10.30 // i am always starting over.

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empty journal

I am in possession of more half-filled journals, diaries, and notebooks than I care to admit. Some are beautiful pages without lines, crafted by hand (usually by my sister). Others are simple, spiral bound notebooks (all of which are college ruled). Upon examination, the entries that (half) fill the pages appear to have been written by no less than a dozen different people–each with different handwriting–all of whom have an affinity for elaborately drawing song lyrics when it comes to conveying emotions.

This blog could easily become a digital addition to my pile of incomplete memoirs. In fact, I started a blog once before. It stopped feeling like it was mine and I decided to… start over. When I think about what this collection of pages means about me, I come up with this:

I like to write. It is quite possible that if you’d asked anyone I went to high school with what I would study in college or go on to do or be, they might mention writing, but almost certainly would not mention biology, which is what I majored in as an undergraduate (and was the subject area of my graduate degree, too). I especially like to write when something is bothering or challenging me. The journals tend to trail off when I am feeling content, which brings me to my next point.

I do not write consistently. Unless my planner, grocery lists, or to do lists count, I write rather infrequently. Sometimes, when I begin to write with a pen or pencil, I have to sort of warm up my handwriting in the margins, so as not to scrawl like a serial killer.

I am always starting over. Sometimes, when I decide to write, I feel the need to start fresh. (How can I possibly write as the person I am now among the Pearl Jam lyrics in a journal written by a 13 year old me?) In other news, which is possibly connected to this information, I have many empty notebooks, too. I have a penchant for pristine school supplies. Sometimes, I daydream about going back to school as a means to embark on a new career path…but mostly just to get new notebooks and Sharpies.

I am always starting over, or at least thinking about starting over. When life gets a little weird, I brainstorm solutions that involve my changing careers and/or returning to school (again) and/or maybe relocating someplace far, far away. I attempted this approach once. Though it took a little time to truly unravel, I eventually fell right down on my face–metaphorically speaking (kinda). Ever since this sub-par attempt to be adventurous and brave, I am, in many ways, a whole different person. Anxiety and fear were very foreign concepts to the person who changed careers and returned to school in a place far from home. In retrospect, I maybe could have picked one (max: two) of these life-altering things to do simultaneously. Either way, I made my choices. Some of my adventure was wonderful and exciting, eye opening and educational, beautiful and interesting. Other parts were dark, terrifying, and seemed inescapable. I remember the latter parts more. Or, actually, I feel the effects of those parts still.

When I look back, I wish I’d written about what was happening to me and around me while it was happening. When I think about it now, it can seem like I am recalling someone else’s life. As a result of examining some recent life challenges through writing, I have come to remember that writing has always been a useful way for me to organize my thoughts. To figure out what might actually be happening in my brain, I usually have to put a pen (or in this case, a laptop keyboard) in my hand. There is a good chance that if I don’t want to write about something, it is either a) not very important to me, or b) so very important to me that I am not ready to write about it, for fear of finding out how I really feel.

Perhaps this blog is an endeavor in self-discovery. Maybe this blog can help me to be more consistent with writing. Perhaps a new post can be just the fresh start I need.

I can always just start over.

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