I’ve never really been one to keep up with a hand written journal, but every once in a while I try to convince myself that I should start one again. I recently stumbled upon one that I had started last fall, and although I only kept up with it for a few weeks after it began, it was interesting to look back at what exactly I felt was important in the moment to have written down. One entry, went a little something like this.
September 22, 2015 – 4:39pm
Today has been spent walking through worn down cobblestone streets on what turned out to be a very cold and overcast day in Paris. It felt lonely. Even amongst all the people that passed by me, something about the city felt entirely hollow.
After ending up at Lockwood this afternoon, the emptiness of the coffee shop triggered an in inner homesick feeling. There was nobody else inside when I walked in, and it was dead silent for the first few moments. Then, “Lizstomania” started playing. The familiarity of the Phoenix song made it feel somewhat less empty.
It’s a rather condensed version… however, those were both the opening and closing lines of that entry. As soon as I read the last sentence of the entry from that day, I was vividly able to remember living it. My day had felt so empty, and I was especially homesick to add to that. However, the familiarity of a song was so instantly able to brighten my moment, and there was no way I would have ever thought of, much less remembered it if I didn’t have it written down. It was such a small, and what seemed to be insignificant moment in time, but it was quite the opposite. It was my thoughts and emotions that were defining the moment I was living in. I just didn’t realize it then.
My best friends mom told me a story once about how she has kept a documented journal of her everyday existence for the last 20 years of her life. I say existence instead of life simply because they were more so snippet points of her everyday rather than actual entires. Each night, she would write down what she ate that day, who (if anyone) she met with or ran into, and a highlighting moment of her day. She kept all these stacks of notebooks from so many years, and at first I didn’t understand why. When I asked her what the point was, she said (in a rather heated tone, and also practically yelling at this point) “I could tell you exactly what I ate for dinner on November 23rd, 1998, could you tell me what you were doing on that day?!” and I couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably when she said that, because of course I didn’t have any idea.
I realized then that life quite literally is made up of all these little moments that often times we don’t even remember. Of course we remember the big events in our life, but those moments don’t make up our existence, the little ones we don’t even think about do. Our inner thoughts while we’re in the midst of living is what life really is. The meals we eat, the people we encounter, and the little things that put a smile on our faces are truly what life is all about. Life is more than only living for the grand gestures. The little things are truly our everything.