Two weeks ago, I reached a personal milestone: I finished a journal. The journal I began the last day of junior year is now filled up completely with doodles, rants, lists, and pages talking about what’s going on in my life. Now, I get to start a brand new one. My favorite part about finishing a journal is digging into the back of my closet and recovering old journals and reading through them all in order. I can then track my personal growth, think back on experiences I would’ve otherwise forgotten, and see how everything in my life manages to come back full circle.
I began journaling August before my sophomore year. Since then, a couple times a week I get into a mindset where I absolutely have to write, and I can go on for pages talking about every aspect of my life. But it usually only happens a couple times a week, so I tend to miss lots of details or even major events that I don’t feel like writing about at the time. With this journal, that’s going to change.
I started this one two weeks ago, and I’m averaging nine pages a day. I’ve always wanted to start a new one the day I begin college, so that means I have to fill up this book in a mere five months to ensure that happens. For the first time, instead of just writing when I feel like it, I’m making an active effort to record my entire life — remember every second that meant anything to me. I need to encapsulate every memory I possibly can, so someday, I can reread this and remember what my last months at home were like. I’m writing everyone’s names, what they mean to me, and detailed summaries of what goes down in my life. I won’t be a teenager or a Wilton resident for much longer, and this is my way of preserving that. In a few years, I’ll be able to open up this book and be flooded with the thoughts, feelings, and events that went down in high school.
I’m going to take lots away from Wilton other than this journal; Playbills from the shows I’m in at the high school, and the hundreds of pictures that my photographer friend takes among countless other things. However, by describing my relationships with every person who matters to me and writing detailed descriptions of whatever I’m up to, future me will be able to live vicariously through 17-year-old, second-semester senior me who is quickly bringing an 18-year phase of my life to a close. I know that in 10 years my brain won’t have the capacity to store all my Wilton memories: the memories that largely shaped who I am. That’s why I keep the memories in an easy access spot for when I need to remember a time in my life: my journal. I know future me will thank me.