of the 'burbs. Friendships made and lost. Discovering the real meaning of family and saying final goodbye to the first person close to me to ever to pass away. Finally at the age of 27 I emerged, the world around me had changed; but inside I had grown, evolved, managed and survived most of my 20's within the pages of this first journal.
At the time I filled it with mundane words, description sadly lacking. Journal writing then was just another creative outlet… yet it lacked any real creativity. It wasn't until years later that something clicked and as I sat with my new green I Believe journal I made a conscious decision to write daily from that point on. And write I did. Page after page. Mostly an account of day to day life, but they were important years to record and I wrote fast and furiously my story evolving as more pages were filled and yet another book was inked and completed.
It's now been 15 years since I embarked on the epic journal writing journey and my regrets are minimal. I regret that there are certain things I still can't be fully open about within my own pages and I regret that at times life got too busy to keep a record. Most of all I regret that recently I lost the momentum to write day in day out. I am trying to find that because I know that no matter how blank the page before me might be, I have enough words to fight through that writers block and write on. As I talk. A lot.
And so it is 15 years later I am currently working my way through my 10th journal… yes 10. I wonder how many more I will fill in my lifetime. I wonder if I will look back in another 15 years and wish I could tell the woman I am today something that I will know then?