(Adapted from a journal entry written in January ’09)
For the first time in a decade I have taken a substantial hiatus from writing.
My last thoughts on paper were written the night before my wedding day. It is now over a year later that I finally pick up a pen. I’m not sure the reason for the departure from something that was once such a cornerstone for who I am. Time played an enormous part, I am sure, but I think it’s something more.
As much as I wanted to detail every minute of my first year of marriage, I also didn’t. I wanted to experience the year fully immersed, not looking through my normal documentarian, anthropologist lens. I wanted to laugh, cry, observe, rage, pray, LIVE without the aid of processing on paper.
Also I am certain that I didn’t want to record everything so vividly that I would remember the painful parts. I have recorded anger at people countless times before (especially Mike!) and it never helps to revisit those pages. I am finally learning that part of grace and forgiveness is forgetting — and journals don’t let you forget.
But let me be clear. I don’t think seven days go by that I don’t think of writing about our life or my feelings. I feel an incredible urge most days to scribble down SOMETHING because I am terrified that I’ll forget some tidbit about our story. I also have walked around all year with an enormously heavy feeling of guilt for not writing about the most important thing to happen to me since Christ. Mike is the center of my world now, and not to write about it feels horribly ungrateful and dismissive. I spent years writing about the possibility and the desire to get married (especially to Mike!) so not to write about every moment feels like an abomination. It also feels somewhat juvenile; he’s my husband, why should I write about him like he’s a teenage crush? So I haven’t.
And it’s been good and not so good. The good: I have learned to be fully present, not racing off to record my thoughts. I have learned to process without this trusty crutch, and instead done so either with Mike, God, or by myself. I have spent time with Mike that would otherwise have been spent alone. The not-so-good involves three losses:
- I lose my grip on reality a bit when I can’t reason an issue out on paper — and that’s happened more than once.
- I have lost precious details of my life that I might otherwise have recorded.
- And, most important of all, I’ve lost a little piece of who I am. I know this because not journaling left a hole in me, like I was always missing something.
All of this begs the question — why now? Why start again and why on the Internet? There’s not a specific answer except it feels like the right time and venue. Most significantly, it’s crucial that I address those three losses: reality, details, and who I am. A blog is the perfect medium to work out the bits of my life that I want to write about. Bonus feature: I’m practicing how to write.
But can I capture life in writing, especially publicly? It’s overwhelming.
Maybe I can’t. Maybe I will. Either way, it’s good to be back.