My paper fetish often gets the best of me. I have more empty journals than I could ever fill. Most of them are gifts; some of them are gems I bought for myself. I am mesmerized by blank paper. I have started many journals but finished very few.
I started one my freshman year of college. That journal holds a lot of stories. Sadly, most of them are stories I would like to forget. I never finished that journal. There are a few blank pages at the end. Not a happy chapter.
The summer after my sophomore year, my best friend gave me a journal. It’s blue with swirling white designs all over the cover. It’s hard bound and opens flat, as all my journals must, since I have bad enough handwriting as it is without fighting an obnoxious, unyielding hill of paper sloping down to the book’s gutter.
I started this journal the first day of my junior year of college. I filled it with everything. I wrote at least once a week. This book is the story of how I rediscovered the world. It contains poetry, stories, snippets of my family history, my daydreams, my fears. What I was afraid to say aloud, I wrote down. What I did not think anyone would understand, I wrote down. The things I hated about myself, I wrote down.
But most importantly, I wrote down the things I wanted to be sure I’d never forget.
I finished the journal yesterday. This may be the first journal of its kind that I’ve filled from cover to cover. I’ve filled prayer journals and devotional journals, but never a journal of my life. What was really lovely was that it ended at a good part. It was a successful conclusion that tied in to how the story began.
I feel prepared for the next chapter—the next book.
I have the next journal lined up: a Moleskine journal, Hobbit edition, that came with a map to the Lonely Mountain, just in case I ever want to go there. It will follow me around everywhere, just as the last one did. I shall write my adventures, for I know now there will be many.
Life, after all, is an adventure, isn’t it?