Every time I peruse the seductive aisles of Barnes & Noble, I am particularly tempted by the journal wall. They are quite attractive, albeit overpriced, with each releasing a different aura and purpose. Journals for travelers, for writers, for Jesus-lovers, for angry teenagers, for grandmas, for hipsters—you get the point. My personal favorites are the very old looking ones. I have made quite a few impulse purchases of these leather bound, hand- crafted, $30 and up blank books in an effort to feel inspired, appear like a real writer. I have always thought great writers must have diaries. Pages and pages of stories, memories, snapshots of their lives to reflect on, turn into best selling novellas, have placed on eBay by their greedy grandchildren after they are dead.
Unfortunately, I have never kept a diary; instead I house a library of very attractive, very neglected blank books. Journaling has always seemed like such a waste of time. I know what I did today, why do I have to write it down?
The closest I ever came to journaling was in second grade. I was given a small, hardbound diary with purple flowers and an orange cat on the cover. Inside I wrote stories about that cat and his many fantastic adventures. His name was Alex and twice he got hit by a car and survived because the angel Gabriel breathed life into his little cat mouth and saved him. He went to lots of tea parties with his beautiful best friend and hero, Katie (I am an oldest child).
In Middle School there was the occasional late night scribble about how terribly unhappy I was and about all the boys who didn’t like me, but they always ended up being burned or shredded and wrapped up in paper towels and buried at the bottom of the trashcan because of its top secret content. High School followed a similar course, though at that time I was actually busy and usually took out my teen angst by oversleeping.
Growing up a GeNET doesn’t help either; writing on an actual piece of paper is outdated, gives me hand cramps, and does not auto correct the word “definitely.” It seems like a chore. I know this is all very tragic and sad, but it’s the truth. Last year I had the brilliant idea to buy a compact voice recorder to record my thoughts so that I wouldn’t have to scratch them down, but after about 30 seconds of awkwardly reviewing my day, I laughed and gave up
In truth, I think people who journal are probably the same people who scrapbook, and I fit into that crowd like an Obama sticker on a Ford F-150. It’s just not me, and I should stop making it a New Year’s resolution. My greedy grandchildren will just have to make due with a pile of blank books and a few short stories about the adventures of Alex the Cat.