For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write. When I was younger, it took up a lot of my time. Perhaps because it brought me peace and solitude in the busy noise around (being the oldest of five children).
An author told me when I was about seven, that the best way to start was to simply to start.
To record things that perhaps one day later would inspire some creativity.
And so I began.
Recording life, storing memories stuck with scraps of paper in fat notebooks.
From primary school hand writing books (the ones with the big spaces), through to fat art books that didn’t limit spacing, all were carried everywhere, until they were filled.
Lunchtimes, class times, bored times.
Days before we had time to waste on facebook or social media.
Hey, we didn’t even really have text messaging.
Just lots of time chatting on the phone, scribbling and scribing.
Recording quotes that I would find. Thoughts that I had.
The things we did when we were bored or in maths class.
Fat pages of pieces of our souls, or the souls that we would try to project in our everyday lives and classrooms.
The culture around us was marked into those books.
Clipouts from magazines like Dolly or Girlfriend.
Prepaid cards from vodafone, movie tickets and school notices.
The music we listened to, the movies and television we watched, the clothes we wore.
The concerts, events and parties we went to. Our aims and dreams and goals, marked in checklists at the back of each book.
Hidden among secret poetry that no one was ever to read.
The adolescent identities that we tried to cement and discover.
The stuff I was passionate about and interested in- teen mental health, body image,
Our awkward first relationships and experimentation with the opposite sex.
And the same awkward teen ups and downs with God, prayer and general religion.
Right down to the news headlines that were of the day.
9/11, local politics, city changes and oddities. All made those books.
A good record, since now most of what I talked about has gone with our city’s recent earthquake.
And then, somewhere along the way life got too quick for recording life.
Boys and social life, work, marriage and babies.
All vanished from being part of collected in pregnant pages.
Sometimes I would try to start, but couldn’t continue.
I forgot to write.
Perhaps due to better things to do, to facebook, to discovering new things, to exhaustion. Perhaps, I forgot the way I was and got caught up in keeping up.
Rediscovering those journals, I feel complicated emotions in ragged pages.
How much has changed in what seems like such little time.
Firstly, how much free time did we have? Makes being a teen so bitter sweet compared to today. Part of me would love to go back there, and the other half wouldn’t want to go through that age again if you paid me!
Secondly, would I have recorded like that today if I was to go through that age again?
We have facebook and online media (blogs even) to journal our thoughts for the world.
They are our scrapbooks of life today.
How much of that will we rediscover and look back on ten or more years later?
Now, according to my original authors advice, what kind of novel or short story can I write from this collection of jumbled pages from the late 90s and early 2000s?