Tumblr Post #22 (August 2018)
I am a journal connoisseur.
I’m currently maintaining three separate journals—all for different purposes in my life.
There is a journal in which I chronicle various life events and internal monologues: a third volume to a continuous story of my life. The OG journal, if you will.
There is an affirmation journal in which I write down short sayings that keep me sane and encouraged:
I deserve to cultivate my own space.
You are worthy. I am worthy.
Then there’s the novel journal. A green, miniature Five Star woven notebook that looks like it’s been to Hell and back. Its paper’s edges have browned from constant page turning. The black fabric protecting its folds has begun to peel away—each roll reminiscent of the rings in a tree’s trunk revealing its age. In this journal, I write out my rawest emotions and brainstorm ways to develop the story’s plot.
On June 28, 2017, I opened this worn journal and wrote the following:
I’d rather be somewhere writing instead of sitting in this office getting paid for mindless, unstimulating behavior. I’d rather be getting paid to do what I love and sitting on a beach somewhere writing a novel or planning for a speaking gig. The longer I sit here, the more I realize that this isn’t something I’m meant to do forever. There’s absolutely NO way. I’m capable of so much more than this. And I know it takes time, but I also know that I can do so much more. And I will. I’m planting seeds. Scratch that—the seeds have already been planted. I’m now nurturing sprouts. The fruits of my labor are far from being born, but I sure can’t wait to taste them. It will be a feast indeed. But until then, I must keep myself from starving.
That was over a year ago. Two weeks before I found out that I was to be laid off. Three weeks before returning from Malawi to learn I had been commissioned by O Magazine to create an original collage. Three months before I had to navigate the unemployment system, learned I didn’t qualify for food stamps, and had to turn back to my parents for emotional and financial support. All while completing another semester of grad school.
Now, over a year later, I’ve found myself in a new job, still in school, and on a weekend vacation at the beach with my spiral notebook on my lap, determined to work on chapter twelve of this novel.
Except I can’t.
Not because I have writer’s block.
Not because I’m not motivated to write.
But because I can’t stop admiring the ocean. I can’t break my gaze away from the waves crashing against the white sandy shoreline sprawled before me. I can’t stop inhaling deeply and exhaling fully while staring out at the horizon and meditating on everything I’ve gone through to get me where I was at that moment.
I had every intention of working on my novel and making it a full circle moment from June 28, 2017. But I had one of two choices to make—be in my head and develop scenes and dialogues or be in the moment and let the landscape consume me.
I chose the latter.
And I regret nothing.