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There’s a time about once every three months when a new journal with crisp, white pages and the fresh feel of new beginnings turns into an old journal with dark scribbles, stains of various liquids and torn pages. For the journal, it’s probably a heart-breaking process but for me, it’s a time of transformation and a different outlook on imagination.

By three months time, my mother is telling me- “Throw it away!” but instead, I pick it up and put it in the box just like the rest. The box itself stays in the back of my closet, a subtle reminder of who I was and just what I used to think.

So as I put the old journal away, I can’t help but crack one of them open. Whether it used to be a blue cover, a green or black one, it’s always frayed around the edges with dark splotches and torn bindings.

I have to take my time.

So carefully, I turn the pages, reading ancient notes and following confusing arrows. I read horrible stories of fairy princesses, lost love, magic and rainbows. I laugh at how pathetically childish I used to write but then I pick a different journal.

It could be the one with the lost cover or the glittery one that hadn’t had glitter in years. Whichever one it is, I open it, wiping dust on the carpet and coughing as the smell of “old” invades my nose.

The pages are tinged yellow, the writing smudged in so many places that I can’t even read it and an entire page is lost because of some possible water damage. Yet, I struggle through, sitting in a corner reading page after page about a boy in my class with dark brown eyes or that teacher that hated me because I always stood up to her.

What was supposed to be a five second journey quickly turns into hours as the stories change from peace, love and happiness to reality, romantic drama and glimpses of complex emotions. I can hear my mother calling for me, but I choose to ignore her, deciding instead to open the new resident of the box.

It’s not as torn as the others and it still looks like it can be used, but the pages are full with half-thoughts, homework assignments and essays so it needs to be retired. Almost instantly, I notice how different and unique it is when compared to the other journals. My eldest ones contain nothing but stories of childish dreams as do the youngest ones, but they hold reality and romance instead.

Yet, this one, the one that used to reside in my backpack holds school and everything that makes it up. I flip through the pages and see: “English Essay Due 14th”, “Metcalf Project, maybe a rap song”, “Newspaper Articles” and “Finish the homework, do the note cards and workbook pages before going to sleep”.

There is nothing resembling my thoughts and wishes. There is nothing that reflects my imagination. There is nothing of what used to be.

I jerk upright, banging my head against bare hangers and toss the old journal into the box. The box is back in its place, the lights are off and I no longer feel like reminiscing.

I answer my mother’s call, her tone now insistent and demanding. I return to my homework, mind heavy with thoughts of essays, literary reading, note cards and projects. I go to sleep that night, dreams remaining dreams.
Yet, there’s a thought persistent in my mind. It bothers me deeply and I can’t help but feel a little…disappointed.

Everything I used to be has changed.

I can remember myself coming home from elementary school, mind racing with thoughts and ideas, with hopes and dreams, with imaginary goals and naive pictures of reality…and at that time, I remember how cheerful and passionate I was.

I can remember myself coming home for middle school, my heart pounding with unspoken feelings and forgetful crushes. I dreamed above the skies and let my imagination be my reality…and at that time, I remember how creative and artistic I used to be.

Now, I can see myself, reflected through the eyes of my journals of what I am: indifferent to world around me. No longer do I see what is and defy its boundaries, but rather, what isn’t and accept that as wasted time.

It hurts to see myself like this and truthfully, there isn’t much I can do about it. I can just sit in that corner, reading ancient and distant thoughts of a younger, more boundless version of me and think to myself, “What happened?”

My eyes open to view the dark shadow of that new journal, the one with the crisp, white pages and the fresh feel of new beginnings and wish…that it was not all just written history.





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Siyayl said...
today at 8:23 am
Hi. I really liked this piece. I'm using it as my speech for English, I really hope you don't mind. Thank you :p
 
gracie123 said...
May 22, 2010 at 10:54 am
WOW! ur such a great writer!
 
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