When I was a little girl, I received a diary. I don't remember who gave it to me, but I loved it. White, with pink, blue and yellow hearts alternating across its slightly shiny surface, it was perfect for my seven-year-old thoughts. Best of all, it had a lock and a tiny key, which I guarded with my life.
I'm not sure why on earth I felt the need to lock up thoughts like, "Today my dad went to the dentist" but this diary opened something in me that I hadn't yet experienced: a freedom and a place to write down the things I wanted to remember.
I spent a few weeks in Arizona each summer with my grandparents when I was little and among my favorite parts of my visits was the fact that every afternoon, while they worked, they'd set me up on their Apple computer and let me type out stories. Mostly, I wrote about a series of stories about twins and beautiful young girls who were good at ballet and sports (basically, my exact opposite). Reading them as an adult is mildly embarrassing; however, my grandparents read these stories as if they were Pulitzer Prize worthy novels, going so far as to have me autograph each story in my series.
When I got older, my feverish diary writing continued and I have a truly staggering amount of journaling detailing every single moment of my middle school experience. There is nothing more horrifying, believe me. As I got older, the details turned into bad poetry and asking what felt like monumental life questions to sixteen year old me.
My love affair with writing changed as I got older: starting a blog and working as a paid writer changed my relationship with writing to something that felt less like love and more like a chore. The childlike joy I'd get from writing in my journals disappeared and the more I got into yoga and other forms of expression, the less time and desire I had to write.
I've been writing a lot lately, inspired by some amazing writing. Most specifically, I'm into Leah Reich's lovely series, A Year Of Wednesdays. Writing like that reminds me of how much I love telling stories, how important it is to write things that matter simply for the sake of writing. Writing just to write helps me figure out the world in a way that nothing else does.
I turned 31 on Monday. It feels weird. I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want this year to hold and the things that I want to make space for. One of the things that came up time and time again was writing. So, following in the footsteps of the aforementioned Leah, I'm making it a goal to write an essay once a week. Some weeks it might be a story or something I'm learning, and other weeks it might be something I just want to write down. But that's the most important thing: the writing it down.
Here we go.