Last Christmas, my brother got me this little, blue, 365-page notebook. It’s a one-sentence a day journal, with enough lines on each page to keep tabs on five years of memories. I just finished Year One.
This journal serves a couple purposes for me: first, it’s a simpler option to a full-page journal (I usually can only keep up with extended journal entries a few times a month before I’m irritated by my own whininess). This journal allows me to take 30 seconds to write the most important thing that had happened that day, or whatever I’m thinking in that moment.
Second, the journal pushes myself to analyze my life decisions. I have a tendency to push out unfavorable memories. I hate being alone with my thoughts, so I fill my schedule to the brim with class, work, and socializing, purely to avoid this alone time.
Pushing some memories away isn’t healthy, though. Not for anyone, and especially not for an aspiring writer. Until I begin to accept every aspect of my life—even the things I don’t like—I can’t really healthily move forward. This little blue book allows me to remember almost everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m able to look back on a years’ worth of things that have impacted my life.
According to the blue book, some days were more impactful than others—(on May 4, I wrote that I had just slept for 15 hours straight. Riveting.) But other days, things happened that I want to preserve. On January 16, I wrote about seeing a fellow classmate’s open casket after her sudden death. On June 27, I wrote about covering the Cincinnati Pride parade the day after same-sex marriage was declared legal in all 50 states. On June 13, I wrote about an exciting summer day spent ziplining and jumping off cliffs.
As I flip through that journal, I remember that 2015 was full of adventures and heartbreaks. I lost friends I thought would be there for me forever, and became close to people I never imagined would become a huge part of my life. I didn’t have the summer I had planned, but was able to work with a number of selfless and inspirational people between three wonderful jobs. 2015 was full of moments of extreme disappointment and worthlessness—and moments of euphoria and feeling like the world is a place of endless possibilities. In 2015, I wasn’t afraid to tell people how I truly felt about them.
It was a roller coaster of a year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m ready for 2016 to take me on some twists and turns, and I’ll have my little blue book with me the whole way.