Turning Over a New Leaf

As my mac and cheese boils in the microwave (yes, I do eat easy-mac), I feel it is the proper time to announce to the world that I have finished my journal.  You know, that huge tan thing I lug around with a binding that looks like an overstuffed, overstretched day planner?  Actually, its a bit more romantic than that - I bought this journal after high school graduation, summer of 2007, and began writing in it the following fall. It is my college journal.  I've recorded everything from the first days at Northwestern to sermon notes, from breakups to summer flings, I've recorded every single trip I've taken, every day overseas, and taped and collected enough mementos to cause that binding stretching I talked about earlier.  I wrote it for my kids, or at least whoever wants to know about my life in the future, since I may not be blessed them someday. I also wrote it as a letter to God, as an outlet for my hormonal depression/aggression depending on the entry.  I wrote it to remember what I'd done, how I'd felt, and what I'd seen.  I wrote it because we don't remember enough, we don't record our own lives - writing takes time and there's never enough anymore.  I suppose that journal was a precursor to this blog - I would never have done this without that. 

Writing is something that grows and develops, something that progresses and then all of a sudden you realize how far you've come.  Not just with how far you've grown in your personal life or spiritual life or simply the passing of time, you realize how much you like to write, you remember how hard it was to even jot down a paragraph and now its painful to be torn away from your journal turned novel.  I NEVER thought I had any talent in writing - and maybe I really don't - but I don't worry anymore about who reads it or how dignified I sound - I write because it flows out of me, because if I don't put my pen to paper, it'll be lost forever.  So, as I scribbled in the last few lines on the plane ride back from Europe, filling every last crannie with my slanted letters, I closed the cover on the last three years of my life - it began my first days at Northwestern and ends with my last days, the last days of community and adventure in Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. 

Dear Writer,

Don't be afraid to start.  Pick up your pen and tell me your story.