One of the things I wanted to do this year was type up all of my handwritten notes, musings, and drafts. I've found some horribly written short stories with bad plot lines. It's possible that there is some potential in some of the stories, but I'm afraid it would head more in the direction of Stephanie Meyer than Virginia Woolf :-/. I think I'm more of a nonfiction writer than a fiction writer, which might get in the way of my hopes to someday write a novel. But honestly, my favorite things to read and type up (with a few edits) are pieces that are basically journal entries. I wrote a lot about what I believed in, what I wanted to be, how I wanted to improve myself, and what I wanted to get out of life.
One that I typed up tonight was one I wrote when I was feeling kind of like I have been this week: overwhelmed, exhausted, and almost constantly on the verge of tears. It was about this night when I was working at a small Christian bookstore back home in ND. I felt this overwhelming need to cry and had no real reason for it. I ended up curling up in a cushioned desk chair in the back of the store for a while eating ramen noodles from a Styrofoam cup and just crying. And then I started writing, and what came out of it was a list of things I wanted. Not physical possessions or riches or anything like that, but desires for knowledge, intellect, grace, faith, and adventure.
Neat fact: I've actually accomplished a couple of the things I wanted to. I have developed deep, meaningful friendships with a few people and no longer feel the need to "collect" friends. I have managed to read a couple of Hemingway's novels and actually enjoy them. I've actually let loose a little bit, but still been (mostly) smart about it. I've been in love with someone who was in love with me. I didn't make my bed the other day, and I didn't freak out (seriously, that was on my list, "I want to not freak out when my bed's not made"). I have a job that makes me happy and fulfilled. And I've made a good start on my library full of beautiful, hardcover books.
Of course, I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish or do. I still want to experience the world, not just see it. I want to run with the bulls. I want to read all the great books ever written in the world. I want to live in Iceland. I want to build a house. I want to be able to make croissants like a real French baker.
I want to be able to relate to people and be able to hold a two-way conversation with anyone for hours, regardless of age, sex, culture, or social status. I want to make my parents proud of everything I do. If I have children, I want to be a good mother and raise them to be good people. I want to affect positive change in the world. I want to dance in the rain and picnic in the snow.
I want to mean what I say and say what I mean and know what I mean when I say what I say. I want to be strong and know that whatever strength I have isn’t actually mine. I want to know the value of silence. I want to truly have passion for something. I want to live up to my potential. I want to meet Colin Firth.
There are also things I don't want anymore. I don't want to understand the profundity of poetry and art when I first encounter it. Now I know that I want to ponder and reflect and then find meaning. I no longer want to look good in gaucho pants. They're no longer in style, and I've learned how to dress for my body type and I'm happy with what I've got.
Long story short, it's kind of nice to see how much I've grown and changed in the past 7 years. But it's also kind of nice to see how some things are the same. It will be interesting to look back in another 7 years and see how much things have changed or how much things have stayed the same.
I know they say that clothes don't make the man, and I don't believe in designer labels or spending a lot on clothes (I'm the queen of consignment/ thrift shopping and it is rare that I will pay more than $20 for anything, unless it's 100% silk or wool), but I do think that what you wear can affect how you feel about yourself. For example, I find that I feel more confident when I'm in a dress than when I'm wearing anything else, and I think that's why I wear them more often than anything else... and why it's the fastest growing section in my closet. So while this whole wearing pants thing was an interesting experiment, I think I'll stick to dresses and skirts.