Sunday, May 2, 2010
Four years ago, I packed up my life and moved it all 500 miles to one small town on the top of a hill in Southern Vermont, without a damn clue what it would turn into for me. I may wax poetic about it all for years, in hindsight, in retrospect, whatever shades that might tint the memories. Everything wasn't always perfect, but the town of Marlboro felt like *home*. But before Marlboro, there was another me. A me who filled journal after journal with tiny cramped writing, drawings, designs, and lord-knows-what workings of teenage consciousness (the first image in this post is a quick view of some pages from an old journal of mine, and two books I hand-bound on the edges of the frame). Most of the writing probably isn't worth reading, but the way I lay out the text and sketches, sometimes weaving strands of text into images makes the journals visually appealing, a flip-book of nostalgia. Once I got to Marlboro I stopped writing and sketching after one journal of nothing but text. My question is, why did I stop? While I'm not prepared to completely answer that yet, here are some thoughts on the subject:
First, why did the content shift to text-only? Was it because I felt I didn't have the time to commit to more sincere creations on the pages? Because I felt my sketches and layout concepts were piddly, and not worth putting on paper? How could I be more self-conscious in college than in High School? My intent in keeping the journals was always that someday, someone would read them. Whether that would be a progeny or a historian, an alien anthropologist... Or maybe I thought they would fall into someone's hands sooner than that, and prove how awesome I was. With that in mind, I suppose the shift was because I started sharing more with people face to face at college, and didn't feel the need to record everything on paper for future transmission.
And then why did I stop writing entirely? Even at times when I could have used some introspection, I didn't write... at least not in paper journals. I began emailing, using Facebook and Twitter, recording my movements and thoughts in communications and snippets. Microblogging. This, so far as I'm concerned, is a significant step down. Maybe even a slide. Then again, I'm not sure all that introspection helped me develop much at the time, either.
I don't know if trying to restart my journaling is a mistake or not (my own version of NaNoWriMo... whatever month it may be). But if I think "nothing I do is worth recording, not the entire day, certainly" then I'm only discouraging myself. Maybe I became more private, in an odd, long-term way.
... and here I am blogging about it. Hopefully posting this will make me more inclined to journal at least once a week...