The Dreaded First Entry...
After a long day of working three different jobs (preschool, St. Lucas, and freelance web design), I headed to my standing date night with my bestie. It's so nice to decompress with a great friend who works in a similar field so that I can bounce ideas and thoughts by her and get thoughtful feedback without judgement. I hope everyone has a friend like this. I don't know what I would do without her.
Anywho, I need a 'First Blog Post' or 'First Journal Entry' or whatever we want to call these things. In the past the blank page staring back at me has always intimidated me into submission but I am currently in the mood of 'Fuck Fear, Do It Anyway' so here I am typing something so I don't have a blank page anymore.
I guess I'll just explain why I want to keep this journal and we'll see what happens from here.
Some background on me: I grew up with both of my parents and my little brother. We lived in a suburb of St. Louis for almost my entire life, minus a couple years when I was first born. We had family dinners, played board games, and watched TV together on a regular basis. My mom got diagnosed with breast cancer when I was a junior in high school and passed away from it when I was a junior in college. Obviously this has effected my life deeply. I got depressed after she passed away and I moved 850 miles from home after I graduated college. I did not have a great support system out there and I went farther into my depression. After too long, I got help and came out of it and realized that I wanted to be back at home with my family.
During this time my dad had started the process of cleaning out our huge empty house and my brother found, and shared with me, some journals that my mom kept over the years. There was all kinds of stuff in there that I'm sure my mom probably didn't want us to read. Sorry Mom! But there was also a bunch of stuff about us that I'm sure she wouldn't mind us reading. She tells the story of finding out she was pregnant with me, what happened when she told my dad, she's got the list of gifts she got at my baby shower, and then nothing for awhile (she presumably got a little busier after my birth).
Reading these journals allowed me to feel like my mom was a real person who was angry and joyful, nervous and brave, worried and strong. She became my friend through those journals rather than just my mom. That's not to say we weren't getting there while my mom was still alive but those 4 years of having a sick mom always had the air of pressure. Pressure to not say something insensitive, to say the right things, be strong for her, be strong for my brother, not to be angry with her about normal stuff or about the situation.
From what I can tell most women go though this change at some point in their life. Everyone goes from having their mom around to having a best friend who has always been there and always will be. I was just unlucky enough to go through this transition after she passed away.
My mom's journals are some of my most prized possessions and I want to give that same kind of intimacy to my children someday. I want them to know that I'm not perfect but that I have worth anyway. I have fears and doubts but that I face them and come out the other side better than I started. That I'm strong and worried, brave and nervous, joyful and angry, and so much more. I want them to know who I was before them, who I am with them, and what I will be forever in their memory.