Long before ever hearing of the word “blog,” I put words to paper to keep a record of our lives. We called it writing.
For my highschool graduation, my mother gave me a small journal and a cross country train ticket to Washington State. In a class of 400 or so, I graduated 13th. To commemorate, my sister-in-law gave me 13 cans of Hi-C grape drink (my favorite at the time). My mother and I packed our non-rolling suitcases, along with the Hi-C and boarded the train.
As we rolled along the uneven tracks, often reaching 50 miles per hour, I began writing down the details of our adventure. We couldn’t afford the sleeper cars, so for more than 24 hours we watched the other passengers. I wrote down everything I saw. The man handcuffed to the federal agent (possibly just local law enforcement). The man kissing the “other” woman between cars, then returning to his seated wife and children. The older couple cutting their food so finely it could almost be described as pureed. The fielded landscape that passed so slowly outside the window allowing me to describe stalk by stalk.
I wrote it all down. We passed the journal back and forth. Laughing loudly with purple stained lips.
I still have the journal. Reading through it, one thing becomes quite clear — I stopped writing once we reached the destination. I suppose it has always been, and always will be, about the journey. These are the most precious moments.
I recently bought a booklet of handmade paper from a small French mill. Far from being filled, it has already given me hours of entertainment. It won’t be for sale. The profit comes in the daily escape. The magic as the images come to life. The stories behind their expressions. The lives revealed. The wheels of brush to paper click along at a reduced Amtrak pace, and I’m able to see everything. To feel everything, below the speed of this summer afternoon.
You can call it whatever you want. Journaling, writing, creating, blogging. However it is you fill your day. And you can do it for whatever reason you want — that is not for me to say. But if it’s purely for “likes,” for approval, the destination… you could be missing out on the most fantastic part of living.
This is the advice I give to myself — Relax. Breathe. Don’t worry. Look around. We’re all going to get there.
The sun is rising. Let the journey begin.