The journal challenge

It has been years since I have last kept a journal. The idea of it has always been inviting to me and yet the past few years I have no bothered to keep one. I think the main reason is I had decided to set down the old pen and paper journals and use blogs instead as my journal. Well that idea has basically fall through time and time again as I have started and abandoned several journals over the past two years. And then something happened recently. Over the last few weeks I have been cleaning out our house, throwing out old junk, donating clothes that we have outgrown and reorganizing to allow out limited space to be used more efficiently. As I was doing this I stumbled upon a box that contained some of my stuff from when I was younger. The items contained in this box variety greatly, I was not the best packer when I first moved out of my parents house, but one thing I found was an old journal of mine.

Instantly I put a halt to the cleaning and sat down to look at it’s contents. To my surprise there was only a single entry in this journal. That single entry spoke of a dream I had, and still have for that matter, to go and see Africa one day. I mentioned the heavy costs of the trip, how my family did not approve of this idea and how no matter what I would one day see that I went there. Well I have yet to go to Africa however I still dream of it. Often times I look through websites for details on safari’s and various vacation options. I am still as determined to go there as I was the day I wrote that journal entry – which by the way was written eight years ago.

This is not the only thing I was reminded of. I also remembered how much I loved to write in journals, even when I thought I have nothing to say I could easily fill up several pages without even thinking about it. Sadly most of my journals have been lost in multiple moves over the years but this one journal with it’s single entry meant the world to me. I suddenly had the desire to continue this journal. So after tidying up a bit more, because the room was a mess from digging around in boxes, I took this journal to my desk and had every intention of adding to it. However I did not. As much as I wanted to add to it I decided that it would be best if I started fresh, with a brand new journal.

So this weekend we headed out on a shopping trip, which by the way takes all day considering we have to drive several hours to get to a major city where there are more than one store at our disposal. The first stop we made was at Chapters. I first browsed through the magazine section, then I tracked down a book that I needed for a series I am currently reading after which I finally made my way over to the journal section. This was the hardest decision I made that day. I painstakingly scoured over a huge assortment of journals looking for just the right one. Finally I found it. When I pulled this journal off the shelf I knew if was destined to come home with me, the feel, the smell, the thickness, everything about it was perfect.

Satisfied with my choice I happily made my way over two the counter and paid for my purchases. The rest of the shopping trip I kept thinking about this new journal and how I was going to write in it as soon as I got home. Well I didn’t. Sadly by the time we got home, unloaded the truck and put everything away I was exhausted. So I told myself I would write in it tomorrow, which happens to be today. But first there were chores to do, since laundry won’t do itself, and then dinner to cook and before I knew it the day had nearly ended. Finally after the kid was put to bed I sat down, pulled out my journal and a brand spanking new pen and went to write something in it’s crisp new pages.

But my pen hesitated, hovering just above the pages surface. What if I write the wrong thing? What if I put something stupid in here? Several what if’s floated around my mind and prevented myself from placing that pen on the paper. I don’t ever remember having this problem when I wrote in my journals in the past. Perhaps it’s because back then I wrote without any thoughts of what others would think if they stumbled upon my journal. The chances are very slim that anyone would read my journal so I can’t explain the hesitation. However as it stands right now my journal is still blank and I continue to hesitate to write with it, yet I have no problem at all talking about it here. Perhaps it is because when typing you can easily go back and change what you have typed, fix spelling and grammar errors and if you change your mind completely you can simply delete the whole thing. It is possible that technology has made me fearful of putting my thoughts down on paper because it seems more permanent then placing them in a blog where a post can easily be deleted.

In the end my journal shall remain untouched, in it’s clean and new state for another day, but I do hope to one day add my thoughts to it. Until then it shall sit upon my desk and wait for my writing courage to return.