In a few hours (at least from the time I started typing this), I’ll be switching from my blue, self-bought, expensive, severely underutilized 2023 journal to a new leatherbound, gifted-by-a-friend, thick-leaved (thick-leafed?) 2024 journal which I will be using to death next year – I can still say next year because it’s 21:03 right now, just around three hours to another new cycle.
Right now I’d like to repeat an old high school ritual of mine: make a playlist-slash-train-of-thought-journal-thing focused on one theme by picking one song from all my liked songs, turning on shuffle, and letting the algorithm work its mystical algorithmic wonders.
The song I’m choosing to start the playlist off with is Pinegrove’s Aphasia, from their live at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ. The songs I put in are going to be interspersed with my thoughts and reflections in a semi-complete documentation of what I’m thinking (I will try to edit as I type and maybe after), so… this is going to be long. Sorry.
But that’s alright and I’m excited. I haven’t been writing since April, so I shall now abuse my power as blog creator and writer. Now, without further ado, here goes the thought party.
As usual, I fell down a rabbit hole today, or perhaps I leisurely made my way down with some sort of ladder. It started with cleaning out my email inbox and reading through all the newsletters and clicking on reading links (thank you Refind and Pocket and Austin Kleon I love you all) and finding Austin’s blog post on the goodness of journaling.
So, being a good listener, I followed his advice and time-traveled into the past again via the box of old notebooks I’ve been keeping under my desk for future use. Of course, I found some good stuff — including this list of “GOALS BY THE TIME I REACH 27” (HOPES & DREAMS?) :)
Three years ago, it didn’t have a title yet. It was just “Song 15” (yes, I have no idea where I got the energy to do all that either). On the OneNote tab I wrote the song on, 25-year-old me had a little monologue to the right where I blathered on for three paragraphs about what the song was about so I could come up with an appropriate title, because titles are my weak spot.
On an entirely different note, I feel like I’m constantly being challenged by the universe to stray away from my comfort zone. It’s stretching me and pushing me and urging me to grow faster than I can handle, in all the small ways and all the big ways.
I was fully expecting to complete the maximum nine days hospital stay laid out in our package, only to find out we’re being discharged today.
I'm sitting on the bench from where I took this picture, waiting for my daughter to be discharged from the ICU. In the room where the light is coming from are women whose voices I can't help but half-listen to as I catch up on reading articles from email lists and newsletters I'd subscribed to that I haven't opened in weeks. Just now, the women have introduced themselves for the very first time after being immersed in many hours of conversation and more hours of sitting in the same claustrophobic space in mixed airs of companionable and uncomfortable silence. Some of them have been here since yesterday; I recognize their faces.
I’m trying out a new experiment to encourage myself to keep writing and post more and care less about things not coming out “perfectly”. From now on, I’m publishing all my drafts in whatever stage of unkemptness I find them in. If I find myself stuck long enough on a draft to the point that it’s hindering me from writing about another idea I’m excited about, I’ll post it. Then I’ll revisit it in the future when I want to add more, and once it truly is finished, remove the (unfinished) label.
The most powerful thing in the world is the urge to scratch an itch.
That was the moral my mind Aesop-ed up this morning after I’d given in to the pull of the irate, scratchy bumps on my legs, attacking them with all the vigor of every animal from three pages of angry animal YouTube compilations (yes, many exist).
I didn’t care if I wouldn’t get to wear dresses or shorts for the next few days. I didn’t even care if I had to wear a dress later today and give everyone a live viewing of Yayoi Kusama’s Red Dots – Red Dots”) painting (I counted more than 50 bumps). The itches had to be dealt with. And once they were dealt with, the relief was delicious.
My weekly journal has reached the end of its first week and I’ve been making an effort to make it look relatively pretty, or at least give it more character than a few lines of text. I haven’t done a weekly planner in years but I felt like attempting it again this time around. Initial impressions: I’m going back to a freeform journal next year. There’s so much I’d like to put that just can’t fit into these tiny spaces, so I’m confined to putting the most important agenda and leaving the long narratives to my OneNote journal. Which… I guess is as it should be?
Yes, I’m still hung up on 2022. Since it's January and we'll all still be accidentally writing 2022 for the next few weeks before we get the new year in our systems, I'll spend a bit more time looking back at last year and reflecting. Here's part one of my something things from last year.
…are the only thing I’m good at. I wrote something similar a few years ago, on another of my many blogs — or attempts at blogging — bemoaning my lack of discipline and failure to see an end to things I started. The post ended with a list of things I started but never finished and the very edgy, “I'm a type B person masquerading as a type A.” And then a promise to update the list of things. Which of course I never ended up doing.