the naked self, part II

Last week, I felt like I was having a panic attack. I could feel the perspiration gather on my face. I could feel my chest becoming warm. A million thoughts were rushing in my mind. What caused this, you ask. I thought I had lost my journal. Seriously. I know for someone who doesn’t journal, I probably sound melodramatic and a drama queen, but for those of you who do journal, I know you understand my anxiety. Let me explain. A journal is a prized, cherished possession because it allows you to be yourself in a safe, nurturing environment. In a journal, at least in a successful one, you strip yourself naked. You are unmasked, vulnerable, and painfully honest with yourself. In a journal, you write down your most personal thoughts and feelings. For me, journal writing is necessary. It is a way for me to vent. It is a way for me to grow. It is a way for me to evolve spiritually, and when I use the would spiritually, I’m not necessarily speaking about religion. I’m referring to the energy that lives within in me and elevating it to a higher level (I’m a Pisces, so I liked to go underneath the surface).  Although journal writing is therapeutic, who wants the world to see who you really are? Not I. So, the thought of someone discovering the real me had me shaking in my boots. I’ve always wondered would I want my journals to be published. And now I know my answer. Heck naw! So, the moral of this story is to keep up with your journal when you are traveling because you don’t want to feel like you have lost a piece of yourself. As for me, luckily my journal was at my grandmother’s house and I had forgotten to put it in my bag. My aunt mailed my beloved journal via postal mail without reading it, thank God. If you have had a similar experience—having lost a journal or thinking you have lost it—please share and post your comment. I’d love to hear from you. Really, folks. 

2 Comments

Filed under Writing

2 responses to “the naked self, part II

  1. aloha Mary – yeah, i’ve lost important works in a journal format – at least it was important to me at the time. the book was created by an artist who wrote brief entries and then allowed plenty of room for someone to write and draw their own response. i was may be half way through it, a page a day more or less but not always ever day. a friend of mine borrowed it to show to a friend. it has never come back. at this point i’ve let it go. if it ever shows up again it will be fun.

    the real “lost” journal story i’d like to relate was also a drawing/sketching journal that one of my instructors lost – with a great returning as your story is. . .

    the more accurate truth is that he was traveling by car and stopped to sketch in a wilderness area. getting back into his car to drink some coffee he set the sketchbook down on top of the car roof. which is where he left it when he decided to drive on a few hundred miles before nightfall.

    50 miles later he remembered where his sketchbook was, or rather where it no longer remained. he decided 150 miles was too far to get back to where he was at the time when he thought of the sketchbook, so he continued on to his destination.

    the point of his story, in telling us was that he always put his name and address in his sketchbooks. that’s what he was encouraging us to do – along with dates and materials etc.

    his sketchbook was found by a woman who eventually mailed it back to him a few months later. she seemed concerned in the note she had written as she said she’d found the sketchbook in the ditch beside the road. altho she looked around she said she couldnt think what might have happened to him that he would leave his sketchbook.

    my instructor knew he should send a letter of thank you. he decided however that the woman deserved more than a thank you note. he felt she deserved a story she could tell and retell to her friends and families.

    he sent a letter explaining to the woman that he had actually seen her pick up the sketchbook. he said that he was now nearly recovered but at the time when she found the sketchbook he had been mauled by a bear. in fact it had happened a short time before she found the book. he had been drug about 20 yards away and left by the bear. he was so weak he couldnt raise his voice to call out to her when he saw the woman turn away with his sketchbook. he went on to explain that by chance almost a day later some hikers found him and got him to where he could receive medical attention.

    now he explained he had close to full use of his hands and arms again and for the fist time was able to write the letter of thank you that she was now holding. soon he felt he’d be able to draw again and so he appreciated her return of his sketchbook. he thanked her and signed his name.

    he figured she probably either found the story breath taking or enjoyable but either way she’d have something to tell at any story time as a result of having done a good deed.

    now i often put my name and address (or way to be contacted) in my sketchbooks. …ha. i better do that again, i think i’ve let a few go without doing so…

    aloha – Wrick.

  2. absurdoldbird

    In my early twenties, I threw out a journal that I’d written in for most of my teens and years later wished I hadn’t as I lost a lot of memory through the side effects of a (prescribed) drug and that would have filled in all the gaps.

    Oddly, my sister saw at the time that I’d thrown it out, thought it was a stupid thing to do and very nearly rescued it to keep for me – but then she didn’t!

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