I’ve been collecting notebooks since I was a little girl. As I got older the notebooks would sit on my shelf or on my desk unopened, collecting dust, waiting for the day when they would finally be used. This didn’t stop me from purchasing another notebook when I came across it. I would be shopping and see one that I liked and I would buy it adding to my collection of beautiful, but unused, notebooks. I would think to myself that I would have lots of paper if the world ever came to an end.
There was a reason why I kept buying the notebooks. They were waiting to be filled. I kept finding myself attracted to them because I was ignoring a very strong longing in myself. For years I would write on and off, but never regularly. I was too busy trying to be someone else. I was too busy hiding from myself to fill the notebooks. I was living a life where I wasn’t being honest with myself. I was afraid that my honesty would hurt others or they wouldn’t love me. This was on the surface of the issue, deeper still was the fact that if I did actually face these fears then I would have to make changes, live differently, and that was even scarier.
I used to think about the world coming to its end a lot. The apocalypse. I think my subconscious was trying to tell me something. It used the idea of society collapsing to warn me of how far off my path I had stumbled. When the apocalypse occurred it was on a personal scale. It wasn’t the whole of society that collapsed, but the world I had so carefully and stubbornly built. I built it based upon the beliefs of others because I thought they knew better than I did. Before everything crashed and burned I would update my journal once or twice a year. I wasn’t willing to find the truths it held for me, instead I used it to record my lack of growth.
My life imploded and I didn’t know what to do. My heart was broken again and again. To most people, I would smile and say I was great, but inside I didn’t know what to do. I hurt so badly and I didn’t know how to make it stop. It would send me scrambling for the notebooks I had collected. My instincts took over and I began to write. I would to fill them with all the words I had been afraid to write before. Writing is one of my emotional coping tools and finally I allowed it freedom in my life. Finally, the thoughts and ideas that I had hidden from myself were acknowledged. It was here that I met myself for the first time.
Within two years I’ve filled a half a dozen notebooks. I’m working on filling another three or four as I write this article. I’m only now beginning to understand how very important writing is to me. It is how I’ve formed myself, how I’ve come to recognize myself. In recording my thoughts I’ve finally see the me that repeats itself over and over again. The me I never took the time to find before. The me I needed to embrace.
I recently realized that I had become so used to not knowing who I am that I still sometimes forget that I actually know what I want now. I know what I stand for. My notebooks that I’ve been collecting since I was a little girl, they know too. They remind me whenever I forget. Others no longer define me. I do that for myself. For some, notebooks are just notebooks, but for me they are messages from my deeper self. That part of me that has some idea as to what the hell is going on here. The one that often answers the questions I ask if only I am willing to listen. Sometimes it can take us a while to listen, but better late than never.