Have often said here, that there are no rules when keeping a journal, other than the ones that the journal keeper herself makes. And although I have very few, mostly those rules are simply habits I fell into as I did my daily writing. Habits I felt would keep me doing it. And they have.
One of them is that I do my journal writing, first thing each morning. That’s the way I started and have pretty much kept going. On occasion, I do feel a need to write in the middle of the day, or in the evening. Something happens and I simply feel an itch to put words to the experience. But that doesn’t happen very often anymore. Maybe because I have created a habit/rule that I simply can no longer think of breaking. Completely forgetting that I made the rule, created the habit, and therefore can choose to break it at any time and do things otherwise.
So, I found myself writing in my journal at one o’clock this morning. I couldn’t sleep, images from the past few days kept sliding through my thoughts, and I found myself making comments about them, or to the people involved. I finally got up and turned on my computer and did my journal page for the day. Guess what? It actually felt weird doing that.
A bit like the kid, afraid he might get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. And that reality makes me want to laugh out loud. I live alone, keep my own peculiar hours, and have done so for years. Who did I think might come along and slap my fingers? Me?
The page wasn’t hard to write. I’d been trying to sleep for over an hour, so I had quite a bit of material at the ready. Some of it was as dark as the night outside the blinded window next to my computer desk. Some of it disturbed me, and I had thoughts along the line that that is just what you get for doing this at this time. Slap.
Most of it was about things I steer clear of writing about because they are depressing: loneliness, not fitting in, questions about where I am going and just who is this person, I call Elizabeth? All the things I can manage to push away during the daylight hours when I’m busy. Slap.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a particularly refreshing session. But, I did it and was somewhat satisfied that I’d gotten it down on paper. Problem was, I still wasn’t tired and didn’t want to go back to tossing and turning. So I decided to play a couple of online games in hopes that that might do the trick. But, instead, met up with a friend who was having some of the exact same experience. We talked, chatting on the Messenger for almost an hour.
It might be better to say that I talked and she listened, occasionally asking those hard questions, and making comments, also the hard kind. We have been friends for over twenty years and she knows me well. Thus knows the right kind of questions and comments to make.
Some of them made me angry, even hurt a bit, but they were the right ones. I know that because afterward, I felt far more at ease and could go back to bed and sleep. I can only hope she did the same.
So, this morning, I didn’t write in my journal. It was already done. But, my mind was filled with a plan, a goal and all the things that need to be put into place to accomplish that goal. I certainly didn’t have that earlier this morning when I was so busy slapping my own fingers. I had gotten the cookie I was seeking and no longer needed to engage in self-punishment.
Does that mean I won’t continue with my habit of morning writing? Absolutely not. This was just a short brief foray away from the rules I unwittingly created and needed to break. And my one thought is that there may be far more of them that need a second look. I needed to do what I did and I feel that I have been rewarded for daring to do so. Last night, I was stuck. I’m not there anymore.
With the help of my friends, (my journal is one of the best) I have worked my way through and out of the darkness that was threatening me and the person I am becoming, both literally and figuratively. Having written about those darker feelings, I was more than prepared to talk about them with my friend when she came online. And I do so love synchronicity. My journal led me to the right place, at the right time.
It is often said that when one is stuck, the best thing to do is to move. To change ones view, alter the perspective in some way. Writing at one in the morning certainly can do that and a lot more. I have the virtual cookies to prove it, plus a window streaming with sunshine, really good friends, and an actual plan.
All of that for breaking the rules I myself created, whew! That little guy is certainly enjoying those still warm melting in your mouth cookies. He’s willing to share cause he has a secret. He knows how to get into that cookie jar when he needs to do so. He also knows that it won’t be as much fun if he makes it a rule or a habit. He’s delighted and so am I.