Late last year, I spotted a fabric-covered, pale pink notebook with gold engraving in a Kikki.K shop and decided I must have it. The idea that I would fill a page of this notebook every day for an entire year was instantaneous – I would write down some kind of thought or musing that was prompted by the day’s events, and then at the end of 2015, I would have an entire book filled with all the ways that I had learned or wondered or grieved or celebrated this year.
I have always ‘kept’ a journal, but my ‘keeping’ has been sporadic to say the least. I never had the discipline to write “Dear Diary” every day, but I kept one in case I needed to unravel my mind. But for some reason, I suddenly had this very intense desire for this notebook, and a thrilling faith that yes, this was the journal I would ‘keep’, literally. Perhaps it’s because the book only demands – nay, the book limits myself to – one page a day. That’s it. The pages were blank – they did not require 46 lines of thought, they simply wanted something.
In January, I wrote about the people I welcomed in 2015 with, the places I planned to visit, my undying love for the TV show f.r.i.e.n.d.s, things people said to me that really struck a chord, my always evolving understanding of feminism, and my feelings of both hope and inadequacy. On days I didn’t feel like writing, I tried to draw things with my watercolours (and failed so wonderfully), copied quotes I found on tumblr and made collages.
And it was just so great.
On January 1, I decided that in 2015, I would be in the business of preserving memories. And even though my 365 project is not exactly “Dear Diary, today I did this”, I truly believe that when I look back to day 15 and read: “Teach children to be friends with the opposite sex because then, from a young age, kids understand that these people with different bits are not aliens, but exactly that – people”, I will immediately remember that on January 15 2015, I had a significant lunch with my friend Patch where I was reminded of the value of having male friends.
On January 31, I successfully completed one month of my 365 project. As day 30 turned to day 31, my friend Alison and I talked about figuring it all out, and she helped me understand that perhaps I don’t have to have it all figured out by 20 years old. When I got home, my mother was still awake and I gave her a little cuddle. She looked at my hands and said “you’ve still got baby hands” and it made me so happy. Because that’s exactly right, I still have dimpled, baby hands and if my hands haven’t felt the need to grow up just yet, I still have some time. I still have a lot of time to learn more about myself, to travel around, to meet new people, and perhaps one day – to move to New York. So what if it hasn’t happened yet, so what? I’ve still got time.
It’s only February, but this project has already delivered me some wonderful revelations! Watch this space for the month of Feb, because I promise you it’s coming.