Friday, April 30, 2010

When you write it down...

January 1, 1999
Things can change a lot in a year. People change. I've changed.

January 4, 1999
I am the Freshman class president! Can you believe it? It all happened so fast...I ran completely unopposed. But I still had to get 51% of the votes. Most people don't consider the fact that I won the election anything great. I wasn't competing against any particular person. But inside, I felt that I was. I guess it was defeating my own fear of rejection that I'd call a win.

February 9, 2000
Every time I write in this journal I have so much to say but not enough patience to write it all down. I guess I should at least say something about the new year, new century, and the new millennium. 2000! Wow! When I tell my kids I was born in the 1900's they're really going to think I'm old!

August 24, 2002
Today is my first day officially moved away from home...all my belongings are packed up in boxes...I'm embarrassed to say that I packed 4 suitcases, 2 back packs, and about 5 or 6 boxes of stuff. leaving only three boxes behind. But I left a lot more than that behind me...
It was scary to know that this family car trip was a one-way ride for me...
My mom has taught me a lot, but mostly I think of her steady, love-filled, unconditional service. She took me shopping today for toiletries and hangers and all that last minute necessary  stuff a girl needs when beginning a new life as a student in the dorms 1,000 miles from home. She wasn't concerned with cost, just with making sure I had what I needed. I have watched her my whole life, never talking too much, just doing what needed to be done to take care of others--physically, mentally and spiritually. I want to pattern my life and my character after hers.

January 20, 2003
I cut my hair while I was home over Christmas break. It was over 24 inches long and now it doesn't even touch my shoulders. I like it a lot! It still has it's difficult days, but it's added  lot of spunk!

January 21, 2003
Well, I still have loads of reading that I should be doing and I'm going to bed instead. Sleep is a real treat and I'm going to spoil myself.

January 18, 2004
Sometimes I'm afraid to write certain things because of what might happen in the future...if I write about loving someone, and then don't marry him, then what? Do I have to bury, burn or hide this journal? Well, all I know is that I need to write about all the aspects of my life, and hopefully my children and future generations will know that these are the things that prepared me for the rest of my life--my life with them.

Do you keep a journal? I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember. The little blurbs I have shared today are just a few pieces of my past that I took the time to write down. It's amazing how even with the missing pieces--because there are weeks, months, and years when I didn't write--my life comes together in my own words.

On a day-to-day basis we rarely think about how our experiences and conversations might shape and change the course of our lives. And most often they don't, at least not right away. But given time and added all up in a collection of words and sentences and pages, it's amazing how you can see the process of building a person and a life happen, one day at a time.

Over the past couple years, much of my journaling has been done in the form of blogging. I love combining photos and stories and having the visual support of family and friends as I share my life with them. However, there are so many things that remain personal and are so essential to the process of becoming who I am. And so, I continue to keep a journal. Hand written, bound in a book, and unedited. There are times I take a new approach--once I kept a gratitude journal and wrote about the things I was thankful for each day; once I focused on something that I had learned each day, and when I traveled to Italy, I wrote down everything we bought and how much it cost.

It isn't often that I sit and read my journals, but when I do I am always glad that I took the time to write.

Do you keep a journal? What things have you learned from yourself?


  1. Cort I read that first journal entry of yours and knew it was you. Yes I have journals. I've got a page left in a journal I've been writing in since Sophomore year in college. I'm not sure how to finish it since I've had it for such an important chunk of my life. It's hard to read sometimes just because I mostly wrote about guys and more guys. Oh dear. Your journal entries sound much more mature than mine. Blogs have been nice to save history with pictures along the way but sometimes I like my journal to write things I know the rest of the world isn't privy to.

  2. Great post. I have 64 journals. I love "reading myself" - especially my mission journals. There is so much to learn from them. They are one of my greatest possessions.