Tag Archives: journaling

Letting Go

Letting go of old letters or in my case, old journals is not always easy. I’ve been trying to decide what direction I want to take with my Blog. I met with someone from my writer’s group last week and I mentioned that I make no money on my Blog, probably because it is about what I WANT to write and not what everyone wants to read. He said (and I’m sure he didn’t mean to upset me) that if I were going to just write for myself, I might as well just write in a diary (or journal). While I was out running/walking the other day a light bulb went off in my head—write what you know. OK, I know a lot, and I DO write about it, but I’m not “successful” in the way I want to be. Then I thought, “OK, why not take those gut-wrenching, insane, journals you used to keep (just to keep me sane) when I was out there”. That sounded like the answer—yes, people could relate to that and this will keep their interest. All my recent writing and journaling is done on my computer, but years ago, everything was hand-written in notebooks. So, I pulled them out from the top of my closet and started reading. Wow, what a revelation—some of it is so crazy and ridiculous that I literally want to just chuck it. I found myself saying, “Oh, pleeeeeese!” There is something to be said for looking back fondly at old times, but my old times were horrible and I do not even recognize the person I was then. They say “youth is wasted on the young” and I believe it. What a waste my life was and thank God I matured. It is almost as if these heart-felt words penned by me (when I was 18 through about 30) were from a different person, and they were in a way. There is no resemblance from that pathetic, lost soul that I was then to the woman that I have become. Yes, lots of those feelings are still the same, but the way I handle life has changed. It is called maturity and wisdom; and I’d like to believe that I have acquired some amount of both throughout the years. In some ways it is helpful to re-read these journals because it shows the transformation that has taken place, and it keeps my “memory green” as they say. I had to ask myself if I really wanted to revisit those years and the answer is a resounding NO. The question is if I want to throw the books away or keep them for my grandchildren to discover. I’m leaning toward the former. I could not have even considered that a few years ago and that is evidence of personal growth. I have had lots of hard times in recent years from extreme physical debilitation to unbelievable heartache with my child, but I could never imagine myself using the same coping mechanisms that I employed back then. Life is life and I still “journal” for my own sanity, but I have changed and I now know I am ready to let the past go.

Legacy

Leaving some sort of legacy when we die; I think most of us want this. Back in the early 70’s (or even as far back as ’69), I started writing journals. These were a way to express my inner thoughts and fears and provided me with a creative and emotional outlet. Years ago I abandoned my written journals in favor of writing on the computer, documenting my journey through life, both good and bad. My journal entries about my dysfunctional affair (which started out in a notebook) subsequently became the basis for my book, Crazy in Lust. In 2003 I created my famous “layoff log” to cope with the devastating effects of the 9/11 tragedy and my subsequent layoff from my job after 23 years of employment. But I think there is more to my journaling than providing an emotional outlet for me because I think I am basically looking for validation and some sort of immortality. I somehow want to be remembered by my heirs. I don’t want to just die and be forgotten, which happens most of the time. I want people to know that I was a real, live person with creativity, and passion. My paintings are at least something tangible, but I have been wondering what will happen to my journal. So, I installed an external hard drive to make sure that it is saved. Now that I have a Blog, I started wondering what will happen to all these writings and photos when I pass on. The thing is, I cannot know when my time on planet Earth will be up, nor can I rely on my relatives or friends to keep paying for the Blog hosting forever. Upon inquiry, I found out that my Blog dies with me, which is very upsetting. The beautiful thing about being a famous author, or actor is that your work endures, even after you are gone. But if you’re a regular person what do you do? I am embarking on a way to preserve this Blog so that my great, great, grandchildren will know me, if they so chose. When I look back on my parents’ lives or my grandparents’ lives, I realize I know almost nothing about them personally. We are all forgotten to some extent when we go to the hereafter, but I just want to be remembered a little. I want to leave a legacy, even if only one person cares to find out about me. I can live with dying, but dying and not leaving something of my personality and my life is unbearable and terribly frightening.