I have been gifted a journal three times in my life. Once as a girl, once as a wife, and once as a mother.
As a girl, it was a pale pink Precious Moments diary (complete with lock!) and it was from my mom. I was still a lonely only child when I got it. So I addressed it as a “friend” named Samantha. And I told that girl everything.
Long story short, diary locks do not really lock. And it only took one evening of parental shaming for me to never touch it again.
Fast forward to about 25 years later, and my husband gave me a journal for my birthday. We were beginning IVF treatments, and he thought it would be amusing to have a chronicle of our path to becoming parents.
Well, it became more than amusing. When IVF turned into a complicated pregnancy, and I ended up on hospitalized bed rest, it was my sanity. Not feeling up for many visitors, it was how I processed my fear of losing our baby, along with my grief from not having the pregnancy of my dreams.
But thank goodness, I eventually left that damn hospital. (And with a beautiful baby boy!) Needless to say, once our little guy arrived, and I stopped sleeping, that journal didn’t cross my mind once.
And finally, the third time I received a journal, it was from my sister during a pandemic. (Maybe you remember it?) And I remember thinking to myself, “How sweet… My baby sister thinks that I have time to journal while working from home, taking care of my out-of-daycare toddler, and watching the world as we know it crumble apart.”
What I didn’t immediately realize was the fact that I was once again isolated from the world, and the timing was actually perfect. My inner monologue was making me crazy and I needed an outlet.
So I started writing…
At this point, I think it’s safe to say out loud that writing is phase one of my “Discovery” project. And if writing keeps filling my days with the same purpose and ambition that I’ve been feeling over the past several weeks, maybe it’s also safe to say, I have discovered a piece of my identity.