In case you can’t tell… I’m a writer.
More specifically I’m a personal journal-er. I endeavor to collect the most journals ever & make them into little memorials of my trials and accomplishments through the years.
I intensely decorate each page. I doodle, cut, glue, and color in each themed page one by one. I write my heart out for each day, log my memories, take note of my health data, and measure out my anxiety attacks. I stick glittery butterflies everywhere I can, keep receipts and scraps of paper to glue to the pages, and manage to somehow find a way to throw in some extra bits of scrapbooking paper. The point of this paragraph is simple: I decorate my heart out onto each page.
The one problem I have is that I can never finish an entire journal from start to end. I always get about halfway before I find another that I really like and start working on that one… I always say I will use it for some other type of journaling but it never winds up like that. I always, always, always find a way to make that new bound book my diary and restart the process all over again.
Tonight I found two of those halfway full journals. One was from 2018, and the other from 2019. In it, you see a stark difference and it shocked me.
2018, my binding was colorful and full of expression. It was bursting at the seams with receipts and scraps of paper, stickers and glittery glue. Each page had Tombow brush inks all over it, with smooth yet vibrant hued writing. 2019 had a bright start but somehow… it just started fading into monochromes. There was less and less pizazz. Glitter grew extinct. Stickies were missing. My writing had become stiff and rigid instead of colorful and enthusiastic.
In 2019, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. From the get go, you can see where my journey begins as that’s where my pages start declining. 2018, I was still a healthy(ish) girl with the world in her hands. Smiling, laughing, loving. I was still blissfully unaware of what was growing in my abdomen at those very moments in time. I had a partner that I loved dearly and I felt supported. Then 2019 happened. Then the cancer came along.
And here we are, over a year later… and I’m not journaling as I used to. I’m too tired these days to spend much time cutting away scraps of paper to glue in. I don’t go out anymore because of COVID and my sickness. I rarely have the energy to do much of anything.
The contrast between the two journals is enough to make me cry. Instead of filling out pages of memories I am writing in final directives on paper forms for my banks and care teams. I am struggling to get up in the morning. Right at this moment I am in tears. Cancer has taken so much from me… and it took away my favorite pastime. I’m too tired these days to do much of anything.
I have written steadfastly since I was in high school. I wrote everything down. I decorated all pages as vibrantly as the rainbow. 2019… I become a shell of a scared girl. I see myself questioning all the results of the scans and the tests. I hear the whispering voice of a petrified girl asking for help. 2007, I’m writing about my boyfriend at the time constantly and Inuyasha. I’m different people growing at the same continuous time…
I guess I write my blogs because it’s easier for me to feel like I’m remembered. I never have to finish this journal because it’s never-ending…. there’s no risk of me drifting off into another pretty paper’d cover. I always get distracted and forget to finish all the pages…. I guess I’m pretty all over the place right now. Sigh. Suffice to say, my emotions are running on high and I am scrambled.
It’s always interesting to see how far I’ve gotten… but this was a progression that I didn’t want to revisit. But it’s my truth. And I am grateful for it to be honest. I am glad to see my pain reflected in writing because it means that I survived those anxious days. It means there was a semblance of hope glittering in the background of all that mess… and maybe there could be some here at this time.
I encourage you to keep blogging. You’ll love to come back and see how stupid you sounded, or how enlightening your humor was/is. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time and I wish I had more energy for it. I don’t want cancer to completely remove my favorite hobby so I will dedicate a chunk of time when I can to writing and decorating once again. I might start a new prayer journal praising Yahuah for all He has done for me in 2020! I’m almost done with the year and need to play catch up! Just because cancer has eaten my body and spirit doesn’t mean I can pretend 2020 didn’t happen and not write out my reality. I need to document it … and it’s never too late to.