Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: Old Journal Entries

As a writer, I’ve amassed numerous journals over the years.  Seldomly do I actually fill out the whole journal.  Instead, I write a few pages and abandon it.  Eventually getting a new one and repeating the same process.  With new novel ideas that I’ve been expanding, I’ve gone back to these abandoned works to use them.  Most recently the journal that I opened up had a couple entries from 2008.  After reading them, I decided they would make good entries on here.  Some have been edited for content.

November 24, 2008

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I lost faith in Catholicism, but it was somewhere between my sophomore year in high school and my sophomore year in college.  When I had attempted to kill myself in 8th grade, I figured I was a lost soul anyway.  Raised by my mother to be Roman Catholic, I always figured I was a fairly faith oriented person.  Trying to kill myself didn’t change that.  My mother didn’t learn about the incident until years until years later.  Thinking back, if she had known, she probably would have had me committed.  

For being raised in a heavy faith way, I didn’t think about it much.  I went to Catholic school, I went to church, and I “prayed,” which meant I bowed my head and though of something else for a few minutes.  I learned about God, but I never thought about God.  I went to church, but I never really felt the communal connection.  Eventually, I was just living through the motions.  

My high school (redacted), indulged students by giving them a day each year where we could wear jeans and get out of school; otherwise known as retreat day.  By grade, we would relocate to a retreat center and spend the day learning about Jesus in different ways.  Some of the activities were pretty cool.  My sophomore year retreat had culminated with prayer in the chapel followed by mass.  During quiet prayer time, I felt this urge to kneel.  While kneelers were provided, I opted for the stone floor.  I remember my friends giving me a couple shrewd looks but eventually ignoring me.  I thought about things in my life that upset me: my parents not being together, my general overwhelming alone feeling, and all the car related issues I have.  I finally focused on my life altering car crash of 2000.  I started thinking “why?” over and over.  My pathetic mantra of self-justification.  I suddenly got tight in the chest as I begged God, in my head, to give me a sign that I’m worth something; my eyes overflowed with tears.  There was a hand resting on my shoulder.  I figured it was a teacher coming to ask me what was wrong or a friend comforting me while silently wondering if I had lost it.  I opened my eyes and looked to see whose hand was tightly gripping my shoulder.  No one was there.  I looked back to the cross hanging behind the altar.  I burst into tears again as the feeling lifted off me.  My sign from God.

After that, I put more effort into understanding my religion and attempting to be more involved.


Learning more about Catholicism is what I can admit started pushing me away.  Today I look at that experience as my sign of a higher power, but not the religion in which I used to believe.  I’m very skeptical of organized religion now, but I still believe there is more out there “higher” than me.  For more about my perspective on this topic, check out my other post here.

August 12, 2009

I figured out something today.  Something I knew for myself, but hadn’t necessarily applied further.  I discovered that humans are nothing more than insignificant specks.  We parade around in our flashy clothes, flashier cars, and even flashier attitudes.  People decorate their closets with the highest end designers, get numerous cars that they barely drive, purchase several properties and lavishly style them even though they almost never stay in them.  And all it is, is a mask.  A cleverly disguised rouse.  And everyone is falling for it.

What people don’t get is that it doesn’t matter what car is in the driveway or if you have a pool or social status.  From 30,000 feet everyone is an insignificant ant.  You can be squished or eliminated, you won’t be missed.  Seriously, there are plenty of specks.  

Obviously, I’m not condoning taking a life.  I’m just saying people shouldn’t take life so seriously.  Sometimes you need to just drop everything and do something spontaneous.  Like run away to Ireland for five days.  I’m not the poster child for being impetuous.  But maybe with just a little bit of change, great things could happen for myself.  I guess the question is if I’m ready to jump… can I learn to let go?  Or will I always be trapped by my fear and inability to be brave?  I can’t stand feeling like a failure in any aspect of my life.  That’s in both not trying and trying and failing.  But if I always live my life in “quiet desperation” won’t I be just as miserable?

So I have to choose between the dissatisfaction of never getting out there or the fear of getting out there.  It’s a bitchy choice, but I have to make it.


I’ve lightened up a lot about my life, and I think part of that comes from my self esteem getting much better.  I still struggle with “getting out there” and dealing with failing.  But as wise author Maureen Johnson once said, it’s okay to suck.  Embrace the suck.  She’s quite right, because while I’m perfectly excited to work on my novel, I know the first draft is not going to be amazing.  But since I know how to deal with my suck, I will move forward and make things better.  Don’t get me wrong, my fragile ego is still hoping my first draft is good enough but I’m ready when it’s not.

No comments: