November, Again and Again

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It was around this time of year, thirteen years ago, that I became a TRUE journal writer. Up until that time, I had tried and failed again and again to keep a journal/diary. I had lovely gift journals lined up on my shelf, filled with three, maybe four sporadic entries before the motivation disappeared until the next gift journal. Such were my younger years.

But then, a year into college, something CLICKED. I was in San Fransisco, exploring the SFMoMA and the several cool shops nearby, when I found a PERFECT blank book and a perfect set of colored pencils.

I decided, suddenly, I wanted to just keep a notebook of observations, random thoughts, sketches, and clippings, starting with the amazing trip I was on right then. Not even a JOURNAL. And it was THEN, that CHOICE right there, that changed journaling for me. No longer did I need to document every day in detail... I just..... began capturing moments. Not daily... Just when it felt right. And that began a lifelong love of observing, saying thanks, and jotting my life down... a little here, a little there... In books, on blogs... Just--- finding time to BE IN THE PRESENT for a minute and put it down for remembrance.

I've been packing a LOT recently, and just got to my stack of journals... lovingly placed them in a waterproof tub along with my favorite inspiring books I keep nearby. this tub won't go into storage. This tub will stay near me, even in our time of transition. But being taken off the shelf and placed AWAY makes me nostalgic, so I thought it'd be a crazy little idea if I looked through them a bit before retiring them... and finding what I was writing about on this day of the year for the last several years. So I skimmed, enjoyed, lovingly touched my old journals and found November 5-- or the closest date to it, in several of my books. Scanned them... Dated them... and here for posterity-- a sampling of ME, from age 20 until today. My woes, my to-do-lists, my little moments of gratitude, my thoughts...

Why not?

This is me. It is who I was, who I am, and who I will likely be, even many years from now... So enjoy-- if only for the visual randomness. But if you get bored and really wanna read, I'm giving you permission. I think some of them might be read-able even in scanned, web form. If something amuses, surprises, or resonates with you, please feel free to share with me in the comments. This is, after all, a bit of my soul I am sharing. Share back, if you feel it.

1997- third year at BYU, Galaxy Core friendships...roomies with Cindy...

1998- Made this journal in bookbinding class, still at BYU, changed majors to English
1999- Macaroni Grill, BYU still, a bit adrift, but on the cusp of learning who I REALLY was...
2000- Living alone for the first time, passionate about writing, independent films, and single for the first time in three years...

2002- FRESHLY moved to St. Louis, did not know a soul in town, trusting the Divine to lead me where I needed to be... But lonely.

2003- Finally settled into a life in St. Louis-- going to grad school, working at Macaroni Grill, feeling centered.
2005- Married for one year, loving being a wife, first year of teaching stressing me out, but surviving.
2007- VERY pregnant with Noah, ready to be a mama, but totally unprepared for what complete CHANGE was about to happen.
And there ya go... a few years from my Novembers.

Happy November 5th. Now you go. Go write something in your journal/blog/notebook... Just for fun. Just because. I did it. :)


  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    OK, I {love} this post & I think you may have given me a lightbulb moment, too!!
    I have tried to journal many times, but like you, it seemed to be a chore of documenting the happenings of every day.
    Your examples have absolutely inspired me to try again with a different approach! thank you so much for this!
    P.S. I'm pretty sure you were the original Facebooker or Tweeter! :)

  2. How fun! I loved seeing little glimpses into your who you voted for...GASP! :) Just kidding. :)

  3. haha. i loved that. I would go back and do it to but I think I've been alot less consistent! is that me and my team teacher on your list of names to remember? :) you're so awesome!

  4. A.) There are 3 people's whose handwriting I ADORE in this world. My mothers, Nelles, & Yours
    B.)I only like to buy journals with no lines thanks to you
    C.)I'm not sure if the first pic on here is the same one but i remember u taking photos of ur journals for that online photography class a long time ago and how, for as simple as it seemed, it frustrated you. Now just look how far you've come!!!
    D.)I want to be able to doodle.


  5. 1998- that journal is very Dr. Seuss-ish and I love it that way! Love the colors!

    2000- that was the first presidential election I was old enough to vote for- I remember feeling so proud of myself for voting- and feeling like my first vote might make a real difference because of how close it all was (remember all those issues with the hanging "chads"?)

    2007- I love the "To Kill a Mockingbird" reference! I am such a nerd...

    Loved this post! How rather ironic that I should read it on the very day that I finish one journal, ready to begin another. I have all my journals on a shelf, ready for reading (even the pathetic diary attempts as a kid)- I think I will take up your challenge tomorrow afternoon and post it on my blog...

    And while I have found uses for journals with lines (they are great for my dream journals and my "small plates" journals), I still generally prefer the blank ones because of you.

    Thank you for inspiring in me a new way to track my life- I don't think it is nearly as creative as yours (you are far more artistic than I), but it is me, and that is what matters.

    Love you!

  6. I popped by from 2peas to check out your photog. Yummy.

    But what an excepted gem. To find a fellow journaler, recorder, book doodler. I have kept journals on and off since the 6th grade. Mostly on. HOwever, the last few years I have been struggling with it, too much daily detail. You have just given me "premission" to try something different! Thank you!


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