2/28/2013 – I’ve decided to give my mind a chance to speak. *sighs* Yes, yes. I’ve been hiding out from my mind. My inner most thoughts have caused my conscience mind to distract itself by diving into books and watching movies or my beloved TV shows. What is my conscience afraid of? It’s rare an occasion that I distract myself from writing. Journaling has always played a significant role in my life. I’ve been journaling my life story, regularly, since I was in the 6th grade. Yes, I pride myself on that because I find it rather impressive that my eleven year old self thought it was important to keep a journal. Admittedly, there was a time when I thought it not important to keep a journal and forgoed the practice for about a year or two. I’m kicking myself for it today because I think those were some important years and important events happened during that course of my timeline that I wished I recorded.
Writing in general has been a constant practice for me. In addition to journaling, I’ve written letters to everyone who wished to humor me from the moment I learned how to write a letter. I believe I seven years old when I learned to write a letter and my first, most faithful correspondent was my grandmother. I’d exchange with her drawings I did in class, updates of how my day in school went, tattle-taled on my brothers (and sometimes my parents), and just about anything that piqued the interest of a seven year old. *laughs* I think I wrote so much letters to my grandmother that my mom would throw some away when I wasn’t looking. I know it may not be true, but I really did write about everything. I know my parents humored me on most of my letters, but it would not surprise me in the least if my mom confirmed this suspicion.
I was so excited when one of my elementary classes, I can’t remember if it was in the third or fourth grade, when they introduced “The Pen Pal.” I believe at the younger ages, back in my day (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have “back in my day” stories!), they would do class exchanges. I think it wasn’t until the fifth grade where you could exchange individually, as a class, with students from another school. (Did I make any sense right there? I’m trying to think of a way to word it differently, but . . . I got nothing. In my defense, it is 11:55 p.m.) I was so excited to write to someone other than family.
I can think of only positive experiences with pen-paling . . . no wait, that’s a lie. I remember one experience where I felt really bad because I had no idea what I had said to offend the student, but he didn’t want to be my pen pal any more–at least, that what my teacher told me. I was in the sixth grade. My teacher didn’t want me to write an apology. He said that I shouldn’t feel too badly, that sometimes people just take things the wrong way and he was certain it was a simple misunderstanding. *shrugs*. I still feel really bad until this day, even though I can’t remember the boy’s name or even what school we were exchanging letters with. And letter-writing is what helped me keep in touch with my grade school friends when I moved to a different island. I exchanged letters with my best friends until high school, a good three or four years before life got the better of us, and even some of my other classmates.
Other moments soon replaced that bad experience though. I’ve had the wonderful pleasures of exchanging letters with friends I made at Kamehameha School’s Computer Camp (June/July 1996)and Kulia I Ka Pono Programs (July 1997, two week program). Some of these friendships extended all the way until graduation, before email was commonplace; before MySpace or Facebook.
I kept those letters for a long time–all of it, the letters from my grade school best friends and classmates, letters from my Computer Camp friends, letters from my Kulia friends. And I’d re-read them. *sighs*, and then the Dark Ages. *laughs* That is what I call the time when I thought journaling wasn’t important. I went through a dark spell and I believe it was during those years I decided to get rid of all the letters of my pen pals. I’m still cringing over that. It brings me near tears every time I think of if. Would you believe I went desperately searching for those letters? Well, I did about six months ago. I went hunting for them in storage, desperately hoping that my “Jimney Cricket” talked me out of it at the time and I really stashed them somewhere. No such luck. They must be lost. At least I had the sense to keep my journals. Believe it or not, I do have all my journals, at least I think I do. I know I have most of my journals. I read them every now and then and it’s sometimes is more entertaining than those books, movies, and/or TV shows I watch! Of course there are some most embarrassing moments that I hope my older, future self will learn to laugh at instead of cringing (which my present self does every. time.), but we won’t get into that. =)
Reflecting back on the past–what is it, twelve years? sheesh I feel old–that I’ve been writing, I’ve realized it’s more than me just recording life events. I realized writing helps me clear my thoughts. It helps me to have a conversation with myself. It helps me to discern what’s bugging me and what’s not. I’ve written about hopes, dreams, life, death. I’ve predicted my future, reflected upon my past, and relived my present. I’ve discovered my strengths and my weaknesses, recorded my success and my failures. I am proud of the writer in me. It’s helped me take snapshots of my life and preserve them for me to ponder and reflect, and most importantly, to learn and to grow.
Honestly, I have no idea if I’ve come to a point with this soon-to-be-blog entry, but since I’ve allowed myself to write, I can’t believe I actually wrote. You see the power writing has? Words. Feelings. Thoughts. Ideas. They all come into play. I’m truly glad I just let myself write whatever came to my head. We’ll see what doors writing this entry have unlocked this time. Until next time . . .