In January 2018, well perhaps in the December of the year before, I decided I would keep a journal. You may laugh and roll your eyes and think yes, well, don’t we all. You may think that it’s the resolution of a twelve year old (and one I did indeed make at that age).
This journal of mine is a little (faux) leather-bound book that is bending and wrinkling as I fill it with thoughts and ideas. It is held at the seams with black and white striped taped where pages have been torn and reattached. The grey lined cream pages are filled with scribbles and sketches in nothing more than fading inky black pen. Thirty three pages have been covered in twelve months, in fifty-two weeks – if I were to hesitate a guess, there are nearly two-hundred pages left to fill.
You see I did not set myself with a rule that I must fill a page a day, a page a week, or at least write each month. I simply decided that when I felt inclined to write, when time allowed it or when my mind needed to relinquish a thought or a feeling, then I would write as it suited me. This meant that I never felt obliged to write; my writing when under pressure or not particularly inspired is never very good. After a January of writing every other day, when the next addition to the book was in March, I never felt it was something to be annoyed about or fret over. So this little sliver of thoughts and expression became a haven to turn to – I couldn’t wait until I had something worthwhile enough to fill another of those precious pages.
I try not to limit what I write in these pages. Someone once said to me that if I write only the good then that does not leave me much space to process the lows that come along too. Nothing is written literally; I don’t particularly like to write literally. More often than not there aren’t even fully constructed sentences, more strung together words that half rhyme and make sense only in prose. Such are the thoughts that drift through my mind, I suppose. The last entry of last year was in late November.
The first entry of this year was two days ago, on January 1st, whose timeliness, while notable, was entirely unintended. It detailed how I feel about this up and coming 2019. Honestly? I am so ready for it. Not ready for it in a sort of melancholy can’t wait to see the back of 2018, but much more of a genuine looking forward with excitement, ready for it. The end, and by that measure, the beginning of something else, is so close. Without sounding like the little message in a fortune cookie, this new year really had the potential to be entirely what you make it. I am aware that saying I didn’t want to sounds cliché absolutely did not make it any less so. Perhaps it’s only a cliché because it is entirely true, no matter how cheesy it sounds.
Never have I been so ready to get back to work, back into a productive routine and making headway with the looming mountains of work. I’m not actually dreading those mountains though, rather I’m slightly looking forward to them. This is a year to make things happen, however big and however small, even if it is just writing three lines, once every two months, in a book only you will see. In a world of typed sentences on screens (the irony is not lost on me) sometimes it is grounding to put pen to paper.
This little journal of mine will carry on through 2019, and if the rate of writing remains consistent, will follow me through to 2023. It will be full of the brim with six years worth of thoughts, rhymes and not an awful lot of reason, taped together and patched up with sketches, pressed flowers and notes galore. It will be something of a keep sake, from the age of 20 to 26. I’d like to think that one day there will be a shelf of thirteen lots of two hundred pages bound in rainbow colours, illustrating a life well lived in letters and inky sketches.
Much like this post, and very many others that I write if I am completely honest, the words in that journal are only written for the pure sake of writing them. I am sure, however, that I am very ready for 2019. I hope you are too, in whatever way, shape or form.
I wish you not only a happy and peaceful new year, but one that you conquer.
loving and leaving,