This is the first post. I’ve written a lot of first posts for journals and blogs. It used to be that starting a journal was exciting. The fresh, blank pages represented unbounded hope in the future and in my capacity to record it. As that initial enthusiasm wore off, and as the entries became less frequent and more apologetic, the feelings accompanying the blank pages spiraled down from obligation to disappointment to aversion to indifference.
I don’t promise anything different with this one. I offer instead my reasons for starting again. Each journal I’ve started has been for a different reason.
Journal 1: I wrote in this one as an obedient child. Mostly summer assignments from my mom.
Journal 2: I wrote in this one as an idealistic teen. A bit sappy, as is typically the case with YA lit.
Journal 3: I wrote in this one as a devoted missionary. Better, but a bit preachy; not as good as my letters home at the same time.
Journal 4: I wrote in this one as a lost college student. Brett Holt—you’re an awesome journal writer, and I wanted to emulate that.
Blog 1: Tried a foray into the digital realm hoping it’d stick. The results were pretty ugly. VERY sappy. Trying too hard to sound intellectual.
Journal 5: I wrote in this one as a newlywed starting a life. Recorded like, two entries about the wedding, etc. Turns out, as a married man there are more fun things to do at night than journal writing.
And so here we are, Blog 2. Why?
1. My cousin—and, incidentally, my boss—keeps a daily blog, and highly recommends it.
2. I’ve been doing a lot of family history work lately for a BYU class (my last, actually), and am starting to appreciate more the value of a personal record. They tend to blow all other records out of the water.
3. I’ve got a lot of thoughts jumping around in my head and don’t really want to lose them.
4. I do a lot of cool things, and plan on doing more cool things.
Lastly, a couple beasts to slay.
I often cringe when I go back and read my own writings. Sorry everyone. I guess I have some faint hope that with more writing I’ll become a better writer, and not cringe. Then again, maybe not, and for that you have my sympathy.
Moreover, I struggle with pride when I write in my journals. I have a hard time being truly genuine. I edit my tales a bit to cast myself in the best light, or to make them seem like a bigger deal than they may have been. I never lie, I promise you that much. But I have a hard time shaking off the knowledge that someone—family or otherwise—will read this in the future. I am a performer, I confess. These are my thoughts and stories—but they may not be the complete thoughts and stories. This record can never be truly transparent, because it will never be truly private. I am a human, and as such, I sometimes think and do things that are embarrassing and downright wrong. While these things may be significant in my life, they may not make it into the records.
And that is strictly on the record.