It’s probably not a surprise to most of you that I’m a journaler… I’ve been keeping a journal, in some form or other, since I was a kid.
It also probably won’t come as a surprise that my journaling isn’t exactly structured or organized. In fact, I don’t even keep it in a consistent place. I have several notebooks, which are used not only as notebooks, but as receptacles for EVERYTHING– grocery lists, notes to myself, doodles, etc. I even have a HORRIBLE habit of mixing my personal and work notebooks. In fact, I found my bets from last year’s Vegas trip during a meeting at work today. Ugh.
I thought it might be interesting to let y’all take a little peek into one of my journals… I wrote this on the way back from San Fransisco. I’m keeping the original post pretty much intact, but I couldn’t resist fixing a few style/grammar issues. But I kept most of them in. You’ll also see some “notes” in brackets. These are after-the-fact explanations and were not part of the original ramblings.
There’s something about travelling that brings out the reflective/introspective side of me. Maybe it’s being in another place. Surrounded by other people and places.
Maybe it’s the lack of the clutter of everyday life– bills to pay, chores to do, people to to connect with. A hotel room with just a bed and a clock. No to-do list except the one you bring with you.
I got up early an ran 2x this trip. Not because I was dedicated, but because I had nothing else to do. My brain woke my body up and there was simply nothing else to do in the 2+ hour before work than hit the hotel gym.
Granted, the lack of clutter and schedule can also work against progress. Sat. was my last day in SF. We got done with work early so it was my only free afternoon to do daytime “stuff”. Unfortunately, the stuff I really wanted to do didn’t work into my time schedule so I ended up taking a much needed nap in the hotel instead.
Although this worked well for me physically, my to-do list suffered. I didn’t get to the museum store (which I love) and didn’t buy gifts for family and friends, which I needed to do.
Travelling also allows for lots of profound thoughts. Maybe its being “stuck” on a plane or a train but I often find myself thinking profound thoughts on planes and trains.
[Editor's Note: the previous sentence was clearly not edited for style... just to prove this is really a journal entry.]
I think about people. How they got here. Where they’re going. And about myself. How I got here and where I’m going. Where am I going, anyway?
I find myself making plans to make plans when I travel– changes I need to make. Meditations I need to do [Editor's note: I've never meditated a day in my life. I must've read this in a book or something.]
I get back to the hustle-bustle [Editor's Note: originally spelled "hussle-bussle"] of my “real” life. The laundry, the bills are still there. The day-to-day routine that makes up the majority of life. And I forget to retreat. To think. To reflect.
I often think I need to take a trip all by myself. To the beach maybe. Or the mountains. Somewhere with natural beauty that can inspire me to think about my life and to make real plans to do something with it. Something meaningful. Something significant. Something with purpose. But then I think what would I do? Would I get lonely?
I even thought about extending this trip for a couple of days– staying over in SF so I could do some stuff I knew I wouldn’t get to do. But I didn’t have anyone to come out here with me. Well, that’s not really true. I didn’t actually ask anyone.
[Editor's note: Names of friends and family I could've asked. I'm leaving this out to protect the innocent. It's not their fault I never asked them!]
Even if I didn’t find anyone to come, I should’ve done it. As I sit here on the plane thinking about it, I have these romantic visions of sitting on the Wharf with my laptop writing. Or doing the touristy stuff I didn’t do. Or spending time hiking Muir Woods and “connecting” with the city. I should’ve done it.
As it turns out, I did extend my trip a bit. Instead of staying over a couple days in SF, I’m gonna hang in Chicago. Maybe we can do some off-the-beaten path Chicago stuff. I just read about a couple places and I’ll have some time to write.
[Editor's note: As you probably already know, I ended up pretty much crashing in Chicago... and am just now getting around to writing]
I have a lot I want to write:
- Some version of this journal entry [EN: done!]
- Private post I want to write. [EN: Hey, it's a peek into my journal, not my soul!]
- SF wrap-up– food/drink, what I did/didn’t do [EN: done!]
- Review/response to what I’ve been reading: Malcolm Galdwell piece/Same Kind of Different as Me [EN: forthcoming]
- Story for class [EN: done!]
- Revision of 1st story [EN: forgot about this completely until right now]
So, there you have it. My journal reads a lot like my blog posts. But I usually try to edit my blog posts. At least once!