my 2nd moleskine, red with unlined pages
I’ve always kept some form of journal, whether I really meant to or not. I never was one for diaries, per se, or the idea of writing down my thoughts or the events of the day, but it never felt right to not have something nearby to jot down whatever came to mind. There was a point where I carried at least three different journals in my purse at any time. Each one had a separate purpose: there was one for writing stories, one for personal moments, and another was a sort of catch-all. I still carry one or two with me when I go out, though they’re not always the same one (that’s an entirely different post, though, the amount of empty journals I have...).
My parents bought me my first moleskine when I was 18, and I cried, like the little elitest hipster that I am sometimes. They’re absolutely an overhyped product, but I’ve yet to meet a writer who hasn’t used one, or wanted to own one, or isn’t in love with the one they have, now in shambles and barely held together by its elastic band. I kept my first one pristine for the longest time. It took four months before I actually wrote in it, and for a long time I made sure not to dog-ear, rip, smudge, or waste a single page. It was an ordeal. Nothing that came to mind was ever good enough to write inside its pages. I had barely written my name on the ‘if lost, return to’ page before my imagination had wandered. I pictured myself, decades from now, with bookshelves filled with my own journals, all bursting at the seams and dated, full of all my ideas, dreams, and thoughts. Not in a Kevin Spacey in Se7en way, mind you. But I wanted shelves lined with my life and everything in it that had inspired me.
a line from my chemical romance’s “planetary (go!)”
I eventually started to do what I wanted, and more importantly, what I needed to, when it came to writing in my journals. Pages got ripped, whole lines would be scribbled out, I started to write down my favourite words, lyrics, I played tic-tac-toe against myself (and lost), I learned that what I wanted wasn’t perfect words, but a visual representation of myself. Something tangible that could scream out for me: this is who I am, this is who I want to be!
self portrait from october 2014
Every time I reach for one of my journals now, I don’t have any expectations, no set idea for what needs to be written in it that day. Sometimes I don’t even write anything down, I just flip through the pages for inspiration. Even at 25 years old, journals are still a learning experience for me and I hope they always are.