At the Heart of Me

I recently went through a rite of passage of all twenty-somethings:
Going through all of my things in boxes at my dad's house.
I found soccer trophies, knick knacks that used to belong on my bookshelves, college textbooks from freshmen year I should have sold, piles and piles of pictures, years of birthday cards, toys I remembered and loved, a stash of empty cd cases, long-lost treasures of clothes (including some overalls I bought when I was fifteen that sadly didn't fit anymore), and tons of junk that must have been sentimental at some point but I couldn't remember what the meaning was now.

Daniel, my dad and I spent about three hours going through the boxes. It was so entertaining that I forgot to eat dinner, and that's saying something.
Taking a little journey through your past can bring up many feelings. The strongest thing I felt was thankful. Thankful for my childhood, for the loved ones I have encountered on my journey, thankful for the way I have been supported throughout my life and how I've grown since moving on from my childhood room.
As we dug through my junk and treasures, one of the stacks that stood out to me the most was my journals.
I was known in middle school for always having a journal with me. I wrote original song lyrics in my journal every single day. I poured out my pre-teen angst and thoughts in drawings, scribbles, and quotations. There were four full notebooks from my middle school years.
In the same stack, there was a book from high school. A friend got me this beautiful book after I saw it at a gift shop and loved it. The pages are filled with glued collages, layered papers, my photos, and momentos, themed around song lyrics and poems.
These stood out to me so much because they represented my inner life. I have always been someone who knows myself very well, and spends a lot of time in my thoughts and dreams and feels very deeply. In these pages I see feelings expressed that I still feel. I also see ways that I am so glad I have grown and changed.

Something I see in these momentos that speaks deeply to my heart is that I was meant to create. Drawing, playing with play-dough, making beads, and building with legos were some of my favorite activities in my first decade. Later on, I created franchises of "Puppy Tails" and "Goofy Girls" and gave my sister hand-made "merchandise" for gifts. I painstakingly drew complex images on the Paint application on my family's first computer. Along with these journals in middle school, I sketched fashion drawings and wrote a novel called Loving Wednesday. I picked up the guitar and started playing music to go with my lyrics.
The need to create and to express myself is deep within me.
I realize now that that is why I blog.
Instead of in notebooks carried around with me everywhere, I share my creativity, my dreams, my words here.
Another trait represented as I looked through these boxes is that I have always been deeply relational. I found the horses we played with, which each had names and back stories and dramatic interactions. I found my American Girls, one of which I bought a wheel chair (I guess I have always wanted to help others). In my journals I poured out my thoughts and feelings about friendship and love and family. I find mixed tapes from my friends and stacks and stacks of photos of memorable people. At the heart of me there is a deep need for closeness with others.
In one of my notebooks, a page which wrenches my heart expresses this:
"More than anything, I just want someone to completely understand me."
As I read that I hurt for the girl who longed to be known, but rejoice in the fact that she later found an all-knowing and all-loving God, with grace enough to give others who loved her and knew her the best they could.
As I went through my things, it was easy to laugh at the wannabe emo journals of a silly pre-teen, and the wholehearted investment in my artistic projects and melodramas we told with toys. But I realized as I looked through that these memories tell my story. A story of creativity, a story of relationships, but most of all a story of love.

1 comment:

  1. How special to have found these journals again. It is nice to look back to see who we were, how we've changed and who we've become. They are so colorful, you are def. creative and artsy! I have a prayer journal I keep right now and I always like to look back a year or two to see what I used to pray about.



Feel free to comment! I'd love to hear your thoughts.