Friday, August 17, 2007

The Notebook

I can't believe that in half year my beloved daughter will be turning eighteen. This is mind blowing - for a number of reasons. The simple fact that its been nearly two decades since I discovered I was pregnant barely seems like yesterday I remember it so vividly. Doing the math this also means that I will have turned 44 by the time her birthday rolls around. Again it seems like yesterday that I was heading off to university while in fact it has been exactly 25 years since I was a freshman. My how time flies.

I met Jim twenty seven years ago next month. I marvel at all of the things that we have experienced, and sometimes endured, together. No one in this entire world knows me the way that he does and even today, I consider myself one of the luckiest girls in the world to have been able to share my life with a magnificent partner. I know what I have and try never to take this for granted.

I guess what I kind of want to ramble on about today is time and one's perception of it. I've been keeping a journal - although way back when it was called a diary - for as long as I can remember. I started my first one when I was about eight years old after I had received this smallish red leather book with a little lock on it for Christmas. For months I stared at in fascination without writing anything at all in it. I was afraid that I would get it all wrong so I hesitated for ages before putting pen to paper. Suddenly, one day something "traumatic" happened and I had this overwhelming need to write down every little thing about this tragedy for fear I would one day forget its nuances. Of course, now thirty five years later, I couldn't recall the actual event to save my life but that no longer matters.

What matters is that I had finally started on what would eventually become an integral part of me. Over the years I have had periods where I would write frantically and constantly, filling notebook after notebook with no end in sight until suddenly I wouldn't write at all for lengthy periods ranging anywhere to a few weeks to literally a few years. Also over the years the journals themselves have ranged anywhere from being as plain and ordinary as a simple black school notebook to something horribly ornate and tacky and over the top covered in all sorts of decorations - and this was just the outside! Inside there would be collages of photos of actual friends as well as whatever celebrity I happened to be crushing on at the time to anything and everything imaginable. I often ended up putting more work into creating an aesthetically looking book rather than a book of any real substance.

I have been keeping my most recent set of journals now for almost five years without any substantial breaks. I had returned at this time after a break of close to a decade. Obviously, my thirties was a period of my life where I was just too busy and active and involved leaving me precious little time to write. In actuality, it wasn't that at all, not exactly anyway. In fact, I think more than anything else this period of my life was notable for the lack of drama and upheaval.

Sure, important and significant things most definitely occurred that ultimately contributed to the person I am right now but looking back, it certainly was a quieter, tamer period. It wasn't just complacency or resigning to the fact that this was probably it but I definitely felt calmer, less frustrated than the recent past.

This time round, my written journals anyway, took on a different tone than previous ones. I started writing again when my Dad was in the middle of his radiation and chemo treatments for cancer. Suddenly during this period of my life, I had a compulsive need to suddenly start writing. If I had so much as an idle second, I couldn't help myself but I had to write. It became compulsive in nature.


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