HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns

August 27, 2007

I’ve cried about less

English has always been one of my favorite subjects. Whenever we’d be given writing assignments in class and everyone else would be complaining, I’d be secretly rejoicing.

I’d wonder, “What shall I write about this time?” However, as with any assignment, the scope was always somewhat narrow.

Our teacher would give us a category to pick from. I knew it made sense to correlate our assignments with what we were studying, but it also took some of the fun out of it.

So, to release the rest of my creative energy (my more obnoxious creative energy), I started to journal.

This started with writing on single sheets of paper (usually when I was extremely irritated) and then I would tear up the paper into a million tiny shreds.

It felt amazing to write everything down that bothered me, and then destroy it immediately afterwards. It was kind of like punching a pillow (only different).

Then I got into a habit of reading my ramblings before I tore them up. I found them to be pretty entertaining, so I decided to stop destroying them and keep them for future reference.

Now I have a notebook full of my gibberish to read at my leisure whenever I want.

I usually only journal when I’m in a bad mood; most of my entries are riddled with whining and complaining.

Also, because I only write in this thing for myself, if anyone else tried to read it, they’d probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

Honestly, sometimes when I look back over them, even I can’t put the pieces together.

I never use names and quite often skip from one thought to the next. This gives my ranting a scatterbrained ridiculousness that is almost impossible for anyone to decipher.

One page could start out about how much I hate clowns and finish with wondering what’s on TV. There is simply no cohesion of any kind in my journal.

Of course, because many of these entries are kind of personal (and also extremely confusing), I never let anyone read my little tirades.

That’s why its been so much fun to have my own column this summer.

Like my journal, having this column, has given me an outlet for my sporadically random thoughts.

However, this column has many differences that make it more special to me than my journal.

I still get to write about pretty much whatever I want, but my column has been about things that make me happy, unlike my negative journal.

More importantly, this column is printed in a paper and has the opportunity to be read. To my surprise, I found that there are actually people who take the time to read my little blurbs every other week.

I am shocked when people in the community compliment me on this and talk to me about what I wrote.

But it is a pleasant shock. I knew that I would enjoy being able to write about whatever I wanted, but I never put too much thought into who (if anyone) would read it.

The thought that people would actually enjoy reading it never crossed my mind.

My column has been one of the highlights in an otherwise fairly uneventful summer.

By the time this is published, I’ll be settled in at my apartment, preparing for classes to start, and trying to discourage my brain from coming up with new column topics.

I’m going to miss this. I might even shed a few tears when I look in the paper in two weeks and I can’t find “Flowers and Pancakes” anywhere. After all, I’ve cried about much less.