A Simple Way to Relive Memories

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eight and opened my first pink journal, complete with lock and key. My heart pounded as I wrote on the crisp, fresh pages, stories about a tiny stuffed bear, and my neighbors I thought were aliens.

As I grew older, my little journal was replaced by a notebook stuffed inside my fringe-covered purse, changing my writing from childish fantasies to dramatic phrases like, “My mom doesn’t like me,” and, “I met a boy.”

In high school, I carried college-lined paper with me from class to class, filling the pages with short stories and love poems written to no one in particular.

In my twenties, I owned a typewriter. The black keys click-clicked beneath my fingers as I wrote about motherhood, young marriage, and my dreams.

And after my children were born, my husband and I bought our first computer. It was then my real writing began, not because of the computer, but because I’d finally figured out what I wanted to write.

I had forgotten those memories. I thought they were gone, lost in some corner of my mind. And though it sounds silly, I’d always wanted to relive my childhood, at least partially, to see the world again, far from kid-coated eyes.

Sometimes, life has a way of helping us remember. I think it’s when I decided to get back to my roots that it happened for me.

Not long ago I was talking to a friend, complaining how difficult writing had been for me lately. She’d had the same issue, she said. When I asked how she fixed it, she said it was simple. She started writing in a journal.

What did I have to lose? I picked up a few journals at the store. Over time, I picked out a couple more. They are no longer little and pink with a tiny key, for like me, they have grown. I have a simple, one-toned notebook from the drug store, an eco-friendly journal with soft cream pages, a teal journal filled with notes I will someday use, and a leather-bound journal with trees etched on the cover, one I’d received as a gift from my husband.

My journals are like going home, back to my roots, to the place it all began. As I write, I remember pieces of my life: Sitting beneath a tree, pouring my heart on the pages; journals hidden beneath bed covers, a flashlight’s beam on each word; stories written of family, friends, and relatives, some no longer on this earth; and at this moment, I am reminded of late nights, my father in the kitchen reading, I in my bedroom writing in my journal.

My journals became my roots. My roots became my memories. And through them all, I was able to see the world one more time.

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2 thoughts on “A Simple Way to Relive Memories”

  1. There’s something very, very different about writing longhand in a journal. That’s one of the reasons I started keeping a bullet journal – like a mix between a planner, a sketchbook and a journal to record the little moments of regular days. I hope your own return to pen and paper helps your writing, too!

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