I found a treasure! Not in the literal sense but in a literary sense. I found all my journals from high school. Can I just say how much I love and truly appreciate everything my high school English teacher did for me? That is no small thing. I distinctly remember not particularly liking to read and write when in school. I was a good student, (Salutatorian, thank you very much), but always loved math more. I’m sorry to say that I dreaded going to English class, initially, but through Ms. J’s class (as we lovingly called her, Miss Janet Johnson in the proper sense), I actually started to look forward to it.
While unpacking and purging through boxes as part of my decluttering and downsizing, I discovered a taped shut box that was marked “high school memorabilia”. I kept putting it in the back of a closet or on a shelf through the years to be opened at some later time when I had more time. I guess that was now. So I grabbed the journals for some good reading for our 4 1/2 hour trip to and from the lake this weekend. Boy did we have fun reminiscing. Here are some of the things I found.
- I found the entry of the day after I met my future husband.
- I found listings of my favorite songs, books and movies from different years.
- I found the entry after attending a TEC (teens encounter Christ weekend).
- I found an entry for the weekend of prom (with all the details of where we went and what we did…much of which we had totally forgot).
- I found some original poetry (some of them pretty darn good).
- I found I was sleep deprived from work, slept until noon and took naps. Hmmm.
- I found silly classmate prophecies as a writing prompt.
- I found insights of what I was like as a teenager in the 1970’s.
- I discovered all the reasons I fell in love with Darryl and still do now.
- I found snippets of my mom’s voice, like “you have a nice boyfriend, he worries about you in a storm”. (Oh, how I miss her!)
- I found entries I wrote of hanging out with high school friends, some still with us, some not.
I loved the way Ms. J commented without judging and offered just enough advise to make you think and come up with my own solutions to life’s problems that seem so trivial now but were not back then.
I took a break from journal writing for several years after I graduated high school but took it back up in my thirty’s when I was presented with my grandpa Dostal’s published book of his journal writing. Before he died my aunt Lily took all his journals that he had kept from a young man to his later years and compiled them into a book about his life as a farmer. What a gift.
That was enough inspiration to get me started again. At any given time I have two or three journals that I have going. I have exercise journals, garden journals, home journals, personal journals and gratitude journals, and now an online blog/creative journal. It’s a great outlet for capturing ideas, documenting goals, remembering milestones, and sorting out your fears, hopes and dreams.
If I could find that teacher today, I would say, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can see now that there was a reason for all of that. I believe that because of her, today I love to write and find an enormous value in writing something about me and my life, not just for me but for those I love to hopefully read some day and get some insight into who I was. That I’m not really that different from them and that I was once a teenager just like them. I really do know where they are coming from and what they are going through. And just maybe, inspire them (or their children) to journal and write.
Do something creative today!