“I had always felt things deeply, that was my nature. It was why I was a writer. Sometimes, the feelings were so huge, they needed a place to go.”
In case you haven’t caught on, I’m an avid journaler. Journalor? Journalista? Journal keeper? Whatever.
I’ve been keeping a mostly daily journal for most of my life. I started at age 11, with a key-lock diary that had a white plastic cover with tiny blue flowers. I wrote entries in loopy, trying to be fancy-cursive and then giving up, messy handwriting. Entries like:
Nothing much much is happening here. We went to the pool yesterday. It was hot. Okay that’s all for now!!
As you can see I was full of happenings, insights, wit, wisdom, and drama. I’ll find that diary at some point and share some actual entries because I like to torture the people who are kind enough to read my writing.
Anyway, I now have boxes and boxes of notebooks in various shapes and sizes. Almost all of them are blank for the last 20-30 pages because I like buying and starting a new notebook and get impatient on finishing my current one.
This morning I was skimming over the notebook I just filled (with only 2 blank pages at the end) and read this entry from early in the year and sometimes you need to remember where you were so you can appreciate where you are:
I want to sleep for days. I want hot hot strong deep dark rich coffee to wake my soul. I want to rest. I feel washed ashore after a ship wreck and I'm astonished and glad to be alive but I need shelter and rest and nourishment for my exhausted, battered self. My fantasies these days are of things like long stretches of quiet, sleeping deep and late into the morning, being in my own home, paying rent ahead, adding money to my IRA, watching the sunset and sipping bourbon and breathing, eating a late dinner with the kids, taking long hot baths, working steadily and confidently and with quiet assurance of good income from good work. Adulthood sure changes things.
This is the kind of juicy rich fantasy life we all want from other people’s diaries.
What I appreciate is this: I’m living a summer of long, slow days and lots of quiet in my own home. Some days I sit on the balcony in quiet, watching the early-morning wind move the trees while I sip hot strong deep dark rich coffee. Some days I sleep deep and late into the morning. My rent is paid ahead for months. I’m building my savings and adding to my IRA slow but steady. (This is the first time in my life I’ve had an IRA. What a concept, to care for your future self.) I can’t really see the sunset from our apartment but I watch what I can see of the sky while it’s happening, and sip bourbon or red wine, and talk to someone I love or read a book or just breathe. Yesterday Zeke and I made chicken parmesan for dinner. We started cooking around 7:30, and ate dinner a little after 9. I take long hot baths almost every day, and every day I have the beautiful privilege of working steadily and confidently with people I admire, on projects I enjoy, with the quiet assurance of good income from good work.
I forgot I wrote this. I forgot how tense and uncertain I felt, just a few months ago. There is still pain and difficulty in life, as always, but here I am, living my own dream that felt impossible, unreachable not very long ago.
Quiet mornings, quiet evenings. Rest rest rest. Stillness. Words like “puttering” and “ease” and activities like gardening, walking, and watching old movies. I’m going to have a midlife crisis and it’s going to be me acting like an 80-year-old and fuck anyone who doesn’t like that. When I’m ready, I’ll break out into something different. Maybe I’ll never be ready and I’ll spend four decades catching up with my octogenarian self.
🐒 Is this an emoji of a monkey pooping and if so why does it exist. I do not like dictators but then who does?