There’s always been the part of me that wanted to be one of those people who could religiously keep a journal. I wanted to be able to communicate with myself from the past, remind myself of things that shaped me and changed me. I wanted to understand why I did things…to be able to look back and know the connections between events, people, places, moments that had lead me to this point. I wanted to be able to remember things with the vividity and clarity of my own immediate emotional response. I wanted to know, with the unequivocal evidence of a written testament, who I was. I wanted what defined me to be put down in words. And that is part of the reason I chose to start blog. A big part, actually. I want this to become a journal, my thoughts and experiences and reminders and images of my life as it grows and changes. I want to read a paragraph and be there, watching the sun set over the lake and smelling the air full of the scent of fall. My fingers cold in my pockets. I want to remember how it felt being young and alive and experiencing something beautiful. I want to remember everything.
But there was always something missing in journaling. I liked being able to go back and look at my thoughts, but it felt…hollow. Like listening to an echo. It was only my own voice shouting back at me. Maybe I’ve always needed an audience of some sort. And maybe thats why journaling never took with me. It was silent and soulless and would never give me the advice and support and encouragement I needed. I crave communication. I am not the type of person who can sit and talk AT someone, nor am I the type who can sit and be talked at. I want a conversation. I want a dialog, not a monologue. I want to hear different perspectives and ideas and beliefs. I want to understand why I did the things I did, but I also want to understand why other people do the things they do. I want to know who I am, but I also want to know what I could be. What I might be if I were to take this approach or consider this point of view. I want to share myself with others, to give my time and advice and ideas to other people out there in the world and I want to encounter people who startle me. Minds and thoughts and personalities like and unlike me. I want to know what their lives are like, how they differ and relate to mine, where their world and reality and experience has led them.
Does that make me greedy? I suppose it does. I love my life and who I am, but I am also a little bit voyeuristic in that I love looking into other peoples lives and minds and seeing the world through their eyes. It can be a life I admire and strive for, or it might be one that I would never in my wildest dreams want for myself, but it’s the human experience, really. And getting to see that, to watch people grow and change and move forward…and sometimes back…well, I think thats why we become parents. We want to be a witness to the next life. It’s why we group together like we do, form friendships and relationships and bonds, because we need witnesses for our own lives and experiences.
So thats why journaling never did it for me. So I still love talking about myself. And yes, I want other people to listen, but I also want to listen to them. A shared experience. Mutual witnesses. I’ll listen to your story if you’ll listen to mine.