Around age 15 I got inspired to journal. I don't recall how it happened exactly, but I remember sitting under a tree one afternoon at a summer ballet school, away from home and usually all my creative energy on everything I could find. And after that poem, written on one of the first pages of a journal with pink ballet shoes on the front, I was hooked.

In my parents' house, I have lined an upper shelf with 10+ years of journal books, and the others are crammed into a bookcase in my home. I went through different phases with the kind of books I liked--spiral, lined, unlined. At one point I only wanted the kind that was "night" on one side and "day" on the other. Now I'm into unlined, light weight, and made from sustainable paper.

At one point I read all of them, probably six years ago or so. I catalogued my teenage musings and my twenty-something dreams into all these little books, and they are really quite telling.

I've kept up with the pace for the most part, but somewhere around May of this year I abandoned it altogether. Somehow it felt inauthentic, or redundant, or an inadequate picture of what my life is really like. Since I tend to pick up the pen in an effort to deal with suffering, sometimes my journals read like an account of someone who is constantly afflicted and looking for hope. I am that person sometimes, but I'm also incredibly content right now, and thoroughly enjoying my life. Not to mention, with all the writing I do for school, it felt like a chore.

But last night I opened my unfinished journal and wrote. And it felt really good. I apologized to the pages for my neglect and after a page or so of disclaimers I just let go. I tend to come to forms of epiphany when I journal, or at least make unforeseen connections, and I always find hope is God's unfailing love. In this instance, I was attempting to make sense of something big. And I did find some poetic hope in the pouring out of my words and heart, to pages who won't tell a soul and to a God who always listens and always understands.

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