I still have some things stored in my old bedroom at my parent’s house. You know, those things that there wasn’t room for in your college room or subsequent apartments, but that you just couldn’t possibly part with. This past year I have begun working on going through these things. Most of it is easy since, obviously, if I haven’t used it in the last *gulp* 13 years, I probably don’t need it.
But I’m stuck on the journals. There are a lot of my words in there. A lot of my time. A lot of me. So I have brought a stack of them home and am slowly skimming my way through them, hoping that perhaps I will have a more clear feeling about what exactly to do with them when I’m done. In the interim, I thought perhaps I would share some of my younger pre-existence of blog thoughts here.
First up: a journal I had to keep for a class during my sophomore year in college. It was an educational theatre class in which we practiced and performed a play about sexual assault and dating violence for other area colleges, high schools and community groups. We also learned a great deal about the topic and conducted a question and answer session after each show. The class was co-taught by a theatre professor and the campus wellness coordinator.
The journal entry I ran across was pages and pages of me trying to make sense of my sophomore year. I was reflecting on the fact that my character in the play had a line about life being great and how hard it was for me to say that in a believable manner, since I felt exactly the opposite. As I wrapped up my ramblings I stated that I had been trying to write about my semester to get some closure, but that it really hadn’t seemed to help. In the margins, the wellness coordinator commented that “life doesn’t have closure.”
At 19, I’m guessing this comment just made me feel more normal, like it was okay that I didn’t have it all figured out. At 35, reading it gave me chills. Because it is true. And because learning to live in the moment and enjoy the unpredictable, often unfinished business of life has become really core to who I am as an adult. That sophomore year of messy, undone, best laid plans was formative in this. And every time someone said it was okay or that I was normal got me closer to where I am today.
Both the educational theatre class, and (especially) the wellness coordinator are probably largely what sparked my interest in working in higher education (though I’m stubborn and it took me a while to come around to it). What an amazing reminder that old journal was of the important role we can play in the lives of others, just by taking the time to really listen.
While I’m no closer to figuring out what to do with the old journals, I am excited to see what other treasures lie within. More to come . . .