I have been filling handwritten journals since I learned how to write full sentences around the age of five or six. As I got older the journals got thicker, and at one point I filled as many as three journals in a year. Now that I do most of my writing on a computer, three handwritten journals in a year seems like a lot, but maybe that’s only because most of my writing now is collected digitally and harder to keep track of. When I visually add up every tweet, Facebook post, comment, email, poem, and essay I’ve written this past year, suddenly three journals doesn’t seem like much at all. Plus on top of my digital words I still write in a journal, but what’s interesting is that nowadays my journal notes always seem to take a back seat, as if what I write to myself is somehow less important without public validation, when really what I write to myself is the foundation of everything else I say, and the closest to the truth: no filters, no audience. My journal is my soil, my compost pile. It’s not always pretty but damn is it rich, and one thing 2015 has shown me is the necessity of building and maintaning an intimate relationship with ourselves.
In celebrating that relationship I thought I’d share a few highlights from each of the past 12 months of my current journal, an exercise that is both personally eye-opening, to see the subtle yet significant changes I have made throughout the past year, and also hopefully says something about the validity of who we are even when no one is looking, that every part of us matters, even the parts no one sees, and perhaps especially those.
It’s not like I care if you hate me
Nobody can hate me
More than I do
So many deserted houses in me/ why don’t I just move in
At 1 AM I make hot chocolate and wonder what kind of person I am, if I’ve been enough of the good kind of person, if wondering about this too much will make me less of one. I’d like to get up and walk into the woods, find some woods, drive south. My mind is so vivid, I can think about you & it’s like yr right here. Aren’t you?
It’s noon and I’m on my sofa, willing my continued existence in the world.
I locked the door and am never going back in. Locking the door as letting go. How many strings of hope did I weave from my rib cage to yours? I gutted myself but even that was not enough. Web caught in the back of my throat. When I open my mouth how can I know my voice is no longer laced with yours? Laced/ lace. Everything so delicate. His fingers among the clothes.
I guess my brain is an okay brain
This notebook is enormous
The birds sound just
Oh this boring language
Fall in love with me
Everything is an insult
When you are nothing
I never want to move from this moment
I miss you
Somehow I left you
What pulled me away from you and why
Am I really gone?
I swear I can feel you thinking of me
Probably I’m psychotic
I’m giving up on the world
And crawling into the yawn of summer
I am just a body now
I am not a body
There is a body
And I guess it is mine
I guess that’s all I’ve ever really wanted: happiness
in a round shape
Like the sun
It doesn’t quit
I sit under a round shape
There is a thought of you
resting like a tablet under my tongue
I would like to swallow it
And sit very still
As it floats down inside me
And balloons into something
More than a fleeting moment
Tonight the world feels too heavy
Like a crater lodged between my shoulder blades
Shaking with the cries
Of everyone in pain
Which might be almost all of us
I smoke a cigarette under the stars
And wonder how many breaths I’ve wasted
If there is such a thing
How many it will take
To lead me back to you
And what will happen if I get there
I miss people, meaning: there are spaces inside me.
I am trying to make myself smaller so that I have room to grow.
I wonder if I am one of the people I miss.
I want to go back to myself.
I eat soup in a café
while outside it rains
I can’t tell if I’ve gotten used to pain
I spend days trying to talk
myself into finishing them
I run to you
Because the more I know
The less I fear
Another day has slipped by
or maybe I have slipped through it.
I am so tired of all these possibilities, each one a steel bar I bang my head against
the way you banged your head against the wall
too loud for me to hold you
as you screamed for me to hold you
I write to you from far away
Because it’s the only way we both can live
I woke up drooling. I also woke up thinking ‘If something is unacceptable we have to treat it as such.’ How our actions make meaning.
I’ve been looking at this in a limited way. Limits come from survival instinct but I want to surpass myself. I want to know fear as a way to dissolve fear. I want to thrive.
The depression lifted when I remembered myself.
There are so many ways to love you, it’s like I might live forever.
I don’t follow scripts
and I don’t want to live my life in any sort of fear
I dig & I dig & I dig
I am breaking open
It’s my birthday and I have a little too much energy
and not enough direction
I don’t even want to fall off the planet completely
But deeper into you
We’re so close to spitting up
The last of the dust
Remember who you are